Though it proved a central topic of conversation, the coronavirus didn’t keep the crowds from coming to CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 in Las Vegas last month. And even the “split” exposition — with a separate Festival Grounds roughly a mile from the main convention center and the resulting logistical hurdles — didn’t dampen the enthusiasm radiating from both attendees and exhibitors. The halls and aisles were packed with construction industry professionals seeking the latest and greatest equipment, technology and services to help them build and manage their fleets and enhance the profitability of their operations.
While the pandemic did close the show a day early, those who braved the virus foretell an industry eager to grow and learn regardless of any obstacles Mother Nature may throw in the way. Construction backlogs leading up to the show were steady and much of that demand still exists. States were exempting construction firms from shutdowns (at least at the time I was writing this) and work continued to progress. And though the world experienced a momentary lull as nations across the globe grappled with containment, the construction sector in particular kept pushing ahead, carrying the burden of sustaining some semblance of U.S. economic activity.
It’s too early to know what lingering impacts the steps taken to contain the coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19 may have on global and U.S. economic growth long term, or how it might affect future project development. Opinions vary dramatically depending on which economist you read or talk to. But the need to learn ways to manage, maintain and even build your equipment fleet remains. The industry must continue to innovate in order to curb costs, enhance production and efficiency and find solutions to overcome the seemingly ever-present workforce shortages.
As CONEXPO-CON/AGG showed, solutions are available to help you accomplish all of these objectives, whether it’s through enhanced grade control systems, automation, electrification, robotics and/or equipment automation. You can get a glimpse of some of the solutions displayed within the pages of this issue, with more to be featured in the months ahead. Additional details on what we saw on the show floor can also be found at www.ForConstructionPros.com and on our sister site, www.OEMOffHighway.com.
Hopefully, by the time you read this the coronavirus will be a bad memory of a strange and interesting time in our history, and the U.S. and global economies will be on the upswing. Regardless, we’ll keep pushing forward to deliver the information you need to be successful long term. Feel free to reach out and let us know how we can help, as well as to keep us informed of what’s happening in your market area.