“The WA320s are amazing equipment for our yard”
Michael Tackett had it made. After starting an Atlanta-based concrete-cutting company in 1988 and turning it into a success, he sold it in 1997 and prepared for an extended “vacation.” However, after five years of attempting to entertain himself, he was bored.
“Once I sold the company, I piddled around with real estate, demolition and built a house – mainly I just tried to enjoy myself,” recalled Tackett. “Five years later, I realized that all I wanted to do was break rocks.”
There was one problem; he had signed a six-year, non-compete clause with the company he sold his business to. Instead of enjoying one more year of his self-imposed vacation until the clause expired, Tackett wanted to work again immediately.
“I asked if I could give the money back,” laughed Tackett. “I told them that if they hadn’t sewn up customers by now, they never would. So, they let me return the money for the last year of the agreement, and I got back to work. I couldn’t have been happier.”
In 2002, Tackett opened B&D Concrete Cutting with only three employees and focused on structural demolition, road and highway projects. It didn’t take long for the company to find success. Today, it has grown to 95 employees and has added a concrete recycling facility.
“With the amount of concrete that we were generating and the continuously rising dump fees, we needed to do something,” noted Tackett. “Three years ago, we opened our own recycling facility with a yard, so we would always have a place to dump.”
Tackett estimates that B&D Concrete Cutting brings 90 percent of the concrete from its sites back to the facility. It also added roll-off trucks and containers to its fleet.
“Highway work makes up a lot of our business, and most of those jobs are done overnight,” said Tackett. “There aren’t a lot of dumps open at that time, and we got tired of waiting for someone else to pick up a container to get it off the jobsite. With our own containers and recycling yard, we have complete control over all aspects of our business.”
The total package
Tackett’s passion for the firm is both undeniable and contagious, and it has been the driving force behind the company’s success for the last 15 years.
“My mother always says that I’m overqualified because from the day I was born, I could break anything on Earth,” joked Tackett. “I love what I do. I think that rubs off on our employees, and our customers notice it.”
That drive has led B&D Concrete Cutting to pursue large contracts that pose multiple challenges.
“We pride ourselves on doing what other companies can’t or won’t do,” said Tackett. “Nearly 30 percent of our business is from our competitors. A project comes to them, and they tell the customer to call us because it’s too hard.”
Recently B&D Concrete Cutting tackled the demolition of Turner Field, the former home of the Atlanta Braves, ahead of the site’s redevelopment.
“The contract was for a massive demolition to be completed in eight weeks,” Tackett stated. “Everyone in the industry was scared to death of the time line because it was such a big job. We accepted the challenge and finished in seven weeks.”
The company also routinely handles sizeable road-demolition projects, removing as much as 2.3 million pounds of concrete in an evening.
“We love a challenge,” explained Tackett. “One reason we’re able to manage the work is because we do everything from cutting, to removal to hauling on our own. But, the real advantage for us is our people. Employees like Joyce Clark, Susan Choo, Phillip Arrington, Michael Hatfield, J.T. Tomes, Mike Williams, Cameron Collett, Scott Murdock and Jeff Carr make us successful. I’m surrounded by the best people in the world.”
B&D Concrete Cutting also provides several other services in addition to concrete removal. It offers wire cutting, which involves cutting and removing material with a diamond-impregnated wire; drills holes in concrete as large as 60 inches in diameter; digs plumbing trenches for restaurant and manufacturing construction; installs dock pits; and handles wall removal for overhead door construction.
As Tackett puts it, “If something needs to be torn up, B&D Concrete Cutting can do it.”
The right stuff
In addition to experience and great employees, the firm also has the right tools to complete any job, thanks to Komatsu equipment from Tractor & Equipment Company (TEC) and Sales Rep Johnny Rexrode.
“Anyone can have big equipment, but having the right equipment is key for us,” shared Tackett. “We operate in some very confined areas, so we need a lot of power in compact machines. That’s where Komatsu comes in. They are dependable and tough. This is a demanding industry, and our Komatsu pieces get the job done.”
One such machine is the company’s Komatsu PC88MR excavator equipped with a Tramac hydraulic breaker.
“On some jobs, we only have a small access point to get to our material – we aren’t always outside,” explained Tackett. “The PC88 is great because it can get into any place and do some serious work.”
Komatsu excavators, like B&D’s three PC170LCs that Tackett had TEC outfit with rubber tracks, and a PC210LC, are the go-to choices for B&D Concrete Cutting. The excavators’ reliability and power allow the company to tackle assignments that other companies can’t complete.
“When removing concrete, most companies break it into 1,500-pound pieces and use skid steers to move it,” Tackett detailed. “With our Komatsu excavators, we’re able to cut the concrete into 6,000-pound blocks and remove them with ease.”
The company’s Atlanta material-recycling yard features a Kleemann Mobiscreen MS 13 Z mobile screening plant. The operation also depends on Komatsu WA320 wheel loaders.
“The WA320s are amazing equipment for our yard,” noted Tackett. “They can handle all of the material; they are maneuverable and all-around solid machines.
“The thing we appreciate most about Komatsu products is their reliability,” he continued. “They are very strong, and despite doing tough work like we do, they keep running. We’ve put them to the test, and they’ve passed.”
In addition to dependable machines, Tackett trusts the staff at TEC.
“TEC was the first company to talk to me when I started up,” he recalled. “They’ve been with me ever since. If I have a question or a need, they are always there with an answer. They understand what I need to remain operating.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Tackett doesn’t see himself slowing down anytime soon.
“I tried relaxing once, and it didn’t stick,” he acknowledged. “I love this job too much to retire; I’m going to be around for a while. There are some great people in the company who can take over the business as I get older, which will allow me to be involved, but on a lesser scale. I know that I could leave for six months, and this place wouldn’t miss a beat because of them. I’m proud of that.”