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As a Construction Superintendent, your vehicle is more than a statement, it is who you are and who your company is. It is an identity. So we decided to to dive into the topic and look at all the options today and come up with a list that not only will serve the domestic and “die hard” Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge aficionados but also the import and the hybrid (and soon to be electric) cult like customers. Here, in our estimation, are the ten best 2016 pickup trucks for construction superintendents. We went with alphabetical order to not show any bias or favoritism.

Big 3 Mid-Size Pickups
Chevrolet Colorado 1500

The 2016 Chevy Colorado 1500 has won the top rating of Car & Driver magazine for mid-size pickups. It is also Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year for 2015 and 2016.

The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine yields 200 horsepower and 191 foot pounds of torque. With a top speed of 98 mph, there is enough power for normal Interstate driving.

For owners who prefer diesel, there is the optional Thai-made 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel. The oil burner’s 181 hp produces torque of 369 foot pounds. However, this raises your price by about $3,700. Also available is a 3.6-liter Duramax with 305 hp.

We are sure that a construction superintendent does not expect the same fuel efficiency as mid-size or compact sedans, so they can live with 22 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway (Car & Driver tested this at 17/24). This is balanced against the 1,540-lb. maximum load and towing capacity of 7,700 lbs.

Part of the reason for top ratings of the Colorado is its Smart Truck Technology. The touch screen radio is more than a sound system. Besides radio stations, Sirius XM, and MP3 music, it also links to an iPad phone, has My Link Navigation and responds to voice commands. Fingertip controls are located on the steering wheel. Like all GM vehicles, the Chevrolet Colorado 1500 has OnStar for emergency help.

Smart Truck Technology includes safety features. A key one is the rear view camera. Colorado also has Forward Collision Alert to warn about getting too close to a vehicle in front and Lane Departure Warning to sense someone in the next lane.

  • MRSP: from $20,995 gasoline or $27,725 diesel
  • Engine and HP: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline, 200 hp
  • MPG: 22/31
  • Carry Capacity: 1,540 lbs.
  • Towing Capacity: 7,700 lbs.
Dodge Ram 1500 Big Horn

The Dodge Ram 1500 Big Horn is on the large end of mid-size, enough so that Dodge refers to it as a “full size” light duty pickup, a designation shared by the Ford F-150 Lariat (see below). It is hefty enough to carry 1,880 pounds of cargo and tow 10,650 lbs. Dodge tags the Big Horn as “King of the Road, Royalty at the Ranch.”

According to Dodge, their 3.61-liter, 305-hp Pentastar® V6 Engine and Torqueflite® 8 Eight-speed Transmission get 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the road. Automotive journalists who’ve test driven the Big Horn rate the mileage at 19/27, not far off.

Other engine options are the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine with 240 hp and a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with 395 hp. The company claims “exceptional torque” with less CO2 emissions. They also claim that for full-size pickups, the fuel economy of the 1500 Big Horn is “the best.”

The version we are describing has a crew cab and a short box. As far as Ram trucks are concerned, 1500 Big Horn passengers have more legroom than in the other models (41″ in the front, 40.3″ in the rear). Having been a passenger in a pickup truck on long trips to job sites, I appreciate that. A Construction Superintendent may or may not transport welders, materials, etc., but they may take clients, architects, consultants, city or county officials whom they want to impress, in which case comfort is a real value. Depending on the front seat configuration, it can accommodate 5 or 6. For the driver’s comfort, the steering wheel is wrapped in leather. This both cushions the hands and improves the grip, allowing full control of the vehicle without a tight grip.

Keep in touch with the office, the dispatcher, or the job site crews with Uconnect® 8.4. The 8.4″ touch screen eases navigation of the radio or phone. You can also tap into Sirius XM radio stations for entertainment or information, or find your way with its navigation interface.

The prices for a Ram 1500 Big Horn begin at $33,760, but can go over $43K with the options.

4×2 rear wheel drive is standard on the Ram 1500 Big Horn, but 4×4 all-wheel drive is available.

  • MRSP: from $33,760
  • Engine and HP: 3.61-liter, 305-hp Pentastar® V6 Engine
  • MPG: 20/28
  • Carry Capacity: 1,880 lbs.
  • Towing Capacity: 10,650 lbs.
Ford F-150 Lariat

Ford calls its F-150 “First in Class.” Dodge and GM fans may call this into question, but the oldest company sounds like a proud parent, and it does have some points on its side. Just a few are the use of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys, a 360-degree camera with Split-view Display, Remote tailgate release, LED sideview mirror spotlights, Segment-first Pro Trailer Backup Assist™ and Smart Trailer Tow Connector.

A two-per for Ford is the use of aluminum to reduce the vehicle weight of the F-150. The body is totally made of aluminum alloys with “military grade” strength. This is bolstered by a ladder-style steel frame. The engine block is high temp aluminum alloy. The lighter vehicle weight allows for greater load capacity while increasing fuel efficiency.

Depending on the engine, the F-150 can carry 3,270, 3,240 or 2,210 pounds.

The standard engine for the F-150 Lariat is the 2.7L V6 EcoBoost®. This motor is equipped with Auto Start/Stop Technology, which saves fuel by letting the truck coast going downhill and restart when going up again.

The F-150 Lariat’s transmission is an electronic 6-speed. It can be put in a haul or tow mode. 4×4 trucks have a 2-speed automatic transmission. Another option is the SelectShift automatic, which has Progressive Range Select.

It doesn’t matter if your legs are short or long. You don’t have to stretch your legs or cramp them to use the pedals. The F-150 Lariat has “Power-adjustable pedals with memory” to fit the pedal height to you. If two differently sized drivers alternate use of this pickup, their settings can be saved for one-touch adjustment.

A key option is the 8-inch Productivity Screen. Using this, the driver can monitor several parameters and make any adjustments.

Another key feature is the keyless entry. This is quickly becoming an almost universal aspect of motor vehicles for both convenience and security. On the F-150, the driver’s door has a SecuriCode™ keypad. Related to this is the passive anti-theft system, SecuriLock®.

An overhead console is available in Super Cab and Crew Cab versions.

An interesting option for the 2016 F-150 Lariat is the CNG Prep Package. When installed, it enables the truck to run on compressed natural gas. Ford is not the only vehicle manufacturer offering the option of running on natural gas or propane. Chevy and Dodge offer it for heavier models. This option is rather expensive, so its practicality and profitability depend on the availability of bottled gas and the relative prices of gas and gasoline. If you want to go “Ford Tough” but don’t want to shell out too much, consider the F-150 Lariat.

  • MRSP: from $39,950
  • Engine and HP: 2.7L V6 EcoBoost®
  • MPG: 19/26
  • Carry Capacity: 3,270, 3,240 or 2,210 lbs., depending on engine
  • Towing Capacity: 12,200 lbs.
Big 3 Heavy Duty Pickups
Chevy Silverado 2500

The 2016 Silverado 2500 HD Regular Cab, Long Box RWD is one of the more affordable heavy duty pickup trucks with the MSRP beginning at $34,150. With $2500 cash back, this comes to $31,650.

The 6.0-liter V8 Vortec engine with Variable Valve Timing SFI is E85 compatible. This is a Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV). It can run on gasoline with or without ethanol.

An option is the 6.0L V8 SFI Gaseous CNG Engine, which runs on compressed natural gas.

