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The Pulse of the Show and the Industry

Thu March 19, 2020 - National Edition
David Daly – CEG Correspondent

During ConExpo-Con/AGG 2020 from Tuesday, March 10 through Friday, March 13 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, contractors from across the United States expressed pervasive optimism about the construction industry for 2020.

Construction Equipment Guide (CEG) spoke with contractors at the show to get their thoughts about the industry and ConExpo. We asked attendees about their outlook for the construction industry in 2020, why they attended ConExpo-Con/AGG 2020 and what specifically they were they were looking to learn more about or to purchase and what kind of work they do.

Many were looking to see exhibitors both large and small with an eye on new technologies.

"We see business increasing a lot in 2020 … especially for our company in Hawaii," said both Mark Na'auao and Jaime Galam of Na'auao Traffic Control, Wailuku, Hawaii. "Even though there are not a lot of traffic control companies exhibiting here, we have attended the last three shows and enjoy seeing what's new. Our company works in traffic control and provides services for all types of projects and events. We are excited to see Volvo and their Gold Rush booth but love seeing everything that is developing in the industry."

Gregory Nible of Ruach Resources, Tioga, N.D., said simply that his boss thought that attending the show was invaluable.

"I'm here to see the trucks on display for the most part," he said. "Our outlook as a company is very positive. Flaring rules in North Dakota keep us busy. I provide ready mix and crushed rock."

Mike Griffith of Griffith Excavating Inc., Baker, Mont., said, "We brought some of our new guys to see the show, and what the industry has to offer, especially the smaller companies you don't always hear about. We mostly work in the oil and gas sector in site construction but build some commercial and residential properties, too. I wanted to see Deere and Bobcat. We usually trade up after 1,000 hours, so we'll see what the show has to offer."

Dragan Dabizljevic of Rilco Inc., Rock Island, Ill., said "2020 looks great. The economy is good, and it's good to see small companies at the show. I'm here because this is where my customers are. I am always looking for new leads. We deal in lubricant sales and equipment reliability services."

Ralph Cotterman of Hills Machinery Company, North Charleston, S.C., said "It will be a good year, and we should see continued growth. I came to the show to see what we can add to our product line. There are several companies I came to see such as Eagle, Edge and Case."

Jonathan Gordon of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Sterling, Va., said that 2020 is looking positive for his organization's sector. "I'm here for the multitude of equipment on display. My primary focus is in fleet management and I want to see Cat and Thunder Creek."

Ethan Courter of the Walbec Group, Waukesha, Wis., said "It looks like a good year, similar to last year. It's my first trade show and I am here to learn. I handle pit and quarry paving and I'm here to see it all."

While it is still too early to know for sure, if ConExpo attendees are correct, the industry is in for another great year. With well-established companies looking as strong as ever at the show and many smaller companies showcasing new technologies, the outlook for 2020 looks promising. Even as concerns over economic reactions to COVID-19 rise, the construction industry will hopefully remain solid and continue to grow. CEG

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