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Published by Team Elmer's, 2019-11-27 07:19:15

The Dirt - December

December 2019

Building Better Communities

6 SAFETY MONTHLY COMMUNICATOR
11 PROJECT OF THE MONTH
18 WELLNESS DECEMBER 2019

CONTENTS 10 Chaplain’s Corner 17 Asphalt
11 Project of the Month 18 Wellness
3 From the President 12 Pictures 19 Mechanics
4 Aggregates 14 Excavation 20 Trucking
5 Communications 15 Hillman Report 21 Cranes & Rigging
6 Safety 16 Concrete 22 Pickle Highlights
7 20 & 30 Year
8 Human Resources

HAPPY DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS!

1515 LARRY OSTER 1771 KURT MISIAK 2287 MITZI COOK
1837 ZACHARY PIERCE 2469 BENJAMIN WYATT 1812 JACOB BAYNTON
350 RICK KEVWITCH 1897 KEGAN COGER 006 DARYL POFF
2365 FREDERICK PELTIER 669 LONNY WIEDERHOLD 1974 JEFFREY DREFFS
2369 THOMAS SKRZYPCZAK 1511 JAMES CAREY 2349 ROBERT FISHER
310 BRANDON NICKERSON 993 KELLY LOOZE 248 MARK BASCH
1565 JAMES SHEPHERD 1259 CLAUDE CZERNIAK 1756 DEVEN HIGGINS
2202 CRAIG PHILLIPS 1009 ALVIN MANNING 1787 BRYAN MARTIN
2408 RICKY BLANCHARD 1529 JASON COOK 2310 NICHOLAS DUNBAR
465 SEAN HUNTER 1977 MARK DEWITT 2462 ROBERT WHEELER
935 EUGENE DOMBROWSKI 2279 JOSEPH LICKING 1667 KATHERINE HOWARD
1950 KEVIN SUTTON 2383 RUSSELL GIRDLEY 2145 BRIAN KELSEY
2091 MARK BLAUWKAMP 2003 LUKE BASEL 696 PAMELA WILLIAMS
2227 EDWARD ARMAND 2438 BRYAN BAKER 2115 BLAKE BROOKS
2412 SEAN SHERMAN 721 KENT NEUMAN 2385 ELIZABETH DOMRES

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE • Good Friday: April 10, 2020 - Off At Noon
• Memorial Day: May 25, 2020 - Paid Day Off
Emergency repair and snowplow crews will remain • Independence Day (observed): July 3, 2020 - Paid Day Off
on-call during Holiday Schedule. • Company Picnic: July 25, 2020 - Unpiad Day Off, Schedule Permitting
• Labor Day: September 7, 2020 - Paid Day Off
• Christmas Eve Day: December 24, 2019 - Unpaid Day Off • Thanksgiving: November 26, 2020 - Paid Day Off
• Christmas Day: December 25, 2019 - Paid Day Off • After Thanksgiving: November 27, 2020 - Unpaid Day Off
• New Year’s Eve: December 31, 2019 - Unpaid Day Off
• New Year’s Day: January 1, 2020 - Unpaid Day Off

2

FROM THE PRESIDENT

Hey, gang! speeding citations, and backing up accidents. Let’s
set a goal to improve in the new year. 2020 is perfect
Did you remember to vision, right? All in all, we had a terrific year with plenty to
set your scales back celebrate. Praise God for all of His blessings!
15 lbs. the night before
Thanksgiving now that Speaking of blessings, Christmas is fast approaching;
we’re all operating the BEST BLESSING EVER!!!  “For behold, I bring
on Holiday Savings unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to
Time? If only!  We all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of
can all find things to be David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall
thankful for each day; be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in
good friends, loving swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there
family, loyal pets, or good health. Make time to visit with was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,
someone you love over the holidays! praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men on whom his
The early snow storms brought things to a screeching favor rests.’”
halt in the field. Leelanau County received two feet of
snow overnight. Big THANKS to the snow plow crew for That’s what Christmas is all about! I’m excited for you
rocketing into action and getting the year started. Thanks and your family this Christmas! If all of life is only in this
to those who worked to finish up concrete, sell rock life, you’ll never have the life that you’re looking for. You’ll
like crazy for shoreline erosion, or, like Hillman, start a just go through the motions. God doesn’t want you to
project on Mackinac Island in the not so perfect weather. wait until you die to experience Heaven. Experience it on
Way to work to get it all done! earth here and now! Make God your priority and He will
inject meaning in your life and make eternity enter time!!
The shop actually seems to be speeding up due to the
poor weather starting with lots of annuals. They have Until next month, stay safe, and may you and your
started rebuilding several domors, 980 loaders, and families be blessed!
the endless supply of trucks, trailers, and mixers. A lot
of places are converting over to shop space to get it all Troy
done! Good luck!

