Aggregate builds highways, schools and hospitals, but it’s end user often fails to make the connection from quarry to construction.
As a reminder of its many uses, The Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (OSSGA) has launched a truck side signage campaign as a reminder of the importance of rock products throughout the province.
“Aggregate is an important resource that is the foundation of building Ontario,” said Sharon Armstrong, OSSGA’s vice president of communications and operations.
“And it has to come from a close source to be environmentally and economically friendly.”
Aggregate builds everything
The campaign is outfitting trucks with 37 in. by 245 in. signage that reads “I build schools, hospitals, bridges,” or “I build subways, houses, highways,” to inform the general public of the importance that aggregate plays in their everyday lives.
“Aggregate trucks on the road can be the focal point of a source of frustration for the community,” Armstrong said. “People don’t think of aggregate at all. They don’t see that aggregate builds everything they interact with on a daily basis.”
According to the Ontario Trucking Association, there are about 200,000 trucks on the road daily, with aggregate accounting for about 6,000 of those vehicles. “People have a tendency to think every truck on the road is an aggregate truck, but we only represent about three per cent of road traffic,” Armstrong said.
The idea for the signage was inspired by a similar campaign by Waste Management.
“One of the great things they did was clean up their trucks and use their trucks as portable billboards,” Armstrong explained.
Last summer, the removable vinyl signs were tested on a single aggregate truck. This May, the campaign expanded to 20 trucks, spread throughout Caledon, Eastern Ontario and the Niagara Region.
“We started with smooth sided trucks, now we’re working on signage for ribbed trucks. From a design point of view, they’re a little more challenging,” Armstrong said.
“We have some ideas we might work on for next year.”
While it’s difficult to gauge the public’s reaction to the signage, the OSSGA has received positive feedback from the aggregate industry.
“We’ve heard some great feedback from the truck drivers. There’s industry pride that we’re generating,” she said.
Each sign costs about $2,000 and are available by visiting ossga.com. The signs are easily removed, and designed to last about seven years.
“We haven’t tested that yet. This is a rugged industry, so we’ll be able to test that at the seven-year mark,” Armstrong said.
In addition to the truck signage, the OSSGA is offering aggregate site signage with similar messaging.
“Like trucking, aggregate is also very local. There’s a disconnect between stone, sand and gravel. The fact is each of us uses it every day in our lives,” Armstrong said. “It helps people in the area better connect with some of the immediacy of what the material is used for.”