April 12, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to hit all markets hard, but especially the aggregate market and construction industry. In 2021, we summarized the market for the first two quarters and predicted how the third and fourth quarters would turn out. While COVID remains a constant factor in the fluctuation of the supply chain and global markets, industry experts are optimistic that the changing economy and less pandemic restrictions will contribute to immense growth throughout 2022.
According to a news release published by ABC in December 2021, U.S. construction had only recovered about 90% of the jobs that were lost earlier in the pandemic. This number continues to remain pretty static, especially with a lot of workers retiring or deciding to pursue more remote-based jobs. However, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has shown rising interest in jobs and positive statistics, so Quarter 1 has overall been successful, especially when compared to 2020 or 2021.
In Texas specifically, the Texas Department of Transportation has a list of priorities over the next decade, one of which is the Buffalo Gap Road project. This project was slated to begin at the beginning of the first quarter and is expected to last two years. In addition, the I-35 project that began in 2021 has remained a priority this year.
As we’re in the middle of Quarter 2, we are in a unique position of seeing how far we’ve already come while also looking to the future. Even though business is booming in the Texan construction industry, contractors continue to have difficulty hiring new teams. There have also been higher prices for materials like lumber, copper, steel, aluminum, and concrete, as well as transportation for products. In addition, supply chain issues, particularly with trucking, will continue to be present, but they are not as prevalent as they were a year ago.
While continued issues may cause some projects to be delayed or cancelled, there is overall a positive outlook for the rest of 2022 and the years to come. 2022 has already been a busy year for the construction industry, perhaps due to the fact that increasing construction projects could prove essential to helping the economy recover. From late 2021, ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator was 8.4 months in November, leaving plenty of projects for the construction industry to tackle this year.
In the second half of 2022, supply chain issues are expected to significantly improve, allowing constructions projects to get back on a more stable track. Some national initiatives to improve the supply chain were put in motion, or at least discussed, back in 2021. For example, some proposed ideas were implementing a tariff relief for construction materials and waiving hours-of-service rules to help better manage freight backlogs. As the state and national economies continue to improve, we can look forward to about a 6% increase in construction starts compared to 2021.
Looking to the last quarter of 2022, transportation projects take the lead. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that was passed in November 2021 includes over $35 billion in funding for projects in Texas over the course of the next five years, and the main focus is on repairing highways and bridges. Other plans include transportation safety programs, public transportation, airports, and EV charging ports.
In addition, the residential and commercial industry in particular is sure to stay healthy after showing an increase in 2021, especially in major cities like San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and Fort Worth. There is a rising demand for stone in residential and commercial projects, allowing the aggregate market to flourish. There is also a strong demand for housing and development, and this demand will continue to grow as construction companies recover from COVID and expand operations. Almost 900,000 square feet of new office space is planned for this year, and over 4.9 million square feet of industrial projects are also expected in the future. 2 million square feet of projects should be completed by the end of 2022.
In 2021, U.S. economic growth slowed across the board, and the supply chain still struggled to recover from the difficulties of the beginning of the pandemic. 2022 is looking more optimistic economically, but in particular within the construction industry. While most construction projects in Texas have not yet reached completion, there are many plans in place for the building of bridges, roads, schools, and residential and commercial sites, which bode well for growth throughout the rest of the year.
While there are still many unknown factors about the pandemic and how it could impact construction growth in the future, the statistics and general economy point to recovery at the state, national, and global levels. By 2030, the construction industry is predicted to reach $15.2 trillion, which is a 42% increase from 2020. All in all, we should see some positive effects that result from the flourishing Texas aggregate market. These include more jobs, lower vacancy rates in residential and office buildings, and rent growth. With the market already booming and the supply chain working toward recovery, we should see continued positive statistics for the rest of 2022.
An end dumps carry weight depends heavily on the specific road regulations, the power unit weight, and the composition of the trailer. A steel trailer, typically referred to as a Round Bottom, will be heavier and will have a payload of approximately 21 to 23 tons. By contrast, an aluminum end dump is much lighter and can carry anywhere from 23-28 tons, with some set-ups being able to approach 30-ton payloads.
End dumps are typically loaded by heavy machinery, such as a front-end loader or excavator, or by a series of conveyor belts. End dumps are top load trailers. An owner-operator with an end dump trailer will uncover the trailer via an electric tarp switch in the cab. With the trailer uncovered, the heavy machinery is free to load from the top of the trailer, being careful to evenly distribute the material. Once loaded, the owner-operator flips the tarp switch, covers the load, and continues their run.
