For the latest episode in season 5 of Bucket Talk, our hosts spoke to Matt Stanley of American Asphalt and Paving, who is also the founder of Raised on Blacktop, a streetwear brand made for blue collar folks. Matt’s family has a history of paving — both his grandfather and father are in the pavement business — so it was only natural for him and his three older brothers to join the team.
Eric Girouard 0:00
This is bucket talk weekly podcast where people who work in the trades and construction that aren't just trying to survive, but have the ambition and desire to thrive. The opportunity to trade and construction is absolutely ridiculous right now. So if you're hungry, it's time to eat. We discussed what it takes to rise from the bottom to the top with people who are well on their way and roll up their sleeves every single day.
Jeremy Perkins 0:29
This is Jeremy and Eric here with bucket talk powered by BRUNT on this week, we have Matt Stanley of American asphalt and paving, also founder of raised on blacktop. But before we get into it, Eric, all right.
Eric Girouard 0:42
So this past weekend, we were in Daytona, or our NASCAR race, the end of this season race. Incredible time. As always, we've talked about it before. But probably the most interesting part of the weekend was we show up and we're standing in Daytona for the weekend, hard to get a hotel, we give Jeremy the powers to to book the accommodations. And I'll be honest, I've actually never stayed in a more disgusting place in my entire life. Look like murder scenes happened in the hotels, the door locks that have those little chains, we're all pretty much bent all the way back which, which would tell you that they've been pushed to the max which is pretty concerning. And I actually got up in the middle of the night went to the bathroom came back with my phone light on there was actually a bug in the middle of my bed. So anyways, Jeremy has been removed from from booking travel accommodations for the future, but it was a good trip overall, hey, don't let this hold you back to
Jeremy Perkins 1:43
keep in keeping things humble. On a different note for our listeners who don't want to hear about that. Over the weekend, my father and I had decided we were going to tackle a chicken coop project with scrap wood that we had laying around the farm. So we decided to go down to the hardware store, which who knew hardware was the most expensive portion of the job. We spent $100 on lag bolts and screws and I was just like, holy shit. But we got the job done that chicken coop only leaks a little bit and we're gonna go back with a little flexible. But yeah, let's dive into this, Eric. All right. All right, today we're here with Matt Stanley. Matt Stanley is from American pavement. And also is the founder of raised on blacktop. Welcome, Matt.
Unknown Speaker 2:39
Thank you, fellas happy to be on here.
Jeremy Perkins 2:41
So we're gonna dive into a day in the life of asphalt and paving. It's new for us definitely down to get dirty with you. So give us a little bit about where you're from what you do how you got your start.
Unknown Speaker 2:53
Cool. So from Danbury, Connecticut, I hear you guys are Connecticut boys originally too. So that's cool. I grew up in the family business to take it back a little bit to understand where we're at now. My grandfather started paving in 1959 with a truck and a shovel and just literally started from the bottom. My dad worked for his father growing up until he was in his late 20s. And then he decided to break away and started his own company. So that's what you guys know, America payments specialists. Been around for coming up on 30 years, mom and dad on the business dad takes care of the field, mom's in the office doing all important stuff, but special about our businesses. We're a true family business. I'm the youngest of four boys. So you can imagine what that was like growing up all on the job together. Fast forward into you know, we're all on our 20s 30s now, so we've all kind of fallen into our roles. But um, you know, we're still out there every day. We're in the field every day, my dad's in the field every day. So it's been a fun ride. It's stressful, but we love what we do.
Eric Girouard 4:02
So is it as simple as dads running the show at the highest level all four boys are in there and as things over time, we're gonna figure themselves out and all five of you guys are out there on the actually doing the work and getting things done every day.
