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Aggregate Expo brings industry together for education, exhibits

By |  March 15, 2022
More than 400 people attended Aggregate Expo last month in Fargo, North Dakota. Photo: P&Q Staff

Nearly 400 people attended Aggregate Expo this week in Fargo, North Dakota. Photo: P&Q Staff

Nearly 400 aggregate industry stakeholders flocked to the Holiday Inn Fargo for General Equipment & Supplies’ sixth Aggregate Expo.

The two-day event in Fargo, North Dakota, featured displays from General Equipment’s manufacturer partners, as well as a variety of education sessions aimed at providing aggregate producers with a deeper understanding of industry concepts.

Jon Shilling, president and CEO of General Equipment, was thrilled with the Aggregate Expo turnout. Attendance surpassed the 2019 Aggregate Expo – the last to take place.

“Overall, we’re extremely pleased,” Shilling says. “Outstanding turnout. We weren’t expecting it. It was kind of a slow signup process, but they all piled on in the last couple of weeks. We were extremely excited to see how many showed up.”

On display in the hotel parking lot was an assortment of equipment from the dealer’s partners. Crushers, screens and conveyors were among the equipment on-hand for up-close and personal viewing.

“We’re able to showcase as many pieces of equipment as we possibly can to the customer,” Shilling says. “[We] show them what we have available, both new and used.”

Evolving education

Logo: General Equipment & SuppliesAccording to Shilling, the goal of Aggregate Expo is to grow partnerships with General Equipment customers. To do this, General Equipment puts an emphasis on learning and understanding customers’ businesses and providing them with creative solutions.

“What we’re trying to do as a partner here is bring them in, hopefully show them a pretty good time but also allow them to learn about the industry,” says Shilling, noting that the first Aggregate Expo took place in 2004. “We have anywhere from intermediate to advanced classes where they can learn things that they maybe don’t know, or learn better ways of doing things to make them more productive in the field.”

Over the last 18 years, Shilling says General Equipment has continuously evolved its education offerings to stay up with industry trends and keep customers and partners well-informed.

“We’ve always had new and improved classes,” he says. “We have some of the same vendors come back in any given three-year period and teach classes. We set it in front of these manufacturers and tell them that the goal here is not to sell a piece of equipment; the goal is to educate.”

Some of the education topics this year included advanced bearing maintenance, drones, material handling and screening.

“The biggest thing about this industry is the continual training that is needed,” says Steve Stafki, vice president of service at General Equipment. “You have so much advancement across the lines. If you look back 10 years where the industry was compared to now, it’s night and day.”

Taking part

John Garrison headshot, Superior Industries

Garrison

John Garrison, vice president of sales at Superior Industries, was excited to return to Aggregate Expo and meet with producers and vendors.

“For something that is put on by a dealer, this is done well,” Garrison says. “This almost rivals an AGG1 at a local level. It’s even a little bigger than what you see from some state association shows. It’s always a great event, and it’s great to see so many people back together.”

For Superior, which has participated in every Aggregate Expo since the beginning and been a partner even longer, the once-every-three-years event is a reminder of the growth the companies have achieved together.

“They’ve grown as a company and we’ve grown with them,” Garrison says. “We’ve expanded them into new territories into Iowa, Nebraska and now up into Canada. It’s a good partnership, but also a good friendship.”

Jack Kopanski

About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or jkopanski@northcoastmedia.net.

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