Also available is the 6.6L Duramax TurboDiesel, paired with an Allison transmission.

The heavy-duty transmission is a 6-speed automatic. This is controlled electronically, and has overdrive, making it a truck that drives like a car.

The suspension package has twin tube shock absorbers (51mm). On the front is a 33mm stabilizer bar.

Heavy hauling puts a lot of stress on an engine, with accompanying heat. The Silverado 2500 HD has external cooling for both the engine oil and the transmission fluid.

If your jobs are in a cold climate with freezing temperatures in the winter, the heavy duty 720 battery can put out 80 amp hours cranking when cold. Chevrolet says this battery is maintenance free, and has reserved power. It is charged by a 150-amp alternator.

The frame has recovery hooks mounted in the front.

The tire carrier on the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is lockable. But you don’t need a separate key. The one for the door and the ignition will do. It also works on the tailgate. The door also has keyless entry.

The headlamps on the Silverado 2500 HD are halogen with projector beams. There is also a light for the cargo bed.

The payload capacity for the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD is 3,583 lbs. It can tow 14,000 lbs. Mileage for heavy duty pickups is not as good as for mid-size models. The EPA rating for the Silverado 2500 HD is 11 City/16 Hwy.

  • MRSP: $34,150
  • Engine and HP
  • MPG: 11 City/16 Hwy
  • Carry Capacity: 5 or 6
  • Towing Capacity: 14,000 lbs
Dodge Ram 2500 Tradesman

The Tradesman is the entry level version of the Dodge Ram 2500 series of heavy duty pickup trucks. It is for those who want the beef of an HD truck (3,990-lb. max. payload) without too many bucks. With an MSRP starting at $31,780, it is anything but cheap. But it still has the muscle and the backbone to haul and tow more than a mid-size pickup.

The amenities in the 2500 Tradesman are less than those in the 1500 Big Horn. For instance, the Uconnect 3.0 radio in the Tradesman is not as glamorous as the Uconnect 8.4 communication system in the Big Horn. Driving up to a job site in the 2500 Tradesman will show you’re practicality, beef over butter.

2WD rear wheel drive is standard on the 2016 Ram 2500 Tradesman with a regular cab. If you need an 8′ box, the MSRP goes to $32,975. That is all right for a construction superintendent bringing supplies to a job site, but not more than two people. If you do carry personnel, a crew cab is also available.

The standard engine for the 2500 Tradesman is a 5.7 liter Hemi® V8 with 383 hp. This is enough to pull a 17,980-lb. towing load. The trailer hitch is certified for 18,000 lbs.

Other available engines are a 6.4L V8 with 410 hp and 6.7L inline turbo-diesel with 350-370 hp.

One owner reported the fuel mileage for a Ram 2500 HD as 16-17 mpg in the city and 18-19 mpg on the highway, and another as 16.5 overall. This is better than for the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD.

In its review, Car & Driver said the Tradesman’s ride was smooth, but cross winds made it shaky.

  • MRSP: from $31,780
  • Engine and HP: 5.7 liter Hemi® V8, 383 hp
  • MPG: 17/19
  • Carry Capacity: 3,990 lbs.
  • Towing Capacity: 17,980 lbs.
Ford 250 XLT

Ford classifies trucks in its F-250 series as “Super Duty.” This classification is also applied to the F-350 and F-450 series as well, each series representing a load rating category. F-250 vehicles are 1-ton vehicles. The F-250 series has five models: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum, putting the F-250 XLT just under the middle of the group.

Besides the heavier load rating, the F-250 has useful features, such as the standard manual telescoping trailer-tow mirrors. Both the flat glass and the spotter mirror are power heated to prevent fogging and frosting. They can be brought in close to the body for regular driving, but extended out to see around a trailer. An option for this is the fold-away feature, allowing more room next to the cab when parked.

Another practical feature is the optional Tailgate Step with Tailgate Assist™. This step with a grab handle makes it easier and safer to handle heavy loads.

Another option is the tonneau cover, sized for the 6¾-foot and 8-foot beds. This cover can be rolled up to be out of the way for loading or for high loads In place, it protects the bed and the load as well as streamlining the truck for better handling and fuel efficiency at highway speeds.

An option specific to this model is the XLT Value Package. This includes fog lamps, keyless entry SecuriCode™ keypad on the driver’s door, automatic lock & unlock, auto rain lamp, auto-dim rearview mirror, Reverse Sensing System, power adjustable pedals, six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a 4¼” LCD screen on the instrument panel accessing vital vehicle status and performance information.

4.2″Performance Screen

Depending on whether you have a little or a lot of gear to store inside, or how many passengers you carry, you can choose a regular cab, super cab, or crew cab. The box can be 6¾ or 8 feet long. If your F-250 XLT has wheel well liners, it can also have the optional Stowable Bed Extender.

The F-250 XLT comes with either a gasoline or a diesel engine. The gasoline engine is a 6.2-liter 2-valve flex-fuel V8. It can run on fuel with or without ethanol. The 6.7-liter diesel engine is a 4-valve V8 Power Stroke® Turbo Diesel. The fuel tank is 35 gallons for the gasoline engine. For diesels, it is 26 gallons for SWB (wheelbases shorter than 157″), and 37½ gallons for LWB (longer than 157″).

The F-250 XLT has a TorqShift® 6-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission.

The F-250 can tow up to 12,500 lbs. with conventional towing. With a 5th wheel gooseneck, it can tow up to 15,900 lbs. with the gasoline engine, depending on the rear axle ratio, and 16,600 lbs. with the diesel, depending on the rear axle type and ratio. The maximum payload is 7,050 lbs.

Fuel efficiency for the F-250 XLT is about 17 mpg for driving on back roads.

The MSRP for the F-250 XLT begins at $36,375. With options, this could put you at close to $40K. The bumper-to-bumper warranty is for 36 months.

  • MRSP: from $36,375
  • Engine and HP: 6.2L V8 Gas (FFV), 385 hp, or 6.7L Power Stroke® V8 Turbo Diesel, 440 hp
  • MPG: about 17 on back roads
  • Carry Capacity: 4,059 lbs.
  • Towing Capacity: 12,500 lbs.
Dream Truck
Ford F-650 Supertruck

The Ford F-650 Supertruck is not a regular series or model. These supertrucks are made in Montana by Super Truck with custom bodies on Ford F-650 frames. The customization can also extend to the power train, though they primarily use the Ford systems.

Some of the custom Supertrucks have a practical rational, such as the 6-door models which can carry more passengers or have them in a conference room configuration. It often includes more or larger fuel tanks. A Supertruck can also have living space in the cab for extended travel, a truck/motor home hybrid.

Most of the F-650 Supertrucks are really dream trucks, with unique paint jobs and luxury amenities. For a general contractor, this could be a corporate statement, painted in the logo and company colors, fitted for clients, media and PR. The F-650 Supertruck would be a rolling billboard.

Back to the practical side, the cargo bed of a Supertruck could haul materials and supplies. Or it could pull a hefty trailer, especially with a fifth wheel.

Obviously, prices for F-650 Supertrucks vary widely, as well as fuel efficiency.

  • MRSP: Custom
  • Engine and HP: Custom
  • MPG: Custom
  • Carry Capacity: Custom
  • Towing Capacity: Custom
“Import” Pickups (Foreign Companies)
Nissan Frontier SV V6

The Frontier S King Cab is Nissan’s entry level pickup truck made for the American market. As such, it is basically more affordable in price with an affordable level of fuel efficiency. The standard features are simpler than for Big 3 pickups, because they essentially do not have true mid-size models. The Frontier is a genuine mid-size pickup truck.

How does this appeal to construction superintendents or the general contractors they work for? First, this is the less expensive alternative. Lowering the costs of business allows the firm to bid lower on projects while still having a reasonable margin of profit. Second, unless the superintendent needs the greater payload and towing capacity, why spend more? When the superintendent drives up in a real mid-size pickup, it displays frugality and responsibility with the client’s money. The message: “We care about maximizing your budget for you and for your employees & shareholders.”

The 5-speed manual transmission gives the driver full control over fuel efficiency. It can also provide more precise control in icy weather, even without four-wheel drive.

Power steering in the Nissan Frontier S is sensitive to the truck’s speed. According to Nissan, “It becomes more nimble at low speeds, making parking and reversing easier. At high speeds the system becomes more rigid, increasing feel and response.”

Nissan has equipped the Frontier with double-wishbone suspension in the font, coupled with a stabilizer bar. They call it “rugged and tough.” This is designed for off-the-road travel, which includes bumpy construction sites. The rear suspension puts the leaf springs over the axle instead of under it. Here the frown is better than the smile, because it means more ground clearance.

The Frontier S does offer a nice selection of sound systems, beginning with Nissan Connect and other choices, such as Sirius XM and Rockford Fosgate sound system. It also has a hands-free mobile feature which reads texts out loud and takes dictation. Keep in touch with the team, and the office with your hands on the wheel.

A key safety feature in the Frontier S is the rear view camera. Even with a load blocking the view, the driver can still see what’s directly behind the truck.

A structural safety feature is the Zone Body Construction. Guard beams for the side doors and crumple areas in the front and the back protect the cab and its occupants.

One safety feature is mechanical and electronic: Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC). Also known as stability control, it keeps track of vehicle movement, braking and steering. Adjustments are made to wheel-specific brake pressure and engine speed.

A common feature on late model cars and trucks is TPMS-Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Sensors in the wheels report the pressure in each tire. The driver can tell if the pressure is low in any tire and correct the issue. This benefits safety, fuel mileage, and tire life.

  • MRSP: from $18,290
  • Engine and HP: 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine, 152 HP
  • MPG: 19/23 with 5-Speed Manual, 17/23 5-Speed Automatic
  • Carry Capacity: 953 lbs. w/ manual, 913 lbs. w/ auto
  • Towing Capacity: 6,500 lbs.
Nissan Titan S

Nissan Motors may be a Japanese company, but their Titan XD S is an all-American truck. From concept to assembly, the process is done in Michigan, California, Mississippi, Arizona and Indiana. A full-size pickup, it is a one-ton vehicle. According to The Car Connection, it has a better ride than the F-250.

While Nissan used basically the same design in its 2016 Frontier line as in previous years, the Titan is a totally new design. Last year’s model was the latest edition of what then was “the oldest pickup truck” in the United States.

Nissan touts the new Titan with, “Wear your capability on your sleeve.” The question customers will be answering is, “Does it live up to its expectations?”

The Titan XD S is the entry level model in this series. The standard engine is a Cummins 5.0-liter dual overhead cam V8 turbo diesel with 32 valves. That’s 4 valves per cylinder, which has been the standard for gasoline fueled passenger cars for several years. This means smoother operation and better fuel economy. This turbo diesel has 310 hp producing 555 ft-lb of torque.

The buyer of a Titan XD S can choose 4×2 or 4×4 configuration. In mountainous areas and places with icy winters, the 4×4 is preferred.

This power is applied to the wheels by an Aisin® 6-speed automatic transmission.

Like the Frontier, the Titan XD S has independent front suspension with a double wishbone and a stabilizer bar. It also has disc brakes front and back. Both ends are vented.

The 40/20/40 split bench front seat is roomy enough for the driver and one passenger. A middle seat can be flipped down if needed. The King Cab (called super cab, club cab, and extended cab in other makes) has storage room behind the seat.

The entertainment/communication center has a 5″ screen along with radio and device inputs. With a Bluetooth connection, it can read and write text messages hands-free. The Nissan Connect can work with a Sirius XM subscription to provide information, navigation, etc.

Another great feature, it will fit into the same garage as a regular sized sedan. This also makes it easier to park. Nissan’s Convenience & Utility Package for the Titan XD S includes an overhead console. The trailer hitch and the electrical connector are on the rear bumper.

The steering column is adjustable to fit the driver. The shift lever is on the column for better visibility. Now there is room in the center console for other things.

Speaking about room, there are three bed sizes to choose from.

For the construction superintendent driving a Nissan Titan XD S, it speaks of preferring American made and having what is needed to get the job done.

  • MRSP: from $40,290
  • Engine and HP: Cummins 5.0l V8 turbo diesel, 310 hp
  • MPG: about 15/22
  • Carry Capacity: 2,091 lbs.
  • Towing Capacity: 12,314 lbs.
Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Toyota has been a big name in trucks for many years. The 1 ton series of Toyota pickup trucks is the Tundra (Tacoma is the ¾ ton series). The TRD Pro is near the top of the line in the Tundra series, right behind the 1794 Edition and the Platinum. As such it has more features than the SR, SR5 and Limited.

A Toyota Tundra TDR Pro usually comes with one of two engines: a 5.7-liter V8 with 381 hp or a 4.6-liter V8 with 310 hp. The 4.6 is standard. The 5.7 boasts an aluminum block. Power is delivered through a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission (ECT) with a logic-driven sequential shift mode and uphill-downhill adjustment. At the rear axle this is translated in an Automatic Limited Slip Differential.

Depending where you are located, a Flex-Fuel Vehicle may be available for using fuel from regular unleaded to 85% ethanol. This truck has been classified as a Low Emissions Vehicle, Level II.

The off-road version of the TDR Pro has skid plates to protect the engine and the fuel tank. The off-road Tundra TDR also has high clearance, which comes in handy on some job sites, as well as tow hooks on the front.

Also available with a TDR Pro is a tow package, with a 4.3 ratio in the rear axle and a mode switch for the transmission. The Tundra TDR Pro is suited for heavy hauling and off-road operation with its heavy-duty suspension. The front end has a high-mounted double wishbone with a stabilizer bar. The shocks are gas-filled. The rear end has trapezoidal multiple-leaf springs.

The Titan TDR Pro may not be the top of its series, but it can do the heavy work. The communication/information/entertainment center keeps the construction superintendent or supervisor up-to-date on conditions and in touch with the crews and the office.

The crew cab facilitates bringing customers, company officials and workers with him to construction project locations.

Off work, a boat or RV trailer can be hooked up to the TDR Pro for the weekend or vacation. The crew cab accommodates the family. The company logo on the side serves as a rolling billboard.

