Highlights from SC&RA Annual Conference 2017

We recently had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) Annual Conference, joining 750 other participants from across the globe to meet, learn and celebrate our industry.

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The SC&RA helps members do businesses safer and more efficiently, by monitoring and affecting pending legislation and regulatory policies at the state and national levels; researching and reporting on safety concerns and best business practices; and providing four yearly forums to advance and discuss member issues. Throughout this year’s conference, we participated in committee meetings, education sessions, and presentations, while also attending the products fair and networking with other top names in the business.

After reflecting on our time at SC&RA 2017, two of our top takeaways were about what makes a great leader, and the value of sharing business challenges among peers.

You can’t lead without these 5 qualities.

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This year’s keynote speaker was Captain Paul Bucha, a Vietnam War hero who received a Medal of Honor. Captain Bucha spoke of the challenges leaders face, and shared some of his own personal experiences. He left us with five key qualities necessary for great leadership: integrity, compassion, competency, confidence and humility. These qualities really resonated with us, as we would not be serving you for 125 years if we didn’t live and breathe them every day.

Discussing challenges with peers makes both of you better.

In addition to the impressive keynote presentation, we attended committee meetings for crane and rigging safety, transportation safety training, permit policy, insurance and risk management, and many more. We found each of these sessions extremely valuable, as we had the opportunity to learn from other members by discussing challenges that we all face, so that we can find ways to improve to our businesses and services.

What do you find to be most valuable when attending conferences in your industry? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

A quick look back and focus forward

Last month, the Boulter team gathered for the second annual “State of Boulter” discussion. The term discussion here is important, because unlike the “State of the Union,” this isn’t an address from me to the company. This important event is a forum to facilitate discussion about how we as a company are doing, ensuring the whole team feels engaged and active in our future. Before the event, we conducted a survey to ask what everyone wanted to address and then we talked about what worked this past year, what we are doing differently in 2017, areas for improvement, and our company goals for 2017 and beyond. Here are some highlights of what we discussed:

What worked in 2016

IMG_0488This was our fifth consecutive year of increased profitability. The team logged a total of 101,114 hours in 2016 and sent 2,065 invoices. We also spent about $1 million on new equipment to ensure we continue to provide the best service and save you money on your projects. We were certainly a busy group, and we’re thankful to our customers for being such great partners. Our projects ranged from steel fabrication to custom rigging, to production line installations and more. We’re looking forward to taking our learnings from 2016 and fine-tuning our operations to make 2017 our best year yet.

Goals for 2017 and beyond

While the last few years have been tremendous for profitability and growth, there are a 20150918_110008few different areas that we’d like to improve upon. We’d like to prioritize better communication between our employees, and invest more in ourselves to become the best industrial contracting partners for current and future customers. Communication is a challenge in our business, because many of our employees are out in the field and not reporting directly to our office every day. We’re developing a great system that will improve lines of communication for all employees, and help our leadership team manage more effectively.

In addition to improving communication, we’re also investing in our team by implementing a company-wide bonus program and focusing more on professional development. We recognize that our employees are out there doing a great deal of the heavy lifting for our customers, and we want to reward all of their hard work. Coupled with the bonus program will also be a more robust professional development initiative with more training opportunities and an organizational chart that better reflects our management structure.

It was important to us to get the team together to discuss progress, challenges and goals so that we could better serve you, our customers. We’ve been in this business for 125 years, and it’s our customers that inspire us to adapt, grow and evolve; and our employees who help make it happen. Interested in learning more about our recent work? Check out our project gallery. We’re looking forward to continuing to serve you in 2017.

—William Boulter, CEO & President

No Boiler Too Complex for Boulter

RDH9A mechanical contractor came to us looking for assistance with a boiler replacement job, complete with new catwalks, rails and access ladders, for Rochester District Heating. Boiler replacements are typically complex projects, but this particular project was especially challenging since we were working against aggressive time constraints and the project had multiple components. Our customer’s goal was a safer, more effective boiler system. The challenge? Deliver a safe and secure system, on time and on budget.

 What was our pathway to success?

RDH3In order to successfully meet our customer’s timeline, we carefully scheduled each component so that our processes would coordinate with the demolition. And because we uniquely offer all the needed services under one roof, we were able to complete the project on time and on budget. It all comes down to the Boulter promise of creating the product that our customer needs.

