World of Concrete 2015 Exceeds Expecations Across Board

For the concrete construction industry it is the lollapooluza…the main event….the show you don’t want to miss this year.

Mon February 23, 2015 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

(L-R): Jeff Selander and Jerrod Marshall of H & M Precision Concrete LLC in Greenviulle, Ohio, learn about the New Wacker Neusom SW 28 skid steer from Jeff Little.
(L-R): Jeff Selander and Jerrod Marshall of H & M Precision Concrete LLC in Greenviulle, Ohio, learn about the New Wacker Neusom SW 28 skid steer from Jeff Little.
(L-R): Jeff Selander and Jerrod Marshall of H & M Precision Concrete LLC in Greenviulle, Ohio, learn about the New Wacker Neusom SW 28 skid steer from Jeff Little. Armando Salazar of Yes Indeed Concrete in Lubbock, Texas, is shown how easy it is to use the 1200 screed with the LBG (CombiForm), by Erin Crowe, Chicago Pneumatic marketing communications director. how easy it is to use the 1200 screed with the LBG (Comb MB America Inc. in Reno, Nev., demonstrates one of its many machine mounted, on-site, crushing buckets to show many of its attributes including recycling. Jeff Sharp (L), Allied, shows John Fauran, Full Moon Builders in Houston, Texas, the new Rammer 522 Hy-Ram hammer. (L-R): Warren Anderson of Case proudly displays the new Case TV380 skid steer to Bryant Irving and Robert Eames of Bryant Irving Construction in DeKalb, Ill. Andy Litvinchuk (L) of Americ Corp. in Vallejo, Calif., has been learning all about the new DL12-55 hi-lift from Jack Sabers of Manitou. (L-R): Remy Bourade of Manitou educates Edwin Reyes and Allen Krebs of Multiequipos in Guatemala about the all new MT 625 Hi-Lift. Les Hinz (L) of Tireboss Tire Pressure Controls now understands how the Vacuworks Octapad System works with the help of Randy Hayes, Vacuworx. Kyle Banston (L) of Caterpillar has been telling one of his dealers, Jay Johnson of Michigan CAT, all about the new Cat 938M loader. (L-R): Steve DePriest of Hyundai shows off the new HL 740-9A to Reese Hendricksen and Jason Becker of HYDAC Hydraulic Components. (L-R): Ivan Rivera and Joe Carey of Westec Inc. in Jerome, Idaho, listen to John Wilkinson of Terex describe all of the attributes of the  V230S skid steer with steel covered track. (L-R): Brian Hill of Doosan has the opportunity to show off the Doosan P184 air compressor and LSC light tower to Marla and Lance Howe of Full Circle Concrete Construction LLC in Cartersville, Ga. John Dice (L) of Topcon, demonstrates the X-63 excavator System to Ramon Martinez of the city of Yuma, Ariz. Nate Hall (L) of MultiQuip explains the workings of the HTXG6DF concrete finisher to  Warren Zimmerman of W.H. Zimmerman Construction in Penn Yan, N.Y. During a demonstration of the SP 25i slip-form paver, Erik Smydra (L) of Wirtgen explains the controls to Duane Blankenship of Bricon Inc. in Meridian, Idaho. Exhibitors spilled over to the Silver Lot at the World of Concrete Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Xtreme Manufacturing’s large display of telehandlers can be seen at the back of the lot. Forty staffers were on hand for Xtreme to handle the The Doosan booth was manned Wednesday morning by (L-R) Shane Reardon, product manager; Marcus Olson, wheel loader trainer; and Chad Roehrich, district sales manager. Yanmar representitives await the onrush of