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The 2018 industry stories you loved

By |  December 5, 2018
The top 20 sand and gravel producers in the nation accounted for nearly 270 million metric tons in 2016, USGS reports. Photo: Kevin Yanik

The top 20 sand and gravel producers in the nation accounted for nearly 270 million metric tons in 2016, USGS reports. Photo: Kevin Yanik

Pit & Quarry readers enjoy a good mix of articles.

Many of you keep up with aggregate industry news at PitandQuarry.com, where you also gravitate toward the feature stories we publish on your peers and their operations.

At P&Q, analytics give us the ability to see which articles you’re interested in the most. We pored over the data for 2018 and developed the top 10 list presented here for you to peruse.

This list contains a healthy combination of news and feature stories on aggregate producers and equipment manufacturers who made big announcements or changes in their businesses this year. You can explore each of the top 10 articles online by visiting the URL following these brief summaries.

The top 10

1. USGS reveals the nation’s top crushed stone, sand and gravel producers.

P&Q readers show interest in the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) top producer lists every year, and 2018 is no different. USGS produced separate lists highlighting the 20 top crushed stone and sand and gravel producers based on their 2016 production. The lists revealed the total combined production of the top crushed stone producers (743 million metric tons) and sand and gravel producers (269 million metric tons). Vulcan Materials tops the crushed stone producers list this year while CRH Americas heads the sand and gravel producers list.

Luck Stone chief UAV pilot Eric Warinner, seen preparing to launch the eBee RTK, took P&Q readers into his world earlier this year by sharing his experience on the front lines. Photo courtesy of Barrett Dixon Bell

Luck Stone chief UAV pilot Eric Warinner, seen preparing to launch the eBee RTK, took P&Q readers into his world earlier this year by sharing his experience on the front lines. Photo courtesy of Barrett Dixon Bell

2. Former Cemex USA president joins Summit Materials.

This was one of the first announcements published on PitandQuarry.com in 2018, and it garnered a lot of interest because of who the hire was. Karl Watson Jr. joined Summit as its executive vice president and COO, effective Jan. 8, succeeding former Summit president Douglas Rauh.

3. Luck Stone covering new ground with drone tech.

New technology is always of interest to aggregate producers, and drones are no exception. This P&Q feature story, authored by Luck Stone’s Eric Warinner and appearing in the August 2018 edition of the magazine, was one of our most-read online stories of the year. Warinner, the chief UAV pilot at Luck Stone, shared the family-owned company’s experience thus far with drones across more than 25 sites, from South Carolina to Maryland.

4. McCloskey acquires Lippmann-Milwaukee.

McCloskey International also earns a top spot on P&Q’s top 10 list with its acquisition of Lippmann-Milwaukee, a privately held company that manufactures aggregate crushing equipment for processing applications. McCloskey’s John O’Neill also offered some exclusive transaction analysis, which drew some additional attention.

5. Martin Marietta-Bluegrass officially a done deal.

Of interest since it was first announced in June 2017, Martin Marietta’s acquisition of Bluegrass Materials – one of the largest privately-held aggregate producers in the United States – was finally completed in April of this year. In an analysis piece published in 2017, FMI Capital Advisors’ George Reddin offered insights on the acquisition and noted how it could impact small- to medium-sized businesses.

6. Sand and gravel company willing to build border wall.

Fisher Sand & Gravel made headlines when it told the Department of Homeland Security it would be willing to build the 700-mile-long Trump border wall for $12.2 billion. An article covering this announcement, published in January 2018, offered the thoughts of company president Tommy Fisher and the construction partners he secured.

7. Summit Materials continues on the acquisition path.

Only a handful of companies can say they’ve made seven acquisitions in one year. Summit’s continuous merger-and-acquisition activity secures the company a spot in P&Q’s top 10 list. One recent article explores a few of Summit’s latest acquisitions – in Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri – as well as future expansion plans.

Carmeuse’s Port Inland operation in Gulliver, Michigan, was the site of a unique project with historic equipment that was ultimately replaced by drum motors. Photo courtesy of Matt Lepp

Carmeuse’s Port Inland operation in Gulliver, Michigan, was the site of a unique project with historic equipment that was ultimately replaced by drum motors. Photo courtesy of Matt Lepp

8. Looking ahead to autonomous hauling.

Want to be a leader when it comes to adopting new technology? One way to stay on the cutting edge is by keeping up with the latest in autonomous equipment. Autonomous tech is top of mind across a number of industries, and the mining industry is coming along with it as well. In a May 2018 feature story, P&Q Managing Editor Zach Mentz offered an overview of autonomous hauling equipment, including advancements made by companies like Komatsu and Volvo Construction Equipment.

9. High demand for frac sand.

The frac sand market is booming this year, and Mentz took us inside the frac sand world with a September 2018 feature exploring what’s driving the market, as well as what the next several years may bring.

10. Carmeuse completes a modernization project.

P&Q Editor-in-Chief Kevin Yanik shared Carmeuse’s unique journey in our January 2018 edition, exploring how the company achieved greater efficiencies by replacing its old gear drives and an electric system.


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