“Komatsu CARE is value-added’”
To see how far Joe and Sofia Regalado’s journey to success has come, first you have to understand that they experienced a rather bumpy start. On January 1, 2009, the couple founded Jarco Transport, a trucking company, to move sand and other products around the San Antonio area.
“We had one truck dedicated to a broker; by the summer it was up to four, and we were parking them at the broker’s place,” recalled Joe. “He owned trucks too, and he was not pleased with our growth, so he stopped doing business with us and asked us to leave his property. We bought four acres, and because we were not working for the broker anymore, we parked three trucks and ran one while I hustled to find new business.”
The first new customer was a landscaping company looking for topsoil. The Regalados purchased the product from a pit. “We didn’t have the money to buy it and then wait to get paid, so I had to leave an open check at the beginning of each month, then stress over whether I could cover it or not. One month, I couldn’t pay for it. My customer needed dirt, and I didn’t have it.”
The Regalados did have a skid steer, so Joe decided to dig up some of the sandy loam on his property and deliver it to the landscaper. “When his caller ID showed up on my phone I thought, ‘Oh brother, I messed up.’ Instead, the customer loved it and wanted more. What a lucky break.”
Joe continued to remove dirt from that site, and bought additional acres of land. One property came with a farmhouse that the Regalados turned into an office for Jarco Transport, which also began offering heavy-hauling and flatbed services. “There came a point when we decided it was best to have two companies, one dedicated to trucking and another for material supply. So, we opened Texas Soil Resources.”
In 2015, the owners of Madden Materials approached Joe about buying their sand pit near Somerset, a few miles from Jarco’s home base in Von Ormy. “It took close to a year for everything to come together,” shared Joe. “We officially began operating Madden Materials in May 2016 and have since grown sales tenfold compared to what they were upon purchase. We expanded product offerings and territory significantly, acquired adjacent land for present and future growth, and, last summer, installed a wash plant at the pit.”
The Regalados closed Texas Soil Resources, but kept its four locations and moved them under the Madden Materials name. They relocated their headquarters to the Madden site where the firm set up a testing lab and now makes several custom blends, such as infield mixes for baseball fields. Today, most of Madden Materials’ tonnage is transported by Jarco.
Joe is Chief Executive Officer of the firm, and Sofia is Co-Chief Financial Officer along with Sam Vera. Additional key personnel include Chief Operating Officer Paul Alden as well as Production and Maintenance Supervisor Daniel Guzman. In addition to the pits, Madden Materials contracts to perform on-site screening at customers’ locations.
Komatsu, WPI optimize production
Expansion ushered in the need for additional equipment. The Regalados began using Komatsu machinery nearly five years ago when Jarco Transport was supplying materials. Joe needed a new loader, and, on the recommendation of a friend in the construction industry, contacted WPI Territory Manager Brian Childress.
“Brian suggested instead of trading in a couple of old competitive models, that I auction them and put the money toward a used WA450 wheel loader,” Joe recalled. “It was the right thing to do, and, within a few months, we added a WA380. Komatsu has been our brand of choice ever since.”
Madden Materials now runs six wheel loaders (two WA380-8, a WA380-6, a WA470-7, a WA470-6 and a WA320-7), a PC360LC-10 excavator and an HM300 articulated dump truck. “Across the board, our operators love the Komatsu machines,” Joe confirmed. “In fact, we demoed a competitive excavator, and the feedback I heard was to stay with Komatsu. The efficiency and production are top-notch.”
So too is WPI and Komatsu’s service, according to Joe. Childress teamed up with Komatsu District Sales Manager Anthony Lovero and members of Komatsu’s Business Solutions Group to conduct a complimentary Optimized Fleet Recommendation (OFR) study on how to move sand from the pit to the wash plant most effectively.
“They assessed the site – how we load, haul distance, tons of product the plant needed per hour – and determined that smaller units would be best. They were able to tell us operating costs by considering fuel, operator pay, maintenance and more. All at no charge. That’s an incredible benefit, and they have finished a second OFR study to determine our present and future needs as we continue to expand and move farther away from the plant.”
In addition to that service, WPI covers scheduled maintenance intervals on Madden’s Tier 4 machines through Komatsu CARE for the first 2,000 hours or three years. “Komatsu CARE is value-added, and when it runs out, there’s no doubt we will renew it and pay for the service,” said Daniel. “I also like KOMTRAX because I can track trends 24/7 and address issues proactively. We love what Komatsu and WPI offer us. Brian and our Product Support Rep Clayton Garner are outstanding to work with.”
Always keeps an eye out
During the past couple of years, fracking companies have knocked on Madden Materials’ door looking for sand. Its sand passed gradation, turbidity and crush tests, which determined the product is suitable for the booming fracking industry. With orders for more than a million tons of the firm’s wash sand annually, an on-site facility to process it is currently under construction.
“That’s the next step in our evolution,” Joe said. “Beyond that, I’m looking at recycling materials. Our customers buy sand from us to bed pipe. They have spoils to haul away, so why don’t we bring them back and make new, useful products? I always have my eye out for new opportunities.”