P&Q Profile: IRock Crushers’ Fred Gross

By |  March 6, 2019
Headshot: Fred Gross, IRock Crushers


Industry veteran Fred Gross discusses the latest chapter of his career, what’s next at IRock Crushers, equipment sales activity and portable plant trends.

You joined IRock in 2018 as director of sales and business development. What attracted you to this opportunity?

I’ve been in this business since 1979. I’ve worked for all of the major manufacturers, and I’ve been fortunate to have the ability to grow some business with big and small companies. When IRock recruited me, I was very attracted for a couple of reasons: the phenomenal opportunity for growth based on state-of-the-art manufacturing outside of Cleveland and our tremendous ownership. Our owner (Ken Taylor) is very well capitalized and has a strong commitment to grow this business.

What has been your focus in your first months at IRock?

Building our distributor network up. Getting the correct dealers. We already hired one new regional sales manager – it’s bringing in the right people for the market. We’re going to have a dual focus on portable plants [with] rubber tire plants and track plants.

Are there any equipment developments in the works?

We’re going to make improvements with current products but also offer up some new product offerings that we will be launching at AGG1, both on the track side of the business and on the rubber tire side.

What sort of sales activity are you seeing in portable plants at the moment? What are your sales expectations for 2019?

Gross joined IRock Crushers in 2018. Photo courtesy of IRock

Gross joined IRock Crushers in 2018. Photo courtesy of IRock

It’s been extremely healthy. The recycle market has consumed the most demand for portable plants in the United States. For a while it was track, track, track. Now, we’re seeing interest from our customers and distributors in all-electric. That’s new within the last 12 to 15 months. Our next step is to make the conversion so we can make diesel-electric.

Are the more traditional aggregate producers getting involved in recycling?

The process is drawn out to get new pits, and aggregate producers are also looking to branch out so they have more sources of finished product. I think this trend is going to be here for three or four more years.

What is the future of diesel and electric in portable plants?

I think both will exist. Right now I see more of a focus on electric, but the diesel portable plants are not going to disappear. If we eliminate diesel power, our country comes to a screeching halt.

How is plant automation/control changing the way portable plant operators function?

It’s driven by the fact that there’s a shortage of labor. These plants have to be highly automated, and the automation has to be easy for people to understand.

Five Things

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED – God gave us two ears and one mouth so as to listen twice as much as talk

SPORTS – Colorado Buffaloes

HOBBIES – Hiking in the mountains, concerts and anything outdoors in Colorado where we have 310 sunny days a year

TRAVEL SPOT – Maui and northern California where our daughters live

LAST BOOK READ – “Play On: Now, Then, and Fleetwood Mac”

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