attendees early Wednesday. (L-R): Nathan Sampler, southeast regional sales manager; Chris Peach, northwest regional sales manager: and Jeff Pate, dealer development manager. Peter Franssen (L) of Jet City Equipment, Seattle, Wash., stopped by the Hyundai exhibit. Here is pictured with Shane Nugent, district sales manager of Hyundai, along with the 125 LCR-9A excavator. The Track-O, an electric mini-dozer from Movex Innovation was on display in the Central Hall. Pierre Nadeau (L), Movex account manager, and Jean-Yves Bacle, director of sales and marketing, explained how the Track-O’s size were beneficial in tight q Doug Fletcher (C), regional business manager of Liebherr, explains the features of the L538 loader to potential buyers. Steve Baldwin (L) of Baldwin Construction in Kedowa, British Columbia, learns about Topcon’s state of the art positioning products from Scott Langbein, Topcon director of marketing. Kevin Loomis (far R), Atlas Copco, takes the opportunity for a photo op with the Atlas Copco EC 155 hydraulic hammer and  (L) Jake Crum, Crum Trucking in Leteher, S. D., and Donald DeBoer of Mul-T-Rex in Mitchell, S.D. Amelia Pearce, global marketing director of Xtreme Manufacturing and Snorkel Lifts, was on hand to answer questions on the Snorkel S3219E. The Xtreme Manufacturing/Snorkel Lift exhibit had a constant crowd. Here, Scott Nicklas (far L), central region sales manager, explains the features of one of its lifts. Xtreme Manufacturing bills its XR7038 as the world’s largest telehandler. The machine was a central part of the company’s exhibit. Norman Halftof (L), CEO and Klaus Ertmer, president of Drumcutters of Apache Junction, Ariz., display their line of grinding and cutting attachments for excavators, such as this EK800 chain cutter. Russel Perry (L) of the Wirtgen group answers questions about the SP 15i slipform paver from Matthew Santorelli of Trisan Construction, Toronto, Ontario. James Nixon (far R), representative of the Wirtgen line in California of Nixon-Egli, catches up with (L-R) district sales managers Marty Burks and Steve Daigh, and Jeff Wiley, vice president of sales and marketing. Nixon-Egli sells Wirtgen products from l Ryan Mayfield (L) of R&M Construction, Ukiah, Calif., gets a feel for the Case 1150M dozer as Richie Snyder, territory sales manager of Case, takes his questions. (L-R): Gary Shiflet of Power Curber points out the attributes of the Power Curber 5100C to Eddie Campbell, Campbell Concrete in Georgetown, Ind., and Justin Bush of Austin, Ind. (L-R): Garrison Lorenz, a heavy equipment Diesel major and Tim Chad, a construction major, both of Pitt University in Wichita, Kan., stopped by the John Deere display to talk with Dustin Croft about the John Deere 26 G skid steer. Paul Daniel (L) of QUESCO in Phoenix, Ariz., was just given a presentation on the V1025 mini-excavator from David Morice of Yanmar America Corp. (L-R): Dariush Shafagh and Steve Schmidt of Side Tool Inc. in Eatonville, Wash., have just received a tour of the Kubota KX040-4 mini-excavator by Keith Rohrbacker of Kubota. (L-R): Jay and Matt Trulove of Trulove Construction in Berryville, Ark., have just finished a tour of the entire Gomaco Corp. display provided by Bryan Beck, Gomaco. Gus Armbruster, Chicago Pneumatic, demonstrates the Chicago Pneumatic 4133 3R 15 lb. chipping hammer that turns concrete into rubble.