Our OSHA-trained crews and Qualified Riggers can safely install any machinery with ease. Our expert personnel were able to complete this job quickly, on time, and ultimately deliver the safe and secure system that our customer needed.

 How did it all come together?RDH5

The end result was exceptional. Our customers were thrilled because despite the complexity of the project, there have been no injuries onsite. We implemented the appropriate measures so that their employees can do their jobs safely, and the system could be prepared to supply heat before the cold weather hit. Thanks to their new Boulter support steel, handrail, access ladders and updated grating, Rochester District Heating was able to get back to business.

Visit our Project Gallery to find out more about other types of jobs we’ve done in the past.

The lowdown: You have to spend money to save customers’ money

“You spent how much?!” exclaimed Michele Rhoda, our CFO & VP. “One million,” I calmly repeated to her. That’s right! Boulter invested one million dollars in the latest, greatest equipment in 2016. All in the name of decreasing your costs and increasing the safety of our team and your cargo. Let me talk to you about some of my favorites.

What I tell a client when they have precious cargo …

Don’t worry. Your equipment is safe with us. We Boulter 10-Wheeler Zoomed Out 12517.jpgbought a new Peterbilt Rollback truck with air ride suspensions. This advanced technology ensures fragile equipment and machinery gently moves with the bounces, turns, and twists of its transport so nothing gets hurt. We purchased this automatic flatbed to replace our 17-year-old one that had 200,000 miles on it. She served us well, but it was time for an upgrade.

 What people are talking about …

A custom-fit utility truck that stays with our fabrication team all the time. It holds our specialty tools and equipment, allowing the team to go directly from site-to-site without stopping at the office, saving you time and money. Even better, with the additional trailer, the truck can tow up to 10,000 lbs. This gives us some flexibility to reduce our equipment needs and your costs even further.

 Why I’m giving a high-five to our new lowboy trailer…

This 55-ton, low-profile trailer can haul extra-heavy and tall equipment with weights up to 110,000 lbs. and heights of up to 12 feet. The trailer can even be detached hydraulically for quick and easy loading and unloading. Plus, the air ride suspension makes for a smooth, safe transport for your machinery and equipment.

 How I plan to not lift a finger for awhile …20170324_115642.jpg

 We bought three Hoist Liftruck forklifts, and the largest doubles our lifting capacity from
30,000 lbs. to 60,000 lbs. In the past, we’d often need a crane for these really heavy jobs. But with these forklifts, we can lift more weight with less equipment and team members, meaning we cost you less. All three forklifts have advanced safety features, too.

The FR Series 15/25 and 40/60 give us the flexibility of two fork trucks with one piece of equipment. With just the push of a button, these machines open up to extend their counterweights and center of gravity, giving them increased lift capacity. For the ultimate versatility, the 40/60 even comes with a hydraulically powered, multi-stage telescopic boom that can lift objects up to 26 feet in the air. Both trucks are easily maneuverable, even in tight spaces, and incredibly light, allowing for easy transportation.20170301_113225_001

Our new 18-ton pneumatic P360 runs on a high-performance Cummins diesel engine and is durable enough to withstand rugged outdoor environments and road conditions. The wide, open mast and unique low-profile counterweight allows the operator to see unobstructed views in all directions.

All of this technology isn’t just for our fun, but to better serve you—our customers. You’ve got my promise that we’ll always show up to your project’s site with the most advanced equipment to get the job done right. Interested in learning more? Check out some other pieces of our equipment.

William Boulter, CEO & President

How Boulter Sets the Safety Standard

“Safety first, never last. Have a future, not a past.” That’s the motto our friends at York Safety Solutions shared with us at our annual safety day training this year. The entire Boulter team got together to talk about this top priority.scene 3 - rigging1

In the weeks leading up to the meeting, York employees visited several of our jobsites and then gathered their findings into inspection reports to share.

That went great. It was a mutual feeling all around: they aren’t your typical “gotcha” guys. More like partners. They collaborated with our leadership, project managers, and guys on the ground to make the presentation about content that actually mattered to us.

