How Much Do Diesel Mechanics and Technicians Earn?

Diesel mechanics and technicians maintain and repair diesel engines to help keep them maintained and running properly. This work is hard and requires great knowledge and skills. These professionals must be able to keep up with the latest changes in the industry as well as the latest equipment. The average diesel mechanic makes about $39,000 per year for an entry level position while an experienced mechanic can make a significantly larger salary. Most mechanics and technicians work by the hour instead of getting a fixed salary. This can easily change the annual wages they may earn each year.

A mechanic working for the government can often make a higher wage than a mechanic who works for a small private business. Mechanics who work for small businesses or work for themselves can sometimes earn a commission or get bonuses that can lead to better salaries or wages.

Mechanics working on commission based jobs are usually guaranteed a set minimum weekly salary in order to be assured a decent income. Some companies offer benefit packages like health care or other insurance but a lot of small companies can not afford these bonuses. They work on various machinery including trucks, farm equipment such as tractors. Mechanics working for the government will usually upkeep and repair military vehicles and other diesel equipment. Because the industry is ever changing, new jobs and advancements cause a high demand for repairs and maintenance for diesel equipment. It is possible to make extra money on the side by doing freelance repair work while holding down a job working for a company full time.

There is a strong demand for those seeking employment in the field of diesel mechanics as positions are being created all the time. Certain types of machinery have higher demands and more opportunities for jobs. You don’t have to have any education to be one but it will make it easier to get employment if you get education and get certified. Many businesses will require that a mechanic working for them be certified, current in diesel mechanic training and have up to the date skills. Those who have no prior training will still be able to work as a diesel mechanic but will have less job opportunities and get lower pay unless they can start their own business.

You can attain formal education by attending an accredited school such as a trade school or technical college. These schools will provide you with hands on opportunities to work with diesel machinery first hand and help you gain valuable knowledge of how they work.

Some dealerships or businesses may offer programs to help pay for your degree or further train you in diesel mechanics or new technology. These programs will help increase your knowledge and help keep your existing skills up to date. There are several associations that exist for diesel mechanics and technicians, from local run associations to worldwide associations. The Association of Diesel Specialists is one of the largest worldwide trade associations.

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What Mechanical Contractors Can Do For You

Mechanical contractors are professionals who deal with ventilation, refrigeration, air-conditioning, cooling, heating, and plumbing systems. Some of them specialize in only a specific type of remodeling or construction project. For example, you may find a contractor who takes on projects in industrial buildings only, such as power plants and factories. Likewise, there are other types of contractors specializing in projects associated with institutions (such as hospitals and schools), commercial buildings (such as office buildings and retail establishments), or residential houses.

Complete Mechanical Construction Services

Whether yours is a residential or a commercial building project, you are strongly recommended to consider hiring only those mechanical contractors who provide complete mechanical construction services and take up responsibilities for continuing maintenance. An experienced contractor can also assist you in pre-construction works, such as operational efficiency, construction analysis, scheduling, value engineering, cost analysis, and budget preparation. There is a key management team to manage these types of projects. Their many years of combined expertise, training, and experience can bring quality to your construction project.

Planning Is The Key

When it comes to ensuring quality, planning is the key factor. The success of every project very much depends on how well things have been planned and implemented. Before mechanical contractors start to work on a project, they first provide a detailed estimate in writing, explaining what types of works they will handle, how long it will take, and how much it will cost. They organize pre-construction meetings with subcontractors and vendors to prepare their strategies and plan of action. Once they are through with their planning, they often ask their clients to do a final closeout review. In order to ensure thoroughness, they also use support from project management systems and accounting and estimating software programs.

Training And Experience

While you are looking out for the best mechanical contractors, one of the most important factors that you should look into is the kind of training and experience they have in the field of repair, diagnostics, and maintenance of multiple types of refrigeration, cooling, and heating equipment. Depending upon your specific requirements, you may like the contractors to have extensive experience in boiler maintenance and controls, reciprocating and centrifugal chillers, air to air and water source heat pump systems, pumps, cooling towers and closed loop systems, gas and electric heating service, and DX air conditioning diagnostics and repair.

Accurate Diagnostic Analysis

You can also trust these mechanical contractors to provide you accurate diagnostic analysis of existing ventilating, air conditioning, and heating system. After a thorough analysis, they can provide you complete details on the pros and cons of repair, redesign, or replacement, and which option is the most suitable in your situation.

It is very important for you to keep in mind that these contractors are not just plumbers; they have much more to offer. You can say that all contractors are plumbers but all plumbers are not contractors. Mechanical contractors have the capacity to renovate partially or completely any piping or plumbing system, any duct system, or any other equipment that serves these systems.

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China’s Coal Pricing Mechanism Needs Improvement

China’s coal consumption peak season typically starts before the Chinese New Year. Coupled with the unusual snowstorm in southern provinces this year, coal prices in China shot up furiously within a short period of time at the beginning of 2008.

In the transit hub of Qinhuangdao, major coal prices reached a record high in January 2008, up more than 20% from just a month ago, and such increases are on top of the continued uptrend in coal prices since 2004. Coal is the most important energy source in China, accounting for 70% of the national energy consumption. Why would the coal price keep going up in recent years?

