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ARA participates in AEM’s National Mall Construction Takeover

By Stephen Elliott

May 21, 2023

National Mall Construction takeoverThe American Rental Association (ARA) participated in a Celebration of Construction on the National Mall festival in Washington, D.C., May 14-16, 2023.  

In partnership with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), ARA members and construction companies from across the nation, ARA staff brought construction equipment and spoke with federal representatives about what’s important to the construction industry. The three-day festival brought more than 24,000 visitors and over 40 member companies and industry partners. 

“The event was a vote of confidence for the construction industry and allowed us to tell the story of how rental benefits the overall construction industry by offering a scalable and more sustainable option for construction job sites,” said Josh Nickell, ARA vice president, equipment segment. “We hosted tons of kids and families over the weekend (the next generation of our workforce) and legislators during the week.” 

The event provided 75 state-of-the-art machines along with hands-on displays and demonstrations, bringing the industry to life on the nation’s doorstep. 

Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy; Mitch Landrieu, senior advisor to President Biden; Don Graves, Deputy Secretary of Commerce; Dr. Geri Richmond, Deputy Secretary of Energy, 22 members of Congress and 15 officials with the administration and federal agencies toured the festival and discussed the policy priorities of the construction equipment industry. 

Nickell said it also gave ARA an opportunity to discuss charging and charging infrastructure standards with manufacturers for construction equipment. 

Nickell said because of ARA’s involvement, “we were asked to speak with the department of energy and multiple representatives from around the country. They were all excited to hear how we support the construction industry and about the issues critical to our success like workforce development support and tax policy.” 

Some of the equipment visitors were able to see with cutting-edge innovations included the -7 Series wheel loaders from DEVELON, Suwanee, Ga. New to the -7 Series wheel loaders are an around view monitor (AVM) camera and object detection system. 

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE), Shippensburg, Pa., brought commercial electric solutions as well as prototypes like the Volvo HX04, what the company calls the first hydrogen fuel cell articulated hauler. 

Stephen Roy, president of region North America, Volvo CE, said, “We are delivering the solutions we need to reduce carbon emissions and build a better world, but it is policymakers who are making decisions every day that will impact how the equipment industry will grow. In the U.S., we need federal, state and local governments to ensure the necessary resources are deployed to support the transition to cleaner equipment.”