  • MRSP: from $42,945
  • Engine and HP: 5.7-liter V8 with 381hp or 4.6-liter V8 with 310 hp
  • MPG: 13 city/18 highway/15 combined
  • Carry Capacity: 2,090 lbs.
  • Towing Capacity: 10,800 lbs.
Looking Ahead
Jeep Wrangler PU

Conception for the proposed Jeep Gladiator a few years ago that was never produced

Trucks are nothing new to Jeep. In fact, Jeep trucks go all the way back to just after World War II. Willys-Overland Motors, the developer of the Jeep, expanded their signature product line from the all-terrain vehicles they made for the military. By extending the body and adding a cargo bed, they made a pickup truck, the first off-road pickup.

The first Jeep pickup was in production for a long time, with incremental upgrades as time went on. Other pickup models followed, including the Jeep Scrambler, built on the Wrangler chassis. The Scrambler was President Reagan’s favorite vehicle for driving around his ranch.

Ronald Reagan and his Jeep Scrambler

Willys Overland Motors eventually became a part of American Motors. When Chrysler bought American Motors, they discontinued Jeep trucks, seeing them as competition for their Dodge trucks. Since then, there have been a few proposals for re-introducing Jeep pickups, mostly as a niche vehicle. The latest concept with a prototype for auto shows, was the Gladiator (pictured above this section), again based on the Wrangler.

J-10 Jeep Pup

In 2015, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automotive confirmed that FCA will develop a new Jeep Pickup, also based on the Wrangler. It is to be built in the Wrangler plant in Toledo, Ohio. The name has not yet been released, so for now it’s called the Wrangler Truck. They are expected to be ready for either 2017 or 2018.

Ford and Toyota Hybrids

Chassis and drive train for proposed Ford hybrid truck

At this present time, there are no hybrid pickup trucks on the American market. There are hybrid cars, made by a few manufacturers. For the most part, hybrid vehicle technology is still in the development stage.

I assume that the intended readers of this article know what hybrid vehicles are. Just in case someone else reads this who doesn’t know, we’ll briefly explain.

Hybrid vehicles use both electric power and internal combustion to operate. As the internal combustion engine is running, it charges a bank of electric batteries. When feasible, the vehicle uses these batteries to run electric motors. Each wheel has its own motor. When more power is needed, such as on a steep grade, or the batteries run low, the engine kicks in again. Except in hilly terrain, this usually uses less fuel than using only the engine.

As stated above, hybrid vehicle technology is still in a state of development. With their heavier vehicle weight and heavier loads, hybrid trucks, including pickup trucks, are not yet feasible. Not, unless, it is the size of the old Ford Courier or Chevrolet LUV.

In August 2011, Toyota and Ford agreed to work together on developing hybrid truck technology. That partnership ended in December 2015, and both companies are pursuing their own concepts of applying hybrid technology to their trucks.

Though they are both pursuing the development of a hybrid pickup truck, the likelihood of success is uneven. Toyota is the leader in hybrid cars, so they are more likely to produce the first hybrid pickup.

On the other hand, don’t count Ford out yet. The “experts” could be surprised.

Honda Ridgeline

Honda Ridgeline shown in Car and Driver

As someone said, “What’s new is old, and what’s old is new.” That is the case with the Honda Ridgeline. Scheduled for 2017, it has been a decade since this unibody pickup was sold.

What happened? Frankly, unibody construction in a light truck was ahead of its time. When it first came out, sales of the Honda Ridgeline were good. There is speculation on what really happened, but sales declined and Honda suspended production.

What has happened in the meantime? First, SUVs, passenger vehicles on a truck chassis, with unibody construction have become popular.

This is not exactly the same Ridgeline. It is a unibody. It still has a trunk under the cargo bed and a two-way tailgate. Now the bed is 5′ wide inside and over 5′ in length. Added are tie-down cleats (8 of them), an audio system (how about that for a tailgate party), and a 400W AC inverter to power tools and devices.

The chassis will be like or the same as in the 2014 Acura MDX and the Pilot.

The engine for the new Ridgeline will be a 3.5L V6 (the same as in the Pilot) with an automatic transmission. The transmission is 6-speed, fairly common now. The computer will shut off cylinders when not needed. This will improve both mileage and emissions.

Drivelines include front-wheel and four-wheel.

The expected MRSP is from $30K.

  • MRSP: from $30,000
  • Engine and HP: 3.5L V6, 280 hp
  • MPG: Yet to be determined
  • Carry Capacity: not disclosed
  • Towing Capacity: not disclosed
Considerations

There are few things to take into consideration when buying a truck. These include types of fuel, hauling, locations of projects, terrain and roadways, climate, environmental concerns, and economic issues.

The most used fuels for pickup trucks are gasoline and diesel. In many places, gasoline is mixed with ethanol, sometimes as high as 85% ethanol. But there are still places where unleaded gasoline does not contain ethanol. The engine in a Flex Fuel Vehicle can run on gasoline with or without the ethanol.

Diesel is more like kerosene than like gasoline. Rather than a spark plug, it is ignited by high compression after being mixed with air. For heavy hauling, diesel has many advantages over gasoline. On the average, diesel is used more in heavier engines.

What you will be hauling and towing is a consideration in what pickup truck is suitable. This includes both size and weight. Smaller items need to be secured somehow, and larger items need more room.

Where are your construction projects located? Are they long distances from your base? Or are they closer to home? What is the terrain? How well developed is the area? How good are the roads?

Climate also plays a part in selecting a work vehicle. In hotter climates, air conditioning is practically a necessity. But in colder climate you have more than heating the cab, and perhaps the cargo, to worry about. Road conditions can be hazardous in the winter, and you truck should be engineered to handle that. Besides four-wheel drive, the transmission, wheels, tires and brakes play a role. And don’t forget the windshield, windows and outside mirrors. You need to be able to see to be safe.

The environment should be taken into account. Emissions is the first environmental consideration in operating motor vehicles. Also consider how your fuel and the materials in your truck are produced.

Economic issues are always a consideration. That is unless you’re in the “I don’t need to ask how much it costs” category. How much does it cost to run this truck? To maintain it? How long does it take to pay for itself? We may have to downsize our tastes if we overreach.

Once you’ve found the right candidate for the position you are hiring for, it’s time to send an offer letter. You want your offer letter to generate enthusiasm in the candidate and make the potential employee want to accept your employment offer. Let the candidate know how excited you are about him or her being chosen and the skills and experience they will bring to your company. What details should a job offer include? Here are a few items to consider including in your offer letter.

Job Details:

State the position offered, job location, working hours, starting date and a description of the primary responsibilities.

Compensation:

Include the starting salary, frequency of payment, how the salary will be paid and any bonuses, commission payments or stock options being offered. Avoid stating the salary as an annual amount. Instead, list the salary in weekly or monthly terms in order to avoid the suggestion that the employment offered is for a period of a year.

Benefits:

List benefits including insurance, vacation, retirement plans and any agreements made such as covering relocation costs and travel expenses. You may refer to your company or third party handbooks for more detail about any benefits listed.

Contingencies:

Say that the offer is contingent upon completion of any paperwork including employment verification, background checks, references and confidentiality and non-compete agreements.

At-will employment:

Use a disclaimer statement to ensure the candidate knows that there are no contracts for a specific length of employment and that the terms of the job are subject to change. Note the employment will be on an “at-will” basis, meaning that either the employee or the company may terminate the employment at any time.

Contact:

Close your letter by including contact information for any questions the candidate may have about the offer letter. State the date by which the candidate must respond to your job offer and if accepted, when you want the signed offer returned.

