340 episodes

Perspectives from construction business owners, heavy construction equipment experts and construction technology providers.

CONEXPO – CON/AGG Podcast: Construction Business Insights For Contractors CONEXPO-CON/AGG

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 23 Ratings

Perspectives from construction business owners, heavy construction equipment experts and construction technology providers.

    Next Generation of the Construction Workforce is Here

    Next Generation of the Construction Workforce is Here

    Advocating for Everybody in Construction with Alexandra Smith
    On today’s episode of CONEXPO, Taylor is joined by Alexandra Smith, aka Al the Little Operator, who runs equipment, installs septic systems, and shares Taylor’s love of wastewater treatment. Alexandra kicks off the episode by discussing what her job involves as a newly self-employed worker, her ambitions to learn septic design, and her background growing up in the construction industry. She and Taylor also get into some of the specifics of septic systems and the importance of standing your ground and maintaining your integrity rather than taking shortcuts just to maximize profit.
    Next, Taylor asks Alexandra where she sees herself going in the industry, and she explains that she has a decision to make in the future about returning and taking over the family business. However, she says that her main priority is to stay in the field without getting sucked into the six-days-a-week, twelve-hours-a-day pressure that many industry workers fall prey to. She also wants to use her social media presence to encourage healthier lifestyles and a return to focusing on what’s important in life, inside and outside the job. Alexandra then discusses what it’s like for women in construction, how she tries to let girls know there’s space for normal girls in the industry, and how she avoids scrutiny as a woman by keeping her content focused on her work. She also shares some of the equipment she loves to work with (and some she doesn’t!) and how a shared love of equipment is a huge part of her relationship with her dad. And finally, Alexandra tells us what she’ll be speaking about at CONEXPO before closing the episode by emphasizing that while it’s important for her to advocate for women in the industry, she also wants to make life better for everybody in construction by encouraging new ways of conducting and organizing business, so people have more freedom.

    The Finer Details of This Episode:

    Alexandra’s background

    The specifics of septics

    Dealing with difficult homeowners

    Ensuring perfection and maintaining integrity

    Setting up for a better future

    Being a woman in construction and on social media

    Alexandra’s favorite equipment

    What Alexandra will be speaking about at CONEXPO

    Advocating for everybody in the industry

    “I like the process. I like knowing that this is what I’ve got to do, in and out. I enjoy the labor and the machine work combination.”
    “What happened to doing work because it makes you happy and being okay with making plenty but not overkilling?”
    “I’m not the type of person where I’m a tomboy, but I’m not really girly, either. I’m kind of all these things, and I’m trying to balance them into one person and to make sure that I can put out a good example and an accurate representation of who I am. And just let girls know, they can just be a normal girl in the construction industry.”
    “I couldn’t imagine my life not running equipment and not working with my dad. It’s great, I’m really lucky.”
    “We definitely got to try some new ways of conducting business and expectations for workers and try to find ways that maybe we can organize business, so people have more freedom, and it still runs effectively, if that makes sense.”

    Taylor White on LinkedIn
    Earth Movers Magazine
    Al The Little Operator on Instagram
    Alexandra Smith on LinkedIn
    To learn more about the 2023 CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show and to register, go to: https://www.conexpoconagg.com/show-experience
    Komatsu Homepage

    • 56 min
    Getting Ahead of the Trends in Construction with Luke Payne and Luke Eggebraaten

    Getting Ahead of the Trends in Construction with Luke Payne and Luke Eggebraaten

    Taylor welcomes Luke Eggebraaten and Luke Payne, both successful business owners within the construction industry. Luke E is the Founder & Managing Partner of Phaser Marketing, which is a digital marketing agency for construction companies. Luke P, on the other hand, is the owner of the construction businesses: Black Iron Dirt & Demolition & Western Excavation LLC. They both share a passion for the “dirt world,” and they work and grow together with every mutual project.
    Tune into this episode to hear all about this perfectly complementary partnership. What started out as a close friendship grew to become a strong partnership. And as both Luke E and Luke P say, the goal has always been to grow together, bring people together, and play off each other’s weaknesses. With so many successful years in the field, they’re now committed to sharing their wealth of knowledge with the construction world. In this episode, they share a lot of golden tips for construction companies looking to expand their online presence and build a bulletproof business so if you’re one of them, make sure you join Luke E, Luke P, and Taylor for this enlightening conversation.


