A joint venture formed in late February from longtime south Florida competitors, U.S. Precast Corp. and Florida Rock and Sand Prestress Co., positions the new entity, Medley, Fla.-based United Concrete Products LLC, to offer expanded precast/prestressed girder and pile production. Assimilation of facilities, staff and vendor bases, officials note, along with nearly 100 years of combined industry experience, will help broaden United Concrete’s presence.
“With the consolidation, we have taken a step forward in further defining and enhancing the precast concrete industry,” says U.S. Holdings Inc. Chief Operating Officer Ronn Page, who leads a five-member United Concrete management team. “Our collective vision and collaborative strategies will foster leadership, innovation and excellence within the industry, and grow our current client base.”
“Joining forces with U.S. Precast provides a platform for delivering market-leading initiatives,” affirms Vice President Tom Bond, a United Concrete principal maintaining his Florida Rock and Sand title. “Our combined customer base and broad and diverse network of employees and vendors will continue to benefit from the products and services they have come to associate with each company—punctuated by a personalized, winning customer service philosophy.”
United Concrete has set up prestressed pile lines at its headquarters plant, the former U.S. Precast base. A group of employees have relocated from Florida Rock and Sand’s Florida City plant to run the pile line under Chris Schwarm, who transitions to the joint venture in his role as prestressed division manager. United Concrete will move additional staff, cranes, forms and yard equipment to the Medley operation or a West Palm Beach satellite by June. Anchoring near-term market opportunities for piles is a major expansion of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, whose precast/prestressed schedule alone is upwards of $20 million.
Some Florida City staff shifting to Medley will be deployed for a second new line, dedicated to Florida I-Beam production. Thanks to Florida Department of Transportation directives, the new FIB profile has rapidly taken hold in the Sunshine State as a successor to AASHTO or bulb tee prestressed bridge girders. Over the next 18–24 months, the FIB’s strongest volume prospects in South Florida would appear to be on the widening of Interstate 595, linking Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Int’l and Interstate 75 or Alligator Alley.
“When we first looked at a joint venture 18 months ago, one of the biggest challenges seemed to involve a combining of staffs. It has turned out to be the easiest part of the process,” says United Concrete General Manager Shane DeBogory. “In a very short time, we have seen the synergy between the U.S. Precast and Florida Rock and Sand businesses,” noting especially how the prestressed pile line start up and quality of Medley plant newcomers have helped define the joint venture’s early success.