“Tight balance” between supply and demand

The coal price trend in China is closely related to its price forming mechanism. And the reform progress in China’s coal pricing mechanism in recent year has shown a clear tendency towards marketization.

In the era of planned economy, coal prices were uniformly set by the government. In 1993, China started to relax sale prices for coal products other than thermal coal, which accounted for 50% of total coal consumption in China, so thermal coal price was still under a dual pricing mechanism of “planned coal” and “market coal”. In late 2004, the government announced the “Coal-Electricity Price Linking Mechanism”, which allows periodic electricity price increases once thermal coal price increases 5% or more in the past 6 months, and the thermal coal price in turn can be determined by negotiation between coal sellers and buyers in the market. For various reasons, thermal coal price failed to become marketised initially, but the price differentials under the dual pricing mechanism began to converge. In 2007, the 50-year-old system of government organising annual coal order meeting among coal producers, transporters and users was finally removed, and now suppliers and buyers are starting to independently negotiate prices based on market circumstances, under the government’s macro control framework.

Against such a backdrop, the relationship between supply and demand has now become the major factor in determining coal prices. From a consumption mix perspective, the electricity, metallurgical, chemical and construction materials industries, which collectively account for 70% of total coal consumption, are the main users of coal in China. In the first three quarters of 2007, outputs from China’s coal-fired power, coke, raw steel and cement industries had grown 16.7%, 19.4%, 17.6% and 15% respectively over previous comparable period, far exceeding raw coal output growth of 11% from the same period. On one hand, the demand for coal had been increasing significantly. On the other hand, the government were mandating the closure of small and medium coal mines and limiting the capacity expansion of coal mines, thus reducing coal supply growth. And the railway transportation in China has long been a bottleneck for coal. As a result of all these factors, demand and supply of coal in China has been in a “tight balance” situation for years.

Coal prices in China started to decline in 1997 and reached a bottom in 2001. The problem of coal shortage started to surface in 2004. Although coal producers had been expanding their production in the following years, with 8.2% increase in output in 2007 alone, the supply shortage nevertheless failed to alleviate. Therefore, coal producers in China have made a windfall profit in recent years, thanks to the ever-rising coal prices.

Experts predicted that national raw coal output in 2008 would be similar to the level in 2007, with about 2.73 billion tons of production, against an expected demand of 2.728 billion tons. Although there may be tightness in certain regions and coal products, China’s coal market as a whole is expected to reach equilibrium this year, with coal prices maintaining at a high level.

“Full-cost” reflecting resources scarcity

Not only coal prices in China reflects demand and supply interaction, they are also starting to reflect the associated resources scarcity and environmental costs. Therefore, the crystallisation of regulatory costs is another important reason for the ever-rising coal prices in China.

Previously, most coal mining rights in China could be acquired with little compensation, and costs of safety, environment and rehabilitation had not been included in the normal costing of coal. This not only failed to reflect the true value of resources, but also led to uncompensated resources consumption and unrecovered environmental damage. For many state-owned coal companies, they also had to face legacy issues such as rebuilding exhausted coalmines and staff re-employment difficulties.

To solve these problems, China began implementing the system of compensated use of mineral resources in September 2006, and the coal industry took the reform trial. The State Council began a pilot system of compensated use of coal resources in eight major coal producing provinces, and coalminers had to pay for the exploration rights and extraction rights. Further reforms in resource taxes and resources compensation charges are also under contemplation by the regulators in China.

In addition, Shanxi Province, one of the major coal sources in China, is planning to implement a trial scheme for sustainable developments of coal companies this year. One of the important features is to levy and establish three funds, namely coal sustainable development funds, mine environmental recovery fund and coalmine redevelopment fund. And these three funds, along with mining right fees, will be included into total production costs of coal from now on. Therefore, in addition to the production costs, coal producers now have to factor in environmental, resources, ecology and redevelopment costs, hence the “full costs” of coal production.

The risen costs will no doubt put pressure on coal companies. In the first three quarters of 2007, listed coal companies in China reported an average gross margin of 30.31%, down 4.82% from the same period last year, mainly because the rise in regulatory costs had exceeded the growth in coal prices in that period.

Non-coal costs

The increase in production costs is not the sole reason for the rising coal prices. China has a complex coal distribution chain, which had become even more expensive recently, so these non-coal costs are also responsible for the rising coal prices in China. It is understood that sea freight contract prices for coal has increased from 40-50 yuan per ton before 2007 to the current price of 100 yuan per ton.

The “coal-power tension” between coal producers, power generation plants and power distribution networks, which are all acting in their self-interests within the value chain, has long attracted the public attention. While the coal prices continued going up in January this year, the government didn’t accordingly increase electricity prices as per the “Coal-Electricity Price Linking Mechanism”, due to macro control considerations (on inflation). In this circumstance, the thermal coal price became a tenacious point between coal producers and power producers.

Experts suggested that the improvement in coal pricing mechanism in China needs to progress alongside reforms in related industries such as power generation, railway and ports. Furthermore, China is now facing an upward pressure in general prices, so stabilising prices and preventing serious inflation will be the main objective for macro control. An effective coal price setting mechanism should not only observe the principle of market economy, but also take into account the government’s macro control theme and affordability of downstream industries.

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