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Infrastructure Legislation to Help Dealers, Says TIA's Rohlwing

But Projects Won't Kick Off Right Away

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“There’s a big time gap between approving the money and moving stone and dirt," said Kevin Rohlwing, senior vice president of training for the Tire Industry Association.

Infrastructure legislation will be good for tire dealers. But don’t expect projects to start this year, Kevin Rohlwing, senior vice president of training for the Tire Industry Association (TIA) told attendees of TIA’s recent OTR Tire Conference.


“There’s a big time gap between approving the money and moving stone and dirt.”


And if the present labor shortage persists, projects could be pushed back even further, he noted.


“If the labor shortage continues into 2023, 2024 and 2025, we may have all these roads and bridges to build, but nobody to build them. The infrastructure bill is a positive step. But you’re not going to see ‘shovel-ready’ anything until 2023 and 2024. It takes a lot to get these projects moving.” 


During his OTR Tire Conference presentation, Rohlwing also discusses commodity prices. Coal, he said, “is still a big driver.” 


Coal production is expected to increase in western states, but will “contract” in Appalachia. (Pennsylvania remains the biggest coal producer in the U.S.)


“There are a lot of coal-powered electricity plants going off-line over the next five to 10 years.”


Gold and silver prices are expected to decrease moderately over the next half-decade, Rohlwing told attendees.


North American copper production is expected to decrease through 2035.


Conversely, “there are projections” for some growth in iron ore production. (An estimated 98% of U.S. iron ore is mined in Minnesota and Michigan, he noted.)


Referring to stone production, “we’re looking at an annualized growth rate of 1.9%.”


Click here to read MTD's OTR Tire Conference report.


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