Unknown Speaker 4:16
Not that simple. My brother. Yep, his brother. He started his own business. So he's sort of still involved what we're doing, but he started working big into commercial work now. Yep. So he started his own residential company. Okay, so we team up on big jobs sometimes, but so he's doing his own thing. And then my dad, you know, we typically we have two three jobs going at a time. So he, you know, he's in the field running machinery. I mean, if you watch our videos on YouTube, Like us there in the trenches, he's pretty unique, but he does a lot of bouncing around too. So I brought him back. He's the foreman of the melon crew. And then my brother Josh, the foreman of the paving crew within, you know, if there's a third crew, I'm usually running that are typically on a paving machine. So I'm on the pavement group. So me and Josh kind of team up together, and we run the paving crew together. But my dad's that type of dude, he's never going to retire. We know that. So he's a true old school, hardest working guy. No, man,
Jeremy Perkins 5:16
I call one of your videos the other day, it was the old man he was, and believe it was in either Staten Island or he was in the city and was behind schedule. And he's like, I either either sleep in the truck, or I go grab a couple hours of sleep, and then come back out. I mean, dude, I mean, that's what it's all about. But to see to see the old man, the guy at the top, still grinding it out with the boys. I mean, that's, that's awesome. I mean, that's somebody to get behind.
Unknown Speaker 5:43
Yeah, I mean, I say this all the time. Not only my, my father, my mother, but I mean, their hustle is contagious. You know, just being around my dad, like, you want to hustle form, you know. And the older we get, it's like, the more I realize how blessed we are like to grown up, you know, my dad's young, full energy, and, you know, he's ready to go. So there's no slacking on our jobs, man. Like, even all my guys are, we got a good crew, man, and we don't take them shit. And they know that in kind of run our business, like the military. And it's kind of crazy. But
Jeremy Perkins 6:16
it's interesting, too, because as a business owner, people try to get stuff by you, and no one your business from top to bottom and still being involved. That you know, you get that guy that's lagging that day, or whatever pops is like, no, no, no, I'm grinding it out with you. Like, it is what it is, you know what I mean? So it's, yeah, it's definitely a high bar to to meet, but it seems like you guys do it well, together.
Unknown Speaker 6:41
It's not easy. People from the outside looking in, you know, and they think that who gives a fuck what they think but um, we're, we're in the trenches every day, man. It's not. It's, it's a roller coaster, for sure. But we like I said, we love what we do. We're not out there to be the biggest paving company, we acquire growth as it comes as it's necessary, you know, but every day we go out there to be the best. And that's kind of what I've kind of tried to portray on social media, you know, we care. It's not just about the money. You know, we want to do the best job just like you guys want to make the best boots. You know, we're all here to make $1 But like, we want to be the best and we want to be known for being the best
Eric Girouard 7:21
for the listeners that know absolutely nothing about paving, which is very close to where I am, Jeremy probably does a little bit more but on scale of one to 10 I'm probably at a to tell us about the industry like you know, laying blacktop, like milling all that stuff. Like, what's the nature of the business ripping up old roads putting in new roads? Like,
Unknown Speaker 7:41
yeah, so typically, if you go right down the line, right, so say a residential company, typically what they're doing is they come in driveways, typically in bad condition, what they do they bring in anywhere from a skid steer and excavator, I mean, some guys are picking it out with, you know, a sledgehammer and a pick, but you rip up the old driveway, typically, you come back, you know, for some gravel down before that, and you come back and you pave it, usually they're laying like two to two and a half inches of asphalt on a driveway. That's typically what's gets done on the residential side. Now, we're in the commercial side. So, you know, our bread and butter is, you know, shopping malls, grocery stores, small plazas, big corporations, you know, and then we also do town work as well. So we have like, right now we have three or four town contracts that we're doing. So when you get to them, we're suicide. Typically, you know, if you get to property that they take care of their parking lot, somewhat, which when I mean that, I mean, you know, they pay that maybe every 15 to 20 years, you know, they're not letting go 30 years, typically, that's what milling comes in. So if anyone doesn't know what milling is, you're on the highway, before it gets paved. You feel those grooves in the road, right? It's almost like the road was profiled. So that's what milling is. It's a big, it's big machine that comes in has a drum on the bottom for with teeth, and it profiles the road. So when you get to the bigger End of commercial paving, road paving, that's typically what gets done you profile, you know, two inches off a job. So you're still paving on top of blacktop, but it's been milled. So you mill off the surface, it gets swept, and then you bring in like it's called tack coat. It's a very sticky, sticky adhesive that sprays out of like a big, looks like a fuel truck. We spray that down and then you're paving on top of that. So mostly, I'd say almost every day, that's what we're doing. Like we got a crew mill and then the pavement crews chasing them. That's two separate processes. It gets done on two different days. But it involves a lot of equipment, and it's a high stressful jobs.
