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Learning Transfer – Why?

Learning Transfer – Why?.

Learning Transfer – Why?After reading and watching this week’s assigned reading analyze the importance of the learning transfer process. The week discussed the learning transfer on a spectrum from an educational to a monetary point of view including learning scrap and measurement of performance ROI. In your paper, write a compelling summary to a CEO analyzing why the transfer of learning process is important using it in each area discussed this week.
We have established that organizations invest in learning to address business needs and opportunities. Learning objectives are, in effect, business objectives. In solid organizations usually there are systems in place to set, measure, monitor, and reward achievement of business objectives. We usually do not find those same systems in place for training and development.“Talk to any group of laymen or professionals about what’ s broken in the current learning and development process, and most will tell you it’s the lack of serious post – training follow – through” D4 states high impact learning drives the transfer of learning back to the work of the enterprise. They do not leave it to chance or individual initiative. Instead, they put in place systems and processes to actively encourage and manage the transfer process. Learning transfer is the process of putting learning to work in a way that improves performance.In the chapter on D4, we introduce the concept of learning scrap and the high cost of doing nothing to ensure learning transfer. The elements that define the transfer climate and determine the results that training ultimately delivers is fully explained. We review what it takes to improve performance and discuss breakthroughs in the management of the learning transfer process made possible by technology.Take a minute and watch Josh Kaufman talk about how to learn anything and think about how this can help trainers make the learning transfer happen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnYhttp://www.2020insight.net/Docs4/IL0710-READ%20ONL…The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:Only 3 references Write between 1,250 – 1,750 words (approximately 3 – 5 pages) using Microsoft Word in APA style, see example below.Use font size 12 and 1” margins.Include cover page and reference page.At least 80% of your paper must be original content/writing.No more than 20% of your content/information may come from references.Use at least three references from outside the course material, one reference must be from EBSCOhost. Text book, lectures, and other materials in the course may be used, but are not counted toward the three reference requirement.Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style.
Learning Transfer – Why?

PSY 699 Ashford University Week 6 Ayahuasca Pros & Cons of Addiction Discussion

PSY 699 Ashford University Week 6 Ayahuasca Pros & Cons of Addiction Discussion.

Prior to beginning work on this discussion, be sure to read the required articles for this week.Addictions come in many forms and almost always involve a complex three-way interaction between the person, the object of the addiction (e.g., drugs, gambling, chocolate), and the societal context of the addiction. This complex interaction raises a controversial social question: Is addiction always a bad thing? Although there is often a significant amount of social stigma attached to addictions, and popular media often focuses on the treatment and prevention of addiction, there may also be associated positive qualities of addictive substances and behaviors.Last name begins with:A through L: Initial post will be written on a specific substance that has addictive potential (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, ibogaine, marijuana, ayahuasca, MDMA) of your choice.Begin your initial post by choosing either a substance or a behavior with addictive potential based on your assigned group. To create a meaningful and interesting discussion, it would behoove you to choose a substance or behavior that has not already been addressed in the discussion board. For this discussion, you must explain both the positive and negative potential of addiction to your chosen substance or behavior. Therefore, you must choose a substance or behavior that presents both positive and negative potential outcomes.Research your substance or behavior providing at least two peer-reviewed resources to support any claims made. In your post, construct clear and concise arguments using evidence-based psychological concepts and theories to create a brief scenario or example of a situation in which your chosen addiction provides both positive and negative potential outcomes for a subject. Integrate concepts developed from different content domains to support your arguments. Evaluate and comment on the reliability and generalizability of the specific articles and research findings you have chosen to support your arguments. Explain how the APA’s Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct might be used to guide your decisions as a psychology professional if you were assigned to consult with the subject in the situation you have created.
PSY 699 Ashford University Week 6 Ayahuasca Pros & Cons of Addiction Discussion

SWK 2280 Troy Univ Spread of Covid 19 in US and Other Parts of The World Worksheet

term paper help SWK 2280 Troy Univ Spread of Covid 19 in US and Other Parts of The World Worksheet.

I will post all three prior questions below that we used andyou will need three worksheets.For this assignment, you’ll use the provided worksheet to break down, and operationalize the constructs included in each of your three research questions. A construct is an abstract idea, underlying theme, or subject matter that one chooses to study. These are often words or phrases that have a a generally understood meaning, but for research purposes, there is the need to further define, or operationalize, them. For example, let’s say you have a research question that asks, “What is the effect of hunger on academic performance among children?” In this question, there are several constructs that would need to be operationalized in order to effectively answer this question. The first construct we need to operationalize is “hunger.” While we have general understanding of what hunger is, the way we define it can have a real effect on our results. If we operationalize hunger as simply, “the feeling of being hungry and wanting to eat,” this could include almost anyone at a given time during the day. Your sample could include the entire range of individuals from those who are malnourished and underfed to those who simply forgot to have breakfast that morning. However, if we operationalize hunger as, “a chronic undernourishment of an individual due to a lack or or scarcity of food,” this not only refers to a more severe typeof hunger, but also changes who you would want to include in a sample. Therefore, the way in which we operationalize our constructs/variables in the questions we ask can have a huge impact on the results you end up with.Similarly, the construct of “academic performance” would need to operationalized. Would this be measured by a student’s average on specific or all grades across some or all subjects, one-time performance on a standardized test, or their mastery of a specific academic skill? Likewise, you may also want to further define “children.” Are you looking at a certain grade or age, a small range of ages/grades (something like 5-8 year olds or 2nd-4th graders), or all children (meaning birth to 12, or even 18, years old)? Who you include matters, so it is important to operationalize this construct to better get at what you want to know.As you can see, the way in which you operationalize your constructs can completely change what you are asking, how you will measure it, the individuals you can include in your sample, and the results you’ll get. Therefore, for this assignment, you’ll want to pul out each construct you have in your questions and operationalize them into more specific and measurable terms. There is a good bit of freedmen this as you can choose how you want to operationalize things, but however you chose to do so should be thoughtful and intentional. Once you have completed you worksheet, you can either submit your work via Canvas by the due date as a Word document that you have typed into or as a PDF with your hand written answers scanned in. Either works for me, so do what works best for you.
