Daily Archives: January 17, 2019

Government Shutdown 2019
Government Shutdown: Effects on the Industry and How it Affects You

With hundreds of thousands of government workers living without pay and so many others out of work, the country is reeling under the impact of the government shutdown that began at midnight on December 22, 2018 and shows no signs of approaching a resolution, as of now. The ripple effect from the standoff is beginning to touch more and more lives, and with no end currently in sight, it is important for everyone to have an idea of what exactly is going on and be prepared for consequences that this clampdown on `non-essential’ federal funding may have on their day-to-day lives:

What is a Government Shutdown?

When non-essential discretionary federal programs close because of Congress’ failure to appropriate necessary funds, the event that follows is a government shutdown. Congress could not come to an agreement on a funding resolution, and the impasse signaled a breakdown of the budget process.

What Caused the Current Government Shutdown?

A border wall between Mexico and United States is at the core of the standoff that has led to what is now the longest government shutdown in the history of United States (commenced on December 22, 2018).

While President Donald Trump is determined to get funding for the border wall that was a crowning promise during the 2016 Presidential elections, Democrats in Congress are adamant that the money is better spent on technology, law enforcement officials and agents to prevent illegal crossings.

What Are the Direct Fallouts of a Government Shutdown?

While essential services – such as defense, border protection, immigration and air traffic controls – continue as before, those that are categorized as `non-essential’ services financed by the discretionary budget funds have come to a standstill.

Major departments that are affected by the government shutdown are:


  • Internal Revenue Service
  • National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Housing & Urban Development


  • Food & Drug Administration
  • Department of Commerce
  • US Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Environmental Protection Agency

How is the Government Shutdown Affecting Our Industry?

Municipalities are part of the local government, which, in short-term shutdowns, are minimally affected, because they receive very little funding directly from the federal government. Long-term government shutdowns, however, can create some serious challenges. The longer the shutdown, the bigger the impact it starts to have.

Budget officials are less worried about immediate administrative impacts, and more concerned with the wider effects that the government shutdown could have on the economy. Economic slowdown resulting from a shutdown could mean less tax revenue for all levels of government to spend on infrastructure and services.

Some federal programs are not impacted. Mandatory programs, which make up two-thirds of all federal programs will still get funding. The one-third affected are discretionary programs. Many of the programs are forward-funded, meaning funds have already been appropriated and, thus, won’t be impacted. For example, highway programs are largely funded by a special account called the Highway Trust Fund (not the general fund). That means it’s unlikely that construction on transportation infrastructure would come to a halt. However, some jobs may be funded through discretionary grants and, if so, would be affected by this shutdown.

Other Ways the Government Shutdown is Affecting You

# 1: Airport Security

If you’re travelling at this time, you may be directly impacted by the fact that TSA agents who screen passengers and baggage are calling out sick in increasing numbers.

# 2: Museums & Parks

Check before you plan a day out at a museum or a national park because many of them are closed right now. While a few are trying to remain open with limited staffing, state funding and volunteers stepping in to help, they may close as well without prior notice.

# 3: Food Inspection

The FDA has stopped routine inspections of seafood, fruits, vegetables in spite of existing risks of contamination due to the government shutdown. Inspection of meat, poultry, eggs, grain and a few other commodities, however, continues as before.

# 4: Food Aid

Food assistance for women, children, infants and Native Indian Reservations are operating at the state and local level, but if those run out, there will be no federal funding available until the shutdown ends.

# 5: Law Enforcement

Several thousands of personnel are currently working without pay and there is a severe strain on law enforcement departments that are trying to keep their head above the water until the shutdown is called off.

# 6: Judiciary

Most immigration courts are closed, which is causing long delays in deportation processing and cases are not moving forward.

# 7: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Most IRS operations stopped with the government shutdown. The tax filing season is drawing close, but it is still uncertain how things will pan out with only about 12% of operating staff at hand.


Construction Jobsite in Winter
Carrying On with Construction Work During Winter – 6 Major Concerns

Winter weather is not conducive to construction work for obvious reasons – which is why most construction projects are put on hold until the weather becomes cooperative again. But shutting down operations until Spring isn’t always an option, and road building, bridge building and other priority construction projects may have to continue in spite of the rising costs, weather challenges, worker safety and other concerns that are part and parcel of such a venture.

Listed below, are 6 factors one must be aware of when a construction project cannot wait for the worst of winter to pass:


It is next to impossible to know if a construction project will be completed on time when working in winter weather conditions. There are too many variables, and patience is key when snowstorms, blizzards and other unpredictable seasonal hazards play havoc with your best-laid plans. Budgeting for these eventualities has to be a primary concern before embarking on a winter construction project to make sure the project is viable in spite of the possibility of time loss and setbacks.


Ground freeze can easily run as much as 12 inches deep during cold weather in some parts of United States and cutting through such thick swathes of frozen soil is a major challenge for construction projects that do not stop for winter – even with heavy digging equipment like excavators.

Ground Thaw Machines may be the most practical solution in these circumstances. Powered mostly by diesel, Ground Thaw Machines heat a mix of glycol and water and passes the heated solution through rubber hoses that are laid on the frozen ground and covered with a blanket of concrete for a few days to melt the ground freeze enough to make it pliable for excavation. Once the hard crust of soil freeze is removed, then the work of dredging further down can carry on much more easily because the top layer of freeze has already been removed.


Laying down concrete in winter is fraught with problems that show up when the ground under it begins to thaw in Spring, causing the concrete to move and shift. Using a Ground Thaw Machine to melt the freeze before pouring concrete and adding anti-freeze to the concrete mixture is a practical solution for this. Concrete emits a huge amount of heat when it is first laid down, and harnessing all that heat with insulating blankets will ease the job process as well.



Custom Truck One Source Inventory



Fuel costs invariably rise at winter construction job sites. Fuel consumption increases significantly with equipment like mixers, on-site heaters etc.


Another major concern on job sites during winter is snow removal. Dependent on the vagaries of weather, there is no easy way to predict how much snow will accumulate while construction work is in progress, and without a swift – and daily – snow removal plan in place, the job site can quickly become impassable, making expenditures skyrocket.


Imagine this. A construction worker is trying to pull out something from his/her pocket while working in winter. The gloves have to come off, the heavy, outer layers of winter protection gear has to be unzipped before the pocket can be reached. And afterwards the reverse process has to happen again. An action that would have taken 3-5 seconds in summer can take as much as a minute or two to accomplish. This minor example shows how many other `invisible’ ways that working time can be expended during winter – with no accounting for them!


Need to buy or lease trucks and other heavy equipment for winter construction projects?

Call Custom Truck One Source at 844-282-1838 or get in touch with us by clicking HERE. We’re the nation’s first, true single-source provider of specialized trucks and heavy equipment solutions.

With sales, rentals, aftermarket parts and service, equipment customization, remanufacturing, financing solutions, and asset disposal, our team of experts, vast equipment breadth and integrated network of locations across North America offer superior service and unmatched efficiency for our customers.