After Almost 70 Years, Bartow Paving Co. Continues to Grow and Diversify
Three Generations Strong: Family-Owned Bartow Paving Co. Continues Legacy of Quality Work
For 68 years, governments and developers have depended on family-owned and operated Bartow Paving Co. of Cartersville, Georgia, to perform site work, grading, base work and paving.
“I’m the third generation in this,” says Andrew Shropshire Sr., President and Chief Operations Officer of Bartow Paving Co. of Cartersville, Georgia. “We do everything in house.”
Bartow Paving, founded in 1950 by Andrew Shropshire’s grandfather George Edward Shropshire Sr., began as a mining construction firm. Aggregate was a byproduct of the material being mined, and the company then began performing surface treatment work.
Eighteen years later, in 1968, his son George Shropshire Jr., invested in the first asphalt production plant in Cartersville, Georgia, and moved into the paving and grading business. In 1998, while the company continued to grow, Bartow Paving purchased a new asphalt production facility with the latest equipment but has since divested that asphalt plant. It now partners with C.W. Matthews of Marietta for asphalt supplies.
Bartow Paving has grown and diversified over the years, as the company evolved to handle nearly all aspects of road construction, except curbs and signaling, throughout North Georgia. It also works with private developers. Bartow Paving’s projects typically range from $2 million to $5 million.
A third generation of men now manages Bartow Paving. Andrew Shropshire is Chief of Operations, and Chip Shropshire is President and manages the financial and administrative side of the business. “We try to keep our customers by making sure things go well on projects,” says Andrew.
The Shropshire brothers believe in giving back to the communities the company serves. Bartow Paving has donated a significant amount of work to area schools and a ball field for a local municipality.
Bartow Paving is performing the dirt, soil stabilization, piping and base work along a mile-long, two-lane project. Subcontractor L & L Concrete of Alpharetta is placing the concrete paving on the project.
At another project, it is widening a two-lane highway to a four-lane divided highway. It has completed one side and will soon begin work on the other. The company is using a John Deere 544-KII Wheel Loader from Flint Equipment in Atlanta on that project. The loader has powerful digging capabilities and parallel lift. Load forces work with rather than against the boom.
Bartow Paving also is converting intersections to roundabouts. In Marietta and several other locations, it is resurfacing multiple roads. The company also is performing a mill and inlay resurfacing project for Paulding County, using an asphalt loader, a John Deere 544, also from Flint Equipment.
Great Dealer Relationship
John Deere opened a sales and service location in 1932 in Albany, Georgia, known as Albany Tractor. The original intent was primarily to serve farmers, but it soon grew into a multifaceted company also providing construction equipment and eventually power systems.
Today, all three companies are held under a common name Flint Equipment Co., as the Ag and Turf Division, Construction and Forestry Division, and Power Systems Division. It operates 27 branch locations in three states: Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
Bartow Paving also has purchased from Flint Equipment a John Deere 310L Backhoe, with additional lift capacity and hydraulics that sense the load for multiple purposes; a 331G compact track loader, which can lift up to 3,700 pounds and work in tight quarters; and a 324E skid steer, with a reach of more than 10 feet for loading high sidewall dump trucks.
“Flint Equipment has been a great partner,” says Andrew.
Bartow Paving has embraced new equipment and emerging construction technologies as it has grown, remaining a leader in the industry. The company operates as a paperless entity, from accounting to field reports to equipment maintenance. Every piece of heavy paving machinery has a GPS system, and the company makes use of the latest drone technology.
“Staying on top of the technology, it has been hard to keep up,” Andrew says. “It changes almost daily.”
The company recently purchased two Mack dump trucks, with mDrive, an automated manual transmission for smooth shifts and maximum fuel economy.
“It has nice features for a truck,” says Andrew.
A People Business
Even embracing technology and making it work for the company, construction remains a labor-intensive business. People can make the difference.
Andrew graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in real estate. He heads up quality control and master planning for the company. Chip Shropshire graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering with an emphasis in construction management.
Despite working together, the two brothers remain close outside of the business, although most holiday meals include a little “shop talk.”
Self-performing nearly all of its work, Bartow Paving depends on a dedicated staff of 120 employees, several who have been with the company for many years. Andrew remembers working with some of them when he was still in high school.
“We have a great staff of people, and that is what has made us and brought us through the recession,” Andrew says. “We want to continue to prosper, grow and be a great place to work.”