SWK 2280 Troy Univ Spread of Covid 19 in US and Other Parts of The World Worksheet

Role And Importance Of Motivation In Education Education Essay

Introduction: ‘Motivation refers to the psychological processes that lead us to do certain things. Common-sense views of motivation tend to see it as a single factor that we can have more or less of, and which energise what people do. Many ideas about the role and importance of motivation in education tend to portray it as a form of personal quality, which can directly affect learning.’ Long, (2007:101) In every classroom, the motivation of the pupils within a class is paramount for a teacher, for them to be able to learn effectively and also to maintain a steady order on their behaviour. Many theorists have written on the benefits of these theories, some of which have benefited teachers, whilst others have become dated and failed. In the course of my readings, and from my own personal observations, it has become clear to me that there is no ‘one-shot’ solution to motivating a class of pupils. Seifert, (2004) suggests: ‘There is no single unified theory of motivation; rather several prominent strands exist, and often share particular features.’ I am in agreement with Seifert’s statement. Each class and pupil has a different make-up and their needs and attitudes are also no different. It is fair to say that each child requires some form of experimentation using these theories, in an attempt to motivate and optimise their learning ability whilst at primary school. The task of selecting which theory is the best fit for the class is left to the teacher, they have to choose which theory and method of motivation is relevant. Over the course of my reading, I have established some of the many key strands to motivation within the classroom and, to further reinforce these, I will be looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I found that there are two other prominent strands of motivational theories that are relevant for this essay also, these are: Bandura’s Self-efficacy theory and Weiner’s Attribution Theory. Hierarchy of Needs: (Maslow, 1970). This theory is, in my opinion, fundamental to the motivation of learners. I found it particularly relevant to the motivation of primary school-going children. The model is very appealing for teachers through its common sense and structure, as Maslow’s theory is structured in an ordered vertical line representing the basic needs, as shown by image A. Maslow’s theory on Hierarchy of Basic Needs: ‘postulates certain basic human needs and arranges them in an order, a hierarchy, the needs becoming more ‘human’ as one proceeds through them’ Child, 2007:239 Image A Lean Manufacturing Concepts © Maslow’s theory is split into individual needs, as shown by image A, where the bottom of the triangle represents the physiological needs, (this is when the child requires the basic needs of food and water in order to be motivated). Once this need is satisfied, then the child, according to Maslow, will need stability and consistency in his/her life. Following on this, the need of belonging to a group, or to be loved or nurtured. After this need is satisfied the child will require building of his/her self-esteem; this can be done by gaining respect from others and receiving praise on their work and finally, self actualisation needs. According to Maslow, this need is the most prioritised, and this is when the child is motivated to work. Unlike other theories I will be investigating later, this theory is quite difficult to relate it to all children’s motivation levels. Indeed, it is clear, and I understand that each child will require each of these needs in order to reach the optimal motivation level. Referring to image A, the child will have possessed many of these needs prior to arriving in school. The parent unit will have introduced the child to physiological needs, along with safety needs and feeling of belonging. It is then required of the teacher that they should encourage the development of the remaining needs for the child, in order for the child to feel content and be motivated to work independently and well in a classroom environment. From my school experience to date, I now can associate this theory with that of the children whom I was teaching. If a child, for instance, was lacking a sense of belonging, or their basic physiological needs were not being met, then it would be clear that the child would not be motivated to learn whilst at school. Self-Efficacy theory: (Bandura, 1986). This theory depends on how the child perceives themselves in terms of their ability. Bandura also talks of ‘if a child has high self-efficacy’, then this child will be quite happy and able to remain on task and work independently, also the child will display high levels of confidence and generally have a high self-esteem. They are sure of their ability and competence with the task in hand. ‘Success tends to generate higher expectations and a more positive self-concept, leading to increased motivation, effort and success’ Long, (2007:119) In contrast, Bandura’s theory of low self-efficacy states that children who are not confident or feel that they are ‘useless’ or inadequate at completing a particular task will lose motivation, and this feeling can be carried over onto other tasks or subjects. They may even avoid engaging with the task, perceiving it to be too difficult or challenging. If a child has a lack of motivation with their ability to complete a given task, they will apply minimum effort. ‘When students were given negative information about their performance on a mathematics task (irrespective of how they had done), their subsequent success and involvement in similar tasks were often significantly reduced’. Bandura (1986) On my recent school experience, it was interesting to see that Bandura’s theory was accurate and that children do work according to their level of motivation. Some of the children that made frequent mistakes in literacy and numeracy would build up a barrier to their learning as a result of negative feedback from either the teacher or the classroom assistant. Also, I learned that some of the children ‘automatically’ felt that they were poor at a subject if they were visiting a support staff member for extra help. The children would make the excuse that they are poor at a task, on the reasoning that they were weak in this area of study. Zimmerman et al, (1992) adds that ‘children will set their goals according to what they perceive they are capable of and will avoid the emotional consequences of failure’. From my experience to date I have found this to be particularly relevant, especially in the children I have been teaching. Many of these children suffered from a low level of motivation and will make many excuses to avoid doing the required task. These excuses ranged from wanting to be “excused for the toilet” or “can I move onto another question”. The child I studied closely as part of my Individual Needs Assignment (refer to SEN assignment), (whom I know now to have suffered from a low self-efficacy), has created artificial barriers to his own learning, and this , I feel, has resulted from his prior experience of being chastised over his mistakes in his work, by a former teacher. Attribution theory, Weiner, (1980, 1992) is the second most prominent theoretical strand that I, in my own professional experiences, found to