When Jeff Kresnak turned on his new Gencor 300-tph asphalt production facility in Gaines Township, MI, this past spring, he let other asphalt producers know that he would no longer require their services.
"Up to that point I felt boxed in, like I had to plan around the schedules of other producers," Kresnak notes. "I never felt like I could continue growing my business without having control of my own production facility."
According to Kresnak, owner of Superior Asphalt Sealing and Repair, the decision to own and operate an asphalt production facility was made well over a year before the plant was put into service.
Kresnak started in the business almost 30 years ago when he was a teenager, striping and sealing pavements, and eventually purchasing a one-ton roller to offer patch and paving services. Today the company supports approximately 100 employees and operates two paving crews to deliver projects large and small, from driveways to parking lots to roadways for municipalities and county road agencies.
"With this new 300-tph plant equipped with four 200-ton storage silos we can provide mix for all the different projects we construct, as well as serve the needs of our retail customers," Kresnak says. "This is not the largest asphalt plant in the market, but it definitely fits our niche and that's any project or customer from one ton up to a few thousand tons. Our primary market is the southeast corner of Kent County and we want our customers and our prospective customers to know that they can count on us to provide a complete service package."
Completing the package
Superior Asphalt's full-service offering includes site preparation, new asphalt installation, asphalt restoration, asphalt repair, crack and joint sealing, sealcoating, pavement markings, drain repairs, infrared repairs, milling, and now hot mix asphalt production.
"The plant just completed the level of service we now can offer customers," Kresnak says. "When one of the area's producers closed, we noticed the quality of mix seemed to be slipping, and we thought that was happening we knew that other customers might be feeling the same way. We knew investing in our own plant would give us complete control over the quality of material we produced at a price that would be much lower than what other producers were charging me. We simply did not want to keep settling for a lower quality mix at a higher price. We wanted a higher quality mix at a lower price and we wanted to offer that to other customers as well."
While the competition is stiff in Superior Asphalt's market, Kresnak is optimistic about the future growth opportunity the plant investment has created. Controlling quality and costs will allow the asphalt producer/contractor to be more competitive in securing projects and also retail sales.
"Our plant is located in a heavy industrial area with easy access to major roads," Kresnak says. "We don't have a direct competitor located in the immediate vicinity of our plant, so we're in a pretty good position to offer a competitive, high-quality product. And, we have the service capabilities to provide a total package from excavation to new asphalt installation. We can control and guarantee the entire process from start to finish."
The plant Kresnak chose a Gencor plant largely because of the positive experience he's had when purchasing mix from other producers who operate that brand.
"I would pull into different plants over the years and I always knew how different the quality can be from one plant to the next," he notes. "I always felt I was getting a much better mix when I purchased from a Gencor plant operator."
Major plant components include: