Lee Blalock leads the paving crew at a paving project in the parking lot of St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Durham, N.C.
Hills Machinery Company recently sold Blalock Paving Inc. in Raleigh, N.C., a new 1750-C Mauldin super paver. The decision to upgrade from an older larger product was based on product quality, productivity and service from the local dealer.
The company’s most current job involves about 150 tons (136 t) of resurfacing at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh, which will be seal coated when the repairs are complete. The project covers about 15,000 sq. ft. (1,393 sq m).
For the repair work, Blalock is using a mini-excavator to excavate the areas and a skid steer. For the resurfacing work, the company is using the new paver, which they purchased several months ago from Hills Machinery Company LLC in Raleigh, N.C. Hills is the authorized distributor of Mauldin Paving Products for North and South Carolina.
“It’s just a good machine,” owner Lee Blalock said. “It’s simple to use, and the guys love it. Our customers love what we’ve done with it — and that speaks for itself. We’ve always had bigger pavers, and for some of the jobs we get, it was just too much. I’ve been wanting a smaller paver for several years and Larry Hudson with Hills Machinery approached us last winter and had Larry Martin with Mauldin with him. Larry Martin and Larry Hudson are very knowledgeable about paving and paving equipment. The way they talked to me and the knowledge they have helped me to know that it was the way to go. I’ve talked to a lot of equipment salesmen over the years, and they really got in my head. I didn’t know anything about Mauldin equipment at the time, but we demoed it brand new and fell in love with it right away. It does a very nice job — it does as much work as a big paver does. It paves three feet wider than the paver we were using, which is twice the size of it, and it just does an incredible job. It really does.”
Blalock stated that he likes the electric heated screed, the fact that it will go 16-ft. (4.8 m) wide, and the augers on it that feed when the extensions are run out. But the main thing he’s been impressed with is something that he didn’t even realize until he had purchased it and started to use it.
“It’s the quietness of it,” Blalock said. “I don’t have to yell when I’m around the machine and its running. I can talk normally to people out there, and that’s a big deal to me. It really is.”
Blalock has been pleased with the service they have received from Hills Machinery Company as well.
“They got it here when they said they would, and they didn’t put any pressure on me whatsoever when we were trying to decide whether we wanted to spend that kind of money or not. We had one little issue with it — maybe a month into owning it — and they took care of that right away. Larry Martin calls me from time to time just to check on it, and he’s a phone call away, and that speaks volumes.”
Larry Hudson, sales representative of Hills Machinery Company, said that the relationship is certainly not one-sided.
“Hills Machinery is excited that Blalock Paving Inc. has decided to add the 1750C to their paving fleet,” he said. “We are positive they and their customers will be more than satisfied with the 1750C’s ability to perform and produce a superior mat quality. We look forward to working with and growing our relationship with Blalock Paving Inc.”
According to Blalock, the company was started by his father in 1968.
“He worked for a paving contractor when I was small, and he just decided that he wanted to go into business for himself, doing small jobs, and that’s how it all started,” Blalock said. “I started working here right out of high school, and it’s just what I’ve always done. I love it. I like working for myself, and keep trying to carry it on off of what he built.”
Blalock said the company does mainly repair work and resurfacing, with a 200-ton job (181 t) being an average size. They normally work within a 50-mile (80 km) radius of Durham.
“Most of the work we do in this area is work that the bigger companies don’t want — the big paving contractors that are doing the road work,” Blalock said. “They don’t want to fool with this smaller stuff like we’re doing. We do a lot of residential driveways, and repair work is a big thing to us. We do a lot of concrete work also, and seal coating. There’s no job too small, but we know once a job gets so big that we get out of our competitiveness, we just leave it alone.”
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