be very common in the area of motivation. This theory is centred on the principle that, as teachers, we need to be able to understand the pupil’s motivations for achievement. To do this, we need to analyse their emotional feeling and assumptions about what causes their success or failure. Borich, (1997) This theory is particularly relevant in the classroom, where a child will present his/her completed piece of work, passing a class assignment/test or winning a game between their peers. The typical types of attributions that the child will need to display in this instance are: luck, ability, effort, or strategy. Following on from this, the typical outcome for this child will involve certain emotional reactions, based on how the activity or task has gone. The child will reflect this by having a positive or negative emotion. Rotter, (1966) develops this attribution theory further when he states: ‘one form of attribution is the way in which individuals can have a sense of whether control originates from themselves – an internal locus, or from things separate from them – an external locus’. The external locus concentrates on how the child believes in ‘luck’ rather than ability. In this particular instance the child is said to have lower achievements and lack of effort. I particularly felt that this statement was relevant, as to date, I have encountered this among some of the children in my recent school experience. The children would attempt some questions, knowing that the questions were merely attempted, and not accurately selected. Seifert, (2004) adds -‘that if a child is to encounter regular praise with good work, this will motivate the child to maintain the level of motivation that will benefit his/her work or ability. This will indeed provide the child with a positive sense of achievement and the child will strive to perform to the same ability the next time’. He continues – ‘in contrast to the positive outcome, there is also a negative outcome deriving from the less-successful children, these children become habituated with the feeling of negative emotions associated with failure, this will lead to the child blaming their own inability to perform or on other factors that they cannot control, some examples include: dyslexia, attention-deficit disorder. Similarly, in self-efficacy, I have understood this to be particularly evident in my professional experience to date, the affected child would avoid the task, believing it to be challenging or too difficult to attempt. Again, in such an instance, the child would give some reason or excuse for avoiding the work. In turn, the child may start misbehaving with other children within the class. It is in the very nature of the classroom environment, where many different types of inappropriate behaviour are witnessed. Recently on my school experience, I shared a year six classroom with eighteen pupils and a teacher, where the level of behaviour ranged from the ‘trivial’ aspect of talking aloud to the more ‘serious’ acts of inappropriate behaviour. In this instance, I witnessed a child spitting on another child and also another example where a child deliberately kicked a chair at me when I was remonstrating with her regarding her continuous poor behaviour. From this particular school experience I observed many different types of poor behaviour. The most common was the continuous murmur of talk among the pupils. This talk was not part of their learning and was excessively noisy at times, as I was forced to speak loudly to drown-out their chatter. This type of behaviour is reflected and talked about at great length in the Ofsted report on Improving Behaviour, (2006). My personal view is that dialogue among pupils should be encouraged, as I feel that it aids their learning experience, but, when the level of chatter interrupts your teaching or class it tends to becomes highly disruptive and will detract from the learning opportunity of others within that class. In order to curb this trend, I had used many different examples of behaviour management, ranging from low tone speaking to raising my voice. I quickly understand that some strategies of dealing with their behaviour were inadequate and required different methods of preventing them from talking unnecessarily. Therefore, I modelled good behaviour by encouraging them to raise their hand and I rewarded them with ‘house points’ for following instruction. I also used my body language more by refusing to raise my voice, as this approach alone, (of continuous elevated vocal levels) can get very wearisome, both on the teacher and those who are not misbehaving; therefore I would stop and remain silent until I got their attention again. With regards to the more serious examples of poor behaviour, several girls within the class used some unsavoury language and also made reference regarding my body parts. This act was so serious that these girls were excluded from class for one full week and placed in isolated teaching measures in another room on their own. Another time, I witnessed one girl in the class, kick a chair from the ground and it struck me, whereby I instructed her to return and place this chair back again. Upon her refusing, this warranted the head teacher to again intervene and resulted in the placing of this this child in special measures for a period. There have been many research reports on behaviour in schools, like the Ofsted report as mentioned earlier, also others like the Sir Alan Steer’s: Practitioner’s group. This report was the latest report analysis, on behaviour and discipline in the classroom. In the report, that Sir Alan Steer chaired, it is mentioned: ‘Poor behaviour cannot be tolerated as it is a denial of the right of pupils to learn and teachers to teach. To enable learning to take place preventative action is the most effective, but where this fails, schools must have clear, firm and intelligent strategies in place to help pupils manage their behaviour;’ Practitioner’s Group, (2005) In this report is offers advice to all schools and teachers on methods to improve on behaviour problems in a localised environment of the classroom or on a whole-school approach. Similarly, Chaplain, (2006) reports that there is a tendency for teachers to blame factors within pupils which they have no control or power over: for example (personality, their respect for authority, or their growing up stages), instead, Chaplain highlights, that as teachers, we may choose to ignore that their behavioural problems might be at the hand of internal factors like poor teaching, inappropriate seating arrangements, overcomplicated work or tasks, lack of discipline or behaviour management on the part of the teacher. Other factors which contribute to this are, issues like social deprivation in the local community and lack of value placed on the education system. For teachers, we have to look at the overall scene rather than select one area to blame for the child’s behaviour problems and, in doing this, will inform the teacher of how to best prepare for the next teaching session. If a teacher was to incorporate this into their learning, he or she would better understand the pupils’ perspective and have greater insight into how to deal with their behaviour then. From previous experience in the classroom, outside of this academic year, I have always prepared a classroom behaviour policy, and this would be reviewed annually by the