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Remembering Bill Ford

RR091918 BillFordSept. 19, 2018 – It is with great sadness that the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) shares the news that William “Bill” Ford passed away on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, due to complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. I have been around the aggregates industry for almost 25 years, and I can tell you, Bill was a fine man, always willing to help wherever he was needed; a diligent advocate for the industry; and a good friend to the trade press. Ford joined the old National Stone Association in 1990 and served as NSSGA’s senior vice president by the time of his retirement in 2011. “Bill’s wisdom and leadership helped protect public safety and advance the goals of NSSGA’s members,” said Michael W. Johnson, NSSGA president and CEO. “On behalf of our association and the entire industry, we offer our sincerest condolences to Bill’s friends and family.”  

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Here Comes Florence

RR091218 hurricaneSept. 12, 2018 – Here comes Hurricane Florence, barreling its way toward the Carolinas. I asked Jasper (Jay) G. Stem Jr. P.E., executive director of the North Carolina Aggregates Association what was happening on his home turf. "I was visiting one of my members in the western part of the state yesterday," he said. "They were focused on shipping ABC so the contractors could get the subgrade covered and protect it from the rain. I believe most every quarry is experiencing the same thing." It looks like North Carolina will be spared the worst part of the storm. The always-changing forecast said that it will largely move across South Carolina. "With that said, our quarries and pits in the Wilmington area are going to take the worst part of the storm and will definitely be flooded," Stem said. "With the predicted heavy rains and damages to the roads, most of our members will be focused on supplying NCDOT with material after the storm departs." Here's hoping for the best for all aggregates producers in the path of the storm. 

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Drones and Aggregates Operations

RR090718 InterDrone iiSept. 6, 2018 – At this year's InterDrone show in Las Vegas, aggregates operations are in the spotlight. Industry experts on a panel discussed how data from drones is being used; how aggregates plants can optimize this data; and how plants are doing it. Rather than just capturing data, they’re seeing the data being used for accounting purposes to help drive profitability. Using drones for site planning is lagging way behind inventory management, the experts maintained. According to Jesse Stepler, from Measure – the Drone as a Service Company, how drones will interface with other robotics at plants is a question for the future. How far away are we from being able to use drones for monitoring performance of fixed assets at plants like crushers, screens, conveyors, etc.? Very realistic potential, according to Shaun Macintosh, solutions engineer at Propeller Aero.

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Superior Industries Holds Dealer Open House

RR082818 SuperiorAug. 28, 2018  – Superior Industries is holding its first dealer open house, called Ignite18, at its corporate headquarters in Morris, Minn. The aggregates equipment manufacturer has invited the trade press, and I am proud to take part. The event includes a keynote address by company President Jarrod Felton, special sessions on washing, screening and conveying, an equipment expo and a tour of the Hancock Concrete gravel pit in Glenwood, Minn.,to see Superior equipment in action. Congratulations to Mary Erholtz, John Garrison, Corey Poppe and the rest of the Superior team for a Superior event.

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Domino's Pizza is Fixing our Roads?

DominoesAugust 15, 2018 – We can't get the federal government to fix our infrastructure, so Domino's Pizza is doing it. Say what?

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