Jeremy Perkins 9:51
That's a hard job too. I mean, I've dealt with a couple of paving crews. We had our parking lot at the shop paved a while back and it is a hot job, but I actually am at my house use millings as a driveway, I was able to stop a town truck during an operation that they had going on. And, you know, instead of dumping it, they took, I think it was $100 for the load, they had a 10 Wheeler dumped it, we spread it out. And I was like, I mean, it was good. Yeah, that's
Unknown Speaker 10:23
a gravel drive. And that's like, the best thing to use. It packs hard, you know, rather than gravel, and a heavy rain, right? It could wash out. But millings there's still oil left in it. So once you spread that and you put a good sized roller on it. I mean, over time, it could it could turn as hard as blacktop. So you definitely did those guys a favor.
Jeremy Perkins 10:43
It was it was funny too.
Eric Girouard 10:44
Well, yeah, they charge you 100 bucks to do them.
Jeremy Perkins 10:47
Well, so they do it by the load. So on a talent job, you know, they had to get to their destination. So they get charged by the load the quicker they can do it. So they did off in my property. Right? They were back at the job charge them. I should have been for free. There was paper in it there was fabric in it. What was that fabric really?
Unknown Speaker 11:09
So sometimes I've seen like on a cracked parking lot. Yeah, we've we've put down a fabric before it's very rare, but not a fabric and that helps to prevent from reflective cracking. A little bit of depth here. You can see they're on a road job. Yeah. But it could also be sometimes when they put the line striping down. That's like a thermal plastic. Which when you're driving on the road, if you ever see like, it looks like the line is super bright when the light shine on it. Yeah, that's what it may be was.
Jeremy Perkins 11:45
Oh, nice. Nice.
Eric Girouard 11:46
Yeah. So man, I think millings I actually think I just built the house. I had a garage that had a big hole underneath it before they put the cement in. They fill that with milling. So with that you had a sinkhole winner that was it was a dugout. It was what he was you could fill it with dirt he filled with anything. Yeah, he was like, oh, no, I felt like I was bragging. I filled it with millings I'm like, Well, you did someone a favor filling? That's really good. You know, that's, that's like,
Unknown Speaker 12:12
I've never heard of fill in the garage. But billings, but hey,
Eric Girouard 12:15
not not the out. Yeah, underneath like that, basically? Yeah. Yeah.
Jeremy Perkins 12:19
Definitely packs hard. No, it absolutely does, as you and your brothers get to go. And you know, are you guys jockeying for position? Or? Is it going to be one of those things that you guys all know your roles? And there's a clear path for all? I would say how many people are still involved with the business now.