There are several different types of hydraulic lifts that are usually part of dump trailers. These include telescopic, dual-piston, and scissor lifts, among others. Most dump trailers use hydraulics to automatically lift the dump box and unload the materials in a quick, seamless action.
An end dump is an excellent investment for owner operators or construction companies that transport bulk aggregate on a frequent basis. Depending on your needs, a steel or aluminum end dump will ensure that you are able to reliable keep your customers jobsites and stockpiles full.
Depending on market timing, a typical aluminum end dump will range between $15,000 to $70,000+, with steel round bottoms priced around $10,000-$50,000+. These trailers are also offered for rent or lease, with trailers available for around $850-$2,000 per month. When renting or leasing, it is typical for all repairs to be the responsibility of the renting owner operator.
Flex base can be an excellent choice for a driveway but is not often used as a primary input in TXDOT construction. Flex base is best suited for farm roads, driveways, RV pads, and for other foundations that will not receive heavy traffic. Flex base is cheaper than most alternative options, such as asphalt or base that meets TXDOT specifications. Additionally, once set and compacted, a flex base road or driveway is cheaper and easier to maintain.
Yes, road base and flex base are the same material family. That said, the differentiating factor is typically the testing results of each material. When shopping for material, it is important to identify exactly what type of material you are buying. Retailers will categorize Base as a broad category and can leave identification to consumers, which is challenging and confusing. In general, if a retailer is selling a Road Base it can be assumed that the material is of higher construction quality than flex base, meaning it will have a wider range of approved uses. However, some vendors will sell Flex Base as a Road Base; this makes it important to understand if the material you are purchasing is a true Flex Base, is ‘Spec 247’, or is TXDOT approved. With each increase in quality comes an increase in cost, so it is important to identify which material will best suit the needs of your project.
Flex Base is a mixture of loose aggregate and coarse aggregate, can be a wide range of color based on source location, and is composed of materials ranging from dirt to rock that are 1”-3” in size. Most Flex Base, particularly around Central Texas, will range from tan to brown, will consist of a dirt material and rocks that range from 1” to 2” in diameter. There are specialty materials that will include rocks up to 3” in size, but these are typically reserved for heavy construction projects.
Yes, PUG Base is suitable for both residential and commercial applications. Its versatility allows it to be used in a wide range of projects, including residential homes, commercial buildings, and even infrastructure projects. Its properties, such as strength, durability, and water resistance, make it an excellent choice for various construction applications.
PUG Base generally does not require any special maintenance. However, regular cleaning and inspection are recommended to ensure its longevity. Additionally, addressing any cracks or damage promptly and applying sealants as needed can help maintain its performance and durability.
PUG Base is not typically recycled or reused in its original form. However, it can be crushed and used as a base or sub-base material in future construction projects. Additionally, some recycling facilities may have processes in place to extract and repurpose certain components of PUG Base for other applications.
Yes, there are environmental benefits to using PUG Base. PUG Base is typically made from natural materials, reducing the need for extraction of non-renewable resources. It also has a lower carbon footprint compared to materials like concrete, as the production process of PUG Base emits fewer greenhouse gasses.
Yes, PUG Base can be customized to meet specific project requirements. It can be mixed with various additives or stabilizers to enhance certain properties such as strength, flexibility, or water resistance. The proportions of the materials can also be adjusted to achieve the desired consistency and performance for a particular project.
PUG Base can be suitable for areas with extreme weather conditions when properly installed and maintained. Its low permeability helps resist water damage and freeze-thaw cycles, making it suitable for areas with cold climates. However, it is important to consider factors like drainage, slope, and appropriate surface treatments to ensure optimal performance in areas with heavy rainfall or other extreme weather conditions.
Yes, PUG Base can be used for various applications beyond roads and driveways. It is commonly used as a base material for pathways, sidewalks, parking lots, and even as a foundation for buildings. Its strength, stability, and durability make it a versatile choice for a range of construction projects where a solid base is required.
Yes, the use of PUG Base in construction projects is often governed by local regulations and standards. These regulations may specify requirements for material composition, compaction methods, thickness guidelines, and quality control measures to ensure the safe and reliable use of PUG Base in construction applications.
Yes, there are specific considerations for preparing the site before installing PUG Base. The site should be properly excavated, removing any organic material, debris, or unsuitable soil. The subgrade should be compacted and leveled to provide a stable base for the PUG Base material, ensuring proper drainage and preventing future settlement issues.
