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P&Q Profile: Belt Tech’s Jordan Russell

By |  May 18, 2020
Russell

Russell

Having climbed the ranks of his family company, Belt Tech Industrial CEO Jordan Russell is excited about new aspects of his business and remains optimistic about the months ahead for the aggregate industry.

How did you get your start in the aggregate/mining equipment industry?

My dad and uncle started Belt Tech Industrial in 1991. My dad was a coal miner for a decade or so, and my uncle owned a farm. They mortgaged the farm to finance the operation. I grew up around the business, where I swept floors and did odd jobs as a kid and, eventually, started vulcanizing conveyor belts in underground coal mines. From there, I was able to work in other areas of the business over the years and get a lot of valuable training.

What are some of your direct responsibilities as CEO?

I share a lot of responsibilities with my business partner, our COO. I manage our corporate department heads, including finance, human relations, safety, purchasing, business development, marketing and operations. Also, developing new business opportunities and looking at new areas for growth are a big part of what I try to focus on. Every day is different and something new, it seems, so problem-solving is really at the core. Some days, you just try to keep the wheels from falling off.

What’s new at Belt Tech these days, and what does the future hold?

There are several aspects of our business that are relatively new. Historically, we have been a conveyor solutions company, but have transitioned into a full-line equipment dealer. We have the ability to sell and service conveying, crushing, screening and washing equipment, and to complete turnkey construction projects.

We have also opened a service branch in Oklahoma City that services the Oklahoma and Texas markets. Also, we are currently opening an operation in the Nashville, Tennessee, area that will be fully stocked and have our full field service capabilities available.

Photo: Belt Tech

Jordan Russell says Belt Tech continues to see strong sales to the aggregate industry. Photo: Belt Tech

How has your company adjusted throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Working through the COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges. Many of our people are working from home. We are striving to protect our service and sales personnel as they are still traveling. We are also making an effort to manage customer relationships when many companies are not allowing vendors on site.

Do you notice any changes or trends in how aggregate producers approach and purchase equipment these days?

In the current COVID-19 environment, capital expenditures have been mostly frozen in the short term. Rental purchase option requests have increased, as producers seem to want a more short-term commitment – until we all see how the long-term economy is affected.

Fortunately, we continue to see strong sales of aggregates out of the quarries, so the demand is still there. We are predicting once things open up, the capex funds will be released and it will be a mad rush to spend in this calendar year.

Despite obvious challenges, what 2020 opportunities are you most excited for – both for your business and the industry as a whole?

I am excited to see the growth in the newer segments of our business. I am also excited and cautiously optimistic to see if things in general get back to normal for the second half of the year. If so, I believe the industry in general will be in good shape moving into 2021.


FIVE THINGS

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED – Treat others how you want to be treated, and treat employees like people – not numbers 

HOBBIES – Golf, playing music and volunteer work

TRAVEL – Kauai, Hawaii, and Harbour Island, Bahamas

SPORTS – Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Hoosiers

BOOKS – “Good to Great,” “Scaling Up” and the Bible


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