December is our month to celebrate all of you via our
2019 plant tours and parties all month. We had an OK
year even though the weather really kicked our butts.
Asphalt was the leader and had a great year! Way to
go, everyone, for making it happen in less than ideal
conditions.

Aggregates and Concrete had good years as well. Way
to go! Excavation, Trucking and Cranes were down for
the year. Safety is better but I’m still scratching my head
why we continue to get LOTS of silly seat belt tickets,

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sin.”
Matthew 1:21

3

AGGREGATES

Alpena Quarry

Happy December! all, for thinking safe, working safe, and for making sure the new
Wait! Happy What?? Yikes! team members worked safe the ELMER’S way. It just goes to
You mean we’re already on the show, with a concerted effort, anything can be done. We were
countdown to how many shopping short-handed this season but a lot of you stepped up and rose
days left until Christmas? to the occasion and did a great job! Kudos to all of you. THANK
YOU!
I hope all of you had a great
Thanksgiving with family and friends. A lot of you have had some trying times this year. I wish you all
How was the turkey? the very best in the year to come. May your pains go away, your
How was deer season? Did you bag the thirty-pointer? Is heart and bodies be strong, and your families healthy!!
anyone other than Mike Flaugher enjoying the early snow that
kicked our butt this season? Mother Nature is letting us know Have a very Merry Christmas! May you all enjoy your family and
who’s boss. As for me, I’m definitely not ready for the snow, friends!
that’s for sure.
Happy New Year!
We worked out of town a lot and some of us are still working
out of town. Thank you for going the extra mile or miles as we Todd
continue to build better communities around the state.
This season was tough but everyone worked through the
elements. Thank you, all, for being resilient in performing your
important roles to get the jobs done. Thank you for taking pride
in what you do and for doing it the Team Elmer’s way. Thank you
for working hard this wet, snowy spring and shoveling through
this blizzard-filled fall that shortened our season. You got the job
done and you put your name on it!

We want to thank all the crews this year for putting safety first.
Working safe and productively; what a winning combination!  We
had several safety visits from MIOSHA AND MSHA. Thank you,

4

COMMUNICATIONS

December is a great month. You’ve December is a time to be with family, celebrate the holidays, and
had the entire year to reflect on all look forward to ringing in the New Year. 
you are thankful for (which is a lot).
We enjoy freedom of expression We do a lot of planning in December to prepare for the new
in this country and we can practice season. Speaking of which, we need your feedback in order to
religion without fear of persecution. plan newsletter improvements. Go to https://www.surveymonkey.
Our family is healthy. We have com/r/dirt-newsletter to tell us how to improve. Leave your ideas
shelter and food which those in other anonymous or be entered to win a $100 Meijer gift card when
countries may struggle for every day. you fill out the survey!
You have a job which provides for
your family. You have co-workers that are consistent in their We also plan communication strategies for the year. How do we
service. keep you best informed, via which media, to help you and your
crew to stay updated?
We celebrated several consistently awesome co-workers in
November. Bob Blonshine, CB Lowe, Mike Morairty, Sean Take time to reflect on all that went well this past year. Hug your
Hunter, Jason Horton, and Wanda Beard celebrated 20 years family. Focus on what you can do to help.
with us this year and Tony Lawhead, Dave Robinson and Denny
Fashbaugh celebrated 30 years with the team. These individuals Merry Christmas and see you next year! 
are setting the example for our new teammates and showing
them how to do things the Team Elmer’s way. In a world where Tonya
instant gratification and disposable items are becoming habit,
the ability to stay consistent and provide service for 20-30 years
is remarkable. Congratulations, team! We are thankful to have
over 67 employees who have been with Team Elmer’s for 20+
years. Thank you for having the grit to last and for never giving
up.
 

