Whitetopping is like an armor plating over an existing asphalt. Swederski Concrete sees this as a growing market, and the company encourages property owners to rejuvenate old asphalt lots with whitetopping instead of ripping up the old asphalt and replacing it. Len says rural roads are also an excellent use for whitetopping.
Another strong market for Swederski Concrete is in the industrial sector, performing projects from simple slab-on-grade frost wall designs to heavy industrial, highly reinforced foundations for large machines used in the steel industry. They also do a few floors each year with defined tolerances, which they are able to easily perform with the use of their laser screeds, riding trowels and workforce expertise.
Swederski has built a strong customer base in machinery foundations. Although there have been several jobs throughout the country, many of his foundation projects are close to home. Three years ago, Swederski Concrete constructed a foundation for the largest open dye forging press in the United States at Scot Forge in Spring Grove, Ill. The foundation and floor for this single machine required in excess of 3,000 cu. yds. of self-consolidating concrete and over 50 tons of reinforcing steel. The 16 anchor bolts were 2.5 in. in diameter and 8 ft. long and had to be set to a precision of +/- 1/16 of an inch.
One of the tools Swederski uses to attain accurate foundation layout and bolt placement is the Trimble LM80 Layout Manager. "This equipment contributes to labor savings and accuracy enhancement, especially in windy conditions or inclement weather," Len says.
Len says he expects future company growth to come from the concrete paving market across the Midwest and into the Southeast. He would like to eventually see Swederski Concrete offices in other parts of the country.
Len is also planning for a time when Joe and Scott will take over the family business. "I'm positioning myself to be less active in the day-to-day operations of the business and to focus more on developing long-range business planning. A priority of mine is to make sure our team of employees follows a path of leadership and mentoring."
Despite the busy days one encounters with a growing company, Len still holds true to his philosophies in business. He says it's important to pace your company with steady, controlled growth and to keep in touch with your employees. "Always put your family first," he adds. "It should be written into the business plan."
At A Glance
Swederski Concrete Construction
Spring Grove, Ill.
Gross annual sales:
ACI, ASCC, NFIB, ASA, IRMCA, NRMCA
Concrete road and parking lot paving; whitetopping; commercial and heavy industrial foundations; flatwork; custom residential; and light excavation.
Key products and equipment:
3D laser-guided Somero screeds, Trimble robotic geodimeters and LM80 layout manager, Allen 12/27 slip form paver, Curb Fox, Gomaco G3200 slip-form curb machine, Soff-Cut saws, proprietary ground thawing/radiant heat equipment, Symons forms, Western Forms, Wall-Ties and Forms, Mar-Flex waterproofing, Master Builder accounting program.