Everyone agrees. It’s always nice to have someone come in and refresh us. Each time you hear it, it sticks in your head even more. 

TieoffWhy do we have ongoing safety training?

 We believe that safety is everyone’s responsibility. And we take that belief very seriously, proven by our employees working 90,000+ hours with no major accidents.

It helps that all field employees have a minimum of 10-hours of OSHA training, and foremen, like Matt Levick, have at least 30 hours. But, Boulter is about so much more than the minimum safety standards. According to Matt:

 “As Union guys, we’re always properly trained. Everyone goes through a four-year apprenticeship where we’re taught safety for our trades before we even begin to work.”scene5 -steelfab2

Matt recalls his apprenticeship and how he learned the ins and outs of the work. Not just
how to do it, but how to do it safely. And it pays off. Matt says it best:

“If you look at our vehicles, hear about our referrals, and see our careful workmanship, you’ll recognize how Boulter has set the standards in terms of safety. We are the ones everyone follows.”

Want to learn more about safety at Boulter? Click here.

Blogs, birthdays, and big moves

A lot has been happening here at Boulter, so we realize it’s about time for an update. That’s why we’re drilling down and getting back to blogging. From here on out, you can expect to hear from us every two weeks.

What’s new?

Thanks to clients like you, we’re turning 125 years old. We’ve got some fun plans in the works to show how much we appreciate your business. Including a very happy birthday bash no one will forget.

We’ve also added to our collection of heavy duty equipment. Putting the final touches on some new additions that’ll hit the road in the next few weeks. Two brand spanking new pickup trucks and a bright, shiny 10-wheeler could appear at your next job site.

Anything else?

You bet. Our leadership team is growing stronger every day. We recently hired Karen Marsh as our VP of Human Resources and promoted Donald Luther to Operations Manager.

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“I’m excited to join the team and contribute to Boulter’s continued success and growth by supporting and championing team training, safety, and efficiency that will benefit our clients and staff.”

—Karen

 And Don is just as thrilled.  donald-luther

“While this is a new position, it’s one for which I’ve been preparing for years by partnering with Willis [our CEO and President] directly and I’m excited to officially take the reins and get deeply involved in all of our client projects.”

—Don

 What’s old news?

_dsc0157We’re still a local family business now in its fifth generation of ownership. Skillfully and safely moving our clients’ most valuable assets and heaviest equipment on time and on budget is still our top priority.

We continue to maintain a consistent safety record. And our teams use the newest, most advanced machinery to get your jobs done more efficiently. All cargo arrives in the same condition it left your facility, so you can get your operations back online. Fast.

Here’s a reminder of our services:

Remember, if you need to move something big, ask Boulter. But don’t just take our word for it. Hear what our clients are saying or get all the nitty gritty details on some projects we’re really proud of. Then check back in a few weeks for the next blog on our annual Safety Day.

Spotlight on Custom Steel Fabrication

You may not know, but in addition to excelling at rigging and transportation, Boulter also provides quality custom steel fabrication. Regardless of the scope of your project, Boulter will work with you from either concept or detailed drawings to deliver a finished product that is right for your company.100_0919

Boulter offers their clients a range of services in order to eliminate the need to hire several contractors for a wide scoped project. For example, if a client in the Food and Beverage Industry needs Production Line Installation, we can additionally provide the supplementary safety requirements to bring your project to code: from bollards to equipment modifications, machine platforms, stairs and handrails. DSCN1684

Our team includes certified welders and OSHA-30 hours trained professionals. With our Fabrication Shop and Overhead Crane, we are able to assemble pieces prior to installing it at your facility; however, our mobile welding truck allows our Ironworkers to fabricate on-site as well. Boulter’s versatility means convenience for our clients.

Meet the Project Manager: Jeffrey Smith

Smith-Jeff-8864-GBJeffrey specializes in all steel fabrication projects. He’s been with Boulter for 18 years, beginning as an Ironworker apprentice then working up the ranks to finally his current position. “Being a Project Manager is stressful yet rewarding,” Jeffrey says. “When I see a project progress from the first set of bid drawings to the last bolt installed, I feel a huge amount of pride for my team and a sense of accomplishment.”group cropped

Teamwork is a huge part of what makes Boulter stand out and an important element to Jeffrey. He says, “Boulter is a group of extremely talented employees that take their job seriously and really make tasks that appear impossible, look easy on a day to day basis.”

