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Construction trade show provides thrills and drills

June 09, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

It takes a piece of equipment as bulky as a small bus, costing about $350,000, just to make a baseball-sized hole in a piece of rock.

"Drilling in rock is hard work," said Byron Myers, a salesman for J.W. Burress Inc. of Roanoke, Va.

Rock drills are needed to develop the notoriously rocky land in the Tri-State area. Blasting companies pack those small holes with explosive powder to blow the rock into rubble, he said.

Myers' Reedrill model was one of many pieces of construction equipment on display Saturday at the Associated Builders and Contractors of the Cumberland Valley's annual trade show and picnic.

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Held at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, the all-day picnic drew between 800 and 1,000 contractors and their family members, said ABC President Joan Warner.

Many area construction companies bought the $15 tickets for their employees, she said.

"I like coming to these shows to see what the different vendors come out with," said Brian Tana of Downsville, who works for Nelson Plumbing of Frederick, Md.

Tana signed up for the backhoe rodeo and came in fourth. He learned how to run the equipment filling in for other people on the job.

Equipment dealers came to collect sales leads and to network in the construction industry.

"It's good to be here just for the awareness," said Ralph Cotterman, sales representative for Caterpillar brand equipment dealer Alban Tractor Co.

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