teacher (I) and the children, where we collectively, would write up policies of accepted conduct and behaviour management. This policy would state clearly what is expected of the teacher and the children alike. It would also tell them of the rewards and sanctions arising from the rules in the agreement. My technique is mirrored by Chaplain, (2006), and Jacques (2007) both of these authors have talked about the use and implementation of a classroom behaviour policy or ‘contract’. This contract would be decided upon by the students and teacher of the class. By giving the pupils the opportunity to decide what rules to include, it is said by Chaplain, that this will give the students an independence and they will have already stated the rules and responsibilities to which they should abide. Once the contract or behaviour policy was finished, both the teacher and each student would normally sign off on it and the completed document would be then be fixed to the wall or each child given a copy of this for future reference. From a personal point of view, I found it very useful and it was great to recall upon if a pupil was breaking the code of conduct, whereby I would ask the pupil to refer to the contract which they had signed. By doing this, it made the child reflect on their behaviour and how they had selected this as a rule that was not acceptable. Over the first few days or weeks of the school year it is important for the teacher to establish a common ground between the teacher’s professional position and the pupils actions. Everyone should know who is the ‘manager’ of the classroom. Rogers, (2006) reflects on how the first few weeks of a school year, is crucial for the teacher to establish this ground between the teacher and pupils. He talks of how the teacher needs to ‘set the tone’ and give direction to the pupils and also model good behaviour techniques. He states: there exists ‘a psychological and developmental readiness in the students for their teacher to explain how things will be this particular year with regard to expectations about behaviour and learning in this class’ Rogers, (2006:36) Although, the teacher has a fair idea of what they want to include on the policy, the children feel that they all had a collective effort in implementing this policy and this will ensure its effectiveness as they will try to maintain a well-behaved class. It is fair to suggest that confidence and assertiveness on the teachers’ part is a prerequisite and desirable trait to possess. By holding skills is key to maintaining a positive learning environment and maintaining a well-behaved classroom. Leaman (2007:8/9) says that ‘assertiveness is about being charismatic and projecting an air of confidence, not showing your weaknesses to the class’. In support, Ros Hancell, a guest lecturer that visited Brunel University PGCE Primary lectures in 2009 quoted: “keeping your core strong”. In my opinion it is vital that the children see you as a strong figure in a room, this will encourage the pupils to offer you respect and motivate them to work harder. Other methods of showing confidence to the pupils is by the positive use of body language and posture, the teachers preparation for each lesson, your choice of vocabulary, the tone, pitch and volume of one’s speech. In order to encourage good behaviour, I have always been of the opinion that as a teacher you cannot just notice bad behaviour. As a teacher and a modeller of positive values and behaviour, the teacher needs to encourage good behaviour by offering rewards or bonuses for maintaining a good atmosphere. If a child or set of children have acted in a mature manner and displayed signs of good behaviour then they should be rewarded for this. A system of rewards and sanctions should be used in the classroom, this will differentiate between good and bad behaviour. However having rules, reward systems and sanctions does not always guarantee a successful outcome – it does not guarantee good behaviour in your class. Indeed, as teachers, we should expect to see the rules being challenged by the pupils. Dix, (2007). I, agree that in my professional experience, not at all times will pupils remember to choose the best behaviour in class. Therefore it is essential that the teacher will offer rewards and place sanctions on pupils who choose to break the contract. The teacher should be consistent with offering rewards and sanctions, by offering rewards will promote good behaviour and sanctions will act as a deterrent for the pupil to act out of character. As Chaplain, (2006) suggests, the teacher should ask the child to comment on his/her reason for misbehaving, encourage them to make their own choice. I tried to elicit this idea whilst I was in school experience; it was like an admission of what they did that was deemed misappropriate behaviour. I have always tried to praise and commend all children on their work. I have commended even small efforts at work, and my reason for doing this is that the child the next time or on the next task will strive to perform better in his/her task. Praise is one of the best motivations to try harder, children like adults, will always strive for perfection if they know they are working well. Children, including the poorly behaved pupils, would enjoy hearing good feedback and encouragement and praise. This method of motivation is, in my opinion, a lot more beneficial to a child on so many levels, namely: the child will feel more confident in the task or subject; the child will strive for excellence and the teacher/adults approval the next time. In support, Dix, (2007:50) said: ‘Praise is a far more effective behaviour management tool than sanctions.’ He continues in his research to suggest that, as teachers, we should praise children in a constructive, non-personal way and sensitively and intelligently. For example, he uses the idea of a teacher displaying a child’s piece of work to a class, whereby this could have detrimental effects on the child, namely: embarrassment, anxiety and potential for alienation with his/her peer. Worse still, the child might not like the fact that they were made an example of and they will next time not perform to the best of their ability, in light of the fear that they may be asked to display their work again. Finally, it is imperative for teachers to make the best use of time for their pupils. The teacher will need to keep the children busy with tasks, activities or other types of work. If the child is kept busy, the potential for serious misbehaviour would be significantly be reduced and the children will remain on task, thus creating a conducive environment for learning for the teacher and pupils. Word Count: 3,248

Project report on construction

