If there is an ultimate proving ground for construction equipment, it might be a quarry. By midday, temperatures approach 100-degree heat with no shade in sight. To paraphrase an old song, if a machine can make it here, it can make it anywhere. “It’s like a different planet out here,” says Will Moore, Director of Sales. “It’s hot and dusty, and we’re working in rock. It’s a pretty tough environment. We really put our Deere machines through their paces, and they hold up well. We come to work and they’re ready to go.”
While the excavators and loaders handle the heavy lifting, a small but capable John Deere 333E Compact Track Loader cleans up in tight areas the larger machines can’t reach. This helps production continue without interruption.
The intense production rate makes Bedrock Resources one of the largest producers of construction aggregates by volume in Florida. “It takes a team effort to load all these trucks day after day,” says Curtis Peters, Operations Manager. “Everyone works as one to meet our customers’ needs. That’s what keeps customers coming back.”
What’s truly impressive is that the large aggregate producer is a small, family owned company. On a given shift, 10 to 12 people are basically running the whole show. Despite the enormous workload, the company has experienced very low turnover. “People are our most valuable asset,” says Moore. “We empower our employees to make decisions. If they have suggestions that can help us be more efficient, we encourage them to speak up and incorporate their ideas into what we do. And we put our operators in well-maintained, new equipment so they can perform at the highest levels.”
Caring for employees is a key component of the company’s mission statement. “It’s hard to find good, qualified operators, but the crew we have are like family,” says Peters. “And we care for them like family.”
Faith is important to company owners Darryl Lanker, Scott Lanker, and Matt Girden, and it provides an avenue to reach out to employees in need. A chaplain makes the rounds for anyone who would like counseling, and paid Bible study is offered after work on Thursday evenings. The company also has an in-house ministry fund it can use to assist employees or others in dire financial need, for example, to help cover catastrophic health-care costs. The company gives back to the community as well, occasionally organizing fundraisers for various nonprofits, contributing to the Sumter County school system, and actively supporting other Christian mission organizations.
Bedrock Resources’ culture puts a high value on relationships, not only among employees but with vendors as well. “I can buy a product anywhere,” says Moore. “But relationships are a big factor in our decision making. Our machines need to be working, and we know that Deere stands behind its machines and that the service is going to be there.”
“Without good service and support, we couldn’t do what we do,” adds Peters. “Our local John Deere dealer, Dobbs Equipment, takes very good care of us.”
The company’s main dealer contact, Richard Taylor, has worked with Bedrock Resources for over 10 years. “He is like a family member to us,” says Peters. It’s not unusual to find Taylor at the quarry. Using John Deere’s JDLink™ telematics system, he and Peters can both monitor the health of Bedrock Resources’ fleet 24 hours a day. But Taylor often likes to come by to check on the machines in person. He also spends a lot of time with Peters trying to learn the quarry business. “He takes a lot of pride in learning to understand our unique and complex business,” says Peters.
“Richard does everything he can to address issues before they become major problems,” adds Moore. “If I need something, he’s always there. I can call him at four in the morning. I try not to do that, but he’ll answer, and that’s important to me.”
Moore says people are the lifeblood of his operation, and that includes John Deere: “I’m grateful to work for a small company that really appreciates its employees, its suppliers, and its community. I love what I do, and I enjoy coming to work every day. To me that’s worth more than any amount of money.”