Crews completed the paving work with a smaller paver requiring additional effort from the crews. “We have a good paver, but it’s more of a driveway paver,” Vollmer says. “To do the parking lot size we did, keep up with everything the way we did, and have great finish on it was something. We have a lot of smaller equipment, but our crew is young and ambitious. We can work hard to get through some of our smaller equipment until we can purchase bigger equipment.”
The night work also required additional lighting, and the crew was able to make proper adjustments to working at night. “I didn’t know how the roller operator was going to see if he had any lines, and I didn’t know how the joints were going to match up,” Vollmer says. “You always have issues with shadows when using lights. At one point we used the lights of my service truck and pickup truck to make sure we had enough lighting. I put some faith in my crew that they would use their head.”
Maneuvering asphalt material
With the nearest asphalt plant an hour and a half away, Vollmer has had to make several adjustments when completing paving projects. “We’ve taken different steps to keep material hot on all of my trucks,” Vollmer says. “Every year I weld on the bed or whatever is needed to make the trucks as efficient to haul asphalt. All of our tarps are new at the beginning of the season and they have extra bungee cords. When we have to drive this far we have to prepare for any circumstance to keep the material hot.”
He’s also had to make other adjustments depending upon the type of mix produced that day. “The only other type of material we’ve dealt with besides hot mix asphalt is 76 oil,” Vollmer says. “You have to work with it faster because it gets harder than normal HMA. We’ve noticed you have to get the material right where it needs to go immediately.”
Looking toward the future
Although Vollmer Tar & Chip has been in business only for a few years, Vollmer has hopes to continue growing his company and of opening an asphalt plant in Saint Marys. “Our list for the year fills up a lot quicker,” he says. “Last year by July I had to have customers wait until we were available next season.”
Because Vollmer works every job to ensure quality work is completed, he is cautious of adding additional crews to complete the work he is forced push until next working season. While he is out completing jobs, his wife Angie is back in the office managing paperwork, schedules and keeping the company running smoothly.
Vollmer is grateful for his wife’s organization. “Her ability to keep me organized helps keep us moving forward,” Vollmer says.
One key lead generator for Vollmer Tar & Chip is Facebook. “Facebook is a better way for the younger generation,” Vollmer says. “A lot of people I went to school with have jobs in factories and manufacturing plants, and our Facebook page helps us show off jobs we have completed for people who want to see what our work looks like.”
As a young company, Vollmer is thankful for the fortune they have received since opening the business especially because it opened during the struggling economy.
“We’ve been lucky enough to get some good business,” he says. “We’ve got to work hard to get it because if we didn’t want it, we wouldn’t get it.”