    The beginning of a beautiful partnership

    Niching down and becoming an industry expert

    Deciding when to purchase new equipment

    Improving cash flow

    Careers in construction

    The importance of a digital presence

    Building a sustainable and strong business


    “It's one of those business partnerships where we kind of just set the money aside, and we say, ‘Okay, let's get to work.’ Everything is like we're growing together.”

    “Your website is your gatekeeper. If someone wants to know more about you, they're going to Google you. And the more powerful you are on that site, I feel like it establishes more of the trust.”

    “People are hungry to learn, they're willing to pay for it, and we're seeing that firsthand.”

    “If you want to work, construction is a great industry to go into because you have to work to make it happen.”

    “It's a lot about the technology, and it's a lot about what's new because, again, with the construction industry, you have to adapt to survive.”

    “Bad times do come, and bad times do happen. So how can we try and set you up best to pivot or to make the most out of these situations?”


    Taylor White on LinkedIn

    Black Iron Dirt and Demolition

    Western Excavation

    Phaser Marketing

    Dirt Bags Podcast

    Turf Wars Racing

    Luke Eggebraaten on LinkedIn

    Luke Payne on LinkedIn

    To learn more about the 2023 CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show and to register, go to: https://www.conexpoconagg.com/show-experience

    • 49 min
    Building a Construction Empire Grounded in Community with Jeff Cavanagh

    Building a Construction Empire Grounded in Community with Jeff Cavanagh

    Taylor welcomes construction veteran and legend, Jeff Cavanagh, to the podcast to talk about the history of his family firm, Thomas Cavanagh Construction, the importance of building vibrant communities, and investing and trusting in the right people. The pair open the episode by discussing Cavanagh’s company history and familiarity with vertical integration. Since the late 20th century, the firm has done nothing but grow, and Jeff owes a lot of that success to his tough team that runs 1200 people deep. Since his father let him join the family business, Jeff has dutifully taken the time to hire and invest in the right people, and according to him, that’s made all the difference in the company’s success. 
    Not only does Thomas Cavanagh Construction strive to develop vibrant communities around Ottawa at large, but they also aim to foster the same positive atmosphere within their organization. After all, taking care of Cavanagh employees is paramount to the company’s success. Given that Jeff and his family have been in the game for decades, Taylor and Jeff spend the remainder of the episode reminiscing on early land development lessons, market recessions, how they prepared for them, and the future of Jeff’s ever-expanding business. Filled with wisdom informed by extensive experience, Jeff truly has so much to offer listeners here today - you don’t want to miss this one!

    Cavanagh Construction’s history of vertical integration

    Building vibrant communities

    The importance of delegation

    Investing in the right products and people

    Taking care of Cavanagh employees

    Early land development mistakes

    Preparing for residential market recessions

    The future of Cavanagh Construction


    “We do all things construction. We do home building. We're into land development– building houses. We backfill houses, dig basins. We have aggregates, pits, and quarries, asphalt, and all types of heavy equipment.”

    “Lots of times, you know, you see things going wrong. But lots of times you see things going right, so there's more right than wrong.”

    “So that's building vibrant communities; it's more than just the community itself. We're building a community inside of Cavanagh construction.”

    “I found that I was becoming too much of a micromanager for the size of our business. And we were able to empower the people that work for us, in particular the bosses in that sector.”

    “So we tried to buy what was best in class. Because we were using the product and basically wearing it out, fixing it and wearing it out, then selling it. So we didn't want to work on junk anymore.”

    “When we're building you a house, when you move into that house, there's good value in that product. When we develop a lot, we do it efficiently so that when we are able to sell that lot, it’s good value for the consumer. So, if you can provide good value for what they're buying, they'll come back and buy some more.”


