Manufacturers optimistic for 2023 despite challenges

By |  January 3, 2023
Equipment manufacturers have an overall positive outlook for 2023, though some challenges from last year will persist. Photo: Juan-Enrique/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Equipment manufacturers have an overall positive outlook for 2023, though some challenges from last year will persist. Photo: Juan-Enrique/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

For those with a stake in the aggregate industry, 2022 was largely a bountiful and successful year.

Concerns remain, however, as 2023 gets underway.

Businesses prospered in the face of challenges related to pricing, the supply chain issues and the workforce. But even as uncertainty lingers, equipment manufacturers, for one, remain optimistic about the year ahead.

Nate Russell, director of sales and business development at IRock Crushers, is optimistic about 2023. While interest rates are up and the residential sector is slowing, he says infrastructure repair remains a need nationwide. Russell hopes Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) funds bolster the construction industry this year.

“With $59.9 billion being released in 2023 [through the IIJA], there will be plenty of work in our industry,” he says.

Russell also expects lead times to improve this year, and improvements there should alleviate other issues.

“As the supply chain continues to improve lead times, I predict equipment shortages should also improve, resulting in a cost balance,” Russell says.

Johnnie Garrison


Johnnie Garrison, vice president of sales at Superior Industries, also looks forward to the next 12 months.

“Our backlog is significant, and we’ll be working hard in 2023 to tackle all the work,” he says. “In the meantime, we’re anticipating more growth [in 2023].

“These are boom times for most manufacturers of aggregate processing equipment,” Garrison adds. “While the ride has been wild, we’re also having a lot of fun and learning new things we can do to improve the experience for our customers every single day.”

Issues to address

Still, headwinds remain. Paramount among ongoing challenges is the shortage of skilled labor industrywide.

Alex Kanaris, president of VDG (Van der Graaf), points to the worker shortage as a hurdle his company is trying to overcome. Having dealt with a shortage of workers since the start of the pandemic, Kanaris hopes dynamics like remote work subside in the coming years.

In the meantime, Kanaris says VDG has taken steps to counteract workforce challenges.

Headshot: Alex Kanaris, Van der Graaf


“It may be possible that a long-term recession might help to remedy this issue,” Kanaris says. “This issue has put a strain on our manufacturing plant operations. VDG has expanded its manufacturing automation and invested further in new robotic technologies to overcome the workforce shortage.”

The worker shortage is impacting Screen Machine Industries, as well. Dave Stewart, director of marketing at Screen Machine, says his company struggles to find and retain reliable employees at both the manufacturer and dealer levels.

Because of this, Screen Machine, like many other manufacturers, is forced to adjust its planning.

“Production planning has become very fluid out of necessity as we encounter extended delivery times on componentry – especially engines,” Stewart says. “But we also have seen spot availability on pumps and electrical items and a number of other vital parts. All this combines to make predicting and planning for the year ahead extremely difficult.”

According to Stewart, Screen Machine and its dealers found common ground in their year-end and year-ahead planning sessions. Positive themes that were discussed at meetings were that both construction activity and demand for machinery are strong.

Despite those developments, Screen Machine and its dealers are aware of the challenges the new year might bring.

Avatar photo

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

Comments are closed