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www.rockproducts.com ROCK products • March 2017 • 49 increase in activity nationwide, but I am not optimistic that existing government can afford to do what is needed for our infrastructure." MSHA was once again on the mind of some survey respondents. One person said, "MSHA is a big problem. They do not do much for safety. More an anti-capitalist, heavy-handed depart- ment. We shouldn't, as citizens and business people, be scared of our gov- ernment agencies." Another bemoaned the fact that, "MSHA is pushing to put aggregate operations in the same category as coal mines," while another said, "As long as MSHA is kept under control we should be okay. That agency is out of control." One respondent noted that, "Permitting has left us without rock to process or conditions that are imposed are such that we can not afford to mine the rock." Another said the answer to a negative perception of operations by neighbors leads to NIMBY predominance. "We need better neighbor relations, through a proactive approach," the respondent said. "Encourage holding an open house for the neighbors, respond to neighbor complaints proactively. Use outside consultants to interact with problem neighbors. Show leadership in environmental controls, promote environmental success stories." Looking ahead to the future, one respondent said, "We need to find a way to get better help and to get the young generation inspired to work." And community relations was also on the minds of some respondents. One said, "The public has taken a negative view of our industry. 'Not In My Back- yard,' along with social media shapes public opinion in a new and still-evolv- ing way. Our industry has not developed the skill to deal with this at this point." Equipment Capitalization With a huge ConExpo-Con/Agg buying opportunity this year, producers plan to spend some money. Approximately 30 percent of the survey group planned to spend up to $500,000. About 27 percent plan to spend $1 million to $5 million this year. Another 27 percent planned to spend $5 million to $10 million. Approximately 16 percent planned to spend $500,000 to $1 million. And what do they plan to buy? • New equipment, 70 percent. • Equipment upgrades, 54.81 percent. • Plant additions, 37.78 percent. • Mine development, 34.81 percent. • New plant construction, 24.44 percent. • Technology upgrades, 22.22 percent. • Exploration, 18.52 percent. • Permitting and bonding, 18.52 percent. • Used equipment, 17.04 percent. • Quality control, 15.56 percent. • New mine start up, 13.33 percent. • Reclaim systems, 4.44 percent. Over and above consumables, such as oil, tires and replacement parts, the top equipment areas being considered for 2017 are: • Pick-up/utility vehicles, 50.37 percent. • Screening and sizing equipment, 45.93 percent. • Material handling/conveying equip- ment, 45.19 percent. • Excavators/loaders/dredges, 42.96 percent. • Drilling and blasting suppliers/ser- vices, 40.00 percent. • Motors, 40.00 percent. • Crushers, 37.04 percent. • Haul trucks, 31.85 percent. • Scales, 30.37 percent. • Washing and classifying equipment, 28.89 percent. 19.26% 25.19% 37.78% 8.15% 11.11% 28.89% 11.85% 14.07% 11.11% 8.15% 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 20.00% 25.00% 30.00% 35.00% 40.00% Northeast Southeast Midwest Plains Northwest Southwest Nat ionally Canada Mexico Other In which geographic region(s) do you operate? 40.74% 13.33% 30.37% 28.15% 15.56% 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 20.00% 25.00% 30.00% 35.00% 40.00% 45.00% Permitting NIMBY Groups Access to Materials Limited Quality of Materials Other What limits your company's access to reserves?