Growing up, Glenn Vollmer was surrounded by equipment. Whether it was being around his dad’s farm equipment or his brother’s excavating business, those days spent operating equipment were instrumental to the beginning of Vollmer Tar & Chip. Located in Saint Marys, PA, Vollmer Tar & Chip is one of a few contractors located in the rural Pennsylvania town.
Initially, Vollmer saw a need for a contractor who applied chip seal. “People have long lanes for their driveways,” he says. “The only option in our area was to gravel, pave or concrete the driveways. Oil and chip wasn’t offered in our area.” With only one contractor located an hour away, families in the Saint Marys area would hope to make that contractor’s list during his one week of chip seal projects.
After his parents’ driveway was unable make the company’s chip seal list, Vollmer saw an opportunity to start his own business. “I bought a single axle dump truck, an oil distributor, a roller and a skid steer,” he says. “Then I started chip sealing.”
Finding great success with chip sealing, Vollmer decided to expand his company’s services to offer paving. That winter, he purchased a Mauldin 550E paver and prepared for the upcoming paving season.
Vollmer serves both residential and commercial customers completing 50 percent tar and chip work and 50 percent paving work. Vollmer Tar & Chip has a service area of an hour and a half travel time from Saint Marys.
Although Vollmer began the company offering only tar and chip services, he has seen a continued growth in paving. “As we started doing jobs and getting out there more people started to realize we could do it,” Vollmer says. “We would go in and do the whole job. If a parking lot or driveway was too soft underneath, we would take out the old asphalt, install a base stone, top coat it with limestone and then place the asphalt. Those steps are something a lot of other paving contractors in this area wouldn’t do.”
Paving the Credit Union Bank parking lot
One paving project Vollmer Tar & Chip completed was the paving of a 15,000-square-foot parking lot for a Credit Union Bank. “It is a high traffic bank, and they had recently installed a drive-through when we repaved the parking lot,” Vollmer says. “We added on extensions of the parking lot and repaved other areas.” Vollmer Tar & Chip installed a base coat and then overlaid the entire parking lot.
In a community where work is completed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Vollmer Tar & Chip took additional steps to ensure the project was completed without any issues. “We paved three-quarters of the parking lot on Saturday,” Vollmer says. “I’m not sure many other companies would have done that.”
On the following Monday visitors were able to park on the newly paved section of the parking lot. To avoid more traffic issues, Vollmer Tar & Chip finished the project under another nontraditional way in the small community —paving at night.
“We were lucky the asphalt plant was open that night,” Vollmer says. “They were doing some night paving where I bought my material, and we finished that portion of the parking lot.”
Paving at night posed several challenges for Vollmer and his three-person crew. But with additional planning the crews were able to complete the work without any problems.
One area of additional planning involved the trucks. “Having the material there was the biggest concern because our plant is an hour away. To go and get a load at the plant is usually a 2½ hour trip from the jobsite,” Vollmer says. “I hired six tri-axles to haul for Saturday’s portion and one tri-axle for the overnight portion – plus our single axle and tandem hauled.”
He says every truck was essential in ensuring the proper amount of material was onsite so that the crew was able to keep up with the joints.