As the calendar turned from 2005 to 2006, a new chapter began for Basic Equipment.
The Eatonton, GA-based equipment manufacturer moved into a newly-constructed 13,000-sq.-ft. facility just 3 mi. away from its previous location.
Shannon Chastain, president and owner of the company (officially called Shannon Chastain Enterprises Inc.), said the move was made in an effort to increase production as he attempts to expand sales into the Northeast.
Currently, Basic Equipment is sold at Briggs Equipment in North and South Carolina and Discount Rentals in Florida.
He said he’s currently looking for dealers in the Northeast that boast a strong sales and rental force like Briggs and Discount Rentals. Chastain believes the rental aspect of a dealer is important because it gives customers the chance to try out a machine before making a purchase.
“Those are the kind of dealers that we look for. Their people should be hands-on and very knowledgeable about the equipment,” Chastain said.
The company produces two pieces of construction equipment — the model 601 six-wheeled articulated motorgrader and the model 700 pneumatic roller.
Both pieces of machinery run on Kubota engines and standard parts that are easy for end-users to find on the shelf, Chastain said.
The motorgrader is designed for small paving contractors who construct driveways, parking lots or tennis courts. As an articulated machine, it boasts a sharp turning radius and, at 7.5 ft. tall, it can fit into garages and carports.
Chastain said the motorgrader is “one step up from using a skid steer” because it is better able to control material, saving the contractor money.
The motorgrader has an optional loader system with a quick attach tool bar and remote hydraulics for a broom or bucket attachment.
Basic Equipment’s pneumatic roller is designed with seven wheels, which Chastain said is better than ones with nine-wheel machines in its class because it compresses the material with a greater forces per square inch per tire.
The roller is suited for smaller contractors or for smaller components of jobs for big firms, such as turning lanes, subdivision streets or golf cart paths.
No matter how the ground contours, he said the roller’s all-wheel oscillation puts the same amount of weight on the asphalt in the high places as the low, creating a consistent density throughout the job.
Chastain also said pneumatic rollers can complement the work done by a steel drum roller on hilly terrain by sealing spider cracks it may cause when paving on a slope. This ability improves the final appearance of the paving job.
George Proenza of Affordable Asphalt and Contracting in Islamorada, FL, said the roller “adds a velvet finish to the asphalt.”
His company has owned the Basic roller for approximately one year and has kept it busy with pavement restoration during Key West’s drainage project and rebuilding streets for the Keys aqueduct project.
He said the roller has put a halt to any minor complaints about the quality of their work.
Proenza said the roller is designed for easy maintenance and “of all the machinery we own, it’s definitely the one that gives us the least amount of trouble.”
Basic Equipment grew out of Puckett Brothers Manufacturing, which was founded in the 1960s. The firm started out as a contractor, but moved into production when it designed the model 450 asphalt paver. At its peak, Puckett manufactured pavers, rollers, motorgraders and curbing machines.
Basic was founded when Chastain’s step-father, Otis Puckett, sold his share of Puckett Brothers and went out on his own. Puckett eventually sold the rights to his equipment and left the business in 1981. Puckett Brothers was bought out by Gehl in 1990.
Chastain resurrected the Basic Equipment trademark in 1994 when he started Shannon Chastain Enterprises Inc., producing only the pneumatic roller. The motorgrader was added to the company’s offerings in 2002.
For more information, call 706/484-2253 or visit www.basicequipment.net. CEG Staff