Customers in Action

Carlock Trucking & Construction


September 28, 2015

“Komatsu equipment provides outstanding production and reliability”

Carlock Trucking & Construction

This year marks Carlock Trucking & Construction’s Silver Anniversary. As Owner and Founder David Carlock looks back on 25 years in business, he can point to both change and consistency as factors in the Chickamauga, Ga., company’s longevity.

“I started the business with a dump truck, and through the years, I kept adding personnel and equipment,” said Carlock. “The size and scope of projects got bigger, and I offered more services. That’s what’s changed. What hasn’t is my philosophy. I still believe in being hands-on. From estimating and bidding to running equipment to working closely with customers, I’m still as actively involved as I was when I started.”

That viewpoint and a solid work ethic helped Carlock build Carlock Trucking & Excavating into one of the most reliable and sought-out excavation companies in the Chattanooga area, as well as northern Georgia and northern Alabama. Carlock noted that 100 percent of the company’s business comes from repeat customers.

“I haven’t forgotten my roots,” said Carlock. “In the beginning I hauled topsoil and gravel with my single dump truck, and then I started spreading it. We still offer that type of service. I like to say that no job is too small.

“But, through the years our list of services has grown into everything from a single load of materials, to total site packages that are a couple million dollars,” he added. “Much of that growth has been fueled by customers asking me to do more for them. It tells me that we’ve done a good job of taking care of their needs.”

One point of contact

Carlock Trucking & Construction’s site-work package includes underground utility installation for water, sanitary/storm sewer, clearing, grubbing, mass excavation, fine grading and foundation digs.

“A very large percentage of our work is done for developers, and they like that we cover nearly all aspects ourselves, as it gives them one point of contact,” said Carlock. “In addition to earthwork, we provide paving with a subcontractor, if a customer wants us to include that as part of the package.”

He noted that the company usually has seven or eight projects going at any one time. Several of the company’s most recent projects involved site work for area schools.

Carlock Trucking & Construction began a package project in September 2014, which involves clearing and grubbing timber on a 30-acre site that will eventually be home to a new Bass Pro Shop just south of metro Chattanooga. During the past few months, it’s constructed a retention pond and begun importing about 400,000 yards of dirt to raise the elevations from 5 feet to 8 feet. The company will eventually install utilities as well.

A second 10-acre development across the road for the same developer is on Carlock Trucking & Construction’s to-do list. Carlock said it will house several new businesses and probably need about the same amount of imported dirt as the current job.

Carlock Trucking & Construction

A total team effort

Helping Carlock complete projects on time and on budget is a dedicated staff. Many of its members have been with the company a decade or more.

“I’ve never had a lot of turnover, and I think that’s a big part of why the company has been successful,” said Carlock. “I don’t look at it like I’m the boss. We depend on each other. For instance, if someone needs time off, I’ll take their place operating equipment or driving a truck. It’s a total team effort, and I believe I have the best team in the business. They will do whatever it takes to get a job done. I can’t be on every job, but I don’t worry about things getting done, because I know that I can trust the staff to take care of business. They deserve a great deal of credit for Carlock Trucking & Construction being in business for 25 years.”

Reliability from Komatsu, Power Equipment

Another long-term factor of Carlock Trucking & Construction’s success is reliable equipment. For nearly as long as he’s been in business, Carlock has used Komatsu machines purchased from Power Equipment Company’s Chattanooga branch. Carlock’s current lineup includes PC200LC-7, PC270LC-8 and PC45MR-3 hydraulic excavators as well as D39-22 dozers and a GD655 motor grader.

“My customers have confidence that every job we do for them will be done on time and on budget,” said Carlock. “In addition to an outstanding staff, we deliver because Komatsu equipment provides outstanding production and reliability. Downtime through the years has been extremely minimal. That’s been the case since I purchased my first Komatsu piece nearly 20 years ago, and it’s a big reason why I continue to buy it today.”

Another reason is the service Carlock gets from Power Equipment Company. He currently works with Territory Manager Heath Smith and Regional Sales Manager Todd Nelson.

“My relationship with Power Equipment goes back to the early 1990s when I bought a dozer to spread materials,” recalled Carlock. “Much of what I’ve bought through the years came from Power’s Certified Rental fleet. Even though they are used, I know that they have been well-maintained and that Power will stand behind them with a solid warranty and parts and service support. Todd and Heath do a great job of letting me know what equipment is available and helping me get the pieces I’m looking for, and Parts Manager Mike Brown and Service Manager Jason Hicks take care of our support needs.”

Carlock Trucking & Construction

Maintain the same approach

David Carlock is satisfied with where Carlock Trucking & Construction stands after 25 years. He has no plans to grow, either in size or in scope of work.

“I feel like if we get too big, we stand a good chance of losing the close relationships we have built,” said Carlock. “A conservative approach has always been best for me – don’t take on too many jobs at once, and work hard to complete every project on time, on budget and to the customer’s satisfaction. The fact that all of our work comes from customers who call us back time and again shows me that’s the right approach, so we’ll continue to do that going forward.”