For the concrete construction industry it is the lollapooluza…the main event….the show you don’t want to miss this year. World of Concrete 2015 (WOC), which was recently held in Las Vegas, was definitely a doozy — the largest it has been in six years.

World of Concrete 2015 exceeded the organizer’s expectations across the board. The signature event for the concrete industry drew 55,779 registered attendees, up from just over 48,000 in 2014. It featured 1,459 companies exhibiting across more than 675,000 net sq. ft. of space, an increase of more than 100,000 net sq. ft. from 2014. The show spanned across the three large halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center and filled the huge outdoor “front yard” parking lot with exhibits, tall cranes and large machines, and demonstration areas.

The show was impressive to see and foot-blistering to walk its entirety, but the real question is what can it tell us about market and economic expectations for 2015? Is the recovery real? What are the exhibitors and attendees saying?

With more than 35 years experience of industrial economic analysis, Ed Sullivan, chief economist and group vice president, for the Portland Cement Association (PCA) is known to offer a sober and accurate annual marketplace forecast. This Chicago Federal Reserve-honored economist was the feature speaker at the PCA press conference held at WOC.

“We have reason for optimism in 2015,” Sullivan said. “If you walk the aisles of World of Concrete today there is unprecedented, unbridled optimism that has been absent for a decade. And there are palpable reasons for this.”

Sullivan cited “Job creation, job creation and job creation!” as the three biggest factors fueling the current economic recovery. He went on to summarize that the following factors put things into context for the 2015 economic outlook:

• Job creation exceeds 3.0 million net new jobs 2015 to 2017, which results in stronger household formation.

• Strong job growth in context of sub-6 percent unemployment suggests pressure on wages.

• Consumer confidence/sentiment has improved significantly and will continue.

• Low oil prices add 20 to 30 basis points to economic growth. Although there may be regional disruptions among energy producing states.

• Inflation remains low, interest rates expected to only gradually increase, slower increases in home prices and stronger increases in rents.

• New home affordability remains favorable in absolute terms and against rents.

• Lending risks subside and lending standards ease.

• Economic recovery moving into higher growth phase in the years ahead.

Sullivan wasn’t the only one at WOC feeling rosy.

“We’re looking at perhaps ten percent growth this year and we’ll likely be purchasing additional equipment,” said contractor Mike Lipps, chief estimator/construction manager of Duit Construction Co. Inc., Edmond, Okla. “We’re hoping the highway bill passes — we’re ready to take advantage of the opportunities it will afford.”

Representatives of trade associations have good national perspectives by virtue of the diversity of their membership.

“We’re hearing good things for 2015,” said Gerald F. Voigt, P.E., president and CEO of the American Concrete Pavement Association. “We anticipate some strong geographic pockets and overall we’re hearing from our members nothing but good news regarding their business expectations for the year.”

Beverly Garnant, executive director of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, St. Louis, Mo., said, “An indicator for us that things are improving is an increase in members and higher attendance at the programs we offer. During the recession, contractors cut back, but now we’re seeing renewed interest in investing in their profession and their future. Our number of members is surpassing what it was prior to the recession.”

Manufacturers and service suppliers exhibiting at the show also reported positive expectations for the year.

“We have an early order program — our EOP — which is a good indicator of what our market will be doing for the year,” said Gregory S. Smith, marketing communications manager of Allied Construction Products LLC, Cleveland, Ohio. “We’ll have a better idea toward the end of February whether our initial sense that the market is improving can be confirmed once the early order results are solidified. Another indicator we look at are trade shows, like World of Concrete, which for this show seems to be indicating higher orders than last year’s show.”

For Steve Warfle, product manager of InSite Software Inc., a construction layout and GPS modeling software developer based in Rush, N.Y., the new business expectations for the year are very positive.

“We’re anticipating a record year in sales. The construction economy has improved and contractors are replacing their obsolete software.”

Going back to Ed Sullivan’s expectations for the year, he had some observations about housing starts — a traditional indicator of economic and construction industry growth.

Sullivan expects that a growing economy, rising household formations, low mortgage rates and pent-up demand will help single-family housing production to rev up in 2015 while a growth in renters will keep the starts mix trending toward multifamily. He expects new home prices to rise at rates above the inflation rate. He also anticipates that constraints to construction — such as labor shortages and project availability — are assumed to be temporary and will be fixed by the market.

World of Concrete 2015 was not only jam-packed with the latest equipment, ideas, and services, it also was filled with expectations and anticipation of an improved market.