Lumber, laws and lessons learned
You’ve heard of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” But how about Smith Phillips Building Supply goes to Raleigh?
Here’s the story.
Chris Yenrick, president of Smith Phillips in Winston-Salem, N.C., was skimming through an obscure, state-government newsletter one day when he stumbled upon some disturbing news. North Carolina was about to hit pro dealers with some costly regulation.
And Carolina dealers weren’t even warned.
At issue were rules governing articulating boom trucks. The state was about to adopt a set of guidelines drawn up by OSHA on the national level — far-reaching crane rules that didn’t take into account the business practices of pro dealers.
“They had sent the proposal to builders, but builders don’t use cranes,” said Yenrick, the incoming chairman of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA). “No one had sent them to us.”
Acting fast, with the help of the Southern Building Material Association and a lobbyist from the NLBMDA, Yenrick was part of a group that won a delay in the implementation, and then an exemption for the industry from certain costly certification regulations.
It just goes to show, Yenrick said, if you’re not watching out for your own industry’s interests, anything can happen. And it probably will.
“We got in there and they heard us,” he said. “That was a very, very eye-opening experience.”
As incoming chair of the NLBMDA — a post he will enter during the 2013 ProDealer Industry Summit Oct. 23-25 in Nashville, Tenn. — Yenrick says his goal is to help build a louder voice for dealers and get more people involved in legislative issues. He also hopes to grow the Lumber Dealers Political Action Committee (LuDPAC).
“I feel as an independent dealer and as a lumber dealer, that all of us need to come together,” Yenrick said. “Both the national chains and the independent dealers need to make sure that we have a voice up on Capitol Hill, that promotes healthy regulation in our industry. We need to be the watchdog. Lawmakers at that level sometimes don’t think of the ramifications at the user level.”
Sometimes they don’t even read their own rules — which Yenrick says is one of the most eye-opening observations from the North Carolina crane episode.
In past years, Yenrick served as regulatory issues committee chair, as well as LuDPAC chair. In 2011, he was recognized as the NLBMDA’s “Grassroots Dealer of the Year.”
The incoming chair says the NLBMDA deserves much credit for improving its effectiveness and financial standing during the difficult housing downturn.
“Sometimes the stars have to align to make things happen,” Yenrick said. “But you got to keep on plugging away.”
For information about the ProDealer Industry Summit, visit prodealer.com
Deere to invest $40 million for production of high-powered 8R tractors
Deere & Company has made plans to invest $40 million to manufacture its high-horsepower 8R tractors at the company’s factory in Montenegro, Brazil.
The move is part of a larger strategy to expand Deere’s market presence in Brazil. The company currently builds other kinds of tractors in Montenegro, but not the popular 8R model.
"Our customers in Brazil are investing in higher horsepower tractors in the range offered by the 8R model," said Mark Von Pentz, president, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division. "Our decision to manufacture the 8R in Montenegro should allow the machine to be eligible for FINAME financing – the public program that targets investment in Brazil’s economic development."
Von Pentz cited sustained demand in both North and South America, as well as increased productivity linked to high-horsepower models like the 8R.
Deere first alighted in Brazil in 1979, when it invested in a joint venture there. The Montenegro facility was built in 2008.
KitchenAid rolls out water-conserving dishwasher
KitchenAid is touting its newest dishwasher, which it claims has the industry’s lowest water usage as determined by EnergyStar.
The model uses a method called the AquaSense Recycling System, which reuses water from the previous rinse cycle to pre-rinse the next load. The dishwasher then uses fresh water to wrap up the process.
"If you have great water efficiency but need to rewash because you’re not getting the desired results, that efficiency is quickly diminished," notes Beth Robinson, senior manager of brand experience for KitchenAid. "Our engineers have come up with a way to deliver on both fronts by designing a dishwasher that not only uses 33% less water than previous models but also delivers our best performance ever."
Other special features include a filter-based wash system with sound insulation, a heat dry option, spray jets that eliminate the need to soak or pre-scrub heavily soiled pots and pans and an automatic ProWash Cycle that adjusts water and energy use based on load size and soil amount. A front display on the exterior also shows the cycle stage while the dishwasher is running, with an "add a dish" indicator that lets users know when to add an extra dish.
The dishwasher comes with a range of various cycle options and includes fold-down tines for larger dishes.