A freight brokerage acts as a valuable intermediary in the transportation industry, connecting customers with qualified owner-operators to move cargo between locations. In Texas, a reputable freight broker will market your cargo to carriers, ensuring competitive pricing and service. They handle all logistics, ensuring your cargo is transported efficiently on a flatbed tractor-trailer. By leveraging their expertise, you can enjoy convenience and peace of mind knowing that your cargo is being transported according to your preferences.
Experienced freight brokerages have a vast network of equipment at their disposal, allowing them to handle a wide range of freight, including heavy hauls and other specialty loads. They can facilitate the transportation of various items, from construction and landscaping materials to farming vehicles and equipment. Additionally, freight brokers can handle dry and refrigerated goods, hazardous materials, live animals, and virtually anything else you need to move from point A to point B.
Some of the benefits that come with hiring a freight brokerage include expertise and someone to take care of the logistics of finding the right carrier to handle your flatbed cargo. Brokerage agreements allow you to sit back while brokers handle permits, insurance, negotiating rates, and other paperwork. In addition, brokers provide advice to help you navigate the complexities of shipping.
Several aspects influence the cost of transporting your cargo on a flatbed trailer truck, including distance, weight, size, type, and market conditions. Based on these factors, a freight brokerage will provide you with a quote, though the ultimate cost may fluctuate depending on the actual weight and size of the cargo, as well as any special pick-up, delivery, or handling instructions.
To track your cargo during transport on a flatbed, you can contact the drivers assigned to your shipment for updates. Unfortunately, if there are no tracking capabilities available, direct communication with the drivers remains the primary method of tracking your cargo's progress and obtaining status updates.
A quarry is a type of mine called an open pit mine, which is open to the earth’s surface rather than situated below the ground. Quarries, Texas quarries in particular, are used to extract raw materials such as rocks, dirt, and sand that will be repurposed into building materials.
Quarry direct trucking streamlines the delivery process to bring you the materials you need, where you need them, when you need them. The three options for direct trucking include pit-to-plant, pit-to-job site, and pit-to-consumer.
The Austin and Waco quarries boast an impressive range of high-quality aggregate materials. The main materials found are river rock, limestone, granite, and recycled materials. The specific materials are offering in the following popular formats: Flex Base, State Spec Road Base, Screened Rock, #57 Rock, Bull Rock, Rip Rap, Concrete Sand, Washed Sand, Masonry Sand, Manufactured Sand, Select Fill, Common Fill, Top Soil, Pit Run, Recycled Concrete and Asphalt Millings. These aggregates encompass diverse varieties like limestone, river rock, granite, sand, fill dirt, topsoil, recycled concrete, and recycled asphalt, catering to a wide array of construction needs.
Some of the major industries which rely on materials produced in quarries include construction, transportation, and manufacturing. Aggregates such as sand, gravel, and rock are used to build roads, pathways, gardens, and runways, as well as buildings and their foundations. Certain quarries also produce minerals like clay and sand which are used in various manufacturing processes.
With all the extractions that happen at quarries in Texas, environmental and safety concerns include pollution, erosion, and worker safety. The most common forms of pollution are noise, water, and dust/air pollution, and quarry operations can also erode the soil, which affects local wildlife populations and water quality. Finally, workers may be put at risk because of the heavy machinery and blasting involved, or by being exposed to pollution and hazardous materials which can lead to health problems. However, quarry operators implement various sustainable measures, such as reclamation plans and water conservation, to mitigate their negative environmental impact.
The most common stone categories in Central Texas are Limestone, River Rock, Granite, and Recycled Materials. Limestone and Granite are relatively interchangeable, but have different properties. Limestone is abundant, granite is restricted to only certain areas of Texas; Limestone is soft, granite is very durable. River Rock is a naturally occurring rock that is multicolored and smooth; it is sometimes, but not often, interchangeable with limestone or granite. Recycled materials included recycled crushed concrete and asphalt millings, which are produced by processing reclaimed concrete and asphalt.
These materials are offered in a variety of types and sizes. The most popular variations, for both commercial and residential projects, includes flex base, spec road base, screened rock, bull rock and rip rap. Flex base is an untested, unregulated, mixture of dirt and rock that combines to make an acceptable pad or road. Spec road base is the same as flex base, but meets consistency criteria set by the state or local government, and as such is better for road and structural foundation construction. Screened rock can come in a variety of sizes, but is typically between ⅜” and 2” in diameter. Bull Rock is a size up from screened rock and is typically 2” to 6” in diameter. Rip Rap is yet another step up and is offered from 6” to 36”+ in diameter.
Quarry operators and anyone who works with construction stone must comply with local, state, and federal environmental and safety regulations. These regulations include worker safety and wildlife protection, as well as limits on practices related to air emissions, water quality, and land use.
