Exploring the 2022 construction materials market (Part 2)

By |  April 17, 2023

The following transcript was edited from one of two concurrent Jan. 25 discussions at the 2023 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference. Part one of this discussion can be found here. The conversation was edited for brevity and clarity.

Says Price Bee’s Barry Hudson: “If you haven’t taken advantage of the extreme inflation in 2022, you could be in real trouble in 2023.” Photo: PamElla Lee Photography

Says Price Bee’s Barry Hudson: “If you haven’t taken advantage of the extreme inflation in 2022, you could be in real trouble in 2023.” Photo: PamElla Lee Photography

PIT & QUARRY: For producers, tell us a little bit about your construction materials sales in 2022 and how they compared with the previous year. For equipment suppliers and others, can you share your observations of the 2022 construction materials market and tell us about your equipment sales in the last year?

KAREN HUBACZ (BOND CONSTRUCTION CORP.): Our aggregate sales were about the same as 2021. The difference was the aggregate that went into our asphalt was down. That was really based on the price of the AC itself being very, very high. As a whole, it was a very strong year for us.

CHRIS WILLIAMS (CAPITAL MATERIALS): [Our] growth [in 2022] mirrored the national average. A couple of percent up, but nothing that was earth-shattering. We did feel like we weathered what was a pretty rough economic storm last year, though.

MICAH TYSVER (U.S. EQUIPMENT SALES & RENTALS): From the dealership side, it was a hot year. Equipment demand seemed like it was at an all-time high. Talking to other dealers, it seems like if you had the iron on the ground, somebody needed it. Then there was nothing in inventory [and] nothing for the rental fleet if you don’t have a designated rental fleet. From a dealership standpoint, it was a fantastic year.



JACK ACKERMAN (TCI MANUFACTURING): Our growth was probably in the neighborhood of 30 percent year over year. When we look at the increasing prices and managing or measuring the number of hours worked in the factory, that has gone up 20 percent. We know we’re working more hours – not only selling more equipment. [We] far exceeded expectations, and this year we’re projected to do very similar – if not the exact same – growth again.

DAN BABISH (LUCK STONE): We saw single-digit growth last year, and that was driven by interstate projects around northern Virginia, as well as several warehouse projects and several data centers around northern Virginia.

FRANK SUAREZ (VULCAN MATERIALS): The private, nonresidential side was huge for us throughout the country, especially when we talked about markets where there’s seaports [and] airports. I’m based in Miami, so the explosion of warehousing and goods and services across the state was huge for us in Miami and other parts of Florida.

JEFF GRAY (SUPERIOR INDUSTRIES): We saw a big influx of orders come in, around the third and fourth quarter of 2021. It grew our backlog tremendously at a record pace for our fall dealer stock order program. With that, 2022 exceeded our expectations. I think that was the start of the boom for a lot of domestic manufacturers trying to keep up with demand right now.

P&Q: What were some of the headwinds you faced in 2022, and how did your business adapt? What did that look like as far as addressing some of the dynamics at play?

STEWART PETROVITS (ROUTE 82 SAND & GRAVEL): Our biggest problem – probably everybody’s problem – is labor. And it’s not going away. It’s not so much retaining people. That’s easy. For us, 30, 40 years of service is nothing. Twenty years is common, and if we can get them in the door and keep them for a year, we can keep them forever. But we can’t get them through the door to even fill out an application. I don’t know how we’re going to attract young people into this industry.

EJ BURKE (QUICK SUPPLY CO.): People are our biggest concern. To keep people is very difficult. We’re in the blast and contracting business, and it’s very difficult to find the right people. We’re spending more time with technical schools. We’ve always kept pretty good contact with mining schools, but that next level down is people who may aspire to be a driller or a blaster. It’s not exactly the No. 1 job in the world that people desire. It’s a niche, and you have to find [them].

OLIVER NOBELS (SCHURCO SLURRY): We saw a lot of capital equipment purchased rather than buying parts and pieces to rebuild the equipment because of [the] lack of labor. That was surprising for us. You really could save money if we could rebuild it but, the caveat is, we don’t have anybody to rebuild it. [Producers are saying]: ‘Just give us a new piece of equipment.’

Comments are closed