A Starting Point

According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), annual construction equipment expenditures by highway, bridge and other transportation contractors far outpace those of general building contractors. The nation’s transportation contractors spent over $2 billion in 2002 to purchase and rent construction equipment, accounting for 15.4 percent of annual construction sales and rentals.

The ARTBA report findings:
— The average highway or bridge contractor invested $258,000 in equipment purchases in 2002, more than twice the amount ($98,000) invested in such purchases by other heavy contractors and more than six times the amount ($40,100) spent by nonresidential general building contractors.

— The average highway or bridge contractor also spent approximately $201,000 to lease equipment in 1997, nearly three times the amount spent by other heavy contractors and more than six times that spent by nonresidential building contractors.

Even though much of the equipment required for asphalt production and paving, like plants, pavers, rollers and material transfer vehicles, are a bit pricey, asphalt producers and contractors are committed to investing in current technology because they realize the productivity, quality and profitability benefits those investments can provide.

If you’re a high-production, on-road asphalt paving contractor, chances are that 80 percent of your work is tied to government projects, which are generally let to the low bidder. And in order to efficiently execute a low-bid project, while delivering the quality expectations the respective agency demands, and doing so in a way that will generate a profit, having the right equipment is your only solution. So asphalt producers and contractors will continue to invest in current technology and continue to research emerging technology that will give them a competitive edge.

That’s where Asphalt Contractor’s Product Showcase 2005 comes into play. This year’s annual product showcase is designed to provide asphalt producers and contractors with a complete pictorial resource of innovative product solutions that will deliver a competitive edge. Last year’s product showcase not only generated more reader inquiries than any other issue published, it also generated more leads per product featured. Obviously contractors and producers are using the product guide throughout the year as a resource when searching for the right solution to their equipment needs.

We also conducted a recent survey asking asphalt producers and contractors if they use trade publications featuring product information when considering a product purchase. To our delight over 80 percent of them said they looked to trade publications like Asphalt Contractor to gather information that would help them evaluate equipment appropriate to their needs.

So, we hope this year’s product showcase will serve as a starting point in your search for innovative product solutions.

Greg Udelhofen, Editor