Manufacturers offer the latest on equipment supply

By |  May 24, 2023
Equipment lead times were a talking point for manufacturers as they visited with ConExpo-Con/Agg attendees. Photo: ConExpo-Con/Agg

Equipment lead times were a talking point for manufacturers as they visited with ConExpo-Con/Agg attendees. Photo: ConExpo-Con/Agg

ConExpo-Con/Agg was not only the place to see new equipment and technology, but it provided a platform to discuss the latest dynamics surrounding equipment supply.

The resounding sentiment from manufacturers exhibiting at the show was that aggregate producers will have to continue to wait for equipment to be made available. Most manufacturers, in fact, have backlogs that extend into 2024.

“I think the days of placing an order and having the unit in 12 or 14 weeks have gone away,” says Nate Russell, director of sales and business development at IRock Crushers, when visited at the company’s Central Hall booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center. “It’s all about pre-planning.”

Demand for equipment, at least, remains strong. Terex MPS’s Russ Burns sees that as a positive sign for the industry.

“There’s always some good stability when you have a backlog that stretches like most everybody’s does now,” says Burns, the sales director at Terex MPS whose company exhibited in the Silver Lot outside the convention center. “It gives you a better idea how to forecast. It gives you the ability to focus on the parts you need, compared to a year when a backlog isn’t as high.”

Russell, for one, has seen some improvements in equipment supply.



“The supply chain in Northern Ireland seems to be improving, so the lead times are getting better,” he says. “You’re seeing fewer delays.”

The supply environment is far from perfect, though.

“Conveyors are going to be an issue,” Russell says. “It seems to be tough to get conveyors.”

Burns has noticed other supply issues pop up.

“It’s now gotten to the point where it’s the little items,” he says. “Before, it was castings and some bigger items. Now, it’s items like seals and bearings that are more difficult to secure. This has caused us to focus more on orders sold than on machine inventory.”

Supply slowdowns, however, present equipment manufacturers with opportunities to focus on other parts of their business.

“When your supply chain slows, it becomes a balancing act of how much you’re sending to the aftermarket side of the business versus the production side, to make sure you’re keeping customers up and running and being fair to those who are expecting new machine deliveries,” Burns says. “Some repairs might be small, but one small thing could hold you for quite some time. Producing high tonnages every day is a big deal for the customer.”

Other supply dynamics

Nate Russell


The current supply environment presents equipment dealers with new opportunities, as well.

“Forecasting, pre-planning and pre-ordering – putting your name on things – actually helps distributors in the long-term,” Russell says. “It puts your manufacturer in a better place for buying and planning. For me, as director of sales of a manufacturing company, your distribution network better be pre-planning.”

Those who plan well ahead ultimately play a role in combating inflation, he adds.

“If you want to be cost-effective and try to bring down inflation, the only way to do that other than the Fed raising [interest] rates is to really pre-plan,” Russell says. “Get your manufacturers set up. If they know they need to build 100 units, then they know they need 100 of this and 100 of that. And they’re going to be more efficient. They’re going to be able to buy better.”

One thing ConExpo-Con/Agg reinforced to Burns is that producers are eager to find the right equipment for the jobs fueling demand for construction materials.

“This show proves people are looking outside the box for solutions,” he says.

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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

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