Shovel Man to Paving Contractor
Updated: Jul 25
Perhaps the most valuable lessons I have learned as an asphalt contractor in Louisville stems from problem-solving as a worker in the field.
After a hard day's work, a former employee once said to me that they, "can't wait to drive around and sit in a truck all day." In all honesty, I did not take offense. It was the middle of the 2019 summer and on one of the hottest days when this crew member observed our sales expert hop out of his truck. The worker understood that he was checking on a job deal that he had signed. I'm sure, correction, I KNOW it isn't easy to be shoveling 325° asphalt during the middle of an 11 hour day. He was sweating himself a second layer of skin when he observed our paving sales expert hop out of his new ADC truck with a smile as if he just had a great snowball fight. Back to the story.
Learning this industry from the ground up sent me through every emotion known to any asphalt worker who has laced up his/her boots. In 2009, three years before my wife and I decided to purchase ADC Paving, I thought I might be able to start my mornings with a shower, throw on a polo and some khakis, and come home with clean hands and money flowing out of my pocket. That's not how it happened and I couldn't be more thankful. Whether it be a $3,000,000 commercial paving and pavement maintenance parking lot job or a $2,500 driveway, I can now make the correct call with confidence in myself and with the respect of my crew. They know that I have put in the time shoveling, raking, tamping, spreading, weed eating, blowing, and sweating. They also know I will be the first one to do it "right now" should we be short a worker that day.
Last year my time was split between working in the office and the field. Any business owner or manager who has put effort into their work has felt the difficulties of delegating. In that light, an essential aspect of ADC Paving is our employees and the ability to trust them. (If I had written that sentence two or three years ago, that would have been said in jest. Now, I mean it with genuine pride and honesty and it feels great.) We have hired difference makers in our office and on our sales team. They understand the asphalt industry and, as a result, every year we get more efficient. We run multiple paving and seal coat crews on a single day. We are more responsive, educational, and easier to communicate with.
I say all of this to simply say, "We belong here." It is a fundamental desire for humans to feel deserving of their status and partnerships. I owe so much to countless people who had the patience to teach me about drainage, compaction, communication, trust, integrity, business, and the Louisville paving industry. I am proud of the mornings I spent before long summer days when I laced up my boots for ADC Paving. The only thing I am more proud of is watching each individual on my team work. We take pride seriously, and I am honored that they want to grow within ADC Paving. I want everyone within the company to have an opportunity they didn't have before they arrived.
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Paving Louisville, Kentucky and Southern, Indiana Since 1959