Villager Construction Inc. is one of those businesses that live by the credo “You get what you pay for.” The company owns and operates road-milling construction equipment on jobsites from New York to Florida. At times their job quotes may be a little more expensive, but they can be counted on to be on the jobsite and stay there until the project is done.
Based in Fairport, N.Y., Villager Construction has been operating this way for over seven years. Business has been growing at a rate of 50% a year over the past several years. Villager Construction’s operations manager, Todd Hartman, estimates that they milled over 15 million sq yd of roadways in 2004.
Villager Construction’s growth is reflected in the number of machines they own, from zero to 12 in the last seven years. They are currently renting one machine and all of their fleet is booked, every single day, through the end of October.
The company is not afraid to spend money to maintain good service because they know it more than pays for itself. The machines they buy are retired from their fleet after five years to maintain high productivity. They also invest heavily in training for their employees and in getting the right supplies. Some of those supplies include Sandvik Mining and Construction’s TriSpec road-milling tool.
Although slightly more expensive than conventional road-milling tools, the TriSpec tool lasts at least two times longer in steel wash conditions. This is due to the unique design, which features a cemented-carbide ring placed in the critical wear zone of the steel body. Utilization of the TriSpec not only ensures extended tool life, but reduces labor and productivity costs for change-outs and machine down time. These reduced expenses will more than make up for the difference in tool costs for contractors.
Villager Construction completed an agreement to use the TriSpec on all of their machines in 2005 and plan to do the same for 2006. The company tracks the tools replaced on each drum for each machine. Their findings reveal that a competitor’s tool provided nearly 20,000 yards of productive service while the TriSpec provided 40,000 yards. On average, the TriSpec tool lasted somewhere between two and two and a half times longer than the conventional tool.
Hartmann stated that the difference might even be greater. He noted that many of their operators change the tools on a regular basis, not according to wear. It’s a training issue that he and the company are addressing. But it’s a positive issue to deal with. Overall, Villager Construction is pleased with the results and knows TriSpec is worth the additional cost.
“Better to spend a little more and do things right than go halfway” said Hartmann.