2020 in a nutshell for Pit & Quarry readers

By |  December 31, 2020


If I had a nickel for every media reference over the last few months characterizing 2020 as “unprecedented,” the chunk of change coming my way might make a sizable dent in my daughter’s college fund.

As a news reader with a journalistic background, I nerdily take note of the words writers choose in their prose. That word – “unprecedented” – was littered within headlines and articles in 2020. And while there’s arguably some justification for its use, the world has seen pandemics before and it will see them again.

Still, from a personal level I cannot argue that 2020 wasn’t one of a kind. It certainly was just that for the aggregate industry. Fortunately, most persevered through the economic downturn, and many maintain glass-half-full outlooks about the 365 days to come.

With today being the last day of 2020, it’s fitting to reflect on where we are as an industry and how we got here. A number of 2020 industry developments stood out as I personally reflected and sifted through pitandquarry.com as prep for this article. I selected six 2020 stories that stood out to me as Pit & Quarry‘s editor-in-chief.

Unforgettable moments

1. The coronavirus takes center stage. Pit & Quarry’s editors covered the coronavirus from a variety of angles in the earliest weeks of the pandemic, establishing a landing page in March where all coronavirus-related content was housed. By early summer, the framework of our coverage shifted away from the virus and to the aggregate industry’s recovery. The shift saw us reintroduce our Road to Recovery series this summer. Our Road to Recovery coverage continues on a dedicated page of our website. Click here for P&Q’s Road to Recovery page

While the vibe at ConExpo-Con/Agg was unique due to coronavirus concerns, participants still took full advantage of the opportunity to explore new equipment – including this crusher from Sepro. (Photo: P&Q Staff)

Show traffic was steady outside the Las Vegas Convention Center on the opening day of ConExpo-Con/Agg this year. Photo: P&Q Staff

2. ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020 goes on, albeit under strange circumstances. With high drama leading up to this year’s big trade show, ConExpo-Con/Agg was largely a success despite health concerns that ultimately kept the nation’s largest aggregate producers away. Most of those who attended felt good about their show experience. Click here for more on ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020

3. Pennsylvania’s quarries, originally ordered to close, ultimately remain open. What a year 2020 was for Pennsylvania’s aggregate producers. The industry’s most unsettling 2020 moment in the Keystone State arguably came back in March, when quarries were ordered to close. The industry in Pennsylvania fought successfully to keep businesses open, but the early-year development undoubtedly put a scare into those with a stake in crushed stone, sand and gravel businesses. Click here for more on Pennsylvania’s most unsettling moment

4. Capex takes a turn in a wild year. Aggregate producers entered 2020 with various plans for capex projects, but the economic uncertainty brought on by the pandemic forced a number of producers to put their spending on hold. In a midyear article, equipment manufacturers and dealers weighed in on the capex trends they saw within the industry. Click here for more on capex’s wild ride

5. Rogers Group’s Matson takes the torch as NSSGA chairman. When interviewed early this year, Rogers Group‘s Darin Matson was optimistic about the prospect of getting critical work done in Washington as he looked to the months ahead at the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA). Looking back on the interview now provides a bit of an illustration of where the industry was headed in a world not yet dominated by the pandemic. Click here for P&Q’s interview with Matson

6. Virginia-based Luck Stone settling into Georgia. Back in February, I sat down with Charlie Luck, president and CEO of Luck Companies, at the Georgia Construction Aggregate Association’s Management Workshop & Expo. While family-owned Luck Companies has the largest quarry network in the state of Virginia, Luck explained at the expo why his company had targeted Georgia as an opportunity for growth. Click here for more on Luck Stone’s expansion

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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