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P&Q Profile: Martin Stone Quarries’ Rod Martin

By |  January 28, 2022
Photo: Rod Martin

Martin

How did aggregate producers perform within Pennsylvania in 2021, and what’s expected in the Keystone State in 2022? Rod Martin, owner of Martin Stone Quarries in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, offers his insights.

How would you characterize last year for Martin Stone Quarries and the aggregate industry in your state?

2021 was a very good year. We’re located in southeast Pennsylvania. In our portion of the state, everything was busy throughout the entire year and in all market segments we deal in – residential, highway, commercial. It was busier than [2020].

Volumes are up, pricing was up and pricing continues to go up. It needs to go up with all of the inputs into our products [seeing] prices go up. We just keep raising our costs to match those prices.

In the western part of [Pennsylvania], they are saying blacktop tonnages are down a little bit. But, overall in the entire state, I think aggregate producers had a pretty good year.

What types of price increases are you seeing at this point from your own vendors?

It’s pretty much if you want it, you have to put your order in. Then, just hope that you’ll get the equipment and that it doesn’t take too long.

We have pretty good relationships with all of our bigger vendors. When we lock in with the price, they’ll hold it unless something happens where it’s delayed six, eight months. But, for the most part, our established vendors have been able to hold the quoted price that they give us.

Photo: Rod Martin

After a busy 2021, Rod Martin and Martin Stone Quarries in Pennsylvania are anticipating 2022 to be just as busy, if not busier. Photo: Rod Martin

Do you expect some of that to carry into this year and stay awhile?

We’re not seeing the supply chain issues getting any better or at all. There are parts you go to order that you think are easy to get, and it [becomes] ‘you’ll get it when we get it, and we’re not sure when that’s going to be.’

It’s made our long-term planning a lot more important for the production side, making sure we have the parts we need for when a crusher or a component goes down so we have something to repair it right away. You can’t afford to sit, especially with the market the way it is. We can’t afford to be down for that long.

How would you sum up your feelings for the months ahead?

We’re very excited. We’re looking for 2022 to be as busy – if not busier – than 2021. We have our local customer, and then we have a customer base in South Jersey where there are a lot of asphalt plants. They’re all looking for a very busy year.

The hardest part is going to be getting the stone made and on the ground. The end of 2021 got very busy, so our inventories are going to be a lot lower going into winter than they usually are. We have a two-month winter shutdown to do maintenance, so once we come out of winter maintenance we’re going to pretty much be running two shifts right out the gate.

It’s going to be an exciting time. The sales department is excited. There are a lot of opportunities. The production department is a little nervous, but we’ll find ways to make it work.

I think that’s [the feeling] across the board. A lot of people in our market talk about adding production capacity just to meet the demand that’s out there.

With a highway bill coming in, the bigger metro areas are going to get a lot more work. They’ll be busier. We’re not really close to [Philadelphia], so we might not see a direct impact from the highway bill. But it’ll probably let us stretch our market a little bit because some of the metro guys will be more tied up supplying some of the big highway projects.


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