From building sidewalks to paving roads to constructing buildings, construction stone is used for a variety of commercial purposes in Texas. While each type of stone may be better suited for one project than another, many are versatile. Other common applications include building driveways, railroads, and drainage systems.
Some types of construction stone, such as washed #57 rock, are not as readily available as other types, such as unwashed #57 rock, and may have to be imported in order to find a material that fits the contractor requirements. Rarer types of material can get expensive because of the high demand or the associated transportation costs. That said, there are usually alternatives to each type of construction stone, though they may not be as durable or effective as their counterparts. Other challenges associated with using construction stone in commercial projects include sustainability and design limitations.
When choosing construction stones for commercial projects in Texas, several key factors come into play. Consider the desired color, texture, and durability, as they play a crucial role in the stone's appearance and long-term maintenance. Additionally, factors like erosion resistance and weather exposure should be assessed to ensure the stone meets the necessary durability requirements. For sustainability, explore options like locally sourced or recycled stone. Finally, remember that professional testing is essential to meet state specifications and ensure material quality for commercial buildings.
The appropriate size of rip rap for your erosion control project depends on the velocity of the water and the desired level of protection. Generally, larger rip rap is used for higher velocities, while smaller rip rap is suitable for lower velocities.
When installing rip rap, it is recommended to place a geotextile fabric as a base layer to prevent soil erosion and promote proper drainage. The rip rap should be carefully placed, ensuring interlocking and sufficient coverage to provide effective erosion control.
Yes, rip rap can be used for shoreline stabilization in bodies of water. It helps absorb wave energy, protect against erosion, and maintain the integrity of the shoreline.
Rip rap can be used in combination with other materials such as geotextiles or concrete for specific construction projects, providing enhanced stability and erosion control.
Before the delivery and installation of rip rap, the site should be properly prepared by removing vegetation, debris, and loose soil. The grade should be graded and compacted to provide a stable foundation for the rip rap.
When handling and installing rip rap, it is important to follow proper safety precautions. This includes using personal protective equipment, ensuring proper lifting techniques, and avoiding unstable or dangerous areas.
While rip rap itself is not typically recycled or reused, it can be removed and repurposed in other projects if the material is in good condition and suitable for reuse.
When using rip rap in environmentally sensitive areas, considerations should be given to minimize disturbance, preserve natural habitats, and adhere to any regulatory requirements related to environmental protection.
The cost of rip rap can vary depending on factors such as the type, size, and quantity needed, as well as the distance of the project site from the source. It is advisable to obtain quotes from different suppliers to compare costs.
To determine the quantity of fill dirt needed for your project, measure the length, width, and desired depth of the area to be filled. Multiply these measurements together to calculate the volume of fill dirt required. It is advisable to add a contingency factor to account for compaction and settling.
Yes, fill dirt can be used for both residential and commercial applications. It is commonly used for foundation backfill, landscaping projects, site grading, and other construction purposes in various settings.
The recommended depth for placing fill dirt depends on the specific application and desired outcome. In general, it is important to consider factors such as the load-bearing requirements, compaction capabilities, and the intended use of the filled area to determine the appropriate depth.
Fill dirt can be used for grading or leveling uneven surfaces. By adding and compacting the fill dirt in layers, it helps create a more even and stable surface for further construction or landscaping activities.
When using fill dirt in areas prone to heavy rainfall or flooding, proper drainage considerations should be made. This may include ensuring proper slope and contouring, installing drainage systems, or using specific fill materials that promote water infiltration and drainage.
Common and Select Fill are technically the same material, but at varying levels of clay. Fill is tested by measuring the % of sand vs clay mixed into the material. Common fill refers to material that is not tested or does not pass testing. This material will either have too much clay or too much sand to be used for structural projects. Select fill refers to material that meets regulation regarding the mix of clay and sand. This material is higher quality and is suitable for foundations and other structural projects.
Using fill dirt can have environmental benefits, such as reducing the need for disposal of excess soil and minimizing the extraction of natural resources. Proper sourcing and handling of fill dirt can also promote land reclamation and conservation efforts.
Sourcing fill dirt from a local supplier in Texas offers advantages such as reduced transportation costs, shorter lead times, and the ability to select materials that are well-suited to the local soil conditions and requirements.
Fill dirt can be used for creating embankments or building up slopes. By layering and compacting the fill dirt, it helps reinforce the slope of embankment and provides stability against erosion or slope failure.
Limestone provides several important advantages. Firstly, it's easily accessible, so getting the limestone you need shouldn't be a problem. Moreover, limestone is reasonably durable. While it might not be the absolute toughest material out there, it still possesses fairly strong properties.
