As 2017 begins, construction industry professionals are looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities that will present themselves in the new year. The new Trump administration has some forecasters feeling optimistic and others feeling nervous. Here are a few top trends that will hugely affect the construction industry in 2017.
IoT Will Revolutionize Construction Jobs
You may have heard of the “Internet of Things”, or IOT. The Internet of Things refers to the web of devices that are connected to the Internet. This can range from your laptop to your home automation system, to you coffee maker! On the construction site, the IOT is present in equipment and employee tracking, wearable devices, drone surveying, and other construction tools.
Utilizing data-collecting technology on the construction site is a great way to analyze your efficiency and even keep costs down. We’re already using the Volvo CareTrack telematics system in our Volvo construction vehicles to monitor how many hours the machines have been running, how much idle time was spent, if there have been any overheating or shutdown, and how much fuel has been consumed. Having this data at your fingertips is a great way to efficiently utilize your equipment. This year, more and more construction companies are bound to utilize technologies such as these.
The Trump Administration Will Revitalize Infrastructure…Or Not
The incoming Trump administration has the power to change regulations, taxes, labor policy, and many other aspects of business. During his campaign, Trump promised to limit regulations and fund infrastructure. With Trump’s experience in real estate and construction, many construction industry professionals were feeling optimistic that he would pay special attention to the construction industry and breathe new life into our nation’s infrastructure.
However, many experts are feeling uncertain about what the Trump administration will bring to the table in regards to infrastructure. Trump’s 10-year infrastructure plan would utilize $137 billion of tax credits to generate $1 trillion of private investments. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says, “A program of tax credits isn’t going to get the job done, no matter how large. We need significant, direct spending.” Aside from fears about how the 10-year infrastructure plan will be paid for, using private investments is a break from the way infrastructure is traditionally funded, which is through state and local governments. If Trump’s infrastructure plan is effective, we could see a big change in the direction of infrastructure projects.
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