Taking Things To The Next Level

If you want to take your employment offer to the next level, consider sending a welcome kit along with your offer letter. You want your offer to make a positive impression and energize your candidates about working for your company. A welcome kit will make your candidate feel like they’re part of something special. It will feel like more of a welcome gift than just an offer letter.

What should go into a Welcome Kit? Start by creating a welcome folder or binder with your company documents separated into categories with divider tabs. The contents of a welcome packet will vary based on your company’s needs, but some example sections are welcome and onboarding materials, company vision and mission statements, organizational chart and contact details, payroll and holiday schedules, benefits, company policies and procedures, and helpful information including nearby eateries, area maps and public transportation/parking. Include promotional items branded with the company’s logo such as pens, notepads and drinkware in your kit. Consider putting all your welcome kit materials in a branded box or tote bag. Add a personal touch with handwritten welcome notes from leaders in the company.

You’ve invested hours of recruiting and interviewing searching for the right candidate. Once you’ve found that perfect candidate, your goal is to turn that candidate into a member of your team. A great offer letter and welcome kit will help you stand out from your competition and increase your chances of making a great impression and ultimately, your candidate accepting your employment offer.

Leadership Series, Part 1 of 3

Teamwork is crucial to the success of any commercial construction operation. Every project the firm undertakes requires members with specific skillsets to work together from superintendents to project managers, estimators, subcontractors and on the list goes. Even if you don’t directly manage employees, you likely lead a group responsible for delivering work on time and on budget – or you are part of the process. The true test of a team’s capabilities comes when it is faced with challenging situations like labor shortages, project delays or budgetary changes. To deliver quality work in the midst of these circumstances, leaders must motivate individuals to cooperate for the benefit of the whole, while staying focused on the business outcome.

So what is motivation? Put simply, it’s a leader’s ability to galvanize a group of unique individuals around a common goal, despite personality differences. This synergistic approach drives professionals at every level to produce outcomes beyond the status quo.

Review the Top 5 Ways You Can Motivate Your Team.

#1 Create Great Space

Having a great space – whether it’s a jobsite, trailer, office or cubicle – makes an impact. Use your space to help your team communicate effectively and solve problems. With simple tools like dry erase boards, you can get creative and encourage conversation.

#2 Make Time To Reach

Your team wants to learn, to grow and to take ownership. Consider setting aside time solely devoted to helping your team learn how to effectively manage difficult situations. Repetition is the mother of all learning, so the more time devoted to educating your team, the more likely they will handle future situations with confidence.

#3 Collaborate as a Team

Team collaboration is critical to every successful team. Invite them to work through situations and talk strategies as a group. By making them part of the process, individuals are transformed into partners, resulting in lasting relationships and accountability to one another.

#4 Reward Progress

Recognizing progress is super valuable. Whatever you do, praise them and praise them often. You don’t have to give them a raise – just a little quality time over a burger and a simple “thank you” will go a long way.

#5 Just Care

Seems simple, but it’s not. As a leader, you have to know what is going on with your team at work and at home. Take five minutes to show you care; remember to ask how things are going. By showing you care, you’ll drive loyalty.

Final Thoughts

Leaders also need to be inspired, so I created a PDF version of these top 5 motivation tips customized for professionals in commercial construction. Trying to always “sharpen the saw” as a leader. Enjoy!

In my last blog post I shared my Top 5 Ways To Motivate Your Team. This month I want to share with you my Top 5 Ways To Inspire Excellence to help you cultivate leaders within your team so you can delegate with confidence.

#1 Be Positive

We all know change is hard. Often resistant employees cause disagreements or generate negativity. Counter this caustic behavior with an authentic positive attitude. Engage team members when challenges arise, but don’t overreact. This shows them how to solve problems by staying optimistic, and cultivates an attitude of excellence.

#2 Recognize Achievement

It’s been shown team members will work harder for recognition than for money. Make your workplace one where employees can see their pathway to achievement. Monthly or quarterly “Top Employee” awards work well because they allow you to publically recognize their accomplishments. Casual compliments also offer daily encouragement.

#3 Share Examples

Show your employees you’ve been there. Share examples, both positive and negative, of personal experiences to show them you can relate. Explain how you handled these situations and what you learned. This attitude of humility shows them you’re human, and you’re not perfect. By connecting this way, you encourage authentic dialog and loyalty.

#4 Trigger Owner-Like Thinking

Your employees are all part of your company. They are active participants in your marketplace value, particularly in commercial construction and real estate. Capitalize on this fact by boosting a business-benefit mindset. Be sure to set clear goals, then everyone’s actions will be focused on what’s best for business.

#5 Listen Well

Inspiring great work requires a detailed understanding of your employee’s needs, thoughts and concerns. Listen to your team, not just your customers. Schedule regular staff meetings with your supervisors and your staff to ensure continuity throughout the ranks. Be genuine in your desire to hear and act on what’s needed.

In my last post I shared my Top 5 Ways To Inspire Excellence. Here are a few tips on ACTIVATING teamwork. Again, some will be new ideas and others just a nice reminder. Hope you enjoy!

#1 Set Direction

Leadership’s primary ingredient is vision and direction. This is particularly true when working as a team. You see this in football too, when a quarterback is not clear, plays are botched. By clearly setting goals and objectives, everyone knows where they are headed the part they play.

#2 Provide Resources

Give your lieutenants a consistent place to meet with their reports. Jobsites are not always the best for long-range planning or employee reviews, so consider making arrangements for a more private setting. One idea is to rent a temporary conference space if your corporate office is far from the jobsite.

#3 Build Trust and Respect

By building trust and respect you’ll anchor employees as project scope and timelines fluctuate to completion. These changes alter work scope and often create confusion. Open, transparent communication enables team members to target potential shortcomings upfront and address and these gaps before they become a problem.

#4 Involve Anyone

Commercial construction teams are made up of various members with distinct expertise and varied responsibility. This can create divisiveness. To solve this, invite everyone to join together in-person at least once a year. Consider arranging an outing as a team where individuals can work together in a casual team environment.

#5 Actively Communicate

Listening is the first step to actively communicating. No one likes a boss who just stands up and barks orders. Listening means you take the time to ask questions of your team. This gives you invaluable information about project health and makes your team members feel you care.

You probably think of Dallas, Texas as the “lone star state” famous for BBQ, football and cattle drives. But what you may not know is that it is and hotspot for commercial construction growth. Named by Forbes as the #2 The Building Boom Town,” the Dallas Fort-Worth Metro area is making a name for itself the and with new builds driving unparalleled employment opportunities for seasoned professionals in 2017.

Dallas Fort-Worth Metro Driving Commercial Construction Job Growth

Just take and walk through downtown Dallas and you’ll likely spot the goliath 2000 Ross project, one of the largest developments in decades encompassing a hotel, retail and housing. Growth doesn’t stop there – Fort-Worth landed Facebook’s $570 million new data center and Metro area suburbs attracted the relocation of Toyota and Liberty Mutual Insurance (both to Plano), and State Farm Insurance (to Richardson).

