Opened as greensites in 2005, Raccoon River Sand & Gravel and Saylorville Sand are located just 20 miles apart in Des Moines, Iowa.
Virtually identical in design, they share quite a bit: resources, equipment, employees – even their plant manager.
And now they share one more thing – the distinction of being a member of Martin Marietta’s inaugural class of Diamond Honor Award winners.
The accomplishment is one the plants’ employees are quite proud of, and one they say they wouldn’t mind making an annual occurrence. Tim Chambers, for one, would not be at all surprised if they did.
“That could happen very easily,” noted the plant manager of Saylorville, Raccoon River and three other area sand plants. “If they maintain the devotion that they have and the commitment to safety that they have, the sky’s the limit.”
From a business standpoint, 2015 was a banner year for the company’s two Iowa winners. At Saylorville, production and sales increased 24 percent with gross profit up 35 percent from 2014. At Raccoon River, with production and sales both on the rise, gross profit increased 22 percent in 2015.
“At Saylorville, we’re producing more than double what we produced when I first came here in 2009,” Chambers said. “And we’ve done that with the same number of employees.”
Despite the increased activity (and no increase in headcount), the small, but dedicated, teams at Saylorville and Raccoon River kept true to their Guardian Angel philosophy in 2015, extending already impressive safety records. Saylorville’s last reportable incident occurred in 2009 and it hasn’t had a lost-time incident since it opened. Raccoon River has also been incident-free since 2009.
Foreman Eric Hansen explained why.
“Every employee knows somebody has their back,” he said. “There’s always somebody looking out for them. These guys are always talking and never assuming anything about a particular task or responsibility.”