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Resilience has long been a strength of the construction industry. That’s a good thing. After surviving both the The Great Recession (2007-09) – triggered by the U.S, financial crisis – and the crushing global COVID-19 Pandemic starting in March of 2020 – the industry showed positive signs of slowly emerging from self-protection mode earlier this year. That was before the virulent Delta variant of C-19 morphed with astonishing speed earlier this summer, forcing the industry to once again batten down the hatches and weather yet another storm with potentially devastating implications. Many companies are mom-and-pop shops with 50 employees or less. The owner is as likely to be wearing a tool belt and working in the field as often as he or she is in the office planning for the future. It is a situation we will continue to monitor. We lead off this issue with an update on Plaza Construction, now in its 35th year of operation. Under the direction of Chairman and CEO Brad Meltzer, the company continues to enhance its reputation as a premier construction management firm by striking a balance between measured, thoughtful growth and the willingness to take on projects of the highest profile and degree of difficulty. Founded in 2004 by CEO Keith Post, President Steve Little and CFO/Safety Officer Jayne Williams, KPost Company staked its ground as a leading commercial and residential contractor early on by providing high-end customers such as the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys with turnkey solutions and services covering the entire building envelope. Now in its 49th year of operation, Massachusetts stalwart W.L. French has built a sterling reputation as a premier partner throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The privately owned family business is now under the second-generation guidance of Vice President/Owner Lisa Goyette, CEO & President William L. French, Jr., Principal Lisa French Kelley and Vice President Tom Dion. We hope you enjoy this issue.

Kevin Doyle

Editor-In-Chief Kevin.doyle@naconstructionjournal.com

The Team Editor-In Chief - Kevin Doyle Executive Director - Alex Hortaridis Creative Director - Stephen Marino Developer - Andrew Twomey

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Plaza Construction

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KPost Roofing and Waterproofing 27

27 39 81

W.L. French Excavating Corporation 39

Ledcor Group of Companies 53

Fountain Tire 61

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Specialized Carriers & Rigging

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73

Load King Manufacturing 81

Bragg Companies 91

Veit & Company, Inc. 107

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Roll Group 117

AMPCO Contracting 127

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Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC 137


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Plaza Construction:

Taking On The Most Complex Projects Plaza Construction maintains national headquarters in New York and regional offices across the country in New Jersey, Washington DC, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Los Angeles, and San Jose. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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North American Constructors Journal alfway through its 35th year of operation, Plaza Construction continues to enhance its reputation as a premier construction management firm by striking a balance between measured, thoughtful growth and the willingness to take on projects of the highest profile and degree of difficulty.

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Brad Meltzer

“One of the nice things about Plaza is that while we do big work, we are not really a big, big company; it very much feels like a family” says new Chairman and CEO Brad Meltzer, who joined the company as a summer assistant in 1989 and has worked his way up through the ranks. “As opposed to some perceived ‘monster companies,’ Plaza is seen as a company with the capabilities to build some of the biggest and most complex projects, without bureaucracy while building relationships with clients through our staff,” Meltzer notes. Under Meltzer and new President Christopher Mills, the company’s former COO, Plaza Construction historically employs between 600 and 700 individuals while generating annual revenue of more than one billion dollars. It maintains national headquarters in New York and regional offices in New Jersey,

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Washington DC, Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Orlando, Los Angeles, and San Jose. The company’s array of industry association memberships – such as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the Construction Employers Association (CEA), the Construction Association of South Florida (CASA), the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the Contractors Association of Greater New York (CAGNY) and


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the Latin Builders Association of South Florida – provide networking opportunities and information flow across the country. Meltzer says the company targets projects in multiple markets, because it is confident it can execute and deliver.

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“We always try to take on work with like-minded clients and take on projects where we can anticipate having the right staff available, or where we have the time to assemble the right staff. We’ve managed that fairly well through the years. It can be challenging, not just in Florida but

“We employ a lot of people with architecture or engineering degrees and it’s something our clients have appreciated through the years.” - Chairman and CEO Brad Meltzer www.constructorsjournal.com


North American Constructors Journal in LA, San Jose and New York as well,” he notes.

Premier Projects One Thousand Museum: The 706foot tall skyscraper in downtown Miami designed by the worldrenowned British architect Zaha Hadid took four years from concept to completion and opened in July 2019. It features a stunning exoskeleton façade and includes 84 residential units. Architectural Digest ranked it as one of the 14 most anticipated buildings in the world at the time it was being constructed. “We’re not afraid of the most

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challenging projects. We look at those challenges with excitement that gets our blood pumping when we get up in the morning. We love that and it’s another thing our clients appreciate,” Meltzer notes. 7900 Wisconsin Ave.: Built to LEED Silver specifications for client JBG Smith, the 18-story mixeduse development in Bethesda, MD features 420,000sf of residential apartments, four levels of underground parking, and 21,630sf of commercial space on the ground floor. A clear span breezeway, a plaza level green space with a bioretention area, a rooftop amenity area with a swimming pool, and an outdoor grilling area and dog park


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North American Constructors Journal for residents are among its many features. Resorts World Casino: Plaza completed its work on the casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens within the past several months. Expansion included a 10-story, 400-room hotel as well as the addition of new restaurants, a conference center and meeting rooms, fitness center, and the addition of 800 electronic video games.

Safety Measures Plaza has maintained an enviable Experience Modification rate (EMR) – the number used by insurance companies to gauge the past cost of injuries and the future chances of risk – through the years, including throughout the pandemic. “We are proud of our EMR rating. During the pandemic our Safety Director in the New York office worked with all of our regional safety directors across the country to make sure we were, and are continuing to follow local protocol. We set the bar high to make sure that when people came to work, they not only felt the job site was safe in the traditional sense, but that it was a safe environment and we were doing the best we could to not expose them to COVID-19,” Meltzer says.

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That included taking temperature checks at all job sites, mandating that masks were worn at all times, keeping proper social distancing, and providing immediate notification of an outbreak so every worker could take proper precautions for themselves and their families. “I am proud that all our projects continued, although it did affect productivity. In a high rise where you previously had roughly 15 people in a buck hoist, now you can only put four. Getting in and

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North American Constructors Journal out of a vertical building took longer. In a new condo or multi family building where you might want eight different tradespeople working in an individual unit, maybe now you can only have four because they have to be spaced further apart – but safety always came first,” Meltzer stresses. Beyond that, the company regularly rewards employees’ performance when they surpass a set number of hours of having worked safely on a job site or did something exceptional that was

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above and beyond.

Day To Day Thanks to his longevity with the company, Meltzer says his role hasn’t changed much despite the added responsibilities of being CEO. He continues to work closely with clients and customers, remains involved with projects, and has put a team in place that “allows me to do some more forward thinking things as well.” He first met Richard Wood, who he

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North American Constructors Journal succeeded as CEO, as a summer intern in the Summer of ’89, then permanently joined the company in 1990 upon graduation with a Masters degree from the Tulane University School of Architecture. “He was a Superintendent and we grew our careers together. I owe a debt of gratitude to Rich. He is a brilliant construction mind and a tenacious builder, always striving for perfection. That perspective on construction rubbed off on me for sure and so many others here at Plaza – that is the imprint he will leave behind. We still speak all the time and our relationship will go way beyond the boundaries of being employees together at Plaza,” Meltzer says. Similarly, Meltzer and Mills have worked together since 1994 and share institutional knowledge that has allowed them to work with enhanced precision. “We’re trying to manage in a way that we’re not doubling our efforts. For the most part, if I make a decision, he believes in it and if

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he makes a decision, I believe in it. That’s allowing us to be more efficient,” Meltzer offers. “We are able to anticipate each other. We share this philosophy with all of our senior leaders. We are empowering them and allowing them to make important and strategic decisions for the company knowing that we will support them.” The company has contracted with consulting and training specialist Franklin Covey, which incorporates the methodologies put forth in the book “Speed of Trust” into its sessions. “We’ve hired them to walk us through that process. We made a financial investment in a difficult time to spend money on something when we weren’t sure where the world was going because of COVID. Our senior leadership appreciated the financial investment and the investment in them, and it also has helped with the trust factor,” Meltzer says. He believes his degree has helped him nurture long-standing

“Plaza is seen as a company with the capabilities to build some of the biggest and most complex projects, without bureaucracy while building relationships with clients and our staff.” - Chairman and CEO Brad Meltzer www.constructorsjournal.com


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One Thousand Museum, Miami, FL General Contractor: Plaza Construction Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects

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North American Constructors Journal relationships and understand the sensibility of clients and architects when developing a project. “We are here to achieve the same result. I might think about it in a different way or come to the table with a different method, but I am not there to slice and dice their project to save a dollar and make it into something less. I can read the drawings right away and see what this designer is trying to achieve by seeing the bigger picture. We employ a lot of people with architecture or engineering degrees and it’s something our clients have appreciated through the years,” Meltzer notes.

The company strives to build long-standing relationships and generate repeat business. Keeping the lines of communication open is a crucial component in that process. “This is not a perfect business and it’s important to let our clients know if there is an occasional bump in the road what our solution is, how we’re going to handle it, and that we invite them to the process. Transparency is part of our DNA. We were born as an owner/builder and that’s the only way we know how to work. We treat the process as though we are building for ourselves and we share

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North American Constructors Journal the information in a collaborative spirit that promotes trust with our clients,” Meltzer observes. The company most often works with a dedicated core network of sub-contractors developed through the years, and when it takes on a new vendor, all undergo a rigorous vetting process. “We say it here all the time, we’re only as good as our subs. We manage 40 subs on average on any given project. If any sub falls off it has a domino effect that impacts the sub that came before and the sub that comes after. We have a rigorous prequalification program, but it is still

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about relationships. We help our subs when they’re struggling and mentor them so they can grow with us. We’re creating greater partnerships around us,” Meltzer says. In anticipation of modular construction moving to the forefront in the industry, the company has developed a strategic relationship with a modular builder. “It’s been tested and we believe it will become more prevalent. It is going to transform the construction experience,” Meltzer predicts. “We see it playing out at Plaza and it is going to play out in the industry. In fact, we’ve already


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been awarded a modular hotel contract in California.”

Staff Training Established in 2019, the Plaza Futures program was scheduled to graduate its first class in South Florida in early 2020 and introduced the program to its New York and Washington offices last September. The program provides those new to the industry with both a solid foundation and defined career path through a specific curriculum that offers a structured learning environment and an understanding of specific job

competencies and skills. Participants work with mentors for six months as a Superintendent, six months as an Estimator, six months as a Project Manager and six months in other facets of the business. Upon completion of the program, they meet with their mentors to map out their individualized career trajectory. “We have seen folks think they want to be a project manager, but because they spent six months as a Superintendent realize, wow, maybe that’s what I want to do instead,” says Meltzer. Developing young talent and

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North American Constructors Journal interacting with students is one of Addressing Challenges the many benefits derived from the company’s industry association memberships. Additionally, Meltzer is on the Advisory Board at the Tulane University School of Architecture and the Advisory Board of University of Miami’s Real Estate Masters Program and Construction Management program.

“Being involved with the students and giving them a window to the real world helps with the internship program (HS, college and Masters) that is the lifeblood to our future business. I fell in love with this side of the business and have been here since I graduated,” he says.

Comprehending rules of engagement and permitting procedures from one state to the next is of paramount importance. “At the beginning of 2020 New York had its set of rules, Florida had its set of rules and California has its own set of rules related to COVID. Managing that and making sure we were abiding by those rules was super complicated, but we made it a priority,” Meltzer points out. The company remained vigilant regarding employee well being throughout the pandemic,

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North American Constructors Journal understanding the additional stress it was causing and continues to cause. “We had a couple of people that lost family members to COVID. [I can’t imagine] what that means when someone comes to work and they have things weighing on them. For morale I felt like it was important to constantly reach out to people to try to do the best we

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could to help them in a difficult situation. Those are the things that weighed on me the most – it’s about the people,” Meltzer stresses. The company did suffer a financial impact with projects either put on hold or cancelled altogether. For example, a $400+ million contract for work at Royal Caribbean’s world headquarters in Miami was halted as a result of the pandemic.