If you’d rather work and live in a Dallas suburb and you’re an avid sports fan or parent, you’ll feel right at home in Frisco, Texas. This north Dallas city recently launched the “$5 Billion Dollar Mile,” a cooperative effort between its economic development council and developers to transform the primarily residential suburb into world-class city boasting workspace and sports attractions. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you drive up the Dallas Tollway and spot “The Star In Frisco,” the Dallas Cowboys’ world headquarters and cornerstone of the “Mile.”

Tenured Commercial Construction and Real Estate Talent Demanded

The result: major projects like these have produced a plethora of new opportunities for talented professionals. We are constantly working with individuals like you to discover their best-fit career move, while working with the area’s most prestigious firms.

Right now our team at Vitality Group have several commercial construction career opportunities including:

Preconstruction Manager

SALARY: $125,000-$162,500

This is an opportunity to play a critical role with a company building exciting, high profile projects. Their young, innovative team is making a huge impact on the local market. Come be a part of the action.

Estimating Manager

SALARY: $106,000-$150,000

Are you an “out of the box” thinker looking to be a part of an emerging leader in the construction industry? This opportunity offers tons of growth potential and a chance to lead and mentor others

Estimator – Developer

SALARY: $94,000-$137,500

If you are ready to sit at the big table and get deals done… this fun, rising Real Estate Developer opportunity might be for you.

Get To Know Our Team

Based here in the Dallas area, we meet with each company and candidate in person if at all possible. We want to know what your career aspirations are and want to be there as you need career related advice and insight to help you make sound decisions.

If you’ve built a great career in commercial construction, it’s likely you already know Job Knowledge is Power. It gives you the opportunity to be informed of what’s next, what’s ahead and your earning potential and increased responsibilities with your next career decision. But most job changes, whether they come as the result of internal promotion or the desire to move to a new firm, require a well rounded consideration of what’s is most important to you.

One of the major missteps professionals can make is to take a role that does not take advantage of your past experience. This is a hinderance to most careers in construction and, any industry, really – because hiring mangers are unable to see a consistent path of professional intent. By moving from a Construction Project Engineer to a Project Management Professional, you’ll show your commitment to the career path and your firm will likely reward you for your longevity of vision. If you current firm is not able to provide you with the opportunity to step up, you may want to consider relocating or moving to another firm with more upward mobility.

Here are a few examples of high-value, exciting project engineer career roles with firms across the country to provide you with Job Knowledge insights.

  • SENIOR PROJECT ENGINEER – Los Angeles, CA salary: $78,000 – $93,000, “Best Place to Work” builder.
  • CONSTRUCTION PROJECT ENGINEER – Los Angeles, CAsalary: $75,000 – $90,000, Cutting edge GC with a cool office with fun people.
  • CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGER – San Jose, CA salary: $145,000 – $195,000, Established firm for an extraordinary career opportunity.
  • SENIOR PROJECT ENGINEER – San Francisco, CA salary: $90,000 – $110,000, Fun, fast, creative GC working for some of the hottest companies in the world.
  • PROJECT ENGINEER – San Diego, CA salary: $85,000 – $95,000, Design-Build GC offering unbelievable lifelong career opportunities.
  • CONSTRUCTION ASSISTANT PROJECT MANAGER – Chicago, IL salary: $75,000 – $95,000, Developer/builder with opportunity deal lifecycle responsiblity.
  • SENIOR PROJECT ENGINEER – CONSTRUCTION – Chicago, IL salary: $85,000 – $93,000, Great opportunity with one of the country’s most respected GC’s.
  • CONSTRUCTION PROJECT ENGINEER – Seattle, WA salary: $75,000 – $88,000, Dynamic GC encourages fun, team work and wants you to have a full life.
  • CONSTRUCTION PROJECT ENGINEER – Portland, OR salary: $70,000 – $95,000, If you’ve got drive and initiative, this opportunity will take you there.
  • CONSTRUCTION SENIOR PROJECT ENGINEER – Denver, CO salary: $72,000 – $92,000, Experience all that Colorado has to offer, while doing a job you’ll love.
  • SENIOR PROJECT ENGINEER – Dallas, TX salary: $65,000 – $85,000, Cool firm that builds once in a lifetime, sometimes insane, construction projects.
  • PROJECT ENGINEER – Dallas, TX salary: $75,000 – $95,000, Fast growing GC with strong relationships in the community looking for a fun culture fit professional.
  • CONSTRUCTION PROJECT ENGINEER – Austin, TX salary: $65,000 – $85,000, Top pedigree GC’s where you can leverage your experience and grow.

If you’d like to learn more about any of these project engineer roles, please feel free to contact one of our commercial construction focused recruiters. If you would like to subscribe to our Job Knowledge Is Power news, enter your preferred email address here for next time. Stay informed, stay empowered!

Quality of Life

If you’re on the hunt for a new position, you’ve probably checked out at least a couple of job boards. Some of them cost you nothing to peruse and fill out applications, and others will cost you a pretty penny. You’ll find everything from entry level positions to CEO openings in every field you could possibly imagine.

Which job board is the best one for you will likely depend upon the type of position you’re looking for. Some boards encompass jobs in all sectors, and some boards are more specific. These specific boards, like Vitality Group’s job board, are often operated by recruiting services, meaning they want qualified applicants to apply.

Now, we’ll take a look at the best job boards of 2017.

Indeed

Indeed is a popular job site for both employers and job seekers, and its comprehensive nature is one of its biggest assets. It is frequently referred to as the “Google of job sites” for its bare bones, search-engine like approach to job postings mean you can find everything from legal careers to high-level construction jobs.

LinkedIn

Particularly when you’re seeking jobs beyond something like an entry level construction labor position, networking is important. Sometimes, it can make the difference between getting the job and getting shot down. LinkedIn leads the way in networking, and you may have jobs seeking you if you put together a great LinkedIn profile.

SimplyHired

This job board, similar in nature to Indeed, offers job seekers the ability to search based on many different metrics, including a telecommuting option.

GlassDoor

One of the best parts about this site is that there is salary and company information, plus reviews from former employees available to help you find the best position and employer for you.

CareerBuilder

CareerBuilder makes our list due to their unique feature that matches keywords in your resume to job postings, providing you with a personalized list of jobs that might work for you. Say you have years of experience as a construction project manager. It will connect you to not only project management positions, but other positons that require similar skillsets.

LinkUp

This site uses a special approach to pull job postings that other search engines miss. They may be perfect for the job seeker who is having a tough time finding the perfect posting.

Facebook

Though the “Jobs” feature on Facebook is brand new, it’s worth a shot to use a social network you are likely already familiar with to find a position.

JobIsJob

With many international job postings, this site is perfect for those open to opportunities outside the U.S., a feature many other sites on our list lack. If you’re seeking adventure as much as you are a unique construction job, give JobIsJob a go.

Twitter

Twitter is for more than rants and gossip. Follow job boards and companies you’d love to work with to keep an eye out for opportunities.

Monster

Ten years ago, Monster was where it was at when it came to job boards. Now, their search metrics don’t quite stack up with many other sites, making it more difficult than it needs to be to find what you’re looking for. However, many employers and recruiters still use the site, so it’s worth a try.

Quality of Life

Nashville’s live music, BBQ, year-round festivals, outdoors activities, sunny weather, friendly locals, quirky boutiques, and thriving university scene all make it a wonderful place to call home. The city features regularly in articles on the best places to visit, live, and work. Travel and Leisure even named Nashville the #1 friendliest city in the United States!