Unknown Speaker 12:38
So as of now, American payment, there's three brothers still involved? Yep. And my dad and my mom, of course. So we've talked about this, you know, I wouldn't say we have like a succession plan, or like, you know, this guy is going to be the boss, you know, and dad's finally ready to retire. You know, as companies grow, you know, we're building a business here that it's going to take all three of us to run. I think that you know, growing up, and this could go for a lot of family businesses, you hear that outside noise, like, you know, who's going to be the boss, who's, you know, you're going to take orders from him, or I don't know if it's good, I don't know if it's bad time will tell. But, you know, we try and block that out, takes it a day at a time. We're a team. You know, we leave our egos at the door in the morning. As our company grows, I think our roles were expand, and we'll we'll place into those roles accordingly. There's no succession plan here, man, we're just taking it day by
Jeremy Perkins 13:29
day. No, it makes sense. I have a friend who that they own a family farm. And it's been years and years and years have passed down from generation to generation. And there's three of them. And they've all taken a role that is not, you know, combative. So one's an operations, one's, you know, doing marketing, and the other one's just managing. So, you know, there are paths to continuing that family legacy. And it'll be interesting to see how you guys do it and maybe paving the way for others because it is a challenge for a lot of people out there that that have continuing legacies, you know, long standing businesses and definitely something that people deal with on a on a daily basis. But
Unknown Speaker 14:11
yeah, sometimes I think in a family business, your ego gets involved. And, you know, if my brother's gonna be the boss one day, and he's doing a good job, and that's what it is, then sometimes you have to be soldier. And that's, you know, what's unique about our company, right? So, say, my dad's on the job, right? He comes in the pavement crew, automatically His Word goes right. As soon as he steps off that pavement job, you know, my brother's first in charge, I'm second in charge. When he comes back, then I'm third in charge. If my dad and Josh leave automatically, I'm in charge, and it goes right down the totem pole, just even to our laborers. You know, that shovel guy if the right guy steps off, he's now he's raking. And I've explained this before on podcast, but you guys New New England Patriots fans? Oh,
Eric Girouard 14:57
of course. Yeah, we've heard all the time. Yeah. So like, you
Unknown Speaker 15:02
know, their, their mentality next man up. Yeah. That's the way we roll,
Eric Girouard 15:07
do your job no days off.
Unknown Speaker 15:11
We don't necessarily like train people for the next position higher up. But like, you know, I'm constantly training people. You know, we train people all day. And you know, that guy that runs the roller doesn't show up that day. Now's your chance. So you're gonna run the roller today. That's kind of how we run our business. And I feel like it works out. Well, you know, I've never really worked for another company before few odd jobs when I was 1415 years old. So this is really all I know, on you know, training employees and getting people to step up in new positions. But it's worked out for us and you know, there's no drama on our crews of this guy's running this machine or vice versa. You know, you do your job and when that guy's not there, he's on another job. Now it's your shot to step up and fill that position.
Jeremy Perkins 15:56
All right, so I definitely want to hear a little bit more as the founder of race on blacktop, I want to hear what that's all about and how you're bringing light to the paving and asphalt community.
Unknown Speaker 16:07
I started probably it's all blur now, man and probably same for you guys. But they probably three years ago now. So just to take it back quick grown up. America payment. We're known for our nice equipment or nice trucks. You know, we didn't always have 10 Peterbilt sitting in the shop. But when my dad had one truck, it was super clean Armor All kept all this shit nice, you know,
Eric Girouard 16:31
which is harder, by the way for what you guys do than most of all the shit that you got all the chemicals and all that stuff.
