January 1, 2014
As you look across your equipment — both stationary and mobile — how does it look? Is it in good repair and sporting a fresh coat of paint or is it figuratively held together with duct tape and string? According to operators, there is probably a mix of each across the United States.
Through our 2013-14 Aggregates Manager Forecast Survey, we asked questions about plans for capital expenditures, as well as business ratings and production volumes (see the full story on page 22). This year’s results indicate that a growing percentage of operators are planning to invest in equipment. With 105 surveys returned, 25.7 percent of operators said they plan to increase capital expenditures this year, compared to 11.4 percent who said spending will decrease. The average forecast increase is 18.7 percent, while the average predicted decrease is 27.5 percent.
From a regional perspective, operators in the South (40 percent) were most likely to say they will increase spending, followed by the North Central (35.7 percent), West (23.8 percent), and Northeast (21.1 percent). Operators in the West were the most likely to indicate they will decrease spending (23.3 percent), followed by the Northeast (21.1 percent), North Central (21.1 percent), and South (11.5 percent).
There is no question that equipment with a high number of operating hours on it is at work in some aggregate operations throughout the United States. Quality used equipment is often snatched up. Engine emission requirements continue to tighten. Fortunately, as operators consider capital spending for the coming year, they have an excellent opportunity to refine their decision-making process.
ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014, to be held March 4-8 in Las Vegas, offers a unique opportunity to review equipment needs, personally inspect equipment, and ask manufacturers’ representatives — including sales and engineers — about how it can meet site-specific needs.
As you make plans to attend the show, keep an eye on www.aggman.com where we will report on equipment rollouts, exhibit highlights, and manufacturer events to make your capital expenditure plans a little easier to handle.
3 things I learned from this issue:
1. Many dump-point accidents are attributed to haul trucks backing at angle to the slope, page 17.
2. Midsize operators (3,000,001 to 5 million tons per year) reported the best business ratings for 2013, page 22.
3. MSHA can use subjective criteria rather than objective data as it interprets what constitutes a POV, page 30.