One caveat: public transportation is limited in the city and surrounding area, so most people need a car to get around. Commute times average 20-30 minutes (one-way). Nashville International Airport is fairly convenient, however, only a 15-20-minute drive from downtown.

Job Market & Cost of Living

With over 1.8 million residents and 40,000 businesses, the Nashville metro area offers strong job prospects. Its largest employers include Vanderbilt University, Nissan North America, Saint Thomas Health, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Community Health Systems, GM, Amazon, and Dollar General. Unemployment rates are low (as of December 2016, 3.8%), though the average salary is also slightly lower than the national average.

Nashville stands out as a major healthcare center, thanks to Vanderbilt University Hospital, Saint Thomas Hospital, and numerous healthcare companies both large and small that have headquarters or operations in Nashville, from the gigantic HCA to smaller startups like Jumpstart Foundry. The healthcare industry provides employment for many Nashville residents.

As the city grows, construction projects are constantly underway. The Nashville Business Journal maintains an interactive, regularly updated map called “Crane Watch,” to keep track of construction projects throughout the Nashville area. As of March 2017, the map includes 200 developments that have either been proposed or are currently in progress. Many of these projects are massive: over 30 of them are $100+ million. For example, work on a $430 million mixed-use development planned by OliverMcMillan and Spectrum|Emery (OSME) is slated to begin in 2017 and continue until 2020.

Nashville’s countless attractions have made it an increasingly popular place to live—which has driven up the cost of housing. Expect to spend $1200 or more on monthly rent in a one-bedroom apartment. As of 2017, the median value of a home in Nashville is $219,900, and median home value in the metro area is $208,600. While prices are expected to continue climbing, Nashville remains a more affordable option than major cities like Washington D.C., New York, or Los Angeles.

A cappuccino in Nashville will cost you around $4, a typical lunch out $10-12, dinner at a mid-level restaurant $20-25, and a cocktail $10.

Nashville’s sales tax is quite high at 9.25%, but Tennessee has no state income tax.

Music & Festivals

Simply put, music is a BIG DEAL here. Especially country music, though plenty of singers from other genres stop by in Nashville for concerts. Between the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry, and numerous smaller venues like the Listening Room, you can catch a concert every night if you want to. If you’re at the Opry over the holidays, make sure to pay a visit to the nearby Opryland Hotel to see its magical decorations, named the best in Tennessee! To learn more about Nashville’s music history, you can visit the Johnny Cash Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The city also features an incredible array of events and festivals, from February’s Antiques and Garden Show to the 2nd biggest Oktoberfest celebration in the United States. Nashville hosts the CMA Music Festival in June, while nearby Manchester, Tennessee is home to Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Enjoy the best of the country’s cuisine at September’s Food + Wine Festival, which gathers top chefs together for demos and samplings.

If you are considering a Construction Career in Nashville, TN then go for it! There is nothing but growth happening in this amazing city!

Your resume in the Construction industry is critical to your future. We will share with you the information that will help you stand out, get noticed and get offers.

Construction Resume Differences and Similarities

While many things you need to include in a construction resume are common sense like contact information, work history and project list you need to be sure to give them the little details to really get noticed.

First, use an active voice. Be sure to use strong verbs that indicate getting things done. Use powerful action words like headed, developed, and collaborated. Construction companies are looking for do-ers these days, so sell your abilities to get things done.

One critical component of writing a Construction Industry resume is the importance of project information. Each project you have had any involvement with, needs to be highlighted on your resume and/or project list. We recommend creating a detailed project list to help you keep track of your project experience and to always send along with your resume. Construction companies and Real Estate Developers use their team’s experience to win work, so in Construction your resume will not only get you a job potentially but what they really care about is the ability to then sell your resume to a new or existing client.

Stay Professional

Obviously, your resume should uphold your professional persona. Here are a couple tips:

  • Leave off all High School information
  • Avoid adding a picture; you’re not being judged on your appearance
  • Keep it short and sweet. Only include relevant experiences and skills if your resume is getting too long. Keep project descriptions concise.
  • Use standard size and neutral colored paper when printing your resume. To do otherwise can make it seem like you’re attention seeking.

Design Matters

The design of your resume is the first thing that a potential employer is going to notice. Like it or not, the design says a lot about your personality. A well thought out design that is clean and simple may show that you are intentional, professional, and not prone to frivolities. A more artsy layout that includes color may indicate that you are easygoing and creative. Choose a design that truly reflects your work and that plays into what a potential employer wants in an employee. When in doubt, simple = safe.

Construction Resume Templates

We have created a handful of Construction Resume Templates here that will help you get started with this process. Any of the formats will work for any position, you will just need to modify the content so it matches your experience accurately.

Check out the links below for resume templates that are perfect for the construction industry:

  • Construction Project Engineer Resume Template
  • Construction Project Manager Resume Template
  • Construction Estimator Resume Template
  • Construction Senior Project Manager Resume Template
  • Construction Superintendent Resume Template
  • Construction Executive Resume Template

Last But Not Least, Tailor Your Resume

It’s important to make minor adjustments to your resume when applying for jobs online. If you’re unsure what the company is looking for, check out reviews on sites like SimplyHired or GlassDoor and see if you can gain better perspective.

Final Words on Resumes for the Construction Industry

Your resume is critical to your future. It is often your first impression, so it needs to be perfect. Take the time to begin building your resume with all of the essential responsibilities and project experience you have been involved with and build upon it. It is much easier to revise & update your resume once per year if you schedule it, and that will also allow you to recall everything you accomplished. Be wary of resume writing services; make sure that they have legitimate experience and measurable success in the construction industry!

If you need assistance with your resume, feel free to reach out Vitality and we will be happy to help you.

Quality of Life

Considering a move to San Francisco? You’re in luck! The city was ranked #1 for quality of life in the United States, and 28th worldwide. It’s no wonder why the Paris of the West — with its Victorian houses, colorful cable cars, and iconic Golden Gate Bridge — was beat out the competition. San Francisco’s mild weather, delicious food, and friendly people make it one of the best cities to live in, among others.

Bringing your four-legged friend? We’re one of the dog-friendliest cities, with more than two dozen parks and a yearly Corgi Festival. Looking to let loose? San Francisco was even voted as one of the funnest cities by taking the top spots for Entertainment and Nightlife – come visit and try one of the bars in the Mission or lounges on Polk St!

Consider ditching your car, we’ve got you covered. San Francisco’s transportation system was ranked #2 in the country: you can easily travel within the city by MUNI, between cities with BART (SF to Oakland in under 20 minutes!), and down to Silicon Valley by CalTrain. Since we’re the City by the Bay, you can take a ferry to neighboring Tiburon, Sausalito, and Vallejo in a breeze. In a time crunch? Call an Uber or Lyft – which, by the way, were both founded in the heart of San Francisco.

Finally, San Francisco is the city of convenience. Why spend time doing chores when there’s a company out there to help? You can get your laundry picked up, cleaned, and delivered by Rinse; have a personal shopper from Instacart get your groceries; call a plumber from Handy to check on that leak; and even book a personal massage therapist from Zeel.

