July 1, 2008
by Therese Dunphy, Editor-in-Chief
How many of you have ever spent hours trying to pick the perfect name? Maybe it was for a start-up company, a new product, or a child. Picking a name is an important responsibility. Whoever and whatever is being named will go through its existence with that moniker; so it had better be a good one. While putting together this issue, I had a chance to review names – lots of them – and decided to share some of the interesting choices.
Several companies incorporated positive statements into their handles, albeit some more modestly than others. Consider, for example, Able Earth Extraction, Inc.; Riteway Gravel Co.; and Pretty Good Sand Co., Inc.
Others opted for their own names in the title. Based on the four sites they have in Minnehaha County, S.D., it appears that Myrl and Roy of Myrl & Roy’s Paving, Inc., are doing well in the local sand and gravel business.
Some producers showcased a sense of humor in their choices. For example Staker & Parson Co. chose “Ina Road Pit” to describe one of its sites. Rock River Ready Mix, Inc. makes a play on words with its “Prophet Pit,” while A&B Land Investments, Inc., takes a less-is-more approach with its “No Name Key Rock Pit.” The staff’s top pick for a fun name, however, is Roger Group, Inc.’s “Toadsuck Quarry.” That one may merit a plant visit.
Although creativity was key for some, others opted for a direct approach. For example, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. shares production information through the title of its Honolulu plant, “1500 TPH Portable Stone Quarry.” Halliday Sand & Gravel, Inc. paid tribute to equipment at its plants, including “#945 Cone Plant,” “6000 Cone Plant,” “Hewitt-Robins #1,” “Plant #2 Lippmann,” “Plant #3 Lippmann,” and “Plant #4 Lippmann.” A.E. McQuade & Sons, Inc. took that strategy one step further by including the crusher size at its plant, aptly called “Cedar Rapids 2236 Crusher.”
As much fun as it was to read through these titles, it was even more enjoyable to review the names of operations I’ve seen such as Ohio crushed stone operation #42, National Lime & Stone Co.’s Marion plant. I grew up down the road from that site and found it to be fascinating…talk about foreshadowing. Next was Ohio crushed stone operation #55, Lafarge North America, Inc.’s Marblehead Limestone Quarry. In 1991, it was the first aggregate operation I visited as an industry editor. And, I can’t forget Pennsylvania crushed stone operation #3, Valley Quarries, Inc.’s Gettysburg plant. The manager was a great sport when we wanted a specialized cover shot. He let our photographer outline one of the operation’s loaders with Christmas lights and take the night-time shot that graced the December 1998 cover.
While these are just a few of the operations that struck a cord, many more provoked fond memories. Throughout 18 years in this industry, I’ve been fortunate to meet hundreds of the wonderful people who comprise it. From my perspective, the industry’s best-named operation may be Lafarge North America’s Friendship Quarry.