P&Q Profile: US Aggregates’ Mark Scott

By |  November 18, 2020
Mark Scott most recently served as plant manager at two US Aggregates sites, including the company's Thorntown Plant whose team is pictured here. Photo: US Aggregates

Mark Scott (far left) most recently served as plant manager at two US Aggregates sites, including the company’s Thorntown Plant whose crew is pictured here. Photo: US Aggregates

One area we wanted to ask you about is change. I’m sure running a loader nowadays is somewhat different than running one 40 years ago.

I loaded trucks for years and never had a scale. You got used to what things weighed, and you put it in your bucket and in the truck. Very few trucks ever came back to trim, just because I knew what things weighed.

The guys today, of course, rely heavily upon the scales. I understand that because you don’t want trucks coming back and trimming all the time. For me, the old Michigan 275 was run by the seat of your pants – by feel. In that way, things have changed for the operators. You don’t see guys going back and trimming now.

How about other industry changes, including the concept of efficiency. Is that something you heard a lot more about in recent years versus 40 years ago?

There’s a big emphasis on being efficient. When I came up from Plainfield to the Thorntown and Crawfordsville plants, I had around 10 guys at each plant. Now, we have about five or six at each plant, but we do more tons.

We’ve made changes to our plants and made them more efficient. We changed equipment and it is more efficient. And we’ve been able to downsize with our workforce and produce equal or more tons. But that’s been the hardest part of it – the human element.

You can make machines as efficient as you want them to be, but you still have guys out there operating. Sometimes, we put a lot of hours on these guys and demand a lot more of them than what we used to. But, in the same right, they’re also running newer equipment.

Running the old equipment like I used to run was a [physical] chore. The guys working with equipment now are moving their wrist on their joystick. That makes a really big difference.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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