In 2015 when Conor Taft and Eric Zichterman founded Central States Concrete, they started out like a lot of companies – “We did commercial and municipal flatwork”, said Zichterman, some by hand, some with a screed. But they knew they would need to expand to continue to survive and grow in a competitive market.
“We had a lot of guys on our crew with paving experience from other companies.” But Zichterman and Taft knew that market was not something you jump into quickly. “We did a lot of research online and at World of Concrete and visited all of the paving equipment manufacturers in Iowa”
So why did Central States trust HEM Paving Equipment with their first slip-form paver, an HEM SFP12-27? According to Zichterman, “We really like the simplicity of the machine. It is very straight-forward and doesn’t have a lot of wiring that the mice can chew through during the winter.”
“Plus, we like the weight of the machine. It’s substantial and won’t float up on you when you pave at wider widths” Zichterman also said, “It wasn’t about the price, we could have purchased another machine for less, but we liked the features of the HEM machine, and it is heavy enough for municipal work, but versatile enough for commercial/residential work as well.”
Central States displayed this versatility when they saved the day on a residential project in Hudson, IA recently. “The other paving company had a conflict, so we were recommended to the owners by the redi-mix company on the project”. While they didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, they jumped in and paved 5,700 sq.yds. of concrete in 2 paving days, successfully keeping the project on schedule.
Asked if the owners were pleased with the results, Zichterman simply said, “they plan to use us again on another project.”
Now with a year of slip-form paving experience under their belts, Central States is excited for 2021. “Like a lot of companies, some of the work was delayed in 2020 due to COVID,” said Zichterman. “But we have a strong start scheduled for 2021.”
HEM Paving Equipment is excited to be a partner to Central States as they continue to grow their young business.