The industry is changing

By |  March 27, 2012

Pit & Quarry magazine has been around for nearly 100 years, and looking through old issues, I’m struck not by how much things have changed, but by how much things have stayed the same. Go to the “Looking Back” page at the end of most of our issues, and you’ll often see 50-year-old equipment that doesn’t look all that different from what you use today.

The same holds true when looking at old pictures of association meetings. Women now have a larger role in our industry, including Joy Pinniger as president of the industry’s national association, but this is still very much a male-dominated industry.

However, some things are beginning to move forward. The change is driven by two things: the heightened sensitivity of the public to environmental concerns and the desire of aggregate producers to be more efficient.

We all know it has become more and more difficult for producers to obtain operating permits. In an effort to keep their environment clean, water safe and neighborhood quiet, citizens often don’t want pits and quarries in their backyard. Of course, it’s not only our industry that is affected. All mining and construction now is done under a watchful public eye.

This has led to green construction and the sustainability movement. And while many producers view this as a negative, it is actually a tremendous opportunity. “Some small companies may perceive the sustainability trend as a threat to their business,” says Michelle Keil, sustainable development engagement manager for Caterpillar Inc. “They may miss opportunities for obtaining bids,” she says.

In the coming years, companies that follow sustainability practices, including aggregate companies, will more likely get jobs and sell product.

In regards to the other big industry change – equipment and technology – much of it was on display at the AGG1 Aggregates Forum & Expo in Charlotte, N.C. Driven by new technologies, much of the equipment used in the industry is getting smarter, cleaner and easier to operate. And the changes are accelerating. Keep watching the pages of Pit & Quarry as we bring it to you every month.

Comments are closed