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Texas Gravel Company Supplies Material for State’s Largest Projects

Thu May 18, 2006 - West Edition
CEG



Some of the world’s biggest construction contractors operate on the high plains around Dallas-Fort Worth.

Their high-rise buildings, six-lane concrete ribbons and soaring bridges only get built if there is a reliable supply of concrete, rock and sand. Filling that need is a longstanding passion for John Victor Lattimore Jr. and his family-run materials company.

Lattimore Materials Company (LMC) is one of the few privately-held ready-mixed concrete operations in the industry. Founded in 1961 by Vic Lattimore’s father, John Victor Lattimore Sr., LMC has been on an impressive growth curve over the past decade.

A self-described “road hand” who grew up watching his grandfather and father work in highway construction, Lattimore is as much at home in the seat of an articulated hauler as he is behind his president’s desk at Lattimore Materials Company. He knows construction equipment.

“Customers know us for delivering consistently high-quality concrete and materials, on time,” Lattimore said. “We do that every day with great people, teamwork and smart investment in equipment. Volvo loaders and articulated haulers get it done for us. Volvo has done the job we needed and given us value.”

Lattimore supplied concrete on some of the biggest jobs in recent Texas history.

When retailing giant J.C. Penney built its 1,900,000-sq.-ft. (176,500 sq m) headquarters in Plano, TX, Lattimore Materials supplied 111,000 cu. yd. (84,870 cu m) of concrete for the project.

When Fidelity Investments built its 300-acre campus in Westlake, TX, LMC supplied 80,000 cu. yd. (61,000 cu m) of ready-mixed concrete.

Lattimore also was the concrete supplier for the 1.5-mi. (2.4 km) main track at Texas Motor Speedway, with 110,000 cu. yd. (84,000 cu m) of ready mix delivered.

The company also produces concrete for thousands of residential and commercial building pads and structures every year.

His company’s growing fleet of Volvo machines from ROMCO Equipment Company helps supply a sophisticated network that brings ready-mixed concrete and aggregates to a large part of Texas and Oklahoma.

It includes 13 Volvo A40 articulated haulers, 22 wheel loaders: 13 L120s, seven L180s, one L220E and one L330E.

At LMC’s rail distribution center in Melissa, TX, a Volvo L180E wheel loader helps move more than 3,000 tons of material each day. Equipped with a 6.3-yd. (5.76 m) general-purpose bucket, the L180E feeds two hoppers that supply silos in the ready-mixed plant with sand and 1-in. (2.5 cm) rock from nearby stockpiles.

Paul Rouse, vice president of concrete operations of Lattimore Materials, said the mere makeup of the company’s wheel loader fleet speaks to the confidence LMC has in Volvo equipment.

“Ninety-five percent of our loaders are Volvo loaders,” Rouse said. “They really work well for us.”

At its heart, Lattimore Materials is a mining company. It blasts and excavates its own raw materials at quarries and sand mines in north Texas and southern Oklahoma.

At the sand plant in Ambrose, TX, Volvo articulated haulers haul the lion’s share of sand from the mining area to a processing plant a mile (1.6 km) across the site.

With temperatures routinely above 100F, this work site can be brutal. Soil with the consistency of talcum powder covers the site, and even walking through it kicks up incredible clouds of dust.

One of Lattimore Materials advantages as a privately- held company is the hands-on leadership of its president.

Vic Lattimore makes his own equipment purchase decisions, based as much on taking care of employees as anything else.

LMC was one of the first in the industry to specify automatic transmissions on its fleet of cement mixer trucks — a premium that pays off long-term dividends in operator recruitment, retention and productivity.

Tom Denton, who has called on Lattimore for more than 15 years said he and ROMCO have earned their trust through the performance of the equipment and support from the dealership.

“I consider it quite an honor to be an equipment salesman he’ll let into his office,” Denton said.

Lattimore said he puts Volvo machines on his job sites because “they stay on the job” and have earned respect from LMC’s competitors. ROMCO, he said, provides outstanding support.

“We have had many years of working with ROMCO,” Lattimore said. “They are one of the best equipment houses.” CEG