Unknown Speaker 16:38
It's super tough, man, we spend tons of money cleaning our stuff. But locally, like we've always been well known, right? So growing up in school, you know, everybody wanted that American payment, honey, they all wanted to hat and you know, for years, you know, given your close friends give a bow to your girlfriend here and there. But I got into like,
Eric Girouard 16:56
there have those hoodies hopefully not too many, right? What's that? Hopefully only a few of those, those,
Unknown Speaker 17:02
only the good ones. Only the worthy ones. But I was always into like, you know, getting new merch and stuff like that. So dealing with a lot of screen printers, you know, not bad mouthing them. But you guys know how it is. It's a lot of back and forth. And I was getting tired of it, you know, ticket design to say I want this logo printed on a black T shirt in the car. We can't print black ink on a black T shirt. I'm like, How does you know I'm gonna start making T shirts myself. So three years ago, I bought a vinyl press. And I don't know if you guys ever seen like the vinyl cutters. They're like little Do It Yourself machines. You see a lot of like moms, I need to use them. You can like put vinyl in it cuts the vinyl with a program. So I was putting in our logo cutting out the vinyl. And then he pressed him on T shirts, you know not making budget on balance. I started out just making like, you know, I would buy like a Nike hoodie. Typically you're not going to buy 200 Nike hoodies for your crew, right? So I buy like four or five Nike hoodies for me and my brothers, and I would make them myself and print them. Then I started messing around with some, you know, other logos and designs. And I was playing with this idea of blacktop, what I really wanted was to be able to wear some some merch that still represented my family that didn't necessarily have American payment on it. You know, I didn't know where that was gonna lead us to. So I came up with raised on blacktop, same thing bought a bunch and Nike long sleeves, printed them on there. We were wearing them. And then I was posting them online starting selling them online. Just through DM you know, just people reach out, send them a t shirt, they pay me through PayPal, you know real small time. And finally, like I was making like, you know 5075 T shirts at a time in my room on my ground. Now I was like I gotta just go to screen printer. I got my designs now. So I got that first big bulk order, which is probably I don't know, 100 hoodies started that Shopify account. Starting on from there, my girlfriend helps me with the, you know, fulfilling orders and taken care of the Shopify and now it's a full merchandise website. I sell anywhere from like hats, hoodies, baby onesies, decals, but another reason why I did it was just to like, you know, shine on light on the paving industry. Once I got on social media, I noticed that there was a lot of individuals like myself that I didn't know that before, you know, getting on Instagram, and connected with these people. You know, I thought I was the only one that grew up in a family paving business that actually wanted to, you know, stay in the business, but there's a lot of people out there just like me, you know, going back I wanted to like maybe sell American pavement merge, but I was like, let me come up with a brand where, you know, I could pull the whole industry together we can all get behind something because you know all the construction but especially the paving business, it's Super prideful, you know, everyone, a lot of bad mouthing going on. I like to think that we're pretty cool with local companies here, but I'm super competitive. So I was like, let me create something we can all get behind. And now it's it's just taken off like crazy now so it's pretty exciting. It's fun. I like to do it.
Jeremy Perkins 20:18
It's interesting from my perspective, because you guys are kind of the unsung heroes. I mean, you drive up to Maine on a weeknight, right, and it's road cones after road cones and and people just get upset over paving crews, but they don't realize like the sweat equity that you guys put it into it, you know, after it's done a nice paved highway or driveway. I mean, not seal coated or anything like that. It's just, you know, unbelievable, it's almost a work of art. And honestly, you guys aren't in the schools. Nobody's saying, Hey, you shouldn't be in asphalt or paving. And you guys are essentially the infrastructure of the United States. So I mean, hats off to you guys. I mean, it's a it's a rough job. But you know, somebody's got to do it, right?
Unknown Speaker 21:05
Yeah, no, it's a tough job. But it's definitely an honorable one. We always joke that you've seen on Facebook, right? People complain about potholes all winter. We're out here in the spring fixing these roads, and they're pissed because they gotta wait five minutes in traffic. Like, it's crazy.
Jeremy Perkins 21:22
I was a commercial and residential plow driver. And let me tell you when I when I hit anything that was raised, almost put me through the windshield. And so So I respect a nice paved driveway, a nice paved road. I'm all about it.
Unknown Speaker 21:41
Oh, yeah. I've done a good bit of plowing myself. And when you hit you know, a manhole or a pothole, you think the truck breaks, right?
Jeremy Perkins 21:49
It like feels like a folded in half like, yeah, you feel like you're eight feet in the air. It's It's insane. But
Unknown Speaker 21:56
I'll turn that music down.
Eric Girouard 22:00
And give us a little thing on because I know nothing other than some of my buddies do lay a little bit of asphalt but not not like you guys do winter versus summer. How does that change things? Obviously, in New England, we get cold winters and summers like temperature and obviously gets smoldering hot in July and August. But it's in the winter. Is that a nice thing to do? Because it keeps you know, how's that all work out?
Unