Lindy Paving leaders know there is no substitute for quality. They have a trophy case that proves the point - including two prestigious NAPA honors: the Diamond Achievement Award, for excellent site operations, and the Sheldon G. Hayes award, for exceptional paving work.
That excellence starts at the plant. "We strive to do the best in everything we can," says Paul Reiner, general manager at Lindy Paving, with three locations in the Pittsburgh area. "We put out a consistently good product. We preach making it right, making the best mix. That comes first."
But product quality is just the first step in Lindy's success story; there are others, including:
1) Be fast - keep trucks moving, get materials delivered to the jobsite.
2) Be efficient with the plant operations - specifically, get the most out of the equipment and take advantage of innovations and new technology.
3) Be efficient with fuel to help keep asphalt prices as low as possible.
Technology increases speed
Keeping trucks moving is a benefit that customers notice; quick turnaround fosters customer loyalty and helps generate considerable repeat business. "We pride ourselves in not having a line or a wait," Reiner says. "We get trucks in and out."
That can prove difficult because paving specs often require three drops of mix into a truck. Meeting the need for speed - and three drops - is one of several ways technology comes into play at Lindy.
"Our Neville Island plant has three Gencor Quick Draw Silos," Reiner says. "We usually use those silos for customers with the larger, tri-axle trucks."
The Quick Draw makes three drops simultaneously; thereby meeting the specs and helping to prevent segregation (see below).
"Turnaround speed is one of the ways we separate ourselves from our competitors," Reiner says. "The customers like it because they save time and don't have to move the trucks forward and backward. They just make one stop, receive their load, and they're on their way. It keeps them on schedule. When supervisors estimate trucking cycles, not many factor waiting in line - and when they do, it's impossible to determine just what that wait might be."
The Quick Draw also helps the plant keep up with demand. Lindy Paving has its own crews, so continuous movement benefits the overall team. Yet Reiner and the others know they can't give priority to the company crews, while other customers wait in line.
"We want to service the Lindy crews without making the others wait," Reiner says. "We know we have to provide top service to all our customers - as well as our own crews."
Lindy has been able to keep up with customer demands while reducing its own costs through streamlined operations.
"Two years ago we had four plants, including one that was a portable," Reiner says. "Last year, we bought two 600-ton skidded Gencor plants. The purchase of those two plants allowed us to eliminate the portable plant. We now run three plants. With those two 600-ton-per-hour plants, we're able to produce 60 to 70 percent of the daily output of 10,000 tons without blinking."
Utilizing all Gencor products, including control houses, contributes to the streamlining. "We can handle more mixes in part because, technology-wise, the mixing computers of the plant hold a lot more information," Reiner says.
Efficiency efforts also include reliability, which is another reason Lindy prefers Gencor. "Gencor has been around," Reiner says. "They back up what they say about service and warranty, and I've never had any problem getting parts."
Fighting fuel costs
Lindy does all it can to keep rising fuel costs in check. Reiner is the first to admit it's not easy.
"One of the biggest challenges we face, maybe the biggest, is the cost of fuels - natural gas, fuel oils, fuel for trucks, even electric," Reiner says. "The prices for those have really taken off. We're trying to keep those costs down, so at the same time we're keeping our prices down."
Fuel-saving steps Lindy takes include:
- Buying natural gas in advance, when prices have proven to be lower. "Most of the time it works out," Reiner says.
- Making special efforts to ensure profits aren't leaking away. "We keep everything properly sealed and insulated," Reiner says. "Both drums are insulated. Our AC tanks and silos also are well insulated."
- Keeping the plants running whenever possible. "We try to run all day," Reiner says. The plant will operate all night if paving jobs dictate that service. "When you run these plants steady, it's a lot more cost-effective," Reiner says. "You're not turning your motors on and off. You're keeping everything hot." That, too, involves using reliable products that keep the plant up and running, he says.
- Use of the Quick Draw, which prevents trucks from burning fuel while they wait. Like many plants, Lindy uses RAP whenever possible to help keep costs in check.
Reiner believes there is more to a company's success than making money. "We're a very safety-oriented company," he says. "It starts with our owners. They buy the best equipment, not only for productivity and profit reasons, but because of the safety factor."
The equipment also has the approval of the neighbors - and even led to the Diamond Achievement Award, given to the company by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) for Lindy's efforts in improving the Second Avenue plant, which is surrounded by other businesses and residences.
"These Gencor burners are very quiet," Reiner says. "You can actually hear the stone come through these screens before you hear the burners. That's how quiet they are."
It's all part of the company's commitment to excellence - whether it's the quality of the mix they produce or the way they treat those around them.
"Of course we're in business to succeed," Reiner says. "Fortunately, we believe we've found a way to do the right thing AND succeed at the same time. Gencor continues to make considerable contributions to our success."
The Quick Draw Silo
Lindy Paving counts on the Quick Draw Silo technology to keep pace with production and customer demands, while maintaining the "three-drop" practice of loading trucks.
The Quick Draw is the fastest silo load-out in the world - a 25-ton truck can be loaded in less than 10 seconds.
The system has three gates, with openings that span the width and length of the truck. Each gate makes its drop simultaneously, eliminating the need for second and third drops while on the scale. (The two main outer gates begin filling the truck from each end, while the center gate trims the load for precise weighing.)
The Quick Draw utilizes hot mix across the bottom of the silo evenly and smoothly, eliminating the hour-glass effect and segregation - and creating more usable storage volume. It also includes the best safety features in the industry, with independently driven safety gates to prevent accidental overloading in the unlikely event the primary gates fail. A cross-beam support design greatly reduces the likelihood of bottoming out.
Quick Draw benefits:
- Loads in less than 10 seconds
- No reversing of trucks
- No bulky cone liners to replace
- Reduced segregation
- Extra storage capacity
- Independently driven safety gates
- No cone wear