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.0 BACKGROUND INFORMATION The performance of the construction industry has a major influence on the economic, infrastructure, agricultural and technological development of a country (R. Chudley, 1995). Construction is increasingly becoming highly technical and sophisticated with high standard of quality and specification. These coupled with clients demand for value-for-money requires the efficient employment of equipment which can largely improve productivity in the construction industry. The general aim of every construction is to produce a structure that can provide the required functions at the most reasonable cost, within a given time frame and at the required level of quality. Mechanization is one of the ways by which these could be achieved. The fast developing construction industry now heavily depends on equipment to achieve the high demands of quality project delivery. Equipment implies the machinery, tools (other than craftsmen’s personal tools) used in the contractor’s yard, workshop or site. Generally, equipment are introduced to contracts to increase the rate of output, reduce overall building cost, achieve high output standards often required by present day designs and specifications, eliminate heavy manual work thus reducing fatigue and carry out activities which cannot be done manually or do them more economically ( R. Chudley, 1995). The introduction of equipment to a contract does not however necessarily result in economic savings unless the contract work is so organized that machines are fully utilized or operate for continuous periods at full capacity that is about 85% of its on-site time, their use will not be economical. To be economic, equipment must be fully utilized and not left standing idle since equipment, whether hired or owned, will have to be paid for even if it is non-productive (R. Chudley, 1995). Heavy equipment will be needed for excavation, haulage, lifting and transportation of materials and people during the construction of a project in order to meet all the client’s specifications. Contractors stand to gain from the use of equipment in the form of increased output per employee, increased productivity from equipment leading to overall profits. Unfortunately, performance of construction firms in the industry has been affected by several constraints with lack of access to finance arguably the most critical of these constraints. At least, it prevents contractors from procuring all necessary resources for their construction works including equipment (Eyiah A and Cook P, 2003). It is against this background that this investigation has been conducted to find the equipment acquisition methods being used by Ghanaian contractors as well as the problems the contractors encounter when acquiring equipment for their construction. 1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM The highly technical and standardized nature of current construction designs and high demands in terms of quality coupled with often short contract durations undeniably demands the use of equipment. They play an increasingly important role in building as well as civil engineering operations and both time and a lot of money can be saved by acquiring and using them. Heavy equipment are needed for excavation, haulage, lifting and transportation of materials and people during the construction of a project thus performing an operation faster, more economically, safely and with a better quality and finish. Notwithstanding such great achievable benefits, it requires substantial capital to procure equipment, set up plant management departments and even use the equipment. It often requires very large bank guarantees, collaterals, high interest rates on bank loans, sometimes cumbersome bureaucratic procedures to acquire funds to purchase plant or equipment. This is probably why most Ghanaian contractors still depend heavily on manual labour to execute their projects. On large and complex projects of long durations, it may be practical to purchase plant or equipment for a specific job and resell at the end of the contract. The problem here is that fluctuations in prices on our current market may make it difficult to forecast costs with certainty. Equipment holding firms often do not offer favorable and attractive conditions for the acquisition of equipment to encourage contractors to use equipment on the projects. Very few of the contractors can meet the required conditions before procuring most needed equipment. Again, equipment holding firms are usually found in the urban areas of our country which are almost always far away from most of the construction sites warranting high haulage costs from the plant depot. Purchasing a plant or equipment could also tell greatly on the finances of the firm as a very large sum of money may be locked up in purchasing the plant which then has to be worked at a good utilization level to recoup investments made into it. Finally, purchasing equipment is sound investment if there is enough work ahead to keep it fully employed. Some estimates suggest the equipment must be working regularly for three to five years to recover the capital outlay. However the situation in Ghana is that of many contractors competing for very few projects. Construction firms cannot be assured of regular projects to fully utilize their investment in equipment therefore they rather do not invest in it all or when they do, it is very minimal. All the aforementioned problems collectively contribute to the reason why most of the contractors are unable to acquire the necessary equipment for construction works and thus leaving construction in Ghana still very labour intensive. 1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES The main aim of this study is to investigate the existing equipment acquisition methods in use in the Ghanaian construction industry as well as the problems that the contractors encounter when acquiring equipment with the view to recommending better and more effective practices in the construction industry. Specific objectives of the investigation are to: * Find out existing equipment acquisition options used by the Ghanaian contractor. * Identify problems faced by the Ghanaian contractor in acquiring equipment for construction works. * Examine existing arrangements (if any) made between equipment hire and manufacturing companies and the construction companies. * Recommending better acquisition options as well as solutions to some of the major problems the contractors face when they try to acquire equipment. 1.3 SCOPE OF WORK A number of firms within the D1 and D2 of contractors by the Ministry of Water, Works and Housing and the Ministry of Roads and Transport in the Kumasi Metropolis will be identified, selected and studied. The equipment items that will be covered under the study will include general equipments, earth moving, lifting, transporting and excavation equipments. CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 INTRODUCTION: CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT Equipment plays an increasingly important role in building as well as civil engineering operations, and both time and money can be saved by the efficient use of mechanical aids. Equipment implies the machinery, tools (other than craftsmen’s personal tools) and other equipment used in the contractor’s yard, workshop or site. These may range from small hand held power tools to larger and more expensive equipment such as mechanical excavators and cranes. The aim of any construction activity or project is to produce a structure of the right quality and standard at an optimum cost within an acceptable time frame. The use of equipment for construction becomes necessary where using manual labour will not help achieve the project’s objectives. Generally, equipment are introduced to contracts for one of the following reasons: * Increased production. * Reduction in overall construction costs. * Carry out activities which cannot be carried out by the traditional manual methods in the context of economics. * Eliminate heavy manual work thus reducing fatigue and as a consequence increasing productivity. * Replacing labour where there is a shortage of personnel with the necessary skills. * Maintain the high standards required particularly in the context of structural engineering works (R. Chudley, 1997). 2.1.2 SOME COMMON CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT USED DURING CONSTRUCTION. Presented here is a brief description of some of the important construction equipment that may be used during the construction of a building project. 2.1.2.1 EARTH MOVING MACHINES The equipment described here include the bulldozers, graders, scrappers etc that are used to move massive volumes of excavated materials during construction. BULLDOZER The primary earth-moving machine is the heavy-duty tractor, which when fitted with tracks to grip the ground and with a large movable blade attached in front, is called a bulldozer. The bulldozer as shown in fig 2.1 below may be used to clear brush, small trees, debris, remove boulders, and level ground. They may even be used as towing tractor or a pusher to a scrapper. They consist essentially of a track or wheel mounted power unit with a mould blade at the front. Many bulldozers have the capacity to adjust the mould blade to form an angledozer which can tilt the mould blade about a central swivel point. They become even very useful especially in civil engineering projects, which often require the moving of millions of cubic meters of earth. These bulldozers are however not appropriate for final leveling and cannot be used for loading thus requiring other equipment to load. TRACTOR SHOVEL These are sometimes called loaders or loader shovels and primary function is to scoop up loose materials in the front mounted bucket, elevate the bucket and deposit the material into an attendant transport vehicle. Tractor shovels are driven towards the pile of loose material with the lowered bucket. The speed and the power of the machine will then enable the bucket to be filled. To increase their versatility, the tractor shovels can be fitted with a 4 in 1 bucket enabling them to carry out bulldozing, excavating, lifting and loading activities. Like the scrapper, the tractor shovel is not suitable for work in rocks and waterlogged areas and will require a crawler tractor to work in the latter condition. GRADERS Somewhat similar to scrapers are graders which are self-propelled, wheeled machines with a long, inclined or vertically adjustable steel blade. Graders are primarily finishing equipment; they level earth already moved into position by bulldozers and scrapers. They are similar to the bulldozers in that they have a long slender adjustable mould blade, which is usually slung under the centre of the machine. The mould blade can be suitably adjusted in both the horizontal and vertical planes through an angle of 300 the latter enabling it to be used for grading sloping banks. This John Deere grader seen in Fig 2.2a below has a laser leveling unit mounted on its blade which constantly adjusts the height of the blade to ensure that the ground is made precisely flat. The low motive power of a grader does not generally allow for use in excavations. A grader cannot load nor move spoils of significant quantity over a long distance. It is bulky in size and therefore not suitable for work in small and/or confined areas and corners. SCRAPERS A scraper is a machine that may be pulled by a tractor or may be self-powered and consists of a blade and a bowl or container. The bowl is lowered to cut and collect soil where site stripping and leveling operations are required involving large volume of earth. The soil may then be released so as to form an even layer of a predetermined thickness or be carried off for disposal elsewhere. To obtain maximum efficiency, scrappers should operate downhill and as much as possible have smooth haul roads and hard surfaces broken up before scraping. Scrappers are not suitable for use in waterlogged areas and in rocky grounds. They cannot be used in loading and also would need transportation between sites. [Microsoft Encarta 2006; R. Chudley, 1997] 2.1.2.2 EXCAVATORS These form part of the main equipment items that are often used in construction. They are primarily used to excavate as well as load different types of soil. Each different type of excavator has specific soil conditions where it works best. Below is a brief description of some of the common excavating equipment found in construction. All of them can easily be classified under one of the following categories: Multipurpose, General or Universal and Purpose Made excavators. MULTI-PURPOSE EXCAVATOR Multi-purpose excavators like the one shown if fig. 2.4 are fitted with a loading and excavating front bucket and a rear backactor bucket. When in operation using the backactor bucket, the machine is raised off its axels by rear mounted hydraulic outriggers or jacks and in some models by placing the front bucket on the ground. TRENCHER A trencher is designed to excavate trenches at constant width with a high degree of accuracy and speed. It can cut trenches of widths between 250 and 450mm and up to 4.00m deep. It consists of a number of excavating buckets mounted on a continuous mechanism on a vertical boom. The boom is lowered into the ground to the required depth to be excavated. The spoil is then transferred along a cross conveyor to deposit the spoil along the side of the trench. A trencher as shown in fig 2.5 is most suitable for long and deep trench excavation and it also gives a fairly accurate and clean trench width and would therefore not require further trimmings to sides of trenches it excavates. A trencher cannot load materials it excavates and also unable to work in rock. SKIMMER Skimmers are used for surface stripping and shallow excavation work up to 300mm deep where a high degree of accuracy is required. They usually requires attendant haulage vehicles to remove the spoil and they also have to be transported between sites on a low-loader. The restricted nature of the bucket movement does not allow high output rates as compared with other over site excavating equipment. A skimmer requires a large operational area and is therefore not recommended for work in small and restricted areas. BACKACTOR Backactors are about the most common excavating equipment used in construction. They are suitable for trench, foundation and basement excavations especially in restricted areas. They can be used with or without attendant haulage vehicles since the spoil can be placed alongside the excavation for use in backfilling. Unlike the face shovel, they excavate by moving the bucket towards the chassis of the machine. It then raises the bucket in a tucked position to discharge the excavated material through the front open bucket. They can also be used to load hard but broken down materials. They require a low-loader transportation between sites and trenches excavated using the backactor may need other equipment for trimming to obtain desired smooth edges. Shown below in fig 2.6a and b are pictures of a John Deere and CAT backactors respectively. FACE SHOVEL The primary function of this machine is to excavate against a face or a bank above its own track or wheel level. It is suitable for clay and can be used in excavating and even rock which needs to be loosened, usually by blasting prior to the excavation. A face shovel has the added advantage of loading materials excavated into dump trucks. It can also be used extensively for relocating spoils within a given radius or short distance and for heaping spoils for future use. Face shovels like the one shown in fig. 2.7 above usually require attendant haulage vehicles for the removal of the spoil and a low-loader transportation between sites most especially in developed areas. They are also not suitable for deep excavations. 