subscribe to ENR magazine subscribe
contact us
careers industry jobs
events events
Dodge Data & Analytics
ENR Logo
Web access will be provided
as part of your subscription.

At 2013 ICUEE Show, Utility Contractors Fleet Up

Text size: A A
Photo by Tudor Van Hampton for ENR
This year's ICUEE show drew 17,500 visitors, the second-highest-ever turnout for the biennial trade show.
----- Advertising -----

Even though new construction starts for electric utilities have fallen sharply this year, contractors with heavy workloads in the transmission business are replacing worn-out machines.

"The industry is doing really well," said Scott Kidder, safety manager at Bison Electric, Tulsa, Okla., at the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition, held on Oct. 1-3 in Louisville, Ky. "The hard part is finding workers."

Transmission and substation projects are keeping linemen busy, said others at the biennial ICUEE, which covered 1.2 million sq ft. This year's show attracted 17,500 visitors, ICUEE's second-highest turnout.

"There is a tremendous amount of transmission construction activity right now," said Matt Trefz, market manager for Altec Industries Inc., which exhibited a new 45-ton boom truck at the expo. For example, linemen are busy erecting corridors to handle renewable-energy sources, such as wind power, he added.

One such project, the $6.82-billion Competitive Renewable Energy Zones in Texas, is winding down, with approximately 3,000 of the planned 3,600 miles built. Likewise, Wisconsin-based American Transmission Co. released on Oct. 3 a 10-year plan calling for $3 billion to $3.6 billion in Midwest grid improvements.

Even so, U.S. construction starts in the electric-utility sector fell 5% in August and are expected to fall an annual rate of 40% in 2013, according to Dodge, like ENR, a unit of McGraw Hill Construction. Meanwhile, total starts in all sectors rose 2% in August.

Attendees reported healthy underground work, as well. "The only sector that is having difficulty digging its feet in is the municipal water and wastewater sector," said Dave Wisniewski, vice president at Vermeer, adding that shale extraction has boosted sales of trenching and drilling equipment, helping to offset the lagging sewer work.


----- Advertising -----
  Blogs: ENR Staff   Blogs: Other Voices  
Critical Path: ENR's editors and bloggers deliver their insights, opinions, cool-headed analysis and hot-headed rantings
Project Leads/Pulse

Gives readers a glimpse of who is planning and constructing some of the largest projects throughout the U.S. Much information for pulse is derived from McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge.

For more information on a project in Pulse that has a DR#, or for general information on Dodge products and services, please visit our Website at

Information is provided on construction projects in following stages in each issue of ENR: Planning, Contracts/Bids/Proposals and Bid/Proposal Dates.

View all Project Leads/Pulse »

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.