Boulter has been a part of some very unique and interesting fabrication jobs around town. Rochester’s very own Eastman Theatre required new stage rigging. “I was lucky enough to be on that project,” Jeffrey recalls. “It was a great job that involved complicated rigging and new steel installation all while working high above the stage area.” Another, more visually prominent project involved the rigging of safari bus at the Seneca Park Zoo [Read about this project here]. Part of this project included removing the Totem Pole from Midtown Plaza and relocating it to the Zoo.

Contact Boulter for a quote with absolutely no obligation!

Visit our Project Gallery to find out more about other types of jobs we’ve done in the past.

 

Western New York’s Sonar Test Facility

Did you know the Navy does field tests in the Finger Lakes?

Our glacier-made lakes are perfect for the research and development the facility conducts, which is world-renowned for ventures that demand deep-water testing. Because it is capable of handling systems, or equipment, weighing up to 200 tons and as deep as 500 feet, many major projects get evaluated there. Also, the facility performs test and evaluation of equipment ranging from single element transducers to complex sonar arrays and systems.

Bsonaroulter was brought in by O’Connell Electric to assist in the replacement of the Test Facility’s entire ship-mounted MV and LV distribution systems. We received all the equipment, rig materials from land to the barge via crane, from the barge to the ship via the Navy’s ship-mounted crane. Once everything was on the ship, our crew rigged the equipment into its final location and the materials into place.

Our Fabrication Shop fabricated and installed new stainless steel bases for the exterior equipment. We also fabricated new stainless steel handrails to replace the existing fencing.

 

Learn more about typical projects we undertake here or read what others are saying about us.

[Adapted from the O’Connell Electric Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2015/2016]

 

#TBT: Rigging the Safari Bus at the Seneca Park Zoo Africa Exhibit

Rochester’s Seneca Park Zoo is a popular recreational destination. It also seems like the last place where Boulter Industrial Contractors, Inc would be contracted for a rigging job, right?

Unveiled in May 2012, the Step Into Africa attraction boasted a state-of-the art exhibit featuring three African lions. One of the features of the exhibit includes a stationary safari bus where visitors can view the lions.

To install the safari bus, the Zoo needed someone who specializes in rigging and custom installation projects. That’s where Boulter comes into play.Photos 007

IMG_0353The zoo purchased the two-story double decker bus and had it delivered to the site. At that point, Boulter’s field workers assessed the task and they fabricated steel on site to cradle the bus for safe hoisting with a crane. With the use of rigging slings and chain falls for adjustment, the bus was raised and swung into place. Once the bus was aligned and landed, ironworkers welded it to steel embedment plates in the concrete piers at the buses final location.

“This job was a lot of fun,” says Jeffrey Smith, Project Manager. “I remember it drawing a crowd of people curious to see what we were doing.”IMG_0352

Four years later, the exhibit is still a patron favorite. “As a local business, I am proud to see what a positive impact a job like this makes on our community,” says William S. Boulter, President and CEO of Boulter.

While many of Boulter’s projects are behind the scenes or out of public view, Jeffrey mentions “It’s neat when my kids say, ‘my dad put that bus there’ whenever we go to the zoo.”

To learn more about Boulter and its services, visit our website.

 

*Project photos courtesy of Seneca Park Zoo

Bridge Maintenance on the Union Street Overpass in Monroe County

Boulter’s crew has been onsite in the town of Chili removing the steel beams of the Union Street Bridge over I-90.

According to a press release issued by the New York State Thruway Authority, the “work will incorporate a full replacement of the existing structure.” Boulter was contracted by this project to remove the 12 ton steel beams. Using our 15-ton fork truck, beams were secured to the forks in order to allow them to be cut from the structure.

The Union Street overpass is located between Wheatland Center Road in the town of Wheatland and Chili-Scottsville Road (New York State Route 386) in the Town of Chili. With the bridge under construction, motorists have been advised of detour routes to follow. The new bridge is expected to reopen in the fall of 2016.

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Read about other projects Boulter frequently undertakes.

Learn more about Boulter and request a quote with absolutely no obligation.