2.1.2.3 TRANSPORTING EQUIPMENT These are mainly used for the transportation of personnel, materials, machines and equipment from one site to the other or from one location to the other within a relatively large site. They range from conventional saloon car to the large low loader lorries designed to transport other items of builders equipment between construction sites and the equipment yard or depot. VANS These transport vehicles range from the small two person plus a limited amount of materials to the large vans with purpose designed bodies such as those designed to carry sheets of glass. The vans can be supplied with an uncovered tipping or non-tipping container mounted behind the passenger cab for use as a ‘pick-up’ truck. LORRIES Lorries which are usually referred to as haul vehicles are available as road or site only vehicles. The road haulage vehicles have to comply with all the requirements of the concerning vehicle usage which among other requirements limits size and axle loads. The site only vehicles are not so restricted and can be designed to carry two to three times the axle load allowed on the public highways. They are also designed to withstand the rough terrain encountered on many construction sites. Lorries specifically designed for the transportation of large items of equipment are called low loaders and are usually fitted with integral or removal ramps to facilitate loading equipment onto the carrier platform. PASSENGER VEHICLES These can range from a simple framed cabin which can be placed in the container of a small lorry or pick-up truck to a conventional bus or coach. These vans can also be designed to carry a limited number of seated passengers by having fixed or removable seating together with windows fitted in the van sides thus giving the vehicle a dual function. DUMPERS Dumpers are used for horizontal transportation of materials ranging from aggregates to wet concrete on and off construction sites generally by means of an integral tipping skip. Highways dumpers or dumper trucks are similar but larger design and can be used to carry materials such as excavated spoil along the roads. A wide range of dumpers are available with variuos carrying capacities with hydraulic control for either a side, front or elevted tipping. They are designed to traverse rough terrain but they are not desinged to carry passengers. Shown above in fig. 2.8a and 2.8b are shown a standard site dumper and a dumper truck respectively. FORK LIFTS These are used for horizontal and limited vertical transportation of mterials positioned on pallets or banded together such as brick packs. They are generally suitable for construction sites where the building height does not exceed three storeys. They are available in three basic forms namely staright mast, overhead and telescopic boom (shown in fig. 2.9a-c) with various height, reach and lifting capacities. HOISTS Hoists are designed for vertical transportation of materials, passengers or both. Material hoists are usually mobile and they can be dismantled, folded onto the chassis and moved to another position or site under their own power or towed by a haulage vehicle. Passenger hoists are designed to carry passenger passengers although they most can be capable of carrying the load of passengers as well as materials. 2.1.2.4 CRANES Cranes are lifting devices designed to raise materials by means of rope operation and move the load horizontally. Crane types can range from simple rope and pulley to complex tower cranes but most can be placed within one of three groups namely: static (operate from a fixed position), mobile (operating position can be changed by cran under its own power) and tower (can be operated from a fixed position or rail mounted to become mobile) cranes. Several forms of cranes can be identified. Some of these are listed below: * Self propelled cranes * Lorry Mounted cranes * Track mounted cranes * Gantry/Portal cranes * Tower cranes Below in fig. 2.10 is shown the different types of cranes used in the construction industry. 2.1.2.5 Concreting equipment these equipment perhaps fall among the group of equipment that may be readily found on most constrction sites since concrete usually forms a large propotion of the materials used in construction.Concreting equipment can simply as classified under the following headings: mixing, transportation and placing. CONCRETE MIXERS These are used in mixing concrete especially in large volumes. Apart from the very large output mixers most concrete mixers in general use have a rotating drum designed to produce concrete without segregation of the mix. Most small batch mixers are of tilting drum type with outputs up to 200 lit/batch. They are generally hand loaded which makes the quality control of successive mixes difficult to regulate.Medium batch mixers can achieve outputs up to about 750lit/batch and may be designed with a tilting drum mixer or as a non-tilting drum mixer with a reversable drum. These mixers usually have integral weight bacthing loading hoppers, scrapper shovels and water tank thus giving better qualtity control than the small batch mixers. The pictures shown in fig. 2.11 and 2.12 are the very common 10/7 concrete mixer and 6m3 capacity ready mix concrete machine. EQUIPMENT FOR TRANSPORTING CONCRETE. Wheel barrows are the most common form of transporting concrete in small volumes. However for large volumes of up to about 600 litres, dumpers are more appropriate. Ready mixed concrete trucks are used to transport mixed concrete of volumes between 4-6m3 from a mixing equipment or depot to the site. Discharge can be direct into placing position via a chute or into some form of site dumper such as a dumper, crane skip or dumper. VIBRATOR After placing concrete in its formwork, excavated area or mould, the concrete must be properly worked around any insets or reinforcement and finally compacting the concrete to the required consolidation. This can be done to some degree satisfaction using tamping boards or rods but most appropritely using vibrators. Poker vibrators consist of a hollow steel tube casing in which is a rotating impellar which generates vibrations as its heard comes into contact with the casing. [Microsoft Encarta 2006; R. Chudley, 1997] 2.2 EQUIPMENT ACQUISITION Generally, a construction company has two options in acquiring equipment: it may either own machinery and equipment or hire it. Management must decide early on whether the equipment needed on site is to be hired or purchased outright, if it is not already available within the company. ‘Purchasing equipment is sound investment if there is enough work ahead to keep it fully employed. Some estimates suggest the equipment must be working regularly for three to five years to recover the capital outlay’ [J.E. Johnston, 1981]. The decision to purchase will invariably have important financial consequences for the firm, since considerable capital sums will be locked up in plant, which must then be operated at an economic utilization level to produce a profitable rate of return on the investment .In recent years however, the growth of the independent equipment hire sector of the construction industry has greatly facilitated this latter option and approximately 50-60% of equipment presently used on projects is hired. Many firms however prefer to hire only those items of equipment which are required to meet peak demand or specialized duties [F. Harris and R. McCaffer, 2001]. 2.2.1 ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS The introduction of equipment to a project does not necessarily result in economic savings since extra temporary site works such as road works, foundations, hard standings and anchorages may have to be provided at a cost which may be in excess of the savings made by using the equipment. The site layout and circulation may have to be planned around equipment positions and accommodation. The full advantage of employing the equipment can only be realized if the equipment is well managed, both on and off the site, and this requires a thorough understanding of the economic aspects of using equipment and vehicles. For example, a crane will become expensive if the design does not allow a fairly continuous programme of work whilst it is on the site. To be economic, plant must be fully utilized and not left standing idle since equipment, whether hired or owned, will have to be paid for even if it is non-productive. Full utilisation of equipment is usually considered to be in the region of 85% of on site time, thus making an allowance for routine daily and planned maintenance which needs to be carried out to avoid as far as practicable equipment breakdowns which could disrupt the construction programme. Many pieces of equipment work in conjunction with other items of equipment such as excavators and their attendant haulage vehicles therefore a correct balance of such equipment items must be obtained to achieve an economic result (R. Chudley, 1995; R.E Calvert et al, 1996). 2.2.3 EQUIPMENT POLICY 2.2.3.1 OWN ALL EQUIPMENT The policy practiced by many enterprises is to purchase, or lease long term, most of the equipment needs and thereby provide availability at all times, with the added advantage of the prestige attached to demonstrating the use of owned equipment. However, much capital will be locked up in the equipment, which must become capable of generating a sufficient rate of return. A major disadvantage of this strategy is the problem of maintaining adequate levels of utilisation. Equipment holdings are usually built up to service a growing demand, and will become a heavy liability in the case of an economic recession. Any available work may then subsequently need to be undertaken to sustain the fleet, since equipment cannot easily be sold in a declining market. 2.2.3.2 HIRE ALL EQUIPMENT Many specialist hire/rental firms offer the supply of equipment now on the open market. To take advantage of this facility avoids both the responsibility of maintenance and the tying up of capital. The equipment may be hired for a specified period and often times the equipment operator also is provided by the equipment supplier. The main disadvantage of hiring is that the hire rate depends on market forces and suppliers are largely beyond the control of the hire, except for limited negotiation between competing firms. 2.2.3.3 A COMBINATION OF HIRE AND OWN A mixed policy of owning and hiring equipment may be the preferred option. For example, regularly required items might be purchased and hiring adopted only to smooth out demand (Edwards D.J, 2003). F.T. Edum-Fotwe (1990) writes that serious consideration should also be given to the extent to which the equipment is to be operated before an acquisition decision is made. He outlines the following factors concerning the level of operation of a equipment: 1. Acquire equipment new and operate to a down value and sell it. 2. Acquire second-hand equipment and operate to scrap value. 3. Acquire equipment new and operate to scrap value. 4. Acquire a second-hand equipment and operate to a down value and resell. 2.2.4 FINANCING OF EQUIPMENT A firm, having decided to buy a equipment instead of hiring, has the following methods of paying for the equipment. 1. Cash or outright purchase 2. Hire Purchase 3. Credit Sales 4. Leasing 5. Hiring 2.2.4.1 CASH OR OUTRIGHT PURCHASE When using this option, the buyer pays cash or immediately at the time of purchase, thereby providing tangible asset on the balance sheet. Obviously, this option is only possible if cash is available and therefore presupposes that profits have been built up from investors such as shareholder, bank loans, etc. Also, some large or technically unusual contracts sometimes include monies to permit the contractor to purchase the necessary equipment at the start of the project [F. Harris and R. McCaffer, 2001]. R. Chudley, 1997 simply identifies some of the advantages of outright purchase as: 1. Equipment availability is totally within the control of the contractor. 2. Hourly cost of equipment is generally less than hired equipment. 3. Owner has choice of costing method used. J.E. Johnston, 1981 however advices that besides the purchase price of a equipment, consideration should be given to the following points: 1. Capital outlay and interest charges 2. The cost of maintenance and repairs 3. The cost of transporting equipment between sites 4. Insurance premium and 5. Standing time on site. When examining the need to own equipment, the following points must be considered: 1. Will the item of equipment generate sufficient turnover to provide an adequate rate of return on the capital employed? 2. Is ownership of the equipment, rather than obtaining it by some other method, absolutely necessary for the business? 3. Is outright purchase the only way of acquiring the equipment? [F. Harris and R. McCaffer, 2001] 2.2.4.1.1 COST OF OWNING AN EQUIPMENT The cost of owning and operating construction equipment is affected by factors such as the cost of the equipment delivered to the owner, the severity of the conditions under which it is used, the cares with which the owner maintains and repairs it and the demand for used equipment when it is sold which will affect the salvage value. In his report, ‘Effects of equipment breakdown on civil and building construction works’, Markus S. Clarke (2001) identified the costs involved in owning and operating equipment as: i. Depreciation When a unit of equipment is placed in operation, it begins to wear out. Regardless of the care in maintaining and repairing it, the equipment will wear out or become obsolete and has to be replaced. The owner of the equipment has to provide a reserve fund to replace it when it is worn out. Where the contractor fails to include an appropriate allowance for depreciation of his equipment in his estimate, there will be no funds available to replace the equipment when they become aged or obsolete. ii. Maintenance and repairs The cost of maintenance and repairs varies considerably with the type of equipment, the service to which it is assigned and the care it receives. The annual costs of maintenance and repairs is expressed as a percentage of the annual cost of depreciation or independent of depreciation and it must also be sufficient to cover the cost of keeping the equipment operating.

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