Rock Products

NOV 2017

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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18 • ROCK products • November 2017 So how's business? What is your take on the national economy and also on the construction economy? Is business better today than last year? KARL WEISS, CATERPILLAR: In gen- eral, business is much stronger this year than it was in 2016. Certain mar- kets around the globe are stronger than others, and we are seeing growth in regions such as Asia. From a U.S. market perspective, we are also seeing growth, specifically in industries related to oil and gas, and the quarry and aggregates industry sector as well. Customers have consistently reported a steady increase in demand for crushed stone, feeding residential, industrial and infrastruc- ture projects, and sand also continues to be a hot market. We've seen cus- tomer production levels increase and additional property acquired to expand their operations this year. It is exhilarat- ing to see business is coming back, and regardless of industry or whether our machines are building neighborhoods, hospitals or roadways, it is humbling to know that globally we are providing solutions to help our customers build a better world. MARK KRAUSE, MCLANAHAN CORP.: Business is very strong right now with frac sand and aggregates leading the way. The frac sand bubble of West Texas was unexpected but very welcome. In a little less than a year, the West Texas region will go from zero tons of annual production to over 25 million tons of production. For now it is about speed to market and larger operations. Our process knowledge and strength in frac sand for many years has positioned us well. In addition, we have seen the aggregate industry show real signs of optimism. After the election, we saw optimism based upon the idea of a large Infrastructure program. Even though that enthusiasm has tapered off, gen- eral business climate of local economies growing and good earnings reports from companies has led to some green fields opening up and expansion of other existing facilities. I live in Tennes- see where we passed a much-needed gas tax that will help to fund projects in this fast-growing part of the country. In areas of some rapid population growth and states where a gas tax increase occurred we are seeing the results of renewed interest and early equipment purchases to be operational for 2018. GARY POMPO, BKT: Business is good, up from last year and looking positive. The national economy is doing well and things are moving. Some areas that were shut down are opening back up, such as steel mills, mines, quarries. This is great for growth and when these come back on line, they need to get equipment up and running. All areas are seeing hot spots, the south has always got some- thing going on and the central states are up because of demands to reopen closed facilities. The thing we are seeing the most, is lack of good work force, finding people to fill positions. Every- where we go, it's the same question: "Do you know anyone that is looking for work?" PAUL ROSS, KESPRY: We are seeing strong business in the construction industry. Our partnership with John Deere has given us access to even more construction businesses. We are seeing an increasing interest in using technol- ogy to improve planning, operations and safety on-site so the use of a drone- based aerial intelligence platform fits perfectly with that. EVAN CLARKE, THE WIRTGEN GROUP/ KLEEMANN: We are cautiously optimis- tic. We are seeing continued levels of confidence with contractors regarding their workloads for 2018. Kleemann continues to grow in all segments: jaws, impactors, cones and screens. DAVE MCLAUGHLIN, KPI-JCI/ASTEC MOBILE SCREENS: North American business has been strong through three quarters in 2017. The aggregate, sand and gravel, and recycle markets have all grown over 2016, and we anticipate a strong finish in the fourth quarter. Our overall view of national economy remains strong and the outlook looks to be healthy. According to most key eco- nomic indicators growth is expected to remain between 2 to 3 percent, which is good. Unemployment as well as infla- tion remains favorable for the industry. Specific to the construction economy, most experts are predicting growth of 7 to 9 percent overall, which we agree with today. Residential will be even The Q&A Forum The Q&A Forum Rock Products Presents the 2017 Quarry and Aggregates (Q&A) Forum: Industry Thought Leaders Open Up On Where We Are Going and How We Will Get There. By Mark S. Kuhar and Josephine Smith T his month we present the first Rock Products Quarry and Aggregates (Q&A) Forum. This new feature focuses on the opinions of industry thought leaders from the manufacturing sector. Look for several additional Q&A Forum features to appear in the future, focusing on aggregates producers and distributors. – Ed.

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