FIRST LOOK – May 2023


Caterpillar, Luck Stone in Autonomous Collaboration 
Luck Stone’s and Caterpillar’s partnership on autonomous hauling goes back at least to the 1990s, Charlie Luck, president and CEO of Luck Companies, told Rock Products.

Heidelberg Materials Acquires RMS Gravel
Heidelberg Materials announced that it has acquired all operating assets and reserves of RMS Gravel Inc., a producer of high-quality sand and gravel products located in the Central New York market.

New Capital Source for Aggregates Producers 
Rock Products reached out to Tim Oitzman, founder of Greystone Group, a firm that has deep experience structuring reserve transactions with many of the largest aggregate producers.

An estimated 361 million metric tons (Mt) of crushed stone was produced and shipped for consumption in the fourth quarter of 2022, a decrease of 7% compared with that of the same period of 2021, according to Jason Christopher Willett, commodity specialist at the U.S. Geological Survey. The estimated production for consumption of crushed stone in the fourth quarter of 2022 decreased in seven of the nine geographic divisions compared with that sold or used in the fourth quarter of 2021. The estimated annual output of crushed stone produced for consumption in 2022 was 1.50 billion metric tons, unchanged from that of 2021.

Women in Aggregates is a new group dedicated to supporting women working in the aggregates industry. The Mission Statement of the group is: “To create a supportive space for women that fosters leadership growth, networking opportunities and advocacy of the aggregate industry.” Membership in Women in Aggregates is open to any woman working in, or working in support of, the aggregates industry, including producers, manufacturers and distributors; and marketing, advertising or public relations professionals. Interested parties can go to to join the mailing list and to stay apprised of future developments, meetings, events and other communications from the group. There is also a LinkedIn discussion page

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, construction spending during February 2023 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,844.1 billion, 0.1% (±0.7%) below the revised January estimate of $1,845.4 billion. The February figure is 5.2% (±1.2%) above the February 2022 estimate of $1,753.1 billion.

Single-family housing production showed signs of a gradual upturn in March as stabilizing mortgage rates and limited existing inventory helped to offset stubbornly high construction costs, building labor shortages and tightening credit conditions, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Total construction starts increased 19% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.09 trillion, according to Dodge Construction Network. During the month, nonresidential starts rose 33%, nonbuilding starts increased 17%, and residential starts moved 5% higher. 

MSHA is reporting that since 2018, there have been seven fatalities involving miners operating personnel carriers. These accidents could have been prevented if mine operators had adequate procedures in place to ensure safe travel of personnel carriers; maintained braking systems; and trained miners on the safe operation of personnel carriers. MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident:

  • Maintain steering and braking components.
  • Conduct adequate pre-operational inspections of mobile equipment. Correct any defects affecting safety before operating mobile equipment.
  • Tag out and remove equipment from service when defects affecting safety are found that cannot be corrected.
  • Maintain roadways free of debris, excessive water, mud, and other conditions that impact an equipment operator’s ability to control mobile equipment.
  • Operate mobile equipment at speeds that are consistent with the type of equipment, roadway conditions, grades, clearances, visibility.
  • Task train miners on personnel carrier safety.


4/19/2023: $79.16/barrel, down $4.10 from week earlier; down $23.40 from year earlier.

4/17/2023: $4.116/gal., up $0.018 from week ago, down $0.985 from year ago.

1/20/23: Average price to industrial customers 8.30 cents/kilowatt hour; up from 7.30 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

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