Luck Stone looks back, ahead to 2019

By |  December 10, 2018

Photo by Kevin Yanik

In 2018, Luck Companies celebrated a major milestone in the company’s history – our 95th anniversary since our founder, Charles Luck Jr., established our first location in 1923 in Richmond, Virginia.

Today, we are proud to be the nation’s largest privately-held, family-owned producer of crushed stone, sand and gravel in the United States.

When reflecting on the past 12 months, a few highlights come to mind. As a whole, aggregate industry heritage locations, in select markets, operated at sub-peak volumes, and Luck Companies was no exception. Our customers are reporting strong backlogs for construction and other projects for the remainder of 2018 and well into the new year.

The federal government continues to provide consistent, long-term funding for surface transportation infrastructure through the FAST Act, and many large heavy civil projects are either starting or underway in markets throughout the U.S.

For this reason, we expect the next 15 to 18 months to be busy in terms of aggregate industry activity. In fact, several of the leading economic indicators, such as the Dodge Momentum Index and the Architecture Billings Index, among others, point to steady and strong construction activity throughout 2019.

Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, recently underscored U.S. economic strength, stating that relatively low inflation and years of strong job growth are still ahead.

Key initiatives

This is an exciting and challenging time in our industry for a number of reasons.

As the baby boomer generation transitions to retirement or a reduced work schedule, we are preparing for a shortage of skilled labor. It is vital that our industry develop strategies to attract and engage younger generations that are examining a company’s culture and values before accepting positions.

At Luck Companies, we have a mission that calls us to ignite the potential of people and, accordingly so, we are proud to offer advanced technical training and leadership development to our associates. Our associates are encouraged to explore new methods and harness their skillsets while helping others do the same.

We are also immersed in leadership succession planning that will strengthen our bench of mid-level and senior managers, enabling younger associates to assume the critical role of leading the company well into the 21st century.

Since our company’s inception, we have always prioritized and valued innovation. From safety-inspired initiatives such as automating our plants in the 1970s, operating remote-controlled loaders in potentially hazardous areas of our pits, and utilizing drone photography for our equipment inspections, to developing a number of leading-edge, award-winning mobile applications designed to streamline our customers’ and haulers’ experiences with us, we are inspired by the opportunities that technology advancement affords our business and our industry.

Today, technology is racing into every aspect of our industry, particularly as it relates to transportation and logistics. We are in a transportation revolution, with new construction materials being developed and advanced infrastructure and modifications in roadway design at an all-time high. We are witnessing the rise of autonomous vehicles.

Moving into 2019, we are incredibly energized. Our company is healthy and growing. We are in an exciting period of strategic, accelerated growth and expansion deeper into the Southeast, with recent acquisitions in South Carolina and Georgia.

This extension of our company’s portfolio achieves a number of corporate growth objectives and enables us to create opportunities for people across our company, broaden the reach and impact of our mission and ensure an exceptional experience for the customers and communities we proudly serve – a core component of Luck Companies’ operating philosophy and beliefs.


Headshot: John Pullen

Pullen

John Pullen is chief growth officer at Luck Companies.


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