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North American Constructors Journal “They called to tell us to stop. We had 38 Plaza staff on the job and, so far it has not continued. It’s hard to bounce back from things like that, although I expect us to be back up to normal levels within a year and a half,” Meltzer says. “It was hard to see the Florida team go through that and I was disappointed for Miami as a whole. Building a state of the art work environment for 4,000+ employees was going to force other employers to up their game as well. It was going to help with the maturation of the city of Miami. The folks at Royal Caribbean were great partners and my team was so excited, so vested in the project. I went to the jobsite and delivered the news myself, first-hand, that is the only way I know.” he adds.

In The Community The company is involved in countless charitable initiatives at the national and regional levels. The Florida office has sponsored

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a golf tournament for the past several years, raising money for Voices for Children, that according to the organization’s web site: “Ensures that every abused, abandoned and neglected child in Miami-Dade County has a courtappointed Guardian ad Litem (GAL) and that financial assistance and other resources are available for their health, educational, and social needs.” The American Corporate Partners (ACP) year-long mentorship for military veterans and their spouses features mentors from Fortune 500 companies and has earned a 98 percent approval rating from participants.


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Plaza built the Fisher Houses, which have provided nearly 400,000 veteran’s families, since 1990, with free high-quality housing accommodations across the country, while veterans are treated at military facilities.

nimble company that was prepared to weather the storm of COVID with a well-stocked pipeline. The company is proven to be adept at managing its existing workload while preparing for the next wave of work.

Finally, the company and its parent company, CCA, hosted its inaugural Tri-State Area Charity Golf Invitational in New Jersey, benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County (BGCHC) this year raising over $200,000 in its first year.

It has embraced top-shelf technology ranging from a suite of VDC applications, Primavera 6 and the latest iteration 3D and 4D of Building Information Modeling (BIM) to increase productivity, keep costs down and improve communication across the board.

Moving Forward

Anticipating the possibility of a hybrid post-pandemic workforce, the company is re-imagining its

Plaza Construction is a smart,

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He loves everything about the industry. Of that there is no doubt. “Construction is a great business and brings you something different everyday. Work hard, let your voice be heard at the appropriate time and be honest – let people know when you don’t know something and don’t be afraid to ask a question. When I started working in this industry I would ask the tradesmen questions. They appreciated it and they took the time to teach me and work with me, and it goes a long way for building relationships,” he concludes.

COMPANY INFORMATION workspaces in New York and Miami to reduce their footprints while increasing functionality. “We hired Spectre Group, whose two owners I happen to have known since we were in high school together. It’s given people the opportunity to work in a hybrid fashion. Some still work from home, some come into the office. We’ve given our staff flexibility and it’s fostering happier, more productive employees. If it takes an hour to get to work and you can do the same work from home, why not? You might still need to come in from time to time, just not as often,” Meltzer explains.

Company Name: Plaza Construction Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 1986 Premier Services: Construction management and support, general contracting, program management, design/build, and consulting services CEO: Brad Meltzer President: Christopher Mills Website: www.plazaconstruction.com

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KPost Roofing & Waterproofing :

Still Growing Strong

KPost provides turnkey roofing solutions and services to high-profile customers across an array of sectors. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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ndustry powerhouse KPost Roofing & Waterproofing staked its ground as a leading commercial and residential contractor early on by providing high-end customers such as the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys with turnkey solutions and services covering the entire building envelope.

calling us and asking if we could put a silver star on their roof or use blue and silver shingles. We couldn’t do that, but we realized there was a real void in SafetyQuality-Value elements in the residential side of the business for somebody with the capacity to meet the needs of the residential client. To date it has really paid off.

CEO Keith Post, President Steve Little and CFO/Safety Officer Jayne Williams founded the company in 2003 when they brought together a core group of roofing professionals with more than 300 years of accumulated industry experience.

“We have the largest base in North Texas and we always have work. Consistently getting your 40 hours a week in, or more, isn’t a problem,” he continues.

Today the team consists of more than 400 employees, including 60 specialized crews, with unmatched experience. The company added a Residential Division four years ago, generated $67 million in annual revenue for 2020 and before the negative impact from the Covid-19 pandemic to the roofing material supply chain, the company was on pace to do $72 million in business for 2021. It was named Roofing Contractor Magazine’s Roofing Contractor of the Year in 2017. “Bigger isn’t necessarily better but we really have earned a pretty decent reputation,” says Little . “Because of our relationship with the Cowboys, we had consumers

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Little certainly understands the value of branding. Upon completion of its signature installation of a fixed membrane Keith Post


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“We’re innovative. We use a lot of technology in the field and in the office. We view ourselves as a very sophisticated Sub-Contractor working along the lines of a General Contractor.” - Steve Little, President roof system over the Cowboys’ $1.2 billion Taj Mahal in 2009, KPost entered into a formal partnership with the team, allowing the company to add the Cowboys’ iconic blue star prominently to the KPost corporate logo. That was and continues to be a game-changer. The company derives great benefit from it membership in regional and national industry associations Keith Post Steve Little

such as Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), TEXO, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA), North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA), American Subcontractors Association – North Texas (ASA), National Women in Roofing (NWIR), Regional Contractors Association of Texas (RCAT), and Regional Hispanic Contractors Association (RHCA).

Prime Time Projects The company’s Metroplex location provides easy access to interstate highways and DFW Airport. Its designation as an essential business at the start of the pandemic allowed it to maintain its general processes and procedures. Globe Life Field: The company completed its work on the new home of the Texas Rangers – a public-private partnership between the club and the city – that cost twice as much ($1.1 billion) as AT&T Stadium but took just two-thirds of the time to execute. KPost joined

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with General Contractor Manhattan Construction on the 1.8 million-square-foot facility executed on a fast track to guarantee it opened in time for the regular season. Facebook Data Center: KPost has been involved in this project for several years and recently wrapped up work on a $200 million addition. According to Data Center Dynamics, the addition adds capacity for cold storage of information rarely accessed by users. When it comes online next year, it will be one of four such Facebook facilities around the world, supporting 2.74 billion active users. It is being built to LEED Gold specifications.

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Texas Instruments South: This relatively straightforward $15 million project involved tearing 30-year-old roofs off buildings that housed a semi-conductor plant and headquarters during the pandemic. “Each of those three projects had all sorts of challenges,” states CEO Keith Post, a Texas roofing veteran of more than 40 years. The company has also worked on a Google Data Center, Cisco Data Center and four Amazon Fulfillment Centers. “The market place has really shifted to industrial and distribution from office and we’re heavily involved,”


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O U R RO OTS ALSO RUN DEEP IN TEXAS.

Frost is proud to support KPost Company. And we’d be proud to help you along your financial journey too. Visit us at frostbank.com or call (800) 51-FROST.

MEMBER FDIC

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North American Constructors Journal Little points out.

Day To Day Given the company’s connection to the Cowboys, it should come as no surprise that football parlance is ingrained in the culture. Little, for example, is regarded as the head coach and says “the offense secures the business, the defense executes the business and the special teams do whatever is needed in a support role.” “We’re innovative. We use a lot of technology in the field and in the office. We view ourselves as a very sophisticated Sub-Contractor working along the lines of a

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General Contractor. It’s a business, not just a roofing company,” states Post. The three founders have all been in the industry since the mid-1980s. COO Dusty Smith joined the senior management team in 2018, adding his 30-plus years of experience as a General Contractor to the mix. The company has started a Level 10 Management Team of individuals ranging in age from their mid thirties to mid fifties and utilizes Gene Wickman’s book “Traction” as a guidepost for job-specific training and retention. “They were all incubated here,


North American Constructors Journal having started in various positions. The 400 employees we have were hard to find and the turnover rate of 20 percent in the field is typically on the labor and young apprentice side. When [companies in other sectors] pay $15-$18 to start and work in air conditioning, it’s difficult to find people when ours are working on a roof ranging from 30 degrees to 150 degrees depending on the weather,” Post points out. Post and Little are part of a peer group that discusses and shares Best Practices. They have formed career ladders & KPost University (KPU) that helps those new to the industry to better understand the

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opportunities that are available to them. “For us, it’s about people culture, vision and revenue and changing as the next generation comes along. We’re keeping the momentum going in whatever huddles, halftimes or practice sessions that we have. We’re all one team,” Little says. “Dusty Smith understands what our clients want before they ask the question because he comes from a background of 30 years of building from the ground up.”

Safety Measures Jayne Williams CFO/Safety

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officer states, “KPost carries a .52 modifier rating on $15 million of annual operational payroll, an insurance indicator that it is an exceptionally safe company. Truly it is a number that is hard to wrap your head around for a company whose employees are working on roofs or hanging off buildings every day.” The company has on staff one

bilingual Construction Safety Health Officials (CSHO), three bilingual CERTA torch trainers that teach roofers the proper use of torches, and one OSHA 500 bilingual trainer. The focus company’s is that all employees receive the proper training to complete each job safely and efficiently, regardless of how long that takes and how much it may cost.

“For us, it’s about people culture, vision and revenue and changing as the next generation comes along. We’re keeping the momentum going in whatever huddles, halftimes or practice sessions that we have. We’re all one team.” - Steve Little, President www.constructorsjournal.com

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Little credits Williams for her role in developing and overseeing the company’s program, “Under her guidance, the company has received the coveted Safety Star Award and both Gold and Platinum Safety Step Awards from ABC as well as Elite Contractor status from the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association.”

Managing COVID The initial effects in 2020 Covid pandemic added another layer to the challenge of staying safe. Little says the company responded beautifully, both on its five-acre campus with 400 workers and approximately 200 company

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vehicles, and at the numerous job sites it has been managing, such as remedial sites with occupied buildings and the controlled chaos of new construction sites that could have up to 2,000 contractors and employees working on any given day.

our software so they could communicate better and for the transfer of information to and from the job site. We found that because of the efficiencies we gained through COVID our entire company became more efficient.” Post says.

Common-sense measures – such as locking down the campus to non-KPost employees, wash bins and hand sanitizers added to all trucks and power and hand tools cleaned twice daily – continued until May 1 of this year.

Unfortunately, in May 2021 the entire roofing industry was hit with serious material shortages because of the international and domestic transportation issues and shortfall of raw materials to make products.

“We had to upgrade some of

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“Material availability has changed from 2-3 weeks to 5-7 months”


North American Constructors Journal Post states in exasperation, “This will greatly impact construction and fellow contractors across the nation.”

The labor shortage remains an acute area of concern across the entire industry. Construction Dive reported in early July that National Home Builders of America data analysis showed the median age of construction workers to be 41. “On the specialty side and the sub-contracting side, it can be even more difficult,” Little points out.

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owners put the most dollars in after they build the building.” One piece of advice Little would pass on to the younger version of himself? “I would not grow as fast. We were very blessed to have the success we have had but we also grew way too fast and had to pump the brakes a couple of times. We were fortunate to have really great people and Keith, Jayne and I got out of their way,” he concludes.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Looking Forward The company has a succession plan in place. Keith Post’s son joined the company five years ago and is being groomed, along with the Level 10 Management team, to carry the company forward. A Vision Plan for one, three and 10 years is in place while Wickman’s book provided a common language. “It’s funny, growing up in the business all I heard for 46 years was about the problems and the things that could go wrong,” Little recalls. “It’s a great trade and the roof, the parking lot, the HVAC and the floors are where the building

Company Name: KPost Roofing & Waterproofing Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 2004 Premier Services: Provider of custom turnkey roofing solutions and services. CEO: Keith Post President: Steve Little Website: www.kpostcompany.com

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W.L. French Excavating Corporation:

Building Boston And Beyond W.L. French Excavating of North Billerica, MA provides a broad range of construction services including, commercial site development, environmental remediation and soil & waste management. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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essica French Goyette, Vice President and Owner of W. L French Excavating Corp, describes the company started by her father William L. French, Sr. in 1972, as a “quintessential American success story.” Now in its 49th year of operation, the company is headquartered in North Billerica, MA, a short hop northwest from Boston, and has painstakingly built a sterling reputation as a premier partner throughout the region. The privately owned family business is now under the second-generation guidance of Goyette, and her siblings CEO & President, William L. French, Jr. Principal, Lisa French Kelley and Vice President, Tom Dion. “My father always believed in upholding the family name and doing things the right way”, Goyette says. “A lot of the companies in our sector are family owned and generational.” Bill French Sr. bought his first Mack truck at age 18, and likely never dreamed of the legacy his company has built. W. L. French provides a broad range of construction services including excavation, site development, environmental

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remediation, and soil & waste management. It employs approximately 260 construction professionals, generates $140 million annual revenue, maintains a 0.75 EMR and 2.9 DART, and logs close to a half million annual man hours worked and 2.8 million miles driven annually. The company was

“To be able to add value to you got to come to the table as a pa client can see how WLF can p to solve their - Jessica French Goyette,


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honest businessman. Fifty years ago, most work was solidified with a handshake. People respected him – he was a risk taker by nature and necessity, which drove his success. He knew he wanted to drive and own trucks since he was a young boy,” says Goyette, who keeps a model truck her father made at age seven in her office. “It looks very much like the trucks we have now. He knew since he was in kindergarten he’d be in this industry. ” Goyette credits her parents for laying the foundation of the business on the core principles of integrity, honesty and hard work.

voted recently as one of the best places to work in Boston by The Boston Globe. It has also been named an ENR Top 25 specialty contractor for the New England Region and has been listed on The Inc. 5000 more than five times. “Our father was always a very

our clients and owners, you’ve artner. Then the owner and the provide solutions and options problems. “ e, Vice President/Owner

“For us to get to the next level we’ve had to overcome our fair share of challenges and we have surrounded ourselves with talented, passionate people who have contributed to the success of the company. The company has worked tirelessly to distinguish itself from its competitors. “To be able to add value to your clients and owners, you’ve got to come to the table as a partner. Then the owner and the client can see how WLF can provide solutions and options to solve their problems. We’re hands-on and accessible. I think that’s a factor

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that carries weight when ultimately WLF is awarded a project. This is an industry predominantly driven by numbers but today clients and owners are looking for more. What is the value your company can bring to the table? Continuing to add value is something we are always working on.” Goyette asserts.

facility was not without bumps in the road. French was GilbaneHunt’s partner of choice for its commitment to safety, depth of experience, the size and capabilities of its equipment fleet and demonstrated ability to meet critical milestones.

Premier Projects

• 500 cubic yards (CY) of concrete foundation demolition; • 130,00 CY of mass excavation; • 88,000 CY of site fills; • Exporting 150,000 tons of soil; • Importing and placement of 100,000 tons of gravel and stone; • Installation of 4,700 linear feet of water, sewer & drainage piping; • Installation of 62 EA sewer & drain structures.

Polar Park: Construction was concluded in time for the May 2021 home opener of the Worcester Red Sox (a.k.a. The WooSox), the new Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The $166m city-owned project run by the Gilbane-Hunt joint venture that converted a vacant 22-acre site into a sparkling

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The company’s work included:


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Build on what matters most. Earn the trust of clients, employees and partners. Gain a reputation for quality work. And face the challenges of the construction industry head-on. Our insurance and risk management specialists can help you manage the risks unique to your world, influence your EMR, limit liability, reduce workers’ comp claims and satisfy bond requirements. Let’s build on your success. HUB International is proud to partner with W.L. French, to help them “Move Boston!”

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“We were shut down for almost three months [due to COVID] and we were concerned about how we were going to make up that time. Our client, Gilbane-Hunt had a solid team across the board as did we for our portion of the contract. We were pleased to deliver the project on time as promised despite the setback of the shutdown.” Boynton Yards: The $10m site package on a 3.5-acre site in Cambridge, MA had an excavation/ building footprint of 118 feet wide x 239 feet long with an average depth of between 33 and 38 feet. French excavated the hole and installed the infrastructure for water, drainage, sewer, electrical and telecommunications, as well as

restoring the road and putting in curb and sidewalks. Klarman Hall/Harvard Business School: Excavation of the site hole of up to 35 feet deep necessitated support via internally braced steel sheeting. Working with General Contractor Walsh Brothers, French disposed of 75,000 tons of urban fill and natural soils, relocated 18-inch sewer and 36-inch drain lines, installed new water, sewer, drain and electrical utilities, and reconstructed an existing parking lot and access road.

Relishing Her Role Goyette started with the company at age 18 and has seen it grow from

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North American Constructors Journal 20 employees to 260. Accordingly, her role has evolved into one where she wears many hats. “It’s a privilege to get up every day and have a chance to make things better for the company, the projects we are working on and the people who work here. I know we have an ability to make a tangible difference and that is extremely motivating and rewarding. We contribute to changing skylines and are building the foundation for important projects; institutions, hospitals and life sciences to name a few,” Goyette says. Goyette lists contributing to the revitalization of communities, Congratulations on your accomplishments W.L. French.

CELEBRATING

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working regarding the removal of debris and snow, aiding in asbestos remediation, and providing viable and credible information to state agencies (and having them respond to or solicit that feedback) as WLF’s noteworthy accomplishments. “Getting up every morning and seeing your name on the door is nice. But when you see all these people working side by side, spending every single day as part of our team, working together and working on projects that have a lasting impact, it’s quite something. Couple that with having your siblings as your partners while all being part of construction in one of the greatest cities in the world is rewarding beyond measure,” she says.

Day To Day AND COUNTING … • of local community and non-profit support • of solving our customers’ D&B challenges • of doing what we say we’re going to do • and over 2 million safe, controlled blasts

A Breed Apart

making it happen

508-478-027 • Milford, MA • www.mdandb.com

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“Internally, I’ve participated in every aspect of our company,” says Goyette. “Today I manage finances, the external teams, our surety, legal and insurance, and our accounting and banking attorneys. I have also spearheaded the implementation of new technology at headquarters and on the field to increase efficiency and automation, and get real-time information. My focus is on working to make WLF a little better each day.”


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The company has increased its safety staff to three full-time people and she says it will never rush a job at the expense of safety. Her brother and President Bill is specifically focused on safety for every team member and sub-contractors as well. “We believe safety starts at the top. Our concern for safety is about our people and ensuring

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that the job is done correctly,” Goyette explains. Safety is built into every aspect of the job, even before boots touch the ground. It starts at the pre-planning and estimating stages with estimators working to bid the production of the work with means and methods focused on proper safety equipment and procedures.

We have been constantly working to evolve our safety program and training, making sure each training session is relevant to the work we do and presented in engaging ways . . .Complacency is the first topic of every meeting and it is in every conversation.” - Jessica French Goyette, Vice President/Owner

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to evolve our safety program and training, making sure each training session is relevant to the work we do and presented in engaging ways. We invest in making our meetings meaningful. Complacency is the first topic of every meeting and it is in every conversation,” she says. “We’ve opened up the lines of communication with our foremen to ensure that near-misses and issues are reported so that we can do our part in preventing them entirely,” she adds. “We have created and are working to

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continue to build out our own online training platform to provide easier access to quality training for all employees throughout the company.” Goyette says that W. L. French stressed to their employees that safety was paramount and to not take unnecessary risks while the company went back to work on jobs that had fallen behind schedule during COVID-19 closures. “We have worked to eliminate any peer pressure to continue working in unsafe conditions. We consider


North American Constructors Journal safety a partnership between our all aspects of the company from the estimating team, project management, maintenance team and of course our men and women who work out in the field. We would never begrudge a job stop for safety reasons. We’ve found that by focusing on communication, we can prevent safety issues as well as enact corrective actions as needed. Safe jobs are successful jobs, and we would rather commend someone for stopping in unsafe conditions than reprimand them,” she says. “We believe in the motto of never stop learning. The safety team

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belongs to local, regional and national safety committees/groups. We contribute to a safety article in a state publication and have built a blog site for discussion of safety topics. We work to stay on the front lines of changes within the safety community to ensure that we truly stay best in class,” she continues. The company’s proprietary French Connector software connects all departments, has a companion mobile app and works in conjunction with the company’s Accounting software and Field software. French Connector is the result of a collaborative effort.

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“Everyone at WLF had the opportunity to share ideas and their processes. We’ve built this collaboratively. Engaging all of our team members in the task of developing this completely custom program means that it can be ever evolving and grow with the needs of company.

valuable to both to the program itself, and the company’s operations. It has completely elevated our company by creating efficiencies, connecting departments, creating scalable processes and doing so in a way that works specially for WLF,” says Goyette.

Having the whole team involved with this process has been hugely

Her sister Lisa is a board member of the Utility Contractors of

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subcontractors it works with regularly, and holds them to the same exacting standards of operation. “It’s not often we hire people we don’t know. We hire those whom we consider to be best in class. Subs play a critical role in helping us meet contractual needs. We have about 90 hired truckers that work for us and they are vital to our operations. We are thankful for all of our employees, vendors, suppliers, and clients. It takes every one of us to keep the wheels rolling,” Goyette offers.

Recruitment and Training

New England (UCANE). “UCANE is an excellent group of peers and they have made strides in improving the industry. They have great lobbyists and great resources, and we enjoy the ability to learn from our peers,” Goyette says. The company maintains a long-standing network of

The company has worked diligently to bring aboard individuals with a company first mentality. Believing that growth from within is preferable, providing mentoring and opportunities for promotion are key components to keeping them. “If you don’t share what you know, what good is it?” Goyette says of the importance of mentorship. “The upper level management team wants to cultivate our talent, give people the opportunity. And when we hire from outside we will ask our staff for referrals because the best referrals come from the people who are already happy here. We make sure to spend time

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North American Constructors Journal because there is a real return there. “Our father always ingrained in us that you treat everybody the same. From the president to the janitor, we should understand what they do and how hard it is in the elements, in the heat or in the snow, in urban areas or congested areas or for very demanding clients.”

The Road Ahead This company has proven it is built to last, having survived financial difficulties as result of cyclical economic recessions and this past year caused by the pandemic. “You really learn how to operate when the chips are down and you don’t forget what you learn from when you’re in that place. We try to maintain an even keel and push through. The pandemic was different than previous economic downturns. We have always had the ability to work through them. With COVID, we were unable to work. That was an awful experience for everyone and for many people throughout the country. We’re happy to be back at work as we continue to navigate through this pandemic,” Goyette admits. Construction in Boston, Cambridge and the immediate suburbs is slowly stirring with multiple

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projects of long duration on the books. With its reputation for innovation, quality and meeting deadlines, expect W.L. French to be involved in as many as it can take on. “Simply put, we love what we do. Every year we embrace change, we evolve and we grow. The team here is relatively young. Bill has been the driving force behind this company and people want to work for him. Integrity and following through is all part of it,” Goyette concludes.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Company Name: W.L. French Excavating Corporation Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 1972 Premier Services: Excavation, commercial site preparation, roadwork, demolition and asbestos abatement. President/CEO: William L. French, Jr. Website: www.wlfrench.com

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Ledcor Group of Companies:

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Multi-faceted North American Powerhouse Employee-owned Ledcor Group of Companies ranks among North America’s most diversified construction firms with headquarters in both Vancouver, BC and San Diego, CA. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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stablished in 1947 by the late William Lede, the employee-owned Ledcor Group of Companies ranks among North America’s most diversified construction firms with headquarters in both Vancouver, BC and San Diego, CA. Today the company is under the direction of Chairman/CEO Dave Lede and President Ron Stevenson. Ledcor employs approximately 7,000 in more than 20 offices, generates estimated annual revenue of $103 million, and serves the building, heavy industrial, civil infrastructure, mining, pipeline, power and communications sectors. The vertically integrated company also owns ancillary operations in aviation, forestry, marine transportation services, property investment, and wastewater treatment. Lede has continued to diversify the company and expand our operations, making Ledcor one of the largest and most diversified construction companies in Canada. Stevenson is President The Ledcor Group of Companies and a member of the Board of Directors and all Ledcor Senior Executive Committees. Backed by 70 years of accumulated knowledge, the company’s unwavering

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commitment to providing the highest quality work for its clients coupled with its demonstrated expertise in strategic decisionmaking allows it to grow, expand and add to its array of services. A pioneer in the Green Building industry, Ledcor is an awardwinning founding member of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and a long-time member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Sustainable Building The company was involved in the Marine Gateway and West Don


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stresses Fountain Tire Vice President Nelson Tonn, who is a Board member of the Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Network representing all Goodyear dealers in Canada.

Lands projects that were selected as winners of the prestigious Urban Land Institute’s 2017-18 Global Awards for Excellence. One of the company’s premier vendor partner suppliers is Fountain Tire, a subsidiary of Goodyear based in Edmonton, AB. “We know the products intimately, so we get the best possible support – pricing, warranty, product knowledge and fleet solutions – because we are a partner and also one of Goodyear’s largest customers in the world. All of these advantages are ultimately passed on to our customers,”

In conjunction with owner Shell Canada, the company has worked on The Athabasca Oilsands Project Upstream Expansion (AOSP) in Fort McMurray, AB continuously since 2006. It involves expansion of an open pit extraction and bitumen processing facility Ledcor completed crushing and conveying, utilities, and offsite work in 2010; finished the froth treatment area in 2010. Ledcor then moved on to complete the froth treatment and completed the extraction and tailing area completed in early 2011. Additionally, Ledcor completed a large piling project that installed more than 3,000 H-piles for pipe racks and tank foundations. Ledcor used one 100-ton link belt crane and four 80-ton Lima cranes with D30 to D50 delmag diesel hammers. Ledcor’s current work at the site includes heavy civil activities such as mine site preparation, tailings pond remediation, tailings dam and dyke construction, drill pad construction, and reclamation. Ledcor served as the general

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contractor on The Marine Gateway project in Vancouver, BC, in conjunction with PCI Developments Corp and designer Perkins+Will. The project directly connected two major transit stations, Marine Drive Canada Line and the South Vancouver bus loop and represents Vancouver’s first transit-oriented mixed use development initiative. The West Don Lands project, a Joint Venture between Ledcor and EllisDon, included more than 20 client-partners. The two-phase Toronto urban development undertaking revitalized a former historic

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railway and industrial district. Ledcor’s VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitors Centre project in Vancouver with architects Perkins+Will met the rigorous sustainability requirements set forth by the International Living Future Institute and was named 2014’s Sustainable Building of the Year by the World Architecture News. Additional awards include: The Vancouver Regional Construction Association’s 2013 Gold Award in Sustainable Construction for the UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences


North American Constructors Journal building; the 2013 CaGBC Award for the SFU UniverCity Childcare Centre project; and 11 awards at the 2012 VRCA Awards of Excellence event.

Safety Initiatives The slogan “Think Safety, Work Safely” embodies the company’s culture in regards to insuring that every employee on every job is safe every day. Under the company’s HS&E Program, every person from individual worker to senior management is responsible and accountable for maintaining a safe environment. The company’s safety programs

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exceed regulatory standards and its team of health and safety professionals works closely with managers and workers to support LedCor’s diverse operations. Every site crews holds a mandatory daily meeting to discuss HS&E issues and make sure workers adhere to the established site-specific safety protocol. The company leadership and crisis management teams closely addressed the COVID-19 outbreak from the outset, updating operating procedures regularly to ensure the safety of its workforce while maintaining business continuity.

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company mandates Aboriginal awareness and cultural training for all senior management and makes it available to all employees. The programs provide employees with the knowledge and skill necessary to work with the native community, stressing an appreciation for history and culture. Among programs Ledcor supports are Aboriginal Human Resource Development Council of Canada, the National Aboriginal Trades Leadership Committee, and the First Nations Training and Employment Partnership Program.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Committed to Community The company’s charitable contributions are legendary. In the past 10 years it has donated more than $24 million to more than 300 charities across North America with a focus on children’s health and access to post-secondary and trades education. Recipients include 26 pediatric hospitals, 13 Make A Wish chapters, 42 United Way chapters, 19 Boys & Girls Clubs/Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters and 10 food banks.

Company Name: Ledcor Group of Companies Country: United States and Canada Industry: Construction Est: 1947 Premiere Service: One of North America’s most diversified firms provides top-shelf services across an array of industry sectors. President: Ron Stevenson

Ledcor also strives to partner with native Aboriginal owned companies on projects. The

CEO: Dave Lede Website: www.ledcor.com

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Fountain Tire:

Driving Excellence Through Partnerships Fountain Tire has been selling and servicing tires on almost most every type of commercial vehicle across an array of sectors since 1956. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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ounded in 1956 by Bill Fountain as a single twobay garage in Wainwright, Alberta, Fountain Tire’s unique business model – ownership of each location is a 50/50 split between the store manager and the corporate office – helped drive the company past competitors across Canada. It’s been on a roll ever since. Fountain Tire further strengthened its grip on the market in 1987 when Goodyear Canada became a financial partner, a bold move that aligned the company with a respected global supplier/partner. “We’ve achieved much success over the years and we attribute it to our partnerships. That started with the inception our first store and with our partnership with Goodyear Canada,” explains Nelson Tonn, a Managing Partner and Vice President of Sales and Mine Service. “We also partner with our customers to provide unique solutions.” The impact of the Goodyear partnership on Fountain’s continued growth and success is an undeniable differentiator. “We know the products intimately, so we get the best possible support – pricing, warranty, product knowledge and fleet

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solutions – because we are a partner and also one of Goodyear’s largest customers in the world. All of these advantages are ultimately passed on to our customers,” stresses Tonn, who is a Board member of the Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Network representing all Goodyear dealers in Canada. “Our customers say that we are the only ones that partner with local owners who treat the customers’ needs like their own. Our customers can call a local store manager with an issue and they will handle it. The customer gets the benefit of being served by a local


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store partner and the services of a world-class organization. That’s a big differentiator,” he adds. He firmly believes success comes from listening to and collaborating with each and every customer. “Actively listen to the customer and they will tell you what they need. If you don’t have a solution, get started working on one with

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the customer and come up with something that works before someone else does. It’s all about trust and collaboration,” Tonn asserts. The company has been selected a “Best Managed Company” by Deloitte-Canada since 1994, achieving Platinum status each year since 2003. Additionally, CEO Brent Hesje followed in the

“The customer gets the benefit of being served by a local store partner and the services of a world-class organization. That’s a big differentiator.” - Vice President Nelson Tonn www.constructorsjournal.com


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footsteps of company founder Bill Fountain when he was inducted into the Tire Industry Association (TIA) Hall of Fame in 2019.

a $2,000 scholarship to every child of each employee.

In his acceptance speech, Hesje said: “I’ve always believed Fountain Tire’s collaborative, partnershipbased approach has been integral to our success. It has also allowed us to evolve as a company and to give back in meaningful ways to the communities where we live and work.”

Employee health and safety is baked into Fountain Tire’s culture.

Fountain Tire also sponsors a Junior Achievement program, participates in Job Shadowing days, and offers the opportunity of

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Safety Protocols

In a post on the company website, Hesje writes: “Our Safety

Excellence program is recognized as a stronghold in achieving our goals of growth and expansion across Canada. Since the implementation of the program, we have seen heightened safety awareness and recognition that safety belongs in every business as the responsibility of each business


North American Constructors Journal owner and operator. The benefits realized in various Fountain Tire businesses include the reduction of safety-related incidents, implementation of Early Return to Work programs, awarding of a Certificate of Recognition (COR), and reduction in premiums as a result of positive safety behaviours.” The company has safety teams in all of its businesses, conducts third-party safety audits, utilizes safety tracking and is proud that the majority of its locations had a TRIF (total recordable injury frequency) of zero in 2020. “Ultimately we want to see all of our locations have a TRIF of zero. We also have individual conversations and discussions with our key customers and discuss the things we can help them achieve for their organization,” Tonn says.

Daily Operations Company headquarters are located in Edmonton, Alberta. The company employs over 2,500 individuals across 160 locations, including three new stores opened during 2020 in the Ontario communities of Barrie, Dryden and Windsor. It is a leading provider of tires and tire-related services to commercial truck fleets and off-road vehicles used in the

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agriculture, oil and gas, mining, and construction sectors. In one of its latest innovations, the company began offering digital vehicle inspection reports across all locations last October, providing detailed photos and descriptions of the inspection process. Reports are sent directly to the device of choice for each customer. Tonn, a graduate of the University of Alberta, joined Fountain 23 years ago and wears multiple hats. He says the company’s strength is listening to its clients and engaging them in the process of finding solutions tailored to their specific needs. The company played a key supporting role in combating Canada’s most destructive wildfire in history in 2016 when the Fort McMurray conflagration burned approximately 1.5 million acres, destroyed more than 2,500 buildings and led to the evacuation of most of the city’s 100,000 residents. “We were considered an essential service that was needed to keep first responders, and other essential businesses rolling,” Tonn says. He considers one of the most interesting aspects of his job to be

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“Our customers are looking to be more corporately responsible and I think they are looking to suppliers like us to help.” - Vice President Nelson Tonn and Corporate Governance. “Our customers are looking to be more corporately responsible and I think they are looking to suppliers like us to help,” Tonn notes. “On the environmental side, for example, we’re talking with customers about retreading tires and what to do with end-of-life tires.” Among its premiere clients is the Ledcor Group of Companies, which ranks among North America’s most diversified construction firms with headquarters in Edmonton, AB, Vancouver, BC and San Diego, CA. A pioneer in the Green Building industry, Ledcor is an awardwinning founding member of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and a long-time member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Ledcor often partners with Indigenous owned companies on projects and mandates Indigenous awareness and cultural training for all senior management and makes it available to all employees.

Fountain Tire’s Governance and Human Resource Committees meet quarterly and, Tonn says, “Most of our larger customers in every segment are interested in at least one of these subjects as it concerns ESG.” When it comes to working with sub-contractors and vendors, Fountain Tire’s approach is as straightforward as it gets. “We have very few and we are very selective. Once you’re in, you’re in. We like to have longterm relationships, and to be able to operate as one team. They will know where we need help and anticipate that, and it’s the same from our side,” Tonn says. The company belongs to numerous industry associations, including the Automotive Industry Association (AIA), the Tire Industry Association (TIA), the Coal Association of Canada, the Mining Suppliers Association of British Colombia, the Canadian Institute of Mining, Mine Connect and Mining for Miracles, which supports the British Columbia’s

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CONGRATULATIONS ON KEEPING YOUR CUSTOMERS ROLLING FOR 65 YEARS! Goodyear is proud to be a supplier of Fountain Tire to help keep its customers, from fleets to families, moving on trusted Off-The-Road, Commercial, and Consumer tires. ®

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North American Constructors Journal “They are a huge help in dealing with local governments and in staying in contact with regulating bodies,” Tonn says.

Staff Training and Retention

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“We have stores spanning from British Columbia to Ontario. We’re still growing,” Tonn says. A word of advice for those just starting out in the industry?

Tonn notes the old axiom that “people don’t leave companies; they leave their managers.” The company’s DRIVE Program identifies high-quality managerial candidates and provides a path to potential store ownership with inperson training.

“Seek the advice and direction of others. People want to help, if you ask, especially if you’re younger. They want to help you become better at your job because everyone benefits,” Tonn concludes

“We believe managers need to have great relationships with their people. Performance reviews are key along with active communication. The DRIVE Program promotes hiring from within, which is ideally what we like to do. We will look outside if we don’t have that specific talent internally, but our first choice is to always look from within. With the partnership model you feel like you’re on this road together to win,” Tonn says.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Company Name: Fountain Tire Country: Canada Industry: Construction, Retail Est: 1956 Premier Services: Sells and services tires on almost every type

Down The Road

of commercial vehicle in the oil and

The company is perfectly positioned for continued growth and the goal is clear as the company prepares to expand into other provinces and follow some of its premiere customers into new markets.

gas, construction, mining and forestry sectors. CEO: Brent Hesje Website: www.fountaintire.com

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Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association:

Creating Harmony On The Road The SC&RA specializes in government and regulatory affairs while keeping members abreast of industry best practices and providing an array of educational products.

Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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stablished in 1947 as part of the American Trucking Associations, the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) has grown into a global entity with more than 1,400 members in 46 nations. Of that number, all but 300 members are based in the United States and Canada. Located in Centreville, VA, the association specializes in government and regulatory affairs while keeping members abreast of industry best practices and providing an array of educational products. Association members operate across multiple sectors of the construction industry, such as oil and gas and renewable energy, machinery moving and erecting, industrial maintenance, millwrighting, crane and rigging operations, manufacturing, equipment rental and concrete pumping. The association holds four events a year. Due to the pandemic, it will hold its Specialized Transportation Symposium later than usual in Birmingham, AL July 13-15) and its Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX (Oct. 25-20). “I think the No. 1 reason we exist is to create an environment for our members to operate and make sure there are no overarching regulations or legislation that would stop their ability to operate or hinder them in some way. We look at the landscape, monitor

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it, find the issues in different parts of the country and stop them from snowballing into other states,” explains SC&RA CEO Joel Dandrea. “We monitor on the federal and state levels. It’s behind the scenes work that a lot of our members don’t see every day but it’s important for their ability to operate. We work closely with other associations as well. It’s the only way companies can get together to solve problems without anti-trust issues,” he adds. Chris Smith, Vice President of Transportation explained the SC&RA’s unique composition. “Approximately half of our members are crane and rigging companies and the other half are specialized carriers and some in the middle do both,” says Smith, an industry veteran of 20 years who previously worked for AASHTO. “The evolution has been rather dramatic in terms of the numerous harmonization initiatives beginning to catch on and grow throughout the country. Much of that has to do with our association’s extraordinary ability to network with state and province government officials,” he explained.

Operating In Harmony The association’s Uniform Permit Transport 2021 (UPT 2021) harmonization drive launched a couple


North American Constructors Journal of years ago advocates for minimum weight thresholds and automated permitting systems across all 50 states at the local and Federal levels. The Permit harmonization process allows permit applications to be analyzed and issued within seconds. “As an industry, we have been stuck in the previous century. It’s not Chris Smith

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uncommon for permits for routine size loads – 120k, 14 feet wide and high – taking a week or two to be processed and issued. Now 37 states can process, analyze and issue permits for that size in seconds,” Smith says. “Permit harmonization is huge – we have made it a priority. Hauling something from one town or city or state to another is very costly and Joel Dandrea

“The evolution has been rather dramatic in terms of the numerous harmonization initiatives beginning to catch on and grow throughout the country. Much of that has to do with our . . . ability to network with state and province government officials.” - Vice President Chris Smith www.constructorsjournal.com


North American Constructors Journal challenging. What we are trying to do for our members is to make their ability to do the job across state lines much more efficient,” Dandrea adds. Smith says the association succeeded in convincing the Federal DOT – which plays no role in the movement of oversized/overweight loads around the country – to take notice. The association’s App-based mapping system identifies barrier

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states that have not yet implemented harmonization procedures. “A great deal of credit for our success now has to do with the work of my predecessors Steven Todd and Doug Ball, and the fact we found great success with mapping. We can make the case from an economic development and safety, and time standpoint on why harmonizing is a win/win for state governments, our industry, and the public,” Smith says.


North American Constructors Journal Indeed, harmonization has led to a marked accuracy rate in permits issued. As more carriers buy more permits to run legally, state revenue increases and the roadways become safer in general. Smith points out the association’s comprehensive permit manual covers all 50 states as well as Canada’s provinces. “It allows members to map out trips and is valuable as a timesaver and for efficiency. That’s something we’re really proud of. If the company doesn’t pull the right permit they can get in serious trouble. It’s crucial to knowing what the laws are,” he stresses.

Some Challenges As with every other segment of the construction industry, SC&RA members struggle with workforce development. “Far and away, to the point of our being surprised, workforce development and labor shortages were identified as the No. 1 issue barrier for the industry,” Smith says. “The severe driver shortage is very real. In our industry shortages of welders, project managers, planners and even engineers are all an issue. We have implemented a few programs that we are proud of.” He calls Lift and Move USA a great

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example of workforce development. “Before COVID, our members would host Lift and Move events bringing in 500-700 local and regional high school and college age students. They rotate through from six to 12 stations where a professional is working with them. At least one-third of the stations are virtual reality and interactive, such as operating a crane or driving an oversized load,” Smith explains. “Videos show who our members are and the great work they do.” “There is a lot of money to be made in this industry for kids fresh out of school. There is a shortage of drivers on the Specialized Transport side because18-year-olds can’t get a CDL, so we are supporting legislation that would allow 18-year-olds to get their CDL since people in the industry are trending older because you need experience,” Smith says. SC&RA also pays close watch to penalties and fines levied by states against operators involved in accidents. Noting that perception is reality, Smith says “a growing number of state officials now believe, anecdotally or otherwise, that bridge hits caused by overweight loads with or without permits on or off route, and a slightly growing number of violations, are causing the state officials to reassess the penalty system and whether they choose to issue a permit or not.”

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North American Constructors Journal Smith says one state sought to hold back permits for six months from any carrier causing damage but the association intervened before the bill reached the Governor’s desk. Smith tracks bridge hits each day and says with confidence that 98 to 99 percent of such events involve non-association members. “We are confident and hopeful that folks will show discretion for those that do the job the right way. We are an association that is as committed, if not more so than the state government themselves, in removing bad apple carriers from the road. All accidents can result in fatalities, property damage and otherwise but the potential for catastrophic events from an oversized/ overweight load can be 10 times that of a regular incident,” he states. “We are at the early stages of rising concerns among state governments about bridge hits and loads running without a permit. We are taking steps to get out in front of this before states are tempted to resolve an issue caused by a very small minority within an industry by creating new policy that impedes and punishes the greater industry that are doing things the right way while doing little or nothing to prevent bad apples from continuing to do business,” he adds.

Spreading The Word “Based on research we have done,

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the No. 1 reason people belong is for the networking. The events bring them together with their peers and competitors, allowing them to learn best practices and share experiences,” Dandrea says. “There are many opportunities to serve on committees and in leadership positions. This industry is really about relationships and part of our value is that we bring those opportunities to the members.” The Specialized Transportation Symposium attracts upwards of 500 attendees each year and is regarded as one of the premier global events of its kind. Leading specialized transportation professionals and government permitting officials to discuss permitting harmonization, safety, regulations, compliance and some of the industry’s most pressing topics. The Annual Conference offers industry standard best education sessions and premier speakers along with committee meetings, receptions and countless networking opportunities. “There is lots of opportunity for recognition. Our awards program is big and our Jobs of the Year are spectacular,” Dandrea says. The President’s Award, Environmental Award, Golden Achievement Award, Zero Accident Award, Crane Operator of the Year Award, Driver of the Year Award and Project Safety Award are


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“The No. 1 reason we exist is to create an environment for our members to operate and make sure there are no overarching regulations or legislation that would stop their ability to operate or hinder them in some way.” - CEO Joel Dandrea also presented at the awards gala.

Down The Road In addition to opening their membership to concrete pumpers, like Brundage Bone, the Association is turning its attention to attracting premier general contractors to become members. Among those who have joined is energy and Infrastructure giant Michels Corporation. Heavy and civil specialist Wright Brothers Construction is another. Meanwhile, Dandrea says the

association will continue to produce educational materials focused on best practices and is looking at the possibility of providing training programs. Finally, on the Crane & Rigging side, SC&RA will continue to work closely with the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

COMPANY INFORMATION

Company Name: Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 1947 Premier Services: Specializes in government and regulatory affairs while keeping members abreast of industry best practices. CEO: Joel Dandrea Website: www.scranet.org

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Load King Manufacturing:

Iconic Brand Aligned With Custom Truck One Source

Load King Manufacturing of Kansas City, MO is the brand name used by Custom Truck on all equipment for which it is the OEM Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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North American Constructors Journal acked by 65 years of experience and a reputation for product consistency and performance, Load King Manufacturing of Elk Point, SD became a wholly owned subsidiary of Custom Truck One Source in 2015 and is the brand name used by Custom Truck on all equipment for which it is the OEM. “When we bought Load King we decided to build our vertical business around it, so Custom Truck is the parent company and acts as the dealership for the products that we [Load King] make. The idea is for Custom Truck to become more vertical and therefore control the product more,” explains John Lukow, Product Manager and Senior Vice President of Cranes at Load King. Today, Load King employs approximately 115 individuals at locations in Kansas City, MO, Sedalia, MO and Elk Point, SD and produces heavy construction equipment to Custom Truck’s massive network of distributors spanning the length and breadth of the United States. The company manufactures trailers, cranes, service trucks, dump trucks, water trucks and roofing conveyors for use across an array of industry sectors. Custom

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Ross Fred

Truck One Source surpassed the $1bn barrier in March of 2020. It is also an active member of the Specialty Crane & Rigging Association (SC&RA). Lukow had been out of the industry for five years when he was lured back by Custom Truck’s founder and CEO Fred Ross in May of 2019. The two knew each other from Lukow’s time working for

“There’s a lot of work to do. R products running parallel, which i prototyping going on and ou - John Lukow, Product M


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Manitowoc. He credits the company’s success to the culture Ross has created. “If you talk to a salesperson, workers in the factory, or one of our people in the office I think the common theme you will get are that it’s just a really good environment to work in. It starts with Fred. Even though we’re

Right now we have five new is very exciting. There is a lot of ur test pads are very busy.” Manager and Senior VP

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doing a billion dollars in sales this year, it still feels like a family-run company,” Lukow says. “Fred is honest and extremely passionate about the business, which has grown phenomenally. His door is always open to talk and he’s always sending thumbs-up texts to people for a job well done. Who does that at a billion dollar company? You will get that opinion from me and just about everyone you talk too,” Lukow stresses.

Expanding The Brand The company scored a major coup

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North American Constructors Journal when it purchased the boom truck, crossover and Truck Crane product lines from Terex in April of 2019. Lukow estimates those units will account for roughly half of the Load King’s operation this year. “We talk about our crane business in two categories – boom trucks and truck cranes. Custom Truck has a really long history with boom trucks and it’s kind of a passion for the CEO. The relationship with Custom Truck and Terex goes back 30 years, when boom trucks were being built by Simon RO,” Lukow notes. Connecticut-based Terex

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purchased RO Stinger (formerly Simon RO) in 1997, which was originally based in Olathe, MO then moved about a number of times before returning to Missouri for good. “It’s sort of a neat legacy thing that’s happened. We’re only about 70 miles from where the original factory was so, for us, it’s coming home to our roots and is part of the reason we use Stinger as part of our branding because the original cranes we built were called RO Stingers. If you’re over 50 in the business now you go ‘Oh yeah, we had one of those in the yard, Those things were great!’ So we’ve tried

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North American Constructors Journal to inspire that type of connection between us and the past,” Lukow explains. The company is in the early stages of re-imagining and re-developing the Terex models, unveiling the first built under the Load King brand at ConExpo 2020 last March that was shipped to customers Canada. “That’s been our first new product development, where we started with the base of what we bought from Terex (Crossover 8000), kept everything we liked about it and then we took our own designs and completely updated the hydraulics,

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completely updated the crane control system and brought crane from an early 2000s design to what we feel is current,” Lukow says. “The overall numbers were down [at ConExpo] but we were so busy. We had two days where we didn’t stop for lunch. It was a really good show for us in terms of meeting people and introducing this new product, sort of like a little coming out party,” he continues. The company announced partnerships with Laguna Crane Services, Empire Crane Co., LLC and WHECO Corporation in April


North American Constructors Journal 2020 to provide service to Load King boom trucks, truck cranes, and Terex legacy products. The ALL Family of Companies (ALL) came on board as an authorized service center for Load King cranes in July 2020.

Day To Day In his role as a Product Manager, Lukow oversees production and new product development to insure the company is building the products that meet market demands. “There’s a lot of work to do. Right now we have five new

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products running parallel, which is very exciting. There is a lot of prototyping going on and our test pads are very busy. I work with both the engineers and our sales guys. We have 7,000 products to sell, so you can’t expect a sales guy to be an expert in cranes. Basically I tell them to go meet people and if they say the word crane then give me a call. We’re here to help the sales guys close the deal,” he says. Custom Truck’s engagement with suppliers has evolved since its decision to become a more vertical entity. The company built its reputation on its ability to purchase trucks, spec them out and fit them with specialized

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“Basically, it came down to to annual agreements and big purchase orders like ‘We need 400 bucket trucks this year.’ But when we got more vertical and knew we were going to be buying steel and electrical components we built a Purchasing Department and we’ve hired people from big companies with the pedigree and the background for that work,” Lukow says. “Becoming a supplier with us starts with contacting our purchasing folks and then there is an involved vetting process they all go through. We get to know their capabilities and what their quality control standards are before we ever make a decision,” he adds. As an example, Lukow cites a recent project for which it opted to replace the electrical components in Terex vehicles. “We wanted to move to somebody new because we knew it was going to be a 10-year

decision. We had a field of seven [candidates] that we narrowed down to two. “We conducted site visits, took a scientific approach and I feel like we picked the right guys and they‘ve done a great job developing a control system that we’re going to adapt to all our products,”

“It starts with [Founder] Fred [Ross]. Even though we’re doing a billion dollars in sales this year, it still feels like a family-run company, ” - John Lukow, Product Manager and Senior VP www.constructorsjournal.com


North American Constructors Journal Lukow says. Lukow believes the company’s membership in the SC&RA has been beneficial in a number of ways. “We really like the advocacy portion. It gives the industry a voice. There’s a lot of work to do in the country on infrastructure and SC&RA is able to say in a unified manner that ‘This is a group of 1,000 business owners that really want you guys to pay attention.’ The other thing is communicating with OSHA and standards committees, like ASME.. We’re moving thousands of pounds with big equipment and it’s human beings that are at risk,

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so I like their stance to promote safety training and certification,” he elaborates.

Looking Forward Surpassing $1bn in revenue speaks for itself. The Load King/Custom Truck One Source collaboration is rock solid and seems likely to endure well into the future given the vast scope of infrastructure upgrades needed across the county. As to maintaining forward motion, Lukow’s advice is simple: “The customer is always right. Period. End of discussion.”

COMPANY INFORMATION

John Lukow

Company Name: Load King Manufacturing Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 1956 Premier Services: Heavy construction equipment manufacturer: Website: www.loadkingmfg.com

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Bragg Companies:

Crane, Rigging and Heavy Haul Specialists This full-service crane, rigging and heavy haul company trives to provide its client/partners across multiple industry sectors with innovative, cost-effective solutions. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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hen Bragg Companies founder Jim Bragg moved from Russellville, AK to California and purchased a single crane in 1946, his focus was to establish his company as a reliable partner at the outset of the country’s postWorld War Two building boom. Now, as the company celebrates its 75th year in business, it’s hard to imagine that Mr. Bragg sensed the impact the family-owned company would have on the industry from coast to coast. “The difference for us really is people. You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with,” says his grandson M. Scott Bragg, the company’s third generation President and CEO, whose three sons represent the fourth generation of family involvement. “We’ve got some long-tenured employees. We have a lot of second- and third-generation iron workers, truck drivers, and crane operators in our organization.” Based in Long Beach, CA, Bragg Companies is a full-service crane, rigging and heavy haul company and strives to provide its client/ partners across multiple industry sectors with innovative, costeffective solutions. The company has been in its

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current location since 1992 and has 15 offices – most in the Western part of the country along with one in Texas and another in Florida, strategically located to take advantage of emerging opportunities. It employs 2,000 and, Bragg says, can increase that number by more than two-fold “depending on the number of projects and workload.” Despite its size, the company maintains the family atmosphere of a smaller operation.


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“We hire for culture and we treat people like family. We’re concerned about them and their families. We want to make sure things are going well and we want them to take time off and enjoy their family. We’ve been fortunate because we seem to draw good people, whether it’s at the craft level or

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management folks,” Bragg says.

Premier Projects LAX Modernization Project: Bragg Crane & Rigging (BC&R) worked with Austin Commercial on the installation of an Automated People Mover (APM) system to

“We’re always looking at opportunities, whether it’s organic or if someone is looking to sell a company or assets. As we move toward working different contracts we are expanding our Crane Division.” - M. Scott Bragg, President/CEO

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Congratulations on 75 Successful Years WGB Benefits Insurance Services is an advisor of Bragg Companies and Passionate Advocates of their employee benefits experience

714.505.7000 wgbbenefits.com Insurance License 0M25200 www.constructorsjournal.com

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connect the terminals. BC&R’s ironworkers are welding, cutting and grinding the newly installed steel as part of the Terminal Vertical Core project and the company used five different cranes – Tadano GR1600 XL, Liebherr LTR-1220, Terex T340 XL, Liebherr LR1300, Linkbelt HTC 86100 – to place the steel. Efficient scheduling was of paramount importance to insure minimal impact on airport operations. SoFi Stadium Project Steel Haul: Bragg Heavy Transport (BHT) shuttled more than 500 loads of steel – in excess of five million pounds – from the port of Long

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Beach to the site of the new home for the National Football League’s Rams and Chargers. Using multiple types of trailers – 9 axle and 8 axle, flats, steps, double drops, MES trailers and dual lane trailers – BHT drivers made every delivery on time over the course of the two-year project. Tehachapi Wind Turbines: Each of the company’s three divisions – Bragg Crane Service, Bragg Crane & Rigging, and Bragg Heavy Transport – collaborated on this exceptionally tricky project to build a 360,000-pound turbine that grossed 612,000 pounds total. Project components delivered by


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BHT to the site included tower sections, blades, hubs and nacelles. BCS operators hoisted the turbines using an LR 1750. Bragg Crane & Rigging then set up all components in the tower’s location. BHT drivers utilized two new Goldhofer trailers to negotiate the 8-10 percent grade of the road that traditional hauling equipment is not cleared for.

Day To Day Describing himself as both a “hands-on and behind–the-scenes” manager, Bragg is involved in every facet of the business “I work with our CFO, with our insurance brokers and insurance carriers. I also deal with the legal side of the business and manage the Senior Management Group that meets monthly to look at strategies to protect the assets of the company. We look at succession planning from Management down in the different groups to make sure we have the right person on the right seat of the bus as people retire and people move up,” he explains.

The company invests in top-shelf technology and has rolled out a reimagined website to better tell its story in in conjunction with its 75th anniversary celebration. Safety is a 24/7 priority. As part of the company’s Corporate Health and Safety Program (CHSP) all

“We provide guidelines, guidance and support but we let our upper management manage our business – that’s why we hire them. We do not micro-manage,” - M. Scott Bragg, President/CEO www.constructorsjournal.com


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standards, company policies and best practices. Bragg Companies Engineering Department, led by COO and Professional Engineer Ian Johnson, has a hands-on role in all of Bragg’s work, providing comprehensive plans for even the most complex of jobs. The staff of multiple PE certified engineers utilizes the most up-to-date technology to create job plans that are safe, efficient, and thorough.

employees are empowered by a written Stop Work Authority (SWA) policy to assess job site risk, analyze solutions to mitigate that risk and take action to ensure incident-free operations without fear of recrimination. Additional elements of the CHSP include: Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), daily Task Hazard Analysis (THA), and Tailgate safety meetings to identify and mitigate hazards; and field safety audits performed by Operations, Technical, and Safety Staff to ensure alignment with regulatory

Employees are drawn to and, more often than not, tend to stay with the company for a long while due to the familial culture. One employee just recently retired after 49 years. Bragg is proud of the collaborative, friendly culture at the company. The focus is on hiring good people who will do their jobs well. Bragg also maintains an opendoor policy whenever possible and his office located in a main hallway allows him to see and catch up with employees as they pass by, a tradition he loves. “We provide guidelines, guidance and support but we let our upper management manage our business – that’s why we hire them. We do not micro-manage,” Bragg says. Master agreements, service agreements and fuel agreements of finite duration are drawn up as

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Congratulations

Bragg Companies

on 7 5 y e a r s of success serving the construction industry!

www.aalrr.com Labor & Employment | Prevailing Wage Construction Claims | OSHA | Labor Relations | Litigation Contracts & Bid | Liens & Stop Notices

needed. The company also has long-standing relationships with high-profile vendors and subcontractors. “We’ve established great relationships over the years. We make sure they understand our needs and we pre-qualify subs for our construction groups. There are certain requirements that have to be met before they go to work for you because they’re representing you as well,” Bragg stresses.

Addressing Challenges Navigating California’s alphabet soup of regulatory agencies – 17

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or more – is assuredly tricky. As an example, Bragg explains it was previously cost-effective for the company to buy refurbished tractors and maintain them to mandated standards because they were only on the road roughly 20 percent of the time. “Now, because of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), we can’t do that. We have to buy new and we have to have state of the art equipment. It’s been a 10-to-12 year plan to stay in compliance with that,” he says. “And there’s just the cost of doing business in California – everything


North American Constructors Journal is more expensive, the cost of living is higher, there are all the taxes and the rules and regulations that have to be met,” Bragg says. “There’s one agency after another that we have to absolutely keep in compliance with.” Additionally, replacing retiring Baby Boomers and the skill set and vast amount of knowledge that goes out the door with them is an ongoing issue.

Association Benefits The company has been a member of the Specialized Crane and Rigging Association (SC&RA)

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for more than 50 years. SC&RA specializes in government and regulatory affairs, providing access to individuals at the Federal level and keeping its members abreast of industry best practices and an array of educational products. “My father was in leadership at SC&RA, having gone through the chairs and now I’ve been elected to start this year”, says Bragg, who chairs the association’s Insurance and Labor Committees. “We have developed life-long relationships with people all over the country and gotten to know them on a personal level because of SC&RA. “With over 1,300 member

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North American Constructors Journal companies, we have been fortunate to build relationships both personally and professionally with many. We do jobs and rent equipment from other member companies. We also offer support for newer companies and are involved in supporting the SC&R Foundation in the field,” he adds. SC&RA’s Lift and Move USA initiative addresses the issue of replenishing a depleted workforce that is ageing out or hasn’t returned to the industry postCOVID19. “We hosted one event here [before COVID]. We tapped into the Long Beach Unified School District

where our home office is and we had 650-plus students here. We put the equipment out there, did some presentations, showed them via computer simulations – the kids truly didn’t know that’s the way part of the training happens,” Bragg says. “Not every kid is on a college career path and this really opened some eyes among those students, showing them how you can make a good living and how you can drive around and say ‘Hey, I helped erect that building or that ride at a theme park, or we built rocket launch facilities.’ It’s something to talk about,” he adds.

CONGRATULATIONS TO BRAGG COMPANIES ON 75 YEARS. WE ARE PROUD TO BE YOUR PARTNER.

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North American Constructors Journal The company also maintains fruitful memberships in a number of other industry groups, including American Clean Power, the California Truckers Association, the Crane Owners Association, the Mobile Crane Operators Group, the Southern California Contractors Association, the American Institute of Steel Construction, the Smartway Transport Partnership, the Railway Industry Clearance Association and Northwest Crane Owners Association.

Looking Ahead Whether internally or through acquisition, this company is well positioned for continued growth as it continues it’s journey toward 100 years. Bragg Companies track record of smart expansion in recent years has included growth out to Florida to pursue opportunities in the amusement park and space launch facilities there, as well as to other Utah, Idaho, and most recently, Washington. “We’re always looking at opportunities, whether it’s organic or if someone is looking to sell a company or assets. As we move toward working different contracts we are expanding our Crane Division. We just opened offices in Meridian, ID and in Mt. Vernon, WA to support specific contracts in the

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petro-chemical world,” he notes. Asked if there was a bit of advice Bragg would pass along to a younger version of himself, it would be this: “In 2009, my father, my brother and my uncle died, leaving a space in my life as well as at work. This experience showed me that you really never know what will happen in life. So it is important to live life fully each day and to take each opportunity to learn,” he concludes.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Company Name: Bragg Companies Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 1946 Premier Services: Full-service crane, rigging, and heavy haul company founded in Long Beach with locations across the country. President/CEO: M. Scott Bragg Website: www.braggcompanies.com

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Veit & Company, Inc.:

Digging Into Its Work

Veit & Company, Inc. has provided earthwork, demolition, utilities, and foundation services across multiple industry sectors for nearly a century. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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hile it may be safe to say that Frank Veit may not recognize the company he founded nearly a century ago with a single truck with a dump box, he’d understand the drive needed to outwork competitors and deliver work of the highest possible quality. Established in 1928 with headquarters in Rogers, MN, Veit & Company, Inc. (Veit) today remains family-owned and privately held. It has carved out a sterling reputation as a provider of earthwork, demolition, utilities, and foundation services across multiple industry sectors. Third-generation owner Vaughn Veit bought the business from his father, Arthur Veit, in 1975 and has overseen its continued growth for more than 50 years. CEO Kelly Veit is one of the few women filling that role in the U.S. construction industry and President Tim Reimann brought 20 years of industry experience with him when he came on board in September of 2020. The company has three operations under one umbrella: • Veit & Company, Inc. also has Marine Diving and Dredging, and Industrial Cleaning divisions and

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accounts for approximately 80 percent of the company’s annual revenue. • Veit Disposal Systems operates a large fleet of trucks with rolloff containers for recovery of demolition and industrial waste from its own operation as well as those of clients. • Vonco removes anything of value from the processing and landfilling waste stream and will

“We’re very proud of the spirit and branded ‘Never Settle, Dig De innovative mind-set of problem-sol - Tim Reiman


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South Dakota and Wisconsin (Milwaukee). Is opening a Green Bay, WI office and acquired a company in the Southeastern United States last year. It finished 2020 with $246m annual revenue and, on average, employs 600-700 individuals although that number will peak at 1,000 this year due to ongoing work. “We’re very proud of the spirit and culture of the company, which is branded ‘Never Settle, Dig Deeper’,” Reimann notes. “The spirit does drive an innovative mind-set of problem-solving and continuous improvement.”

High-Profile Projects sell elements of value.

According to Reimann, the

“Vaughn Veit is the family owner that has really grown the business. As President, I have [day-to-day] responsibility for those three companies,” Reimann says. “We’ve grown for most of the 93 years we’ve served the Minnesota market.

Tim Reimann - President

In recent years, the company has expanded into North Dakota,

nd culture of the company, which is eeper’. The spirit does drive an lving and continuous improvement.’ nn, President www.constructorsjournal.com


North American Constructors Journal company drew between 400 and 500 projects per year with an average job size of $300,000. Project Walleye: The company has performed all the integrated site development from preconstruction through construction on a 105-acre site for a national distribution center for a web-based retailer. Ryan Companies, Inc. contracted with Veit to provide commercial site preparation for a 750,000 SF distribution center in Lakeville, MN. The project ran from October 202 through June 2021. The project includes excavation

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and backfill for the 17.72-acre building footprint, construction of roadways and parking lots, and installation of utilities including watermain, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, discharge header, and welland-point system dewatering. “It’s a version of the Biden Administration’s scale of work we’ll all be called on to help the US deal with this aging infrastructure crisis we’re facing,” says Reimann. Lakewalk: This enormous multiyear project for the city of Duluth was designed to both protect and enhance a high-end retail area from the brutal winter


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environment along the shore of Lake Superior. The company rebuilt the lakewalk and installed armor protection. Crews imported more than 150,000 tons of 5-12 ton boulders to stack along the new shorefront trail to protect it from harsh conditions. The mile-long project was completed on time. Grassy Point: This continuing project for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) seeks to reclaim and restore natural habitat destroyed by more than a century’s worth of logging operations. Sawmills used the body of water as a dumping ground for wood chips that settled to the bottom and hindered aquatic plant growth, limited underwater animal movement, and created overall hazardous conditions for wildlife.

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The company’s Marine Dredging Division executed the work.

Safety Measures The company’s outstanding EMR of 0.66 signals its commitment to protecting its workforce above all else. No project begins until it is determined that employees, clients, partners, and the community will be as safe as possible. Before new employees set foot on any site they are provided rigorous safety training. The company is currently seeking a patent application for a safer and more productive method to bring down tall smokestacks and industrial chimneys that was created by one of its Field

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North American Constructors Journal “That is challenging and dangerous work and it really shows how that Superintendent is seeing the challenges and dangers inherent in demolition,” Reimann points out.

Day to Day Reimann served as a submarine officer following his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He obtained his Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland and previously worked for 30 years in leadership roles in the automotive, information technology, manufacturing, and construction sectors. “I’ve been spending time with our clients, partners and people to better understand our markets, the

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challenges and the opportunities. We’re also really talking a lot about where we want to go as a company,” he says. He works with the Leadership Team to develop its Veit 2030 vision that will define the company from the perspectives of revenue, profitability and performance moving forward. How to incorporate elements of the company culture into something broader; how to become and remain a preferred company of choice; how to retain the best people while maintaining a voluntary turnover rate of less than five percent are all questions to be addressed. The company has a fleet of 600


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pieces of heavy equipment and active innovation partnerships in place with Caterpillar and Trimble Guidance Systems that make it one of only a handful of companies that has the opportunity to beta-test the technology in the field.

Reimann explains.

“We can shake down and test out their pilot technology. Our engineers work directly with Cat Corporate in Peoria, IL and give them real-time feedback about how this technology is performing in the field. They benefit from that ‘test drive.’ We have a very similar arrangement with TGS. We get up-to-date real-time downloads to job sites, wherever they may be, wherever our assets are,”

The entrepreneurial spirit established by Vaughn Veit seems to attract people to the company. Once on board, most tend to stay.

“That information helps dial in our estimates and translates into more productive, safer jobs, especially with real-time positioning of buried utilities,” he adds.

“We’re somewhat independent and motivated by that spirit and you know you will be supported by an office team, a support team, and a leadership team has your back. Having some fun and growing together is important,” Reimann

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asserts. “People here don’t like sitting around and are motivated to make a difference. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They look at the work they do and they’re proud of what they build, or what they enable a General Contractor to build.” The company’s vetting process for service-providing vendors and partners is stringent. “We look at technical abilities, financial standing, and their values and cultural elements, and how

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they do what they do. Then we ask ourselves ‘Will this partnership have the right fit? Does it feel like we can work with them? Can they help us deliver on the Veit Promise and the brand that we’ve developed?’,” Reimann explains.

Meeting Challenges In an industry with a median age of 41 years old, Veit faces the same problems of Baby Boomers ageing out of the workforce and others leaving the industry voluntarily.

“I’ve been spending time with our clients, partners and people to better understand our markets, the challenges and the opportunities. We’re also really talking a lot about where we want to go as a company.” - Tim Reimann, President www.constructorsjournal.com


North American Constructors Journal “I mean, it’s a war for talent. We’re providing education in the communities we serve and show what work in the construction space could be. We see a lot of families with the belief that going to college and getting a traditional degree is the only way, We respect that view but we also think there are good, healthy careers in the trades. We’re working with the HEC and other organizations that work with construction to lobby and promote the industry,” Reimann says. The commoditization pressure on the industry that has trended upward since the onset of the pandemic 18 months ago remains a concern and, Reimann says, “is something we take very seriously here.”

Reimann notes. His advice to those still searching for a career path? Be open to any and all possibilities. “I would have never guessed I’d be doing what I’m doing today. I’ve learned to take risks, stretch myself and grow in ways that, as an Engineer and traditional type of leader I would have never imagined. Live the adventure and navigate your career by reflecting [on your] personal passions, [your] talents and [how you]can help organizations get better and be successful,” he concludes.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Company Name:

Down The Road

Veit & Company, Inc.

This is a smart, nimble company with a long-term vision in place and plans for continued growth at a measured pace. Supportive and nurturing with its sub-contractors, it is also a company unafraid of self-evaluation and potential lessons to be learned.

Country: United States

“We track how many prequalifications we do each year and sometimes we step back and say ‘We’ve got to get better – maybe the problem is in our own ranks’,”

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Industry: Construction Est: 1928 Premier Services: Earthwork, demolition, utilities, and foundation services across multiple sectors. President: Tim Reimann CEO: Kelly Veit Website: www.veitusa.com

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Roll Group:

A Fast-Moving Transportation Specialist

Roll Group brings together RollDock, Big Roll and Roll-Lift under one umbrella to provide services across an array of industry sectors. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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stablished in 2008 with U.S. Headquarters near Houston, cargo and heavy lifting transportation specialist Roll Group brings together RollDock, Big Roll and Roll-Lift under one umbrella to provide “Factory to Foundation Solutions” services across an array of sectors.

transport equipment and cranes to integrate our services on land and sea,” he says.

“Roll Group started initially as a shipping company, but in 2011 it felt like it was a good time to start a heavy lift land division,” explains Bas Bronder, Managing Director for Roll Group Americas. An industry veteran of nearly 30 years, Bronder became Managing Director in Canada as part of a joint venture with ALE Group in 2012.

“Yes, we are a global player but there are still geographical areas where we need to further develop the business. Our mission is to offer the highest level of service and quality all over the world,’” Bronder asserts.

Well established and continuing to branch out in North America, the company is also a global player. It employs approximately 95 individuals at its Houston office, maintains membership in key associations such as the Specialty Crane & Rigging Association (SC&RA) and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and has made shrewd investments on both the land and marine divisions. “We took the opportunity recently to acquire a number of vessels to insure that we don’t lose control in that market. We also acquired

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He likes the company’s strategic approach to growth. It services the Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy both on and Offshore, Port Handling, Power and Civil Construction sectors.

Day To Day Bronder holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Before moving to Roll Group in Houston, he worked in many capacities for Mammoet in Europe and Canada. He also led a joint venture that developed and marketed a strategy to ship industrial process modules from the Pacific Rim to the oil sands in Fort McMurray. In 2001 he was a Project Manager during the grim salvage operation of the Russian K-141 nuclear cruise missile submarine Kursk, which


North American Constructors Journal collided with another ship and sank in the Barents Sea, killing all 118 members of the crew. He says he’s “not keen on roles and titles” but is more focused on everyone working together

Bas Bronder - Managing Director

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as a team. “We’re one group. I like to get out in the field to connect with the guys and hear what they have to say about the business. There is not a major disconnect

Chris van Egmond - Finance Director

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North American Constructors Journal between [us]. I really enjoy building something, getting it started and making it better,” Bronder says. The company carries ISO 9001:2015 certification and the International Safety Management Code. Its Quality, Health & Safety, Security and Environment (QHSSE) team creates, develops, and implements business practice and also audits all corporate and project processes. Project specific risks are identified and mitigated. The company is responsible to protect its employees, clients, assets and the environment and its training program. The company’s training program enables staff to share

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their knowledge and experience with newer members of the team. “This industry is highly-specialized, therefore strategic vendor partnerships becomes more and more important,” Bronder elaborates. “At some point you have to fully embrace those relationships, while also making sure that the goals between the parties remain aligned.” Clients expect a quality product and service at a competitive price. Bronder is equally vigilant about the risks the company is exposed to. However, he says “the challenge for our industry, our subcontractors and vendors is to maintain high quality standards, despite the economic challenges.”


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Our mission is to offer the highest level of service and quality all over the world.” - Bas Bronder, Managing Director Americas

Addressing Challenges COVID-19 continues to impact the industry a year and a half after it exploded across the globe. Bronder says it wasn’t a factor initially because work was still on the go. “People thought it would quickly go away, which obviously didn’t happen. Reality came about in March 2020 and the first measures such as social distancing were put in place. Our people did an amazing job

of adjusting quickly. We were able to work from home and still managed to keep going,” he says . “In general, COVID has shown how vulnerable we are as a society. When we reached the New Year, we were secretly hoping it had all gone away but we’re still very much in the middle of it. To some extent, the rest of 2021 and early stages of 2022 may still be affected by it,” Bronder adds. As is the case across all of construction, re-stocking a work Hannah Pixley - Human Capital & Compliance Manager

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left the industry altogether, is an ongoing concern of the highest magnitude. According to an analysis by the National Association of Home Builders, the median age of construction workers is now 41. “We’re not doing a good enough job retaining our people and not doing enough as an industry to re-invest in our people and bringing up enough capacity so the system can sustain itself. Activity levels go up and all of a sudden companies start stealing people from other firms. The pool is always depleted. We have to look at industry-wide solutions because you’re not going to fix it individually,” he offers.

