Hubbard Construction Company's commitment to quality has played a key role in its growth over the years.
"Hubbard Construction Company was founded in South Carolina in 1920 by Francis Evans Hubbard," says Jeff Roberts, USA technical director for The Hubbard Group. "In 1924, he moved his company to Florida. Frank M. Hubbard, son of Francis Evans Hubbard, ran the company from the early 1950s to the early 1980s.
"During Florida's booming growth in the latter half of the 20th Century, Hubbard Construction was closely involved in the development of the major attractions in the Orlando area, including Walt Disney World, the Orlando International Airport, and the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral."
Roberts went on to describe how Hubbard Construction has grown to where it is today. The company has seven hot-mix asphalt (HMA) plants in Florida: four in the Orlando area; two in Jacksonville; and one in West Palm Beach. There are separate operating divisions in each of those areas, plus another one in Tampa that does not have an HMA plant at this time.
Hubbard Construction has a sister company - Blythe Construction - that has its headquarters in North Carolina. That company operates seven HMA plants and is in the process of installing several new plants to serve its market area. The two companies report combined annual revenues of more than $450 million, which makes them as - a team - one of the largest highway contractors in the southeast part of the United States.
According to Roberts, Hubbard Construction recently added two new Astec Double Barrel HMA plants: one with Orlando Paving in Winter Garden near Orlando and one with East Coast Paving in West Palm Beach.
Winter Garden plant
This plant was set up and became operational in July of 2007. The facility originally consisted of a conventional Astec 8 x 40-ft Double Barrel dryer/mixer configuration, but the company decided to retrofit the unit with a Double Barrel Green System to allow the production of warm-mix asphalt (WMA).
The installation also included a six-compartment Astec cold-feed system and two other feed bins for reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP).
Other plant components included an Astec Phoenix burner that can handle either natural gas or No. 2 oil; an Astec Pulse Jet Baghouse; and an Astec New Generation Storage System that has three 200-ton storage silos with electric heat on the cones and hot-oil heat on the drag conveyor.
Mike Stacey, Hubbard plants manager, is in charge of all seven plants in the Florida market. He recalls the startup of their new Astec plant was very quick and very smooth.
"From the time we received the air permit, it took only about eight or nine months before the plant was delivered, set up, and producing hot-mix asphalt," Stacey says. "Astec technicians came down here and stayed with us until everything was running smoothly."
According to Stacey, the Double Barrel Green System was added as a retrofit after their conventional Astec Double Barrel plant had been working for about six months.
West Palm Beach plant
The new Astec Double Barrel plant in Hubbard Construction's East Coast Paving operation in West Palm Beach was installed and became active in April 2008.
According to Roberts, the plant did quite well in its first season of operation. "That is really the best part of the story," says Roberts. "It has had a positive impact on that division's ability to provide service to their customers."
Mike Kanaday, manager of East Coast Paving's construction and paving divisions, agrees with Roberts. "The plant has been running well," says Kanaday. "When we first set it up, there were a few bugs to work out, but you can expect that with any plant. Astec stayed with us until everything was okay. It's been a good plant."
The market area being served by East Coast Paving's new HMA facility is mainly in south Florida, within about a 60-mile radius of West Palm Beach. "We are currently running two paving crews here," Kanaday says.