5

SAFETY

Call Safety Hotline On Accidents/Injuries ===> 231-735-8660

As the 2019 season gears down, we in the Safety newsletter. That will tell you where we stand.
Department would like to thank you for your efforts to work
safely. Working safe and going home every night is your
responsibility. We provide the tools. The rest is largely up to
Let’s all look forward to 2020; a new beginning where there you. Never hesitate to reach out to the Safety Department if
will be plenty of work for you after the snow is gone. Before we can make your job safer or if you have any questions or
we get there, however, there are a few hurdles we must clear suggestions.
before construction season begins anew. Some of our safety
stats continue to tell us we could all benefit from more safety Enjoy the holiday season with your families. Talk about
training so we hope you’ll be as enthusiastic as we are to hurdles…good luck to everyone doing their best to clear the
review new material, new techniques, and new ways to keep wellness exam given we’ve been in food fest mode since
you engaged. Excited? Catrina will be sending out your Halloween!
schedule cards, so put them on your refrigerator or where
you can easily see them and be reminded of your training Be extra vigilant during this time of increased deer activity.
date. It would be nice if they would fly over our cars like Rudolph
rather than jump out right in front of them.
The state MDOT and MITA are working on ways to improve
“work zone safety” but it won’t eliminate the distracted driver. Merry Christmas to all and may every good thing come your
We always have to be on the look-out for this person it way in the New Year.
seems and we certainly never want to become this person.
Another worker was killed this week in a work zone. 30 Tom, J& iCma,triBnautch,
workers have died this year in the state of Michigan. Eric,
The one question that comes up most often while visiting
sites is, “How are we doing with accidents this year?” The
injuries are down by two thirds, which is awesome. The
severity of the injuries has not been as bad so, yes, we are
improving. We can only improve if everyone takes an active
part in safety; their own safety and the safety of those they
are working with. Encourage each other daily to work safe.
Point out the hazards that are around you. Think about
the younger new hire looking for seasoned, professional
guidance. If you want to know more about injury count, then
look at each company division scorecard in the monthly

6

20 & 30 YEAR INDUCTEE DINNER

30 YEARS

DENNIS FASHBAUGH TONY LAWHEAD DAVE ROBINSON
Truck Driver Project Superintendent Foreman - Dirt
Traverse City Traverse City Traverse City

Give them a high five when you see them
around or congratulate them with a phone call!

20 YEARS

CB LOWE SEAN HUNTER JASON HORTON MIKE MORAIRTY BOB BLONSHINE WANDA BEARD
Dispatcher Truck Driver Project Manager Equipment Operator Equipment Operator Office Coordinator
Traverse City Manistee Traverse City Traverse City Traverse City M-72 Pit

7

HUMAN RESOURCES

WELCOME NEW HIRES!

Scott Hull Trailer Shop Mechanic TC
Dominic Lesperance Electrician TC

New Hire Survey Winner:
Please congratulate Michael Steele as the winner of our $100 gift card drawing for
completing our New Hire Survey!

Cindy Karker - left Daily Schedules Online
231-943-5544 | [email protected]
Don’t forget to check your daily schedules for the Traverse City Trucking, Dirt, Asphalt,
Nicole Lesperance - middle and Crane divisions online!
231-943-3110 | [email protected] Go to www.teamelmers.com/schedule
The next day’s schedule is visible the night before.
Kelsey Baker - right
231-943-5577 | [email protected]

Health Assessment Questionnaire/Appointment Instructions

Instructions on completing your health assessment questionnaire and signing up for your health assessment appointment online will be
available:

• In this month’s newsletter
• Mailed to your home address, and
• Sent via email
You and your spouse must complete the questionnaire prior to your scheduled health assessment appointment. Please call Jackie at
616.309.2778 if you have any questions.

** New Online Beneficiary Designation**

Available through One America Retirement Services (your 401k provider), a simplified process for you to ensure your retirement assets are
paid out according to your wishes.

Team Elmer’s requires all participants to log in to their account online at www.oaretirment.com, and complete a beneficiary designation.

Employee Annual Evaluations

Managers are starting to work on employee annual evaluations. You will have a scheduled meeting with your supervisor to discuss the
evaluation. Please contact your Division Manager if you have not heard anything.

WELCOME TO THE
TEAM ELMER’S FAMILY!

A son, Bentley William, A son, Casen Lane, A son, Scott Thomas,

8lbs 20.5” 5lbs 1oz, 18” 8lbs 6oz, 20.5”

Born October 29 to Born November 2 to Born November 5 to

Matthew and Amanda McGiness. Mike Jr. and Ester Flaugher. Sebastian and Catherine Schoech.

Equipment Operator Dirt, TC Foreman, Hillman Mechanic, TC

8

Wellness Assessments

When and Where

West Branch Friday, January 10
Quality Inn 7:00 am to 12:00 noon
2980 Cook Rd
Saturday, January 11
Hillman 7:00 am to 12:00 noon
Brush Creek Mill
121 State St. Hillman Thursday – Saturday, January 16-18
6:00 am – 12:00 noon
Traverse City
Big Training Room

Petoskey Friday, January 24
Hampton Inn 8:00 am – 12:00 noon
920 Spring St Petoskey
Saturday, January 25
Reed City 8:00 am – 12:00 noon
Reed City Depot
200 Chestnut St Reed City

Who Must Participate

Employees and Spouses - if enrolled in our plan

You MUST complete the following to receive reduced health care cost for 2020.

1. Schedule an appointment online for one of the biometric screenings noted above.

(Individual appointments are required for both employee and spouse)

2. Complete the online Health Questionnaire (spouse, too!)

All of this is available on your NEW Wellness portal; information sent out in the mail.

And earn 5 out of the following 6 points (completed at the screenings above); each one
is worth 1 point:

• BMI 30.0 or less at the 2020 screening OR a waist circumference of 35 inches or less for women or 40 inches or less for men.
• Blood Pressure reading of 140/90 or less at the 2020 screening.
• Tobacco/Nicotine Free.
• LDL Cholesterol at 130 or below at the 2020 screening.
• Provide Proof of Annual Dental Cleaning (January 2019-March 2020)
• Provide Proof of Preventative Physical (March 16, 2018-March 15, 2020)

(Did you know your DOT physical counts?)

9

CHAPLAIN’S CORNER

Greetings! computer room. There is quite a variety
Is it possible that Christmas is only a few of books and video resources on various
weeks away? If you are like me there is a topics. Feel free to borrow anything that is
lot to get done before December 25th. I hope on the shelf now and you can look forward to
you take some time to slow down and reflect additional resources in the near future.
on the true meaning of Christmas.
Every year I take time to watch my favorite
“Today We are still taking registrations for the Christmas movie, “A Charlie Brown
in the town upcoming Financial Peace class. There Christmas.” The story begins with Charlie
of David a will be a great prize drawing following Brown feeling negative about Christmas. He
Savior has each class for those that attend! We will be is negative and depressed while everyone
been born meeting for three consecutive Saturdays around him seems to be in a good mood. He
on January 11, 18, and 25, from 9 am to approaches Lucy for advice telling her that,
to you.” 3pm at the Cambria Hotel on Munson instead of feeling happy, he felt let down.
Avenue in Traverse City. This is an excellent She decides that what Charlie needs is to
Luke opportunity to put together a financial plan direct the Christmas play. When he tries
that will guide you into the future. There is to assume his role as a director the cast
2:11 no cost for the class. Lunch will be provided members are not very cooperative. So he
each day. Register by December 16. decides what the play needs is a tree. So he
and his pal Linus go out and find the ugliest,
For those of you in the Petoskey area, we most pathetic looking tree on the lot. When
will be offering a Financial Peace class they bring the tree back the cast members
based on the same format as our Traverse ridicule him over the tree.
City class. We will be meeting on three Charlie is so frustrated that he yells, “I guess
consecutive Saturdays being March 7, I really don’t know what Christmas is all
14, and 21, from 9 am to 3pm. If you are about. Isn’t there anyone who knows what
interested in the class, please contact me at Christmas is all about?” Linus responds by
231-218-1042 or at [email protected] reciting the words from Luke Chapter 2:8-
com. 14. Linus concludes by saying “That’s what
Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”
Study Classes. We have two new classes
starting in Traverse City in January. For If we try to make Christmas about anything
the ladies, we will be offering a seven but the birth of Jesus we are going to feel
week class called “Seamless”. This seven let down. Much of what goes with Christmas
week class is designed to help you better is nice. We have some great traditions. It is
understand how the people, places, and a wonderful time to gather with friends and
promises in the Bible connect together. family. It is OK to give and receive gifts. I
This is a great opportunity to gain a deeper love watching my grandkids perform in their
understanding of God’s word. This class will school Christmas program. The reason for
meet at noon in the Broadroom beginning Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
January 8th. For the guys, we will be taking If you accept that Jesus is your savior you
an exciting journey through the book of have grasped what Christmas is all about.
Acts starting on January 15th at 6am in the Take time to read the Christmas story from
Broadroom. These classes are open to Luke Chapter 2. That’s what Christmas is all
Team Elmer’s employees and their family about.
members. Please contact me by December
15th if you are interested in attending. God Bless

We have started a lending library at our Tom
Traverse City location. It is located right
around the corner from my office in the

10

PROJECT OF THE MONTH

SANTA’S HOUSE AND CHRISTMAS TREE

Team Elmer’s makes the nice list for the 40th
year in a row - celebrating 40 years of delivering

Christmas to Downtown Traverse City.
Team Elmer’s donates its time and crane and
trucking services to make sure Santa has a
place to stay in Traverse City. Santa’s House

weighs 1,500 pounds.
This year, the Christmas Tree was donated
from a property on Dalzell Road weighing
3,216 pounds. Make sure to make your way to
Downtown Traverse City to see the tree lit up

and give your Christmas list to Santa.

11

WHAT WE’RE UP TO ‘ROUND THE STATE

M-72 Pit Tony Lawhead

Manistee US Forestry Pour

Jason Tomkins
Alpena

Al Schofield Thomas Donald
RipRap Mackinac Hart Curb Pour

Matthew Pearson
St. Ignace

Adam Scribner
Hay Lake

EXCAVATION

Camp Pugsley Correctional Facility

December is here and Christmas erosion. Based on the number of calls we are getting, we
decorations are starting to pop should be busy with shoreline work for some time to come.
up all over the place; nothing
like getting into the holiday spirit. I am planning to schedule employee reviews the week
Early snowfall has done little of January 13th. You will get a card in the mail once the
to discourage contractors and schedule is finalized. Foremen, I have reviews printed for
developers who are still hoping the guys on your crew. If you haven’t already, stop in and
to get some things done before pick them up.
winter sets in. As a result, we still
have a few crews working at getting as much of that work Along with the Excavation Division training dates of March
done as possible. 25, 26, & 27, Dirt Safety Training dates have been set as
well as Hazwoper and Asbestos Refresher courses. Watch
Foundation crews are still working at Honor State Bank on your mailbox for training cards with dates and times.
Front Street wrapping up the grouted displacement piles (a
new process for us) so the concrete crew can get started Thanks again to everyone for another successful year and
on grade beams and foundations. We are also working in a big shout out to the guys sticking it out removing snow or
Alpena at the Carmeuse Limestone facility replacing a sheet just working in the slush and mud to get the job done.
pile wall that collapsed this summer. Crews are finished
removing over 60,000-feet of irrigation piping and are now Enjoy the holidays!
exposing and removing liner from the ponds at the old
Camp Pugsley Correctional Facility. We are also finishing Until next month, keep calm, and dig on.
a culvert replacement for Wexford County and still have a
couple of crews working at the new phase of Chelsea Park Max
installing utilities and grading for roads and parking lots.

With the record high water level of Lake Michigan, we
continue to work on revetment and shoreline restoration
projects along the west coast. Most of that work is
emergency work for homes that are endangered by bluff

14

HILLMAN REPORT

Mackinac

Merry Christmas, everybody!! I was so good near town. Also, the Project Manager and I will
this year I received my Christmas present early; have to take the regular ferry across, rent bikes,
my first grandson, Casen Lane Flaugher, 5.1 and peddle clear to the north end of the Island…
pounds of thunder born on November 2nd to in December. What were we thinking?? I will
Mike Jr. and Esther. I have four grandchildren be sure to provide pics of Jeremy Burr, Jason
now and I’m only 35….crazy! I’m going to have Schultz, and Mike Rouleau riding their bikes with
to add on to the fireplace just to hang all the their lunch buckets for the next newsletter. 
stockings pretty soon. 

“Attitude is a choice. We picked up a unique project that we will be Our work load should pretty much be wrapped
Happiness is a choice. starting still this year on Mackinac Island. With up by the time this newsletter comes out
Optimism is a choice. the high lake levels and strong winds, much with the exception of Mackinac Island and
Kindness is a choice. of the island shoreline and roads in several snow plowing. The quarry has completed its
Giving is a choice. locations have washed away. Even though we necessary winter inventories and is now working
Respect is a choice. bid $150,000 higher than the low bidder, the on repairs and making rip-rap. In last month’s
Whatever choice you State of Michigan has hired Team Elmer’s to get newsletter I reported that trucking had slowed
make makes you. things back in shape. We will make 1,500-tons down. Well, I lied. Between some rip-rap jobs,
Choose wisely.” of 60” minus rip-rap at our Alpena quarry, haul Wolf Creek Road, customer trucking and
it to Derocher Marine in Cheboygan, place it on Lafarge, November was crazy! It’s looking like
--Roy T. Bennett a barge, and ship it up to the island where we December is going to be our catch up month.
will hand-load it onto a horse and buggy and
haul it to the repair locations. We are looking As this is the last newsletter of 2019, I would
for volunteers. Just kidding!! They are letting us like to THANK YOU ALL for another successful
bring equipment onto the island.  year. Thank you for enduring the hard work,
Shepler’s barged our equipment out of their long hours, traveling, and other sacrifices you all
St. Ignace dock to the British Point dock on make throughout the construction season.
Mackinac Island. The crew will stay on the I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and
island during the week, eating mostly fudge I’m remember the reason for the season!
guessing. However, part of the uniqueness, the
crew will have to walk or ride bikes to the work Until next month, be safe and have fun! 15
location as motorized vehicles are not allowed
Mike

CONCRETE Opportunity of the Month: This is my opportunity to say thank
you! Thank you for the early mornings and the late nights.
What’s In the Mix Thank you for making the customers happy by taking the extra
step to help them.
It is hard to believe this is the last Thank you for making safety first and for making good
newsletter of 2019. Just like last decisions in the equipment you operate. Thank you for being
year, it rained in October and started good to each other and working together to get the job done
snowing (heavier this year) in or to solve a problem. Thank you to the mechanics, trucking,
November. Mark your calendars; the dispatch, HR, accounting, all the divisions of this company that
first day of snow was October 31, help us to succeed every day. Finally, thank you to the owners
2019. I won’t forget because I walked for leading us with positivity and supporting us with “do the
around with a mermaid and Dash from The Incredibles on a right thing” as our guiding light. We had a good year, THANK
blustery night (all of us in winter coats). Ridiculous! YOU!

The weather didn’t slow us down. It just hit us directly in the 2020 will be the best year ever, so get some rest and make it
jaw. We went from the heavy fall push and looking for trucks so! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
daily to shoveling snow. The quick transition sure made it tough
to get our workload done but we got a lot completed while the Jason
getting was good! I am hopeful that we will see a warm up in
December and still be able to get a few projects completed.

This winter we will be working on plant repairs and updates.
We continue to invest in our facilities, our equipment, and our
people. If there are any items you feel need to be completed
with any item at your facility or on your equipment, please
notify your plant manager.

Manistee Forestry Pour
Joel Lyman

16

ASPHALT

TC Asphalt Plant

Happy December, Team!  a center turn lane for half a mile. The other is a turn
lane installation in Traverse City on US-31 at 14th Street. 
Here we are at the end of the There is also some school work in Cadillac where we’ll
year already. Our last day of build a few new parking lots there, a commercial site in
paving was November 7; talk Cadillac with some road and parking lot paving, and a
about a day that will live in boat launch in Lake City. There is plenty more coming for
infamy. We were paving while this month to bid on so I will have some things to report
the snow was falling and piling for you next month.
up. Thanks, guys, for working
through the elements. Your The winter season set in quick. We went from paving one
kick-butt attitude was very much day to plowing the next, therefore, our winter maintenance
appreciated and now it’s time for a little rest. has been sluggish. Al and Dean will be starting on paver
inspections very soon and Bob will be working on Domor
I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving and had a rebuilds with Bryan Martin. Yes, you heard me correctly,
chance to feel thankful for the time spent with family and we are going to start rebuilding Domors!!  If any of you
friends, knowing those moments are short-lived and very have other needs for maintenance that you didn’t mention
precious. Now before you know it Christmas and New before you left, please let us know ASAP. Thanks.
Year’s celebrations will have come and gone. Make sure
you plan ahead and get that sweetie of yours something I would like to thank each one of you one more time. The
nice to thank them for all the time you were gone this dedication and devotion you all put into this 2019 season
last season; maybe your picture in a frame if they forget deserves an encore of bravos. It was truly a fantastic year
what you look like during paving season. I look forward and I was thrilled with how we all pulled together and
to seeing you all at our Christmas luncheon which will be made it happen. 
December 13. 
My very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy
Workload is growing at a rapid pace already. It seems as New Year. Please stay safe this holiday season and I’ll
though owners are aware of another busy construction see you next year!
season on the horizon and are trying to get ahead of the
curve. We were successful on two nice MDOT projects; Brian
one in Kalkaska on M-72 which is a widening job, adding

17

WELLNESS

Biometric Screenings

Get a snapshot of your
health by participating in a
Biometric Screening!

Just 15 minutes and a little finger poke can
provide insight into your health.
• Cholesterol (Total, HDL, LDL, Ratio,

Triglycerides)
• Blood Sugar
• Height, Weight, BMI, Waist Circumference
• Blood Pressure
• One on one review of results

January 10-25, 2020

Sign-Up on the wellness portal:

teamelmers.wellright.com

For help with logging onto the wellness portal

call OSW Support at 616-309-2773.

January January January January January
10 11 16-18 24 25

West Branch Hillman Traverse City Petoskey Reed City

6:30am—12:00pm 7:00am—11:30am 6:30am—12:00pm 7:00am—12:00pm 8:00am—11:00am

Questions? Ask Jackie https://teamelmers.wellright.com

616-309-2778
[email protected]

18

MECHANICS

Soooo…the ol’ snow switch got Snow and cold weather puts extra stress on our equipment. Here
flipped ON quite a bit earlier and more are a few helpful tips to reduce that stress:
aggressively than anticipated this year.
I know it caught me off guard but, • Using block heaters helps increase operating temps on the
like most northern Michiganders, we engine and hydraulic fluid before use. Once started, give
quickly adjusted and kept on rollin’! If the equipment a few extra minutes to warm up and get
the Farmer’s Almanac is anywhere near fluids circulating.
correct, this winter could be interesting.
When life is tough, be tougher, right?! • Draining the air tanks will help keep the air system
moisture-free in winter and prevent frozen lines.
It’s the time of year when many of us are spending time with
family and friends over the holidays, reflecting on life and looking • Take a few extra minutes to do a walk-around and look for
ahead to the New Year. Thank you to everyone at Team Elmer’s loose, leaking, and/or broken pieces on the equipment.
for another successful season. I’d like to give an especially huge
shout-out to those folks in the shops. I couldn’t be prouder of your • At the end of the shift, fill fuel tanks to help minimize the
tenacious work ethic and attitude. If you get a chance, go see chance of condensation forming in the tank to prevent
Chase Bates’ “Spirit of Christmas” display on his toolbox in the freezing or gelling issues.
mechanic shop!
• Keep Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) stored in appropriate
Winter equipment inspections are in full swing. Thanks (in containers and in a location above 32 degrees.
advance) for your detailed reports Bob Blonshine, Ken Garvin, Jeff
Putney, Chris Town, Bones Robbins, Tony Lawhead, and Craig Think Spring. Please mark your calendars for Mechanic Training
Cook. You’ve been a tremendous help getting a jump start on days in Traverse City coming up in March 2020 to be held on the
repairs so we have the machines ready for next spring. Time to 2nd or 3rd. Mechanics will be split into one of the two days. We’ll
get to work! The mechanic, weld, paint, and hot shops will see a provide a list to your supervisors regarding which day you’re
flurry of equipment movements, repairs, PM annuals, overhauls, scheduled.
DOT and OSHA inspections, not to mention keeping the snow
equipment moving this winter. Please Welcome Aboard:
Mark Dewitt – 11 Nov start (TC – Mechanic, 3rd shift)
Speaking of snow equipment, to reach the shop for assistance or Scott Hull – 18 Nov start (TC – Trailer Mechanic, 1st shift)
breakdowns, please call the “MECH SHOP-TC” (800-230-4590)
contact in your phone. From 6 am to 6 pm, all calls will be sent Please be safe over the holidays and in all aspects of your life.
directly to Eric Smith. From 6 pm to midnight, calls will be sent Have yourselves a merry little Christmas and may the New Year
to the designated 2nd or 3rd shift mechanic. An on-call mechanic keep you in good health and happiness.
will be designated for weekend and after-hours snow plowing
emergencies. Keep ‘em rollin’!

Ma rk

19

TRUCKING

Get A Lead of This sand into Lafarge-Holcim for the winter.

Can you believe all that early When not snowplowing, the west side will be finishing up
snow? It fell like a hammer and the Ludington concrete plant winter inventory and hauling
brought west side trucking to rip rap for the increased shoreline erosion the region has
a stop and put guys to work experienced. It seems like every day I get a call from
snowplowing. Even the east someone needing rip rap right away and wanting to know
side and southern trucks had when we can deliver it. Keep blasting and sorting it, Tim
to be parked due to bad road Leeck, and we will keep hauling it!

conditions. Thank you, Tom Shelder, for keeping us updated on Lucas
Barron’s progress. After almost 4 weeks in the hospital,
Speaking of winter road conditions, Team Elmer’s trucking Lucas finally got to go home. He has a long road of physical
policy for putting the trucks on the road when weather and therapy ahead of him, but is doing good. Lucas is still in
road conditions are questionable is simple. If a driver is a wheelchair so he’s still kind of “trucking along” and we’ll
uncomfortable going out on the road, they do not go. If a look forward to seeing him back in a truck sometime in the
dispatcher, Troy, or I determine that driving will not be safe, 2020 season.
we will park the trucks until conditions permit safe travel.
Better to be on the side of caution than to put ourselves Jim
or the public at risk. It is not worth risking physical harm to
an employee nor banging up the equipment and rendering
it out of service. There will be another day to get the load
hauled safely; sometimes things can improve just by
waiting an extra hour or two.

We still have lots of trucking to do, especially the east side
with all the limestone rip rap orders we have been getting.
Gypsum is still moving along as we continue to build up a
winter stockpile at Lafarge-Holcim in Alpena. The concrete
plants are in pretty good shape; just little additions to do
yet. We should have most of the jobsite trucking done by
the first half of December and then finish up getting enough

Rick Bianchard

20

CRANES & RIGGING

Christmas Tree
Downtown Traverse City

I believe winter is here, maybe I would like to welcome our newest member of the crane
even to stay. I hope you all got a and rigging team, Gus Gustafson. He comes to us from the
chance to get out in the weather Traverse City concrete department. He’s all ours now –ha-
and bag that buck. We know the ha-and eager to learn all we do. Welcome, Gus!
paint shop is always happy to see I hope all of you have a great holiday season and make
one less on the road, right? time to spend with family and friends.
Conduct is the best proof of character.
While other crews have been
busy shoveling, plowing, and Kent
salting, we have still been setting
trusses, moving machinery, and offloading all sorts of 21
equipment shipped to us and our many customers.

Santa Claus is coming to town! Don’t worry. He’s extra jolly
knowing he will be nice and cozy warm in his house on
the corner of Cass Road and State Street in Traverse City.
Elmer’s has once again made sure Santa’s house is right
where it should be awaiting all of his visitors.

It wouldn’t be a Traverse City Christmas without the
Christmas tree at the intersection of Cass Road and Front
Street. Our crane loaded the 30’ blue spruce onto Elmer’s
trailer. We then hauled the tree, with police escort, from
Dalzell Road in Leelanau County to the location where
it will stand proudly on display throughout the holiday
season.

PICKLE HIGHLIGHTS

1 SERVICE GIVE ‘EM
THE PICKLE
Make serving others
your #1 priority.

You’re in a noble profession.
Be proud of what you do and

where you work.

2 ATTITUDE

Choose your attitude.
How you think about customers

is how you will treat them.
Remember your mental
“I Like Yous!”

3 CONSISTENCY

Customers return because they
like what happened last time.

Stick to your high
service standards.

4 TEAMWORK

Go out of your way
to make each other look good.

Everything you do ends up
in front of the customer.

22

PICKLE HIGHLIGHTS

US - 131 Kalkaska Project

23

AN EOE/AA EMPLOYER PRSRT STD
U.S. POSTAGE
3600 Rennie School Road
Traverse City, MI 49685 PAID
TRAVERSE CITY, MI

PERMIT #568

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