Better Roads Takes to Highway With Cedarapids Pavers

Tue January 21, 2003 - Southeast Edition
Cynthia W. Wright

Better Roads Inc. recently built new corporate headquarters in the thriving community of Naples, FL. An indication of the company’s expanding success, the structure was started in the fall of 2001 and completed in June 2002.

Joe Restino, vice president of Better Roads Inc., attributes the growth of this second-generation family business to several factors.

“Expansion, high quality work and acquiring the right equipment are all part of our guidelines,” he said.

“With more than 300 employees, we have branches in Lake Placid, Port Charlotte and Ft. Myers, and asphalt plants in Naples, Lake Placid and Ft. Myers. We do in the neighborhood of 600,000 tons of asphalt per year out of those three plants, and we just put a fourth plant in Moore Haven, FL,” he explained.

Mike Duckett, equipment manager of Better Roads, seconds those thoughts.

“Last year, as business grew, we bought three new Cedarapids Greyhound 451 pavers from L. B. Smith Inc., from their Ft. Myers’ location. The large, mainline pavers, used primarily on street and highway paving, were put into operation on our Florida Department of Transportation project on Alligator Alley (I-75), in Collier County.”

He added, “We’ve been using Cedarapids manufactured equipment for more than 10 years. The feature we like best is their durability. They’re known worldwide for their dependable, quality products. Cedarapids pavers rarely quit working.”

Right now the company has 14 Cedarapids pavers.

“Our oldest, bought a decade ago, has an impressive 15,000 hours on it. In my experience, nine to ten thousand hours on a paver are standard. When their time is up, we save them. Sometimes we utilize them on a particular job, especially if we have just one load of asphalt. Instead of moving one of our newer pavers across town, we put that older one into service – for the sake of efficiency. They seldom let us down on any project,” Duckett noted.

“Also, we might use one on a job as a backup. If a machine goes down and blows a hose, we can use that older machine until the hose is fixed,” he said.

According to Duckett,“We, at Better Roads, have been dealing with L.B. Smith for pavers and other equipment since Smith originally came into town and bought out Florida Equipment. Their service is excellent. If a machine should have a problem, they usually have someone here within an hour or so. In particular, sales person Jerry Mariani is great to work with on any situation. It’s been a positive business relationship for 15 years.”

Dean Bengford, L.B. Smith’s branch manager in Ft. Myers, reciprocates that viewpoint.

“Better Roads is a valued customer of L.B. Smith’s. They’ve used LeeBoy products. They’ve also purchased Hypac compaction equipment from us – the pneumatic, the static and the vibratory machines. They run a whole fleet of those behind their paver. Better Roads recently purchased a Volvo L 150 rubber tired wheel loader to feed the aggregates into their asphalt plant. They use Hypac rollers C 530s, C 340s, 778s, and 776s to compact the asphalt after it’s been paved through the Cedarapids paver.”

He added, “Our company’s relationships are strong in part due to our diligence in matching equipment to customer’s needs and their jobs.”

Better Roads is currently involved in a great deal of state work. Duckett mentioned that crews are getting ready to widen, mill and resurface a 2.5 mi. (4 km) stretch of US 41 in Naples. It also is working on 4 mi. (6.4 km) of US 27 in Lake Placid, and are busy with miscellaneous projects in Ft. Myers.

Better Roads now does a lot of Superpave jobs, as are being done in most states. This is a bit different than what the company has applied over the years when a lift of an 1.5 in. (3.8 cm) was used instead of the newer 3-in. (7.6 cm) lifts.

Better Roads will soon set up a school at its office. Working with L.B. Smith, the school will help workers learn to troubleshoot some problems themselves, increase safety and engage the newest technology.

Progress is paramount for Better Roads Inc. Turning rock into road is what the company does. And with Cedarapids pavers, it accomplishes it all quite well.

For more information, call Better Roads at 239/597-2231 or L.B. Smith at 941/481-8554.