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Back In The Game In East Bay

1.3 million square feet of concrete, three total buildings and red-colored riding trowels finishing the slab. This is the sight of the new Oak Business Park Logistics Center, a new warehouse distribution center in the East Bay area of California. The contractor is Concrete Services, a user of Allen Engineering Corp. (AEC) equipment going back to the 1980s.

Through their local dealer, they bought AEC equipment through the mid-1990s … and then nothing. The trail was cold for nearly 18 years – until an old friend joined the Allen team.

Concrete Services’ history goes all the way back to 1957 when it began as the general contracting firm of Swinerton Builders, formerly Harbison Mahony Higgins Builders, Inc. Under this name they used truss screeds, walk-behind trowels and riding trowels from AEC for their contracting work. In 1999, they received their sub-contracting license and changed the name to “Concrete Services”. With the changes in place, AEC found itself on the outside looking in. Yet with a little patience, a huge jobsite and a business relationship dating back 20 years, the relationship has bounced back in a big way!

California is known for tough weather conditions. Extreme temperature swings can put out even the most reliable machines which meant that whatever riding trowel Concrete Services got for this job needed to be durable and tough. The choice was simple – the Allen HDX600. “We needed a machine with endurance”, said Shawn Barnes, Operations Manager for Concrete Services. “The HDX600 has a good weight-to-torque ratio which is why we leaned toward a diesel machine instead of gas.” Involved in the process the whole way was AEC dealer White Cap Construction Supply in Sacramento and Allen Territory Sales Rep, Rich Staley – a man newer to Allen but not a stranger to Concrete Services. “Our business relationship goes back to 1995”, says Staley. “Ever since I joined the Allen team, I’ve been targeting them to get their business back.” And get it back, he certainly did.

“When choosing the riding trowel for this jobsite, we knew we wanted an established brand”,Barnes said. “However, 90% of our decision went into our relationship with Rich. He understands the pressures of the day-to-day jobsite and is there as a support mechanism. I can’t speak highly enough of him.”

“It took a lot of lunch meetings and conference calls with Shawn and (White Cap Sales Rep) Dave Croucher”, Staley said. “It wasn’t hard to persuade them – they knew what they wanted.” The Oak Business Park Logistics Center jobsite is set to take 10 months but the sheer size isn’t the only obstacle in their way. “It’s been a challenge because we’ve assembled a new crew with newer processes”, Barnes said. “But with the help of Allen machines, we are already seeing great results.” It took a little patience and a few years of reviving an old relationship, but the Allen name is back in the game in the East Bay area.