Pavement America

Jeff Buchanan, owner of Pavement America located in Jacksonville, Florida, knows the importance of business diversification. Pavement America services Jacksonville and three surrounding counties, and Buchanan offers a variety of services that help keep his company competitive during a struggling economy. “I know for a fact when the economy crashed a lot of property managers were looking for one company to handle multiple services to make it easier and less expensive for them,” Buchanan says, “We were ready to fill that need.”

The company began 26 years ago when Buchanan’s wife, a real estate developer, asked if he’d maintain a shopping center that she managed. When the owner examined Buchanan’s work and saw that it was immaculate, he stated to Buchanan, “It looks so clean, like you can eat off this parking lot, are you interested in four more centers that I have?”

Starting out, Buchanan maintained the parking lots by hand, using a non-motorized ‘push sweeper’ for the small debris. For the larger stuff, he had to make a second pass and collect the material by hand. He found the push sweeper at a yard sale, where he bought it for $110. Filled with a sense of nostalgia mixed with pride, he says, “I did five shopping centers a night with that thing.” He even wore the wheels out and, by coincidence, found their replacements when he was looking through a vacuum cleaner magazine one day.

When determining the employee bonus for ‘no equipment damage for the month’, Jeff puts the names in the push sweepers’ hopper. “It’s a pretty neat thing,” he remarks, “It reminds the guys how good they have it to do the sweeping using trucks.” Buchanan’s first sweeper truck was a TYMCO 210, “That truck was such a blessing, I was very proud of that truck.”

Pavement America’s services include but are not limited to: parking lot sweeping and maintenance, seal coating and striping, asphalt repair, parking lot signage, day porter services, graffiti removal, pressure washing, landscaping, and tenant close outs. Buchanan’s branching out even further and getting into curb repair. He says the inspiration for that came from a friend presenting him with a new concrete called Geo Tech, “It’s the thing of the future—really durable stuff.” Geo Tech dries quickly—in ten minutes—and is ready to run a sweeper over. Buchanan is looking into becoming a distributor for the product.

For items like seal coating, signage and wheel stops, Buchanan turns to Professional Pavement Products, with a convenient location also in Jacksonville. Buchanan says “They have great customer service and always have what I need in stock.”

Buchanan has been doing seal coating for about twelve years, and the opportunity came about when property managers began asking him to make the old part of the parking lot blend with the newly repaired areas.

Resurfacing of parking lots is not a current service offered by Pavement America and Buchanan explains, “We try to stick to small repairs, but, often, the small jobs turn out to be bigger.” But Buchanan’s not complaining, “I’ve been very fortunate,” he says, “We’re growing at a rapid rate right now.”

Good customer service is key for Buchanan. If a customer has an emergency, Buchanan says, “There’s no time to waste. If something needs attention, we don’t wait—we send someone over immediately.” Preserving that quality service is also critical for Buchanan and his business. Pavement America doesn’t currently have a web presence, Buchanan says most of his new or returning business is due to ‘word of mouth’ and the quality of his work. He’s okay, though, not having a website at the moment, “You don’t want to grow too fast because you could lose quality.” And quality is something Pavement America values above all else.

For more information contact Jeff Buchanan at 904.219.6149.

Story by Megan McClure

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