Contractor Apps: Trenchless Technology has Joined the World of Apps — What Else Is Out There?

iPad AppsToday’s office no longer looks like the ones our parents worked in — technology has seen to that. Paperwork and manila folders have been replaced by computers, software and technological wizardry. Laptops and mobile devices have revolutionized the way business is conducted in the home office and in the field.

And for contractors, they have never had a conventional office, working from the jobsite, the road via their truck or whatever spot they happened to be in. Today’s technology allows them to virtually travel with their office, staying in touch with employees and clients and troubleshooting from whatever location they are.
Cell phones made communication quicker and more convenient for the construction world. Today, it’s even faster, better and more complete. With today’s technology, contractors literally have information at their fingertips on the jobsite and a connection to their home office that allows projects and equipment to be monitored from anywhere. Out on the road doesn’t mean the contractor is out of reach with the day-to-day business operations.

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Whether it’s through a smartphone, tablet or laptop, contractors have the means to address virtually any given situation on the jobsite, making them work more efficiently, productively and possibly profitably. Everything from equipment maintenance to worker timesheets and equipment purchases to jobsite details can be managed using innovative and user-friendly software designed specifically for your mobile devices. These software solutions for smartphones and tablets are called “Apps” (short for applications), and the professional equipment and contracting industries are full of them (with many of them free for download).

We have included a few of the Apps that are out there, including the Trenchless Technology magazine App that was launched on Aug 1.

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Trenchless Technology AppGoing Ape for the Trenchless Technology App
We first announced that Trenchless Technology magazine is now available as a free App for your iPad in the August issue. You now have access to the best coverage of the trenchless industry from where ever you are in the world, at any time. The Trenchless Technology App — available at the App Store for download to your newsstand — brings you the latest issue and past issues of the No. 1 Source for Trenchless News to your fingertips.

In the age of today’s electronic media, offering Trenchless Technology as an App was a no-brainer. We continue to publish the magazine as a printed publication, mailing to more than 36,000 subscribers each month but through the App, we can offer expanded coverage to our readers with exclusive, extended editorial, additional project photos and videos. Advertisers can include direct links to their websites, as well as videos and tabs to engage more customers.

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Reading Trenchless Technology on your tablet gives you easy navigation, zoom capabilities and crystal clear images.

“As the trenchless industry continues to evolve, so does the way we cover it,” says Benjamin Media Inc. president Rob Krzys. “With the Trenchless Technology App, we now have unbelievable reach across our industry. The possibilities of what we can bring you through the App version of Trenchless Technology are limitless.”

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Trenchless Technology is one of five BMI publications now offered as an App to its readers. All Benjamin Media publications will be available in App form by early spring 2014.

Other Apps to Look At

Compact Equipment AppCompact Equipment Magazine
Visit the iTunes store online and experience anew the only trade magazine geared toward owners, operators and entrepreneurs who use right-size, compact construction equipment in their construction, landscape and agricultural operations (and is a sister publication to Trenchless Technology). This free App reimagines the Compact Equipment magazine experience, expanding editorial with interactive photography, videos and an infinite electronic shelf life (easy to reference with the click of a button). 

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Now nimble, tool carrying equipment like skid steers, mini excavators, backhoes and compact wheel loaders can be analyzed and researched on your smartphone or tablet. Because of the diverse nature of tool carriers, the CE App is ideal in a variety of industries (landscaping, government, utility construction, residential, commercial, concrete construction, hobby farming, rental and others). Compact Equipment will be published 12 times in 2013, and starting in July 2013, each magazine issue will be available in App format (only iOS platforms for now). Visit the iTunes store.

Allmand Mobile Light Tower Placement App
Responding to a growing need for assistance in determining the number and placement of portable light towers on a given worksite, Allmand announced that they have created an iPad/iPhone application to aid in worksite light tower setup. It is available free through the Apple App Store. Although the App is developed and offered by Allmand, it can be used as the basis for setting up 1,000-watt or 1,250-watt metal halide light towers from almost any manufacturer. The mobile application is designed for those who need to illuminate large areas for construction, special events, mining, energy production or any number of situations where portable lighting is required for safety, convenience or productivity.

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To use this App, simply locate the area to be lit on the satellite image using either the general ZIP Code, the name of a city, or the specific street address of the site. Touch the screen to define the boundaries of the actual area to be illuminated and virtually set up and aim the portable light towers to determine the placement and quantity of the towers, as well as the light configuration that most efficiently lights the worksite to the desired level of illumination, which is measured in foot-candles (fc). A number of typical lamp configurations may be selected (i.e. four 1,000-watt lamps aimed straight ahead, six 1,250-watt lamps aimed 45 degrees apart, etc.) to best determine the most efficient lighting setup.  The Allmand app is available for iPhones and iPads in the Apple App Store.  Just search “Allmand.”

