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Mauldin Helps Va.’s Racey Paving Keep Up With Workload
THU SEPTEMBER 29, 2022 – SOUTHEAST EDITION #20
Brannon Racey is a young man working as superintendent at his family’s paving company in the lush Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He also is preparing to one day soon assume the mantle of company owner from his father, Wayne, who has trained the younger Racey for the job since he could first walk.
One of Brannon’s attributes is his intense desire to know all he can about the paving and excavating business, the two primary services offered by Racey Paving in Toms Brook, Va., the site of both its office and shop.
When the small contracting firm saw that it was time to buy a new grader to handle the many residential projects it books throughout the western part of Virginia, Brannon spent a lot of time doing research to find the right grader for the company.
Eventually, his efforts led Racey Paving to purchase a new Mauldin M415XT maintainer, a highly versatile and maneuverable small grader. He also turned to Richmond Machinery in the Commonwealth’s capital city for help in making the deal to buy the Mauldin grader.
The contractor took delivery of the new maintainer on Aug. 8, 2022, where it has joined Racey Paving’s menagerie of other equipment in its yard, including two pavers, two rollers, a wheel loader, three mini-excavators and a trio of skid steers. Along with the Mauldin, Richmond Machinery also brought a skid steer bucket that Brannon needed to replace, he said.
Racey Did His Homework
The Mauldin M414XT is an improved version of one the contractor bought in 2002, before selling it in 2015 after working it hard, Brannon said.
This fact was the main reason Racey Paving decided, once again, to choose this Mauldin model, he added.
“Knowing what we had before, and the fact that we liked the maintainer’s size, style and most everything else about it, I decided, as a research kind of person who likes to dig in and look up information before I even call anybody, to start looking into the M415XT to check out what improvements have been made to it over the years,” he said. “Plus, I read the reviews that people wrote about the revamped maintainer and how good it was.”
Brannon called the dealership to begin the process of buying one. Although Richmond Machinery did not have that maintainer in its showroom at the time, he said that “as soon as they got one, they called me to come down to have a look at it. We already knew what the upgrades were on the Mauldin, so we went to Richmond, checked it out, ran it in their yard a bit and made our decision to take it home.”
Because approximately 80 percent of Racey Paving’s projects involve residential paving and small excavation, Brannon saw the small Mauldin M415XT as the perfect choice for his company.
“A full-size grader is usually too large to get into smaller driveways and is often just too hard to get around at home sites,” he said. “That model is classified as being more of a maintainer than a grader. The difference between the two is that a motor grader has multiple pivot points up front and is made for shaving back banks and for cutting ditches, plus they have the weight to support what they do. A maintainer is made to lightly clean out ditches, re-grade roads and built for lighter work than a regular road grader.”
Paving Fixture in Valley
Racey Paving was founded in 1965 by Brannon’s great-grandfather and grandfather. Later, Wayne Racey came into the family business, meaning his son Brannon is the fourth generation of the Racey family working in the respected company.
The contractor plies its trade up and down the valley, with most of its workload being in its home base of Shenandoah County. Additionally, Racey Paving takes on projects in the surrounding counties of Warren, Frederick and Page.
Paving Company’s Work Is Non-Stop
Brannon said the amount of work he and his crew have is so heavy that they have no need to advertise.
“Well, our trucks have our name on them, but the bulk of our business comes from positive returns or referrals from satisfied customers,” he said. “Sometimes we get work from random people that get on Facebook to find someone to do the paving they need. More than 50 percent of the folks we work for will recommend Racey Paving over anyone else.”
Racey Paving’s non-residential projects include parking lots, commercial sealcoating and performing maintenance on the roadways at most of the area’s subdivisions.
One of Racey Paving’s long-standing clients has been the Shenandoah County Public School (SCPS) system, which Brannon said has been ongoing for 25 years and involves repairing and repaving parking areas as well as doing snow removal at the schools
“[SCPS] often waits a long time to get their parking lots fixed, due to its budget, but this past year they got a lot of government funding to help improve their schools,” he said. “We just spent the entire month of June overlaying and sealcoating 10 different parking lots for them. That was a substantial job for us outside of the residential work we normally do. It took place on five different campuses, ranging from elementary to middle to high schools. There are three of each in the county, and the [Massanutten Regional Governor’s School in Mt. Jackson].”
For the younger Racey, the amount of work the company has been asked to do is incredible, especially considering the current economic climate.
“We have been so blessed,” he said. “Last year, for instance, we had to stop taking calls for work at one point because we became booked up for the rest of the year in July. This year, we fully maxed out at the end of May. We have 60-some estimates right now that we just have not been able to get to and our office has told people how busy we are. Yet, they will say, ‘That’s alright, we’re willing to wait until next spring.’
“That fact says a lot about the way we are looked at as a company.” CEG