“The Komatsu loaders are bulletproof”
When Henry Dunteman ordered a loader tractor in 1927, his intention was to put it to work on the beet farm he planned to open in Bensenville, Ill. The day it arrived at the train station, however, his son, Roland, lined up work for the machine. It just wasn’t on the farm.
“As the family story goes, my grandfather went to the station to see the tractor and a contractor asked if he could rent it for a road project in the area,” explained Roland’s grandson, Roland Dunteman III. “Grandpa went home and asked if it was alright to use the tractor for that job. That was the start of the company, and the rest is history.”
While the beet farm never came to fruition, the 90-year run of R.W. Dunteman Co. has been a nice alternative. Its first substantial growth occurred during the housing boom of the 1940s, digging basements for homes as people moved to the Chicago suburbs. In the 60s, the company grew again as it turned its focus to interstate construction and asphalt production.
Today, with a staff of 150 employees, the Addison, Ill., firm handles municipal jobs throughout the state of Illinois, in addition to railroad construction, asphalt and concrete production and material recycling. Through it all, the Dunteman family has remained an important element of the company. Brothers Roland III, Jeff, Paul Jr. and Matthew represent the third generation of Duntemans to lead the business. Roland III is President and manages the financial aspects of the organization. Jeff serves as Vice President of Operations and takes care of the field personnel and project managers. Paul Jr. is Vice President and oversees equipment and maintenance. Matthew is the Material Operations Manager and is in charge of the family’s Du-Kane Asphalt Company and Crush-Crete businesses.
“My brothers and I took over for our father and uncle in 2004, but we all started here in the 1980s,” noted Roland III. “We got our boots dirty and worked alongside our field employees. I think that experience helped us in the roles we have today.”
The family feel also extends throughout the organization. “Our employees are great; we have a few who have been here for 20 years or more,” added Roland III. “We have second-generation employees as well, which says a lot about the type of company we are.”
Roads and rails
If you have visited Chicago, you are more than likely familiar with R.W. Dunteman’s projects.
“We’ve worked on every highway and interstate in the Chicagoland area in one way or another,” said Roland III. “That remains our main focus today. We handle both highways and residential streets. We usually serve as the general contractor and sub out the underground work, then we come in and pave. Having our own material plants and recycling facility gives us greater control over the quality of materials we use and the time frame of projects.”
R.W. Dunteman is the premier precast panel contractor in northern Illinois. In one season alone, the company installed 270 of the panels on Interstate 294 for the Illinois Tollway. The panels replace sections of roadways in construction zones so motorists can still drive on the road when work isn’t taking place.
The company has also accomplished a bevy of projects associated with the high-speed railroad that connects Chicago and St. Louis. “We’ve upgraded more than 100 crossings for the railroad between Dwight and Carlinville by adding gates, reinforcing the crossing areas and constructing medians,” said Roland III. “It’s a high-profile project, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
When it comes to equipment purchases, R.W. Dunteman relies on Komatsu and Wirtgen Group equipment from Roland Machinery Company and Sales Rep John Kroger.
“We trust John for quality equipment that is the right fit for us,” said Roland III. “We know what to expect from the Komatsu and Wirtgen brands. More importantly, we know what to expect from the service and support of Roland Machinery.”
R.W. Dunteman’s fleet includes seven Komatsu excavators; two WA320 and three WA500 wheel loaders; and five dozers. “The Komatsu line is number one in our fleet,” declared Paul Jr. “The machines have amazing fuel efficiency and minimal breakdowns. We trust them.”
The firm recently added another tight-tail-swing PC308USLC excavator to its fleet, and it has been an immediate hit on projects in confined areas. R.W. Dunteman obtained an additional WA500-8 at its recycling yard to help move material as well as load crushers and trucks. Paul calls the wheel loaders “bulletproof.”
Wirtgen Group pieces, like the W 210i cold milling machine and Vögele 5200 with a VR600 screed, are also essential equipment for the company.
Ready for the future
R.W. Dunteman understands that the only constant in the construction industry is change. The owners know that their future success relies on how they manage the industry’s evolution.
“There are a lot of unknowns ahead of everyone involved in this business,” offered Roland III. “Some things will always be the same – we’ll tear up roads and rebuild them – but how we do it, what equipment we use and the workforce performing those tasks won’t be. That is the challenge here. We are committed to using the latest technology and building a quality team. As long as we do that and continue to deliver a great product, we will find success.”