Cost of Living & Construction Jobs

Even though San Francisco is notoriously known as one of the most expensive cities in the country, it’s ranked #2 in the highest median salary – along with its neighbor – San Jose. The most common industries in San Francisco and the Bay Area include technology, banking/finance, media, and medical science, and is home to famous companies such as Google, Apple, Twitter, Salesforce, Genentech, and Wells Fargo. Likewise, it’s home to world-renowned educational institutions such as UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and UCSF.

One of the most surprising industry booms in the Bay Area is construction, which has been steadily growing since the end of 2008. Currently, San Francisco’s office construction growth is the highest in the country at 6 percent year to year. Competition for talent is fierce, especially between the top construction companies, including Boston Properties (known for Salesforce Tower, the largest building in SF), Truebeck, Turner Construction, and more. In fact, Project Managers, Superintendents, Estimators and Project Engineers are in extremely high demand, with salaries for top talent reaching between $150,000 to $250,000 a year.

As of 2017, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Francisco hovers around $3,000 per month. Locals tend to save money by living with roommates, which can decrease their monthly rent to about $1,000 to $2,000. The average home in San Francisco is between $800,000 to $1 million.

If you have a car, a dedicated parking space will cost around $200 to $275 per month while daily parking (in a garage or lot) is around $15 to $30. You can save money by parking your car in the street, which is either free in some neighborhoods, or $150 per year in zoned areas. Likewise, you can buy a Clipper, which is an unlimited monthly commuter pass, for $73.

An average meal in San Francisco is about $10 to $15 for lunch and around $35 to $50 for dinner. However, many employees in the tech and startup industries enjoy catered lunch – including those at Facebook, who get three meals a day, five days a week! If you happen to be building a project there, you get to enjoy those amenities as well!

The Outdoors

It’s no wonder San Francisco was named the healthiest city in the US, with its abundance of healthy food, fitness enthusiasts, and of course, plenty of outdoor attractions.

Every weekend, locals flock to Golden Gate Park. Comprised of over 1,000 acres and almost four miles long, the park has everything you need including waterfalls, picnic spots, an art museum, the Japanese tea garden, a science museum, and the beach.

Further north, there’s the Presidio. What was once a military base has now been transformed into a national park. The most popular activity is hiking one of the many trails (there are over 20!), including the popular Presidio Promenade. On a sunny day you’ll also find locals biking through the Presidio, near the ocean, or even across the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you drive past San Francisco, you’ll find the Bay Area’s own national park – Muir Woods. Both locals and tourists love to walk through the forest and marvel at the redwood trees, rivers, and wildlife.

Restaurants

Did you know? San Francisco has the most restaurants per capita, beating NYC, Chicago, and New Orleans. Foodies flock from around the world for the latest and greatest, including trendy pop-up cafes to tried-and-tested establishments (fun fact: Tadich Grill is the oldest restaurant in California!)

What makes this foodie paradise so special? For starters, it comes at #8 out of the top ten Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, with local favorites such as Acquerello, Octavia, and 3-star winner Benu. The French Laundry is only an hour away, as is Chez TJ or Baume.

Likewise, you won’t have to buy a plane ticket to try food from around the world. Craving some borscht and pierogi? Stop by one of the Russian restaurants in the Inner Richmond. Stroll along Columbus avenue in North Beach and you’re sure to find an Italian restaurant, or some of the best ropa vieja in the Mission. Top it off with boba tea in the Sunset or an egg tart from Chinatown. All the taste, none of the jet lag.

How could we forget about Napa? Spend your weekend tasting world-class wines in Napa, Sonoma, and Calistoga: sip pinot noir in the cellar of a 13th-century inspired castle, gawk at Coppola’s movie set props, or take a 300-ft ascent on a gondola to your wine tasting.

Oh, and have we mentioned the dozens of food trucks?

Things To Do

Cultural Events

When you’re in San Francisco, it feels like there’s a major event going on at least once a month. Celebrate the Chinese New Year in style with America’s biggest CNY parade (Gung Hay Fat Choi!) in February, get your friends and run the Bay to Breakers marathon on the third Sunday of May, or dig up that Santa costume and participate in December’s SantaCon.

For music lovers, the city provides no shortage of outdoor concerts, festivals, and more. The most popular is Outside Lands, which gathers more than 50,000 people over a 3-day weekend and includes famous headliners such as Metallica, Kanye West, Lana Del Ray, Paul McCartney, Radiohead, and more. If you’re craving the same atmosphere and are into hip hop and electronic music, the Treasure Island Music Festival is another great option. For other music genres, there’s the Bluegrass festival, Stern Grove festival, Jazz festival, and more.

Movie buffs will love the SF International Film Festival, which spans over two weeks and includes more than 200 films from 50+ countries. There’s also a plethora of other cultural events, including the Japantown J-POP summit, Holi festival, Ukraine Day, and over 30 more festivals.

Sporting Events

Whether you’re a fan of baseball, basketball, hockey, or anything else, you’ll find it in the Bay Area. If you’ve heard of the Giants, you’re already familiar with San Francisco’s favorite baseball team. It’s not unusual for the entire city to be buzzing about them during the season, and there’s a high chance of seats selling out for home games. The Golden State Warriors (also known as the Dubs) are another Bay Area favorite that won their most recent NBA championship back in 2015. If you want to catch a hockey game you’ll need to go down to San Jose, where the SJ Sharks play at the SAP Center (also known as the “Shark Tank”). Don’t forget to check out their pre-game entrance!

If you are considering a move to the San Francisco Bay Area, there is plenty to do and most importantly massive job security if you are a Construction Project Manager, Superintendent or Executive. This is where emerging trends begin and there is no better place to be a part of it.

A career in construction management is ideal for those that love building, enjoy hard work and are willing to learn continually. Construction managers, also known as general contractors and project managers, plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish. They are responsible for keeping a project on schedule and budget. They must also have extensive knowledge of all the building trades. Besides the physical construction of buildings, construction managers must know the most current local building and employee laws, electrical and plumbing codes, OSHA, etc. Construction management is the perfect career for those with excellent analytical, business, communication and decision-making skills, along with a love for construction.

If we had to pick just one place to pack up and move to, it’d be the jewel of Texas, the Greater Austin area, also known as Austin-Round Rock. Let’s walk you through a day in the life of Greater Austin.

The improving economy has triggered an increase in all types of construction: public, residential, industrial and commercial, along with structures, roads, memorials, and bridges. More building projects mean there is a need for more construction managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently reported that employment in construction jobs is predicted to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, or an increase from 6.5 million jobs to 7.2 million jobs. The need for construction managers in the United States is projected to grow by 5 percent, or 17,800 managers, between 2014 and 2024. Construction activities are projected to increase over the coming decade, as will the need for construction managers. Over the next ten years, construction management is a good occupational choice for those in the building trades.

The best jobs opportunities for construction managers are for those with a bachelor’s degree in a construction field, along with hands-on construction experience. In 2015, it was reported by the BLS that the median annual wage for construction managers was $87,400, or $42/hour for qualified candidates. However, in regions of high demand, like California and New York, the annual wage can be over $100,000. Formal education and job experience are both essential for a successful career in construction management.

Construction managers are responsible for determining the most efficient way to keep a construction project moving smoothly, on schedule and within budget. They must understand all aspects of the project, from the design phase to completion. Becoming a construction manager involves obtaining a college education and completing several years of on the job training. The need for construction managers in the United States is on the rise and a great field for those that love construction and hard work.