Limestone is hardly ever reused or repurposed. It's used in specific ways for business purposes, and it's simpler to achieve those goals with new limestone. Also, the expenses of extracting, moving, recycling, and bringing back limestone are much higher than using new material.
Limestone has some limitations and potential downsides:
In regions prone to severe weather conditions, limestone may not be the most ideal selection. Although limestone is typically resilient, it can be vulnerable to weathering and erosion when subjected to harsh environmental elements. Factors like extreme temperature fluctuations, heavy rainfall, and freeze-thaw cycles can expedite its degradation. In such areas, it might be more advisable to consider alternative construction materials, such as Limestone Rip Rap, Bull Rock, and screed rock which offer enhanced resistance to weathering and can better withstand the challenging conditions.
Absolutely! Limestone is versatile and can be used in both commercial and residential projects. It offers a wide range of applications, including farm roads, driveways, road foundations, shop foundations, building foundations, drainage, and erosion control. Additionally, precut limestone blocks can be used in landscaping designs needing a barrier or in landscape terraforming.
Limestone offers several ecological advantages:
#57 Rock undergoes screening to create 0.75" to 1.00" diameter rocks. For commercial use, it's usually sold washed. Screening and washing make it pricier than other options like gravel or pebbles. Often, 57 Rock is imported due to commercial demand as it is not always available locally.
No, there are no ecological advantages linked when using 57 Rock. It is usually chosen based on its physical and structural properties rather than its environmental benefits.
When considering ordering #57 Rock, there are key points to keep in mind:
Asking these questions will assist our sales team in recommending the ideal material for your project. We frequently have alternative options that align with project requirements, leading to time and cost savings.
Yes, 57 Rock is generally suitable for areas with harsh weather conditions. Its durability and ability to withstand extreme weather, such as freezing temperatures and heavy rainfall, make it a preferred choice. However, proper installation and maintenance are still crucial to ensure optimal performance in such conditions.
Yes, 57 Rock can have applications beyond construction and landscaping. It can be used as a base material for roads, driveways, and parking areas. Additionally, it can be utilized for erosion control, drainage systems, and the manufacturing of concrete or asphalt. Its versatility makes it
suitable for various industrial and infrastructure purposes.
The advantages of using Recycled Concrete over other building materials include:
While using Recycled Concrete offers several advantages, there are potential limitations and downsides to consider. One such limitation is the variability in quality. Recycled concrete may exhibit inconsistent strength and performance due to variations in the source material. The availability of recycled concrete can also be limited, depending on the location and the availability of suitable sources for recycling.
Yes, Recycled Concrete can be used for various applications beyond buildings and roadways. It is often utilized in projects such as landscaping, retaining walls, erosion control, and as a base material for pavements in parking lots, sidewalks, and bike paths. Its versatility makes it suitable for diverse construction and infrastructure needs.
Utilizing Recycled Concrete offers notable environmental advantages. Through the process of recycling old concrete, the demand for new aggregate production is reduced, leading to the conservation of natural resources and energy. Furthermore, it significantly diminishes the volume of concrete waste being disposed of in landfills, thus alleviating the environmental impact. Moreover, it plays a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions associated with concrete production, thereby contributing to sustainability endeavors. It is important to note that by using these methods, we’re actively taking steps to decrease the carbon footprint that comes along with concrete production.
Advantages of using River Rock over other landscaping materials include:
River Rock provides excellent drainage, which can help prevent water pooling and soil erosion. Additionally, using river rock as a decorative material reduces the need for water-intensive lawns, promoting water conservation.
River rock can be suitable for areas with extreme weather conditions, but it may have some limitations. While it is resistant to weathering and erosion, extreme cold or freezing temperatures can cause the rock to crack. Additionally, in hot climates, river rock can absorb and radiate heat, potentially affecting nearby plants or areas. It's important to consider local weather conditions and potential impacts before using river rock in areas prone to extreme weather.
Yes, river rock can be used for applications other than landscaping. It is commonly used in the production of concrete and has industrial uses. It can also be utilized for outdoor staircases, border walls, filling holes, and as a decorative element in various outdoor settings, such as patios and walkways.
River rock may not be the most suitable option for areas with heavy foot traffic or high usage conditions. Its smooth and round shape can make it challenging to walk on, potentially causing instability and discomfort. In such areas, materials that offer better stability and durability, like pavers or concrete, may be more appropriate.
Twisted Nail is here to help. If you need something hauled in central Texas, we can get your job done, safely, timely, and reliably.