“We are always considering what’s next. In the wind business there is the ability for things to get bigger. The question is how quickly will it evolve from where we are today in the next five years?” - Bas Bronder, Managing Director Americas www.constructorsjournal.com


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This is a smart, nimble company that has forged a sterling reputation for quality in less than 15 years. For example it is paying close watch to how it can provide services to the wind industry as the world moves away from fossil fuels and toward renewables. “We are always considering what’s next. In the wind business there is the ability for things to get bigger. The question is how quickly will it evolve from where we are today in the next five years? We stay close to the manufacturing and developers because things change very, very quickly nowadays,” he says.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Company Name: Roll Group Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 2008 Premier Services: Provider of total solutions for the transportation and lifting of heavy cargo both on land and sea. Managing Director Americas: Bas Bronder Website: www.roll-group.com

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AMPCO Contracting:

They Can Really Dig It

AMPCO Contracting, with Headquarters in Anaheim, has grown from a small start-up into a premier provider of pre-construction services in less than 20 years. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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stablished in 2004, AMPCO Contracting of Anaheim, CA has grown from a small start-up to become a premier provider of preconstruction services – demolition, abatement and earthwork – throughout the state in less than 20 years. “I’m originally from Massachusetts and we started working out of my house, bidding projects,” explains President Andrew Pennor, who worked for another company for several years before making that leap of faith. “I was doing all of the Sales and Estimating, so I figured I might as well just do it for myself. We wound up getting a couple of decentsized projects when we first started,” Pennor adds, bringing to mind the old axiom “you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take” attributed to Wayne Gretzky. Today the company employs 150 individuals and experienced a breakthrough year in 2017 when it was named one of the Top 10 Fastest Growing Companies in Orange County by the Orange County Business Journal. Pennor says, “we’ve kind of gone from there – we have done some of the largest demoprojects in California for sure.”

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Pennor says the company began buying heavy equipment necessary to bid on earthwork projects in 2006, then added staff to deepen the expertise of that part of the overall operation. He also added a separate landscaping business, Earthscapes, in 2016 that brings in around $10 million annually.

“There is a lot of opportunity for it as you want because we’re no worked together for a long peri camaraderie amo - Andrew Penn


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period of time, so there’s a strong camaraderie amongst our team. I’m easy to get along with and I want everyone to be successful, to be able to buy a house and live the American Dream.”

Major Remediation Projects

The reason the company has been able to separate from its competitors is clear to Pennor. “There is a lot of opportunity for autonomy here. You can make it as you want because we’re not micro-managing,” he says. “We’ve all worked together for a long

r autonomy here. You can make ot micro-managing. We’ve all iod of time, so there’s a strong ongst our team. nor, President

Porsche Test Experience: The project for Watson Land Company & Porsche Cars North America included demolition of all infrastructure and buildings; removal of underground transit pipe and other miscellaneous structures; importing 500,000 cubic yards of material and fill to a total cover depth of six feet; installation of a DTSC-approved landfill cap, which included GCL membrane/HDPE landfill membrane to protect the test track and the Porsche Experience Center for years to come; and installation of an HDPE methane gas collection system throughout the site. AMPCO oversaw construction management and performed contractor assist work for the piling excavation, foundation, utility installation and paving trades. Boeing Long Beach Buildings 58 and 59: this removal project consisted of 104,000sf of two former paint hanger buildings on a 3.3-acre site, including one more than 80 feet tall. AMPCO completed the abatement,

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structural, and site demolition, including removal of asbestoscontaining materials (floor tile and mastic and pipe insulation), lead-containing materials (paint, ceramic tile), as well as solidified paint coatings. “We’ve probably done more Boeing work than anybody,” Pennor points out. Google Spruce Goose: AMPCO was contracted to complete the abatement of the interior lead paint and asbestos-containing materials at the historical site where famed aviator/actor Howard Hughes built the legendary Spruce Goose – the

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H-4 Hercules Flying Boat. The enormity of the project AMPCO took on included 285,000sf of buildings and structures – more than one million square feet of painted interior historical wood surfaces as high as 75 feet – on a 13-acre site. The company was directed to salvage as many historical components as possible while selectively demolishing building components, building slab and subgrade foundations in preparation for a new Google offices campus.

Safety Initiatives “STOP The Work” is Standard


North American Constructors Journal Operating Procedure, meaning every employee is empowered and responsible to challenge unsafe work practices and situations. Field supervisors and superintendents are required to make sure every job site meets company safety standards and, if needed, have the authority to buy, rent, or build whatever is needed to ensure safety. The company maintains full OSHA compliance with Project Managers, General Superintendents, Supervisors and Lead Men having completed OSHA 30 training. All employees

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are required to understand and comply with the company’s Illness and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP). Potential project hazards are identified and communicated to engineering and an administrative control via an Activity Hazard Analysis that calculates the severity and probability of each hazard and provides an overall risk level. Additionally, the Safety Division holds monthly training sessions while Field Supervisors conduct weekly site-specific

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COVID-19 has slowed the process to a crawl.

Day To Day Pennor views himself as a “hands-on” manager. He doesn’t have an office and works side-byside with his team in the cubicles, also known as the AMPCO Bullpen, every day. “That’s as hands-on as it gets. We meet on Monday mornings to go over what we’re doing for the week, raising potential issues, answering questions, and coming up with solutions. We have a team of 10 Estimators that bid various jobs throughout the state and out of state and we have our own custom CRM (Customer Relationship Management) that we have developed over the last two years,” he says of the technology that is evolving into a CRM and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) tool. The primary challenge facing the industry in California is securing permits in a timely fashion.

“The financing is there but it’s really just a hold-up with the cities – they’re shut down and we’re missing permits. The process in LA was like 30-45 days and now it’s more like three months. It all has to do with COVID because nobody’s working in the office and I don’t think much will change during the next six months,” Pennor observes. AMPCO worked remotely for approximately the first eight months of the pandemic. “For a company of our size it’s probably uncommon to have your own IT guy but we have one so Estimating, Project Managing was done from home. But we’ve started to come back into the office and have been able to get some more efficiencies from working together as a team,” Pennor says. In regards to vendors, Pennor identifies Volvo and Rodriguez Trucking as “our go-to guys.”

“It’s about the people and I think we’ve done pretty well bringing the right people on board. People make the company, not the equipment, even in this day and age of how well-connected we are with Social Media.” - Andrew Pennor, President www.constructorsjournal.com


North American Constructors Journal “It comes down to price and service. Volvo isn’t the lowest but they provide all the equipment, the attachments and the specific requirements we need to run machines for our trade. Rodriguez Trucking is a very good vendor. They provide high-side and low-side service for C&D disposal of concrete, asphalt and other materials,” Pennor says.

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of this and still have a couple of years with a good economy. It’s about the people and I think we’ve done pretty well bringing the right people on board. People make the company, not the equipment. Even in this day and age of how well-connected we are with Social Media, it’s still about the people,” Pennor concludes. “And speeding up the permits would help a lot.”

COMPANY INFORMATION

Despite the looming specter of COVID, Pennor still likes the company’s overall position. “I’m hoping we can come out

Company Name: AMPCO Contracting Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 2004 Premier Services: Provider of pre-construction services such as site demolition, abatement and earthwork. President: Andrew Pennor Website: www.ampcocontracting.com

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Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC:

An All-Star Collaboration

Joint venture of Fluor Enterprises, Inc., American Bridge Company, Granite Construction Northeast, Inc., and Traylor Bros, Inc. takes on $3.98bn Tappan Zee Bridge project Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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When taking on the largest bridge construction project in New York State’s history, a consortium of companies was required to execute the $3.98bn Tappan Zee Bridge endeavor. Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC, a joint venture incorporated in 2012, is made up of Fluor Enterprises, Inc. (30%), American Bridge Company (23.3%), Granite Construction Northeast, Inc.(23.3%), and Traylor Bros, Inc. (23.3%). The powerhouse companies combine local, national and international expertise under a single banner and received a notice to proceed in January 2013. The cable-stayed bridge owned by The New York State Thruway Authority is a Design/Build marvel that has made extensive use of Building Information Modeling (BIM). The 3.1-mile span across the Hudson River is formally named the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and links Rockland and Westchester counties. It replaces the 61-year-old Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge that opened in 1955. The bridge will have an anticipated lifespan of 100 years and will be fully operational by June 2018. The north span opened to traffic in August 2017 and will eventually carry the northbound and westbound traffic of Routes I-87 and I-287 and

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incorporates a shared use path for bicycles and pedestrians. Upon completion, the south span will carry the southbound and eastbound traffic of the two highways.

The Collaborators Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR): This global engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction and maintenance giant designs, builds and maintains facilities for clients on six continents. Headquartered in Irving, TX it ranks No. 149 on the Forbes 500 list and had revenue of $19bn in 2016. American Bridge Company: Based in Coraopolis, PA, American Bridge’s projects include a significant proportion of the world’s large bridges, marine installations, and


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cutting-edge construction of complex bridges for more than 60 years, completing more than 135 major bridge projects across the nation. The company manufactures pre-stressed concrete structural elements in its precast yards and has developed some of the most innovative construction techniques in the industry. All told, the project has utilized more than 1,700 sub-contractors and suppliers while employing more than 7,000 individuals.

other complex structures. It is renowned for its project experience, safety leadership, reputation for integrity and competence, commitment to in-house development of human talent, equipment fleet, and its advanced engineering technology. Granite Construction Northeast, Inc: This division of California-based Granite Construction operates as a civil contractor and is based in Tarrytown, NY. Its projects include highways and bridges, marine, airports, mass transit, and Design/ Build projects. Granite Construction offers airport construction services in New York and New Jersey. Traylor Bros. Inc.: The company has self-performed highly technical,

Site Safety When major players join forces on projects of such scope, they bring with them industry standard safety protocols developed and refined through decades of shared experience. According to a fact sheet posted to the www.newnybridge.com site, TZC workers are required to: • Wear hard hats at all times in work areas • Wear hearing protection in the vicinity of operations that produce high levels of sound • Wear high-impact safety glasses with rigid side shields at all times • Wear thick work gloves at all times • Wear safety-toed footwear

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with ankle support at all times • Wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life vests when working on barges, boats and temporary trestles • Wear water-activated beacons that flash when submerged in water • Carry rust-proof whistles for long-distance emergency warning • Wear high-visibility vests and pants • Wear safety harnesses when working at heights of six feet or more

Project Highlights The numbers associated with the massive undertaking are staggering – 14 miles of main span cables, 50 miles of foundation piling, 300,000 cubic yards of concrete and

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220 million pounds of steel. When completed, the bridge will have eight general traffic lanes, wide shoulders and Emergency/Express bus lanes, and six scenic overlook locations. To enhance the collaborative effort and facilitate the sharing of information, members of the TZC team and Thruway Authority personnel are working out of the same office. The bridge’s signature characteristic are its eight main span towers, which were topped off in December 2016. Each stands 419 feet tall, each slopes at a five-degree angle, and each includes internal maintenance


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North American Constructors Journal elevators engineered to match the slope. A key component throughout the project has been the use of the I Lift New York super crane, one of the world’s largest. Owned by TZC and officially registered with the Coast Guard as the Left Coast Lifter, the crane sits on a 384-foot marine barge with a 328-foot boom with a lifting capacity of more than 1,900 tons – greater than the combined weight of 12 Statues of Liberty. The crane has allowed TZC to pre-fabricate huge sections of the bridge weighing up to 1,100 tons off site at Coeymans Yard before shipping them downriver for placement. All told, the crane set more than 100 assemblies of steel girders and multiple concrete pier

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caps. It is also assisting in removal of the existing bridge and the crane’s use throughout the project is estimated to save the state approximately $1bn. TZC has continually monitored environmental impact on the Lower Hudson Valley, placing data stations at each landing on either side of the river and other key locations to gather information on noise, vibration and air quality. Of particular concern is protecting the region’s endangered peregrine falcon population. Once the bridge is completed, more than six million man hours of construction time will have been accumulated.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Company Name: Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC Country: U.S. Industry: Bridge construction Est: 2012 Premiere: Joint venture to build the new Tappan Zee Bridge Website: www.tappanzeeconstructors.com

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