Rock Products

NOV 2018

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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Page 38 of 107

ROCK products • November 2018 • 37 has gained in popularity. Our hybrid track plants are dual power, allowing them to track around the site using the attached diesel engine, then switching to line power or a genset to run using electricity while operating. KRAUSE: Aggregate equipment demand has remained strong for the last 12 to 18 months, though they have been hidden by the frac sand bubble. Now that frac sand is slowing down to a normal pace it may seem like aggregate is up while it has actually remained at a strong pace. As always it is not strong everywhere but in areas that are seeing strong growth like Austin, Denver and Nash- ville, business levels would expect to be up. With the demand being more hous- ing and commercial work rather than highway work, the very strong ready mix demand is driving the increases. We have seen earlier purchases get- ting ready for 2019, which shows an understanding that the industry is busy and so they must plan earlier. Also they need to be ready to produce earlier in 2019 to be ready for early season work. GARRISON: We have been very active this year with aggregate customers. It's been a record for us. I'd say that the rate of investment from producers has been stronger than the growth of production rates on crushed stone. We believe this is largely coming from pent up demand on new equipment that was needed and a stronger economy. We are always working on innovative new products to solve issues with downtime and main- tenance costs. We've released a number of new washing and bulk material han- dling products this year. For instance, our Alliance Low Water Washer allows owners and operators to wash crusher dust at the site versus handling and hauling it to a wash plant. It accepts a dry feed and uses significantly less water than a sand screw. As part of our product development process, we use a lot of customer feedback to find ways to reduce their cost per ton. MEHTA: The aggregate industry is doing well. We see finding qualified equipment operators and drivers is common woe with the producers. It appears young millennials are shying away from the kind of jobs where one gets their 'hands dirty.' BKT continues to be innovative in tire development constantly looking for better cost per hour. By giving value driven tires at workable prices, this gives us a huge edge in terms of cost/ hour, even though we truly believe that cost/hour is not a good parameter to judge tires as performance of a tire is dependent on many other factors. Given the same operating conditions, BKT tires are performing better. Yes, people are purchasing new equip- ment to accommodate growth in their market place. If they need to invest in new equipment, they are buying new equipment. But, they are also very cautious in spending money. The over- heads in this industry are high and a sharp eye helps improve the tight bottom line. As tire manufacturers, we supply tires and we need our tires to give the best results. We have developed SpoTech technology whereby we fix our equip- ment on their trucks, survey the entire usage of tires and give our money saving recommendations, which has been highly applauded by the quarry owners. Depending on the size of the quarries and the company, the savings are in thousands. CISZCZON: Polydeck is doing very well in the aggregate industry as we con- tinue to grow on a year-on-year basis. I think producers have actively invested in new equipment this year but not to the investment level I thought they would based on the recent tax cuts. Until we get a new infrastructure bill passed, I think there will continue to be increased equipment investment based on a conservative growth curve. Polydeck's focus is giving producers the UNLOAD

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