Atlas Copco Marketplace Smart Phone Friendly
After a complete redesign of its Marketplace web page in April 2012, Atlas Copco has now made the site smart-phone friendly. The mobile website makes accessing used Atlas Copco equipment even easier. Accessible via www.atlascopcomarketplace.com, the mobile website is one of several improvements since the site’s 2008 debut that make the online service even more useful to customers. For instance, it is now possible for visitors to see images and read equipment listings in detail without having to log on to the site first. A “print a brochure” function allows users to create PDFs to email or print out as hard copy.

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The home page includes a featured unit of the month and links to pages dedicated to such things as financing and global equipment availability. Atlas Copco also promises to keep the site current. Finance rates for equipment will be updated monthly. Parts and service specials will be updated monthly or quarterly, depending on the program. Links to additional content and various other Atlas Copco microsites and web pages will be provided as they are available or change. 

CETCO Drilling Resources
Drill faster and smarter. Download the CETCO Drilling Resources mobile application to your iOS compatible device and access our product calculators without using your Iinternet connection or data plan. We understand that being on the job means you might not always have a great connection. 

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The mobile App includes six, easy-to-use product usage calculators created specifically for these applications:  Foundation Drilling, Geothermal Grouting, Horizontal Directional Drilling, Water Well Abandonment, Water Well Grouting and Sealing and Vertical Drilling.  With a click of the button you can email the results to your project engineer or manager and be able to bid your jobs more accurately.  The mobile app also includes quick access to our technical data sheets, material safety data sheets, and application guides. 

OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool
When you’re working in the heat, safety comes first. With the OSHA Heat Safety Tool, you have vital safety information available whenever and wherever you need it — right on your mobile phone. This App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple click, you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness-reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

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Stay informed and safe in the heat, check your risk level. For more information about safety while working in the heat, see OSHA’s heat illness webpage, including new online guidance about using the heat index to protect workers. This app is free and is also available in Spanish. For more information, visit www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html.

Phrikolat Drilling Specialties GmbH
The Phrikolat App is addressed to everybody who is involved in Horizontal Directional Drilling Fluids at HDD jobsites. The primary target group is the jobsite supervisors, drillers and surveyors of  small and medium size drilling rigs. 

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In this App you will find information on the Phrikolat HDD drilling fluid products and their application in different geological formations (mixing tables), as well as tables with HDD related dimensions and properties of PE-Pipes, conversion tables and much more. The main subject of this App are simple calculations for almost everything that has to be calculated in the everyday jobsite — without Internet, without laptop, without calculator and above all without the time consuming search around for old recordings. No Internet connection available at the jobsite? After the installation, this App is always available without phone reception or SIM card. At the moment 23 simple calculations and 13 references are available. The use of the Phrikolat App is very easy and comfortable — it really is an App for the jobsite. Phrikolat Drilling Specialties GmbH is a service company for the construction industry. For more than 15 years we are specialized on the supply and development of Drilling Fluids for the horizontal directional drilling (HDD). Available platforms: Apple + Android; Google play; and iTunes.

Radius Build Your Sub
The “Build Your Sub” App from Radius allows HDD contractors to design and order any type of connection sub online. There is no shortage of thread types in the HDD industry. Today’s boring contractors face the constant challenge of identifying and ordering the right connections for their rigs and tooling. While connection subs are usually the least expensive component in the drill string, a missing or broken sub can cost thousands of dollars in down time and delays.  The “Build Your Sub” application at www.radiusHDD.com allows drillers to design and place orders for subs directly online. Once designed, the App will let you know if the desired sub is already in stock or if there is a similar sub in stock with a different OD or length.  If the adapter is not in stock three production options are offered.  Regular Production Service is an economical option.  Next Day Production has the part built and shipped the following day. For situations where time is critical, Radius offers a Same Day Service where subs are ordered, produced and shipped by the end of day for next day delivery. The “Build Your Sub” App also offers a complete thread library with common dimensions to help you identify the thread you need. The app also allows you to store the subs you’ve ordered to keep a history of the connections you use.  To try the App yourself, go to www.radiusHDD.com.

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Sharon M. Bueno is managing editor of Trenchless Technology.

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