78-year-old Ready Mix Veteran Expands His Business 2002
In the year 1946 a man named Joe Schmitt replaced his Navy garb for work boots and a recipe for ready mix. Setting up the first plant in Strausberg, Colorado he appropriately dubbed the operation Schmitt Ready Mix. In the years since, Schmitt has established his company name within the industry by following his own strong philosophies and solid understanding of the business. Since its start up, Schmitt Ready Mix has strengthened and added to their operations, establishing plants in several Colorado locations including Carson and Cheyenne Wells.
Business owner Joe Schmitt feels that responsible, motivated and educated employees are the keys to success. The veteran applies his own motto, "If you can’t do it, you can’t stay," to the way he manages his crew. According to Schmitt, employees of his business must have a strong work ethic and the ability to operate every single piece of equipment involved in the operation. They also must have the know-how to tackle every type of job. From residential to commercial, from poured walls to the construction of septic tanks, each one of Schmitt’s employees understands how to get the job done right.
"The way I see it, if a man is sitting out on a job, they don’t belong working for me," said Schmitt, who also owns Eastern Colorado Utility, a gas company also based in Colorado.
Schmitt also places a large emphasis on trust and reliability when it comes to his employees. Joe’s son, Blaine Schmitt currently works under his father. "He knows the business," says Schmitt of his son. He predicts that eventually, under his son’s management, the family business will continue to expand to include more equipment, faster job turnover, and a longer employee roster.
Recently, 78-year-old Schmitt made a corporate decision to aid in the improvement and expansion of Schmitt Ready Mix. After years of renting concrete pumps for each job, they tired of scheduling jobs around the estimated time of arrival of the pumps. The monthly bills for renting the equipment sometimes reached upwards of $80,000. Finally, in June of this year, Schmitt purchased a Schwing KVM 34X, a truck-mounted concrete pump with a 4-section placing boom.
Since purchasing the boom pump, Schmitt has discovered the many benefits of owning his own equipment, particularly the economic ones. The most obvious of the benefits is faster job turnover. At 2:30 on an August afternoon, Schmitt’s crew was returning from their fourth job of the day. "My men finish their day a lot earlier without having to wait for the equipment to show up," he said.
Schmitt is not sure of the exact yardage that his ready mix operation and the pumping firm, which operates under the same name, have poured this year. However, he estimates the company has poured an average of 20,000 yards per year in the past. The owner looks forward to seeing an increase in that yardage with the use of the Schwing boom pump, which boasts of output to 170 yards per hour. These advantages also offer the extra potential for Schmitt’s ready mix operation to produce even more product.
Schmitt can expect to see other economic benefits while owning this particular model of boom pump. Rough terrain and weather conditions at job sites tend to be tough on equipment. With the impressive reach capabilities of the Schwing KVM 34X, front discharge vehicles and all-wheel drive mixer trucks remain on the curb while the 4 section roll and fold boom snakes into buildings, under bridges and into excavations. With the boom pump’s time-saving and performance features, the pumping firm will be able to place concrete efficiently regardless of the weather, time of day or job site conditions.
The Schwing also offers the new pumping firm the opportunity to expand their services. The company purchased this boom pump because it features a low minimum unfolding height, allowing the boom to be used in enclosed settings.
The versatility of the Schwing KVM 34X will continue to improve the operations of Schmitt Ready Mix in several ways. Not only will the pumping firm benefit with these added abilities and greater efficiency; the ready mix operation will also see an economic advantage in the production of more ready mix.
"I’m really happy with the new addition," said Schmitt, "I’m sure we’ll see several benefits in the years to come."