PRI Pavement Restorations Inc.

For this month’s North American Sweeper Magazine spotlight editorial we spoke to Jon Hargett, president and part owner along with his wife Kim of PRI Pavement Restorations Inc., whose home base is located in Milan, Tennessee.

Q: Can you say a few words about your education and training? How did you into the business? What did you do before you started your own business? How did it prepare you for your present role as CEO?
I always had an interest in civil technologies and I so pursued a degree in Civil Engineering, graduating from Tennessee Tech with a B.S. in 1995. While a student in the Civil Engineering program I came into contact with a scholarship committee at Tech sponsored by Tennessee road builders association. After graduation I worked for Tennessee Asphalt for about a year as an estimator with the intention and opportunity to become a superintendent at the company. In 1996 I did get the superintendent position and worked for Tennessee Asphalt for over 10 years running their asphalt and sand and gravel surface mining division. Part of our job was to build roads from the ground up. Other responsibilities included doing maintenance and preservation on roads all over Tennessee. I learned about infrared technology initially through heat stamping asphalt for decorative markings placement on crosswalks.. As the price of asphalt began to rise, it became more evident that a high quality asphalt maintenance process would be marketable. Placing the infrared machines over patches of asphalt we would just heat the existing asphalt and use the machine to create seamless, watertight patches.

Q: Can you say a little bit about the history of your company, PRI Pavement Restorations?
It became evident to me that I wanted to start my own business and so I left my superintendent position at Tennessee Asphalt and started the company. On a shoestring I hired one technician and with not much equipment we worked on everything having to do with asphalt repairs, pothole repairs, crack sealing, etc. Given my long tenure at Tennessee Asphalt and learning to work with infrared, I began specializing in using infrared machines. In the beginning we worked with one machine but as we secured more and more clients, I scaled up and purchased one machine and truck after another. While working for Tennessee Asphalt I had managerial relations with the public works dept of Metropolitan Nashville, located in Nashville, Tennessee. I eventually reestablished my working connection with Metro Nashville and with that PRI Pavement Restorations began to grow and grow. In order to facilitate all of the road and other asphalt and pavement repairs and restorations we were performing for Metro Nashville I bought my first sweeper truck and hired someone to operate it. We began to specialize in fog seal coating, which gets its name from the spray method used. Some companies use fog seal coating for parking lots but we used it on road and highway repairs and restorations. Having such success and expanding the company through a substantial multi-year contract with Metro Nashville, we structured our business model based on contracts with public works establishments. We worked hard and we began to be introduced to other cities and municipalities and starting securing multi-year contract after contract, always keeping infrared asphalt technology as our signature application and built a strong reputation on that. Nowadays we are sending infrared asphalt repair crews to work multi-year contracts with over 20 cities and towns all over western, middle, and eastern Tennessee. We now have offices and operations in Nashville and Knoxville in addition to our home base at Milan, Tennessee.

Q: Tell us about the variety of services now offered by PRI Pavement Restorations and some of the distinguishing features and services of your company which makes it unique.
We have multiple divisions and provide a wide variety of services, while still maintaining specialists in our signature service—infrared asphalt repair. Infrared technology provides a high quality asphalt repair that is a time and money-saving alternative to traditional removal and replacement operations. Using infrared heat technology allows us to repair every kind and size of potholes, utility cuts, rough surfaces, alligator cracks, and bird-baths at an affordable cost by recycling the existing asphalt. Our process also applies rejuvenators to old asphalt that introduces new oils to the process and which provides a superior long lasting repair. In fact, we are often called the “Professional Pothole People” and I have a trademark on the name included in our email address: gotpotholes.net. While we do specialize in infrared asphalt repairs in municipal contexts, we also have long-term clients from the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors. We work with everything asphalt roads and highways and our services and products include: replay, pass QB, pass CR, spray injection tar and chip seal repair, fog sealing for road treatments, scrub sealing, trench repair, construction joint sealing, milling, culvert slip lining, thermoplastic pavement marking, and power sweeping services, among others.
We are also one of only twenty or so companies nationwide that uses infrared applications and thermoplastic pavement marking services to work on repairing and restoring airport runways. On any given day you can see our trucks, equipment and work teams at airports located near cities across the country, including Orlando, Dallas and Chicago, among numerous others. When we get a call from airport administrators to come work on their runways we put together work crews of 3-4 people, pack up all of our equipment, materials, etc. in large trailers and head out from one of our sites. Sometimes the crews are gone up to a week or more.

Q: Can you tell us a little about who works for the company and what positions they occupy?
Over the years we have also scaled to grow our businesses, which now include seven different companies, with business partners in different locations, all divisions of our parent company, employing over 120 different workers, technicians, mechanics, office personnel, and so on. One of our companies, an engineering firm, is led by my wife Kim, who is also a civil engineer and a licensed P.E. (professional engineer). We have locations across the southeastern U.S., including one in North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia, in addition to our offices in Tennessee. Kim is the C.E.O. and I am President. Damien Stone is our Superintendent; Durante Pryor is our project manager in western Tennessee; Scott Adams is our project manager in middle Tennessee; and our executive administrator is Kristi Collins. We have a great group of loyal and hard-working employees, many have been with us since the beginning 10 years ago, and I even have great employees that worked for me 20 years ago when I was superintendent at Tennessee Asphalt.

Q: Tell us about your fleet of vehicles and equipment that we would see on the road or at one of your properties.
Our infrared machines are manufactured by HDE which is located in Canada. From 2008 to 2016, as the businesses expanded, we purchased a new HDE infrared asphalt repair machine about one per year. At present we own and operate eight HDE machines. We mount the HDEs on Freightliner M-2 chassis. My first sweeper truck was a Tymco 435 and we have used Tymco sweepers exclusively ever since. We have one 2007 Tymco 435 as well as a 2014 Tymco 435. Because so much of our work is in the municipal sector, working on roads in cities and towns, we like the regenerative air and spray technologies that the Tymcos are known for, especially because it keeps the dust down and to a minimum so as not to disturb the residents we happen live in the neighborhood we are working in. For our milling work we primarily use machines manufactured by Wirtgen. When it is clean-up time for many of our jobs who put the Tymco sweepers into operation.

For more information on PRI Pavement Restorations, Inc, please visit their website at: www.gotpotholes.net.

Story by Mark Joseph Manion

RESOURCES:
www.asphaltheater.com
www.tymco.com
www.wirtgen.com
www.freightliner.com

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