    Taylor White on LinkedIn

    Cavanagh Construction Homepage 

    To learn more about the 2023 CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show and to register, go to: https://www.conexpoconagg.com/show-experience

    • 38 min
    Managing the Stress of Construction with Ryan Priestly

    Managing the Stress of Construction with Ryan Priestly

    Joining Taylor White on the podcast this week is Ryan Priestly, President of Priestly Demolition, who you may know from the show Salvage Kings on the History Channel. Ryan kicks off the episode by discussing the scope of Priestly Demolition’s work, from bringing down power plants to bridge demolitions to asbestos abatement - taking on projects both big and small along the way. He shares his background as a second-generation industry member, having taken over the business from his father fifteen years ago, and how he’s worked to hone his workers’ skills and create a harmonious team who work together effectively. He also discusses Salvage Kings, the impact the show had on his business, the challenges involved in making it, and why Priestly won’t be returning for its third season.
    Next, Taylor and Ryan delve into some of the big issues facing the industry right now, including the impact of inflation and the likelihood of an economic course correction. They also chat about stress relief and how to achieve a work/life balance and maintain your well-being in an industry that doesn’t always make it easy to sit back and appreciate your achievements. Taylor then asks Ryan to share some of his most memorable “Oh, man” projects, the ones that caused the biggest headaches, and Ryan describes some of the unique and challenging projects he’s been involved in over the years along with the lessons he learned from them. And finally, Ryan closes the show by sharing what’s up next for him and the business, including some ambitious plans for growth and bringing on the next generation of Priestly Demolition employees, including his son and nephews.

    Inheriting the family business

    The impact of Salvage Kings

    Inflation and its impact on the industry

    Ryan’s most memorable “Oh, man” project

    What’s next for Ryan and Priestly Demolition

    “I guess the biggest issue for them, it’s just not their specialty, it’s just not their skill set. So at the same token, it’s not really something they want to put a whole lot of time and energy into. Whereas we thrive on it, we want to come up with a plan that’s going to work for everyone, and we want to come up with a plan that’s going to make it efficient and safe and get done on time.”
    “The question with inflation that really, as a business owner, is like, what’s the number? Is it 3%? Is it 8%? Is it 5%? Is it 22%? Is it 13%? And, you know, I just feel like there’s a real disconnect on what’s happening, percentage-wise.”
    “Not a lot makes sense right now, and I think there’s got to be some kind of correction coming just with real estate and priced-up fuel and inflation. But I don’t think it’s going to be huge. I don’t think the correction is going to be 50% or anything like that.”
    “As far as facing challenges on a daily basis, the contracting business is pretty out there for that, as far as I’m concerned. It’s just a very challenging job day in and day out. It’s the amount of hills you’ve got to climb on a given day.”
    “I learned that you need to have a goal. At least then, we’re all going in the same direction. You don’t want to lose complete touch with reality. It’s great to have a goal and stuff like that, but at the end of the day, if it’s not in the cards, it’s not in the cards.”
    “It's just nice to see that people are enjoying their time here and that people are making a career out of Priestly, which is super awesome.”

    Taylor White on LinkedIn
    Priestly Demolition Inc
    To learn more about the 2023 CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show and to register, go to: https://www.conexpoconagg.com/show-experience

    • 46 min
    Talking the State of Construction with Nick Drew

    Talking the State of Construction with Nick Drew

    On this very special second episode of the podcast, Taylor welcomes Nick Drew, the man behind the infamous 'Digger Man Blog’, to talk about his early start in construction, his late blooming blogging skills, the realities of the construction industry, and, of course, CONEXPO. Nick opens up the episode by fondly remembering his childhood and the days he used to spend with his father at his job working on construction sites. It wasn’t until he was much older and more seasoned in the construction industry, however, that Drew got his start in his true calling, construction journalism.  
    In 2008, Drew got his big break and hasn’t looked back since. As an illustrious construction blogger, he now gets approached to travel the world and report on the newest machinery, construction news, and conventions, like CONEXPO, which Taylor and Nick are both looking forward to. They go on to explain how special the convention is, noting that nowhere else can you find so many leaders and friends in the field that put you in contact with new machinery and communities. And in the wake of the COVID-19 construction boom with new developments popping up overnight and product demand rapidly increasing, that’s now more important than ever.  
    Episode overview:

    Drew’s early start in construction

    Tilt rotator technology

    Shifting the narrative around construction work

    Journalism in the construction industry

    Drew’s blogging career

    The future of diesel alternatives

    North American and European machinery

    The COVID-19 construction boom

    “We need to show people that necessarily wouldn't want to be exposed or work in the construction, blue collar industry– show them what it's like, and show them how it can be. I think a part of that is also a lot of businesses and construction companies need to make it a place that these young people want to come and work for.”
    ”At the time, there wasn't anyone else doing it.”
    “Yeah, well, you know, the blog, by its nature, is a host of various topics. I don't try to focus on anything special in particular, you know, I like to keep it very interesting.”
    “There's a lot of interesting people there and machinery and technology. And it's a really good place for people to showcase that. But also, I feel like just putting a face to people as well.”
    “You'll meet industry leaders and friends. And you're also going to build new relationships in the community. And you'll find the equipment, services, and people within your construction field.”
    Taylor White on LinkedIn
    Earth Movers Magazine
    Digger Man Blog on Twitter
    Digger Man Blog on Instagram
    To learn more about the 2023 CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show and to register, go to: https://www.conexpoconagg.com/show-experience

    • 42 min
    Prepping for the Future of Construction with Scott Colclough of Pushysix

    Prepping for the Future of Construction with Scott Colclough of Pushysix

    On this highly anticipated episode of the podcast, Taylor White takes on the hosting duties and is joined by his very special guest, Scott Colclough. The pair talk about Colclough’s life, his business, his experiences with CONEXPO-CON/AGG, and the upcoming 2023 show. Upon getting his start in construction as an operator in Alberta, Scott acquainted himself with all of the skills, tools, and techniques that he could. Now after years and years in the industry, Colclough has taken to social media under the username @pushysix to teach people about construction and inspire others. He’s always felt that he had a purpose larger than himself, and unlike most people, Scott practices what he preaches.  
    He loves helping others, noting that CONEXPO-CON/AGG is a perfect place to do so and agreeing with Taylor that it’s the best trade show worldwide. They love meeting colleagues from the other side of the globe, but it’s also nice to see friendly faces from the town over. And for Colclough, that’s what it’s all about: people. Authenticity and caring for others is absolutely paramount to him. And with the advent of social media that’s now easier than ever. Scott’s been online for quite a bit now, and he’s seen how online construction content has evolved. TikTok now encourages users to create bite-sized videos instead of the longer form ones that he’s used to. And while that makes jobs like Colclough’s a little harder, he’s still just as passionate about producing content and sharing it with others - something that, thankfully, he plans on continuing to do for a long time to come.
    Episode overview:

    Scott’s varied construction experience

    Making moves for the future of the industry


    Coming up in Alberta’s heavy construction scene

    Authenticity and caring for others

    Changes in construction content 

    “So, I've just always been trying to find a way to help teach people about construction and inspire people, like yourself”
    “I'm just trying to pass down knowledge.”
    “You know how to operate on a construction site and you also know how to do the multimedia side of it. That is such a niche that I think people don't understand.”
    “I think what's so cool about a CONEXPO is that you realize how much of a small world it is when you go down there and you see somebody from one town over.”
    “It's like all the cool stuff that you see on people's Instagram but in person.”
    “What happens is I have ideas. I work towards it. If it fails, I pick the next one. It's just this constant moving ahead trying to succeed at things and build.”
    “So, yes, we used to make sick edits with tons of production time going into it. Now they've changed everything to compete with TikTok so it's all now the short base stuff.”
    “It's really hard to teach people or connect with people with a short little clip.”
    “Yeah, that's what we are, rough and tough blue collar, right? So, going from that to electric with no noise. I don't know. It kind of kills the whole vibe for the thing.”
    Taylor White on LinkedIn 

    Scott Colclough on LinkedIn 
    Pushysix on Instagram 
    Pushysix Homepage   
    Pushysix on YouTube 

    To learn more about the 2023 CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show and to register, go to:

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Camilla-Jean ,

Straight from the hero’s that make it happen

I live the stories and insights coming from the actual hero’s out there building infrastructure jobs businesses and all the things that make construction so great. Thanks for the work you do! Keep it up!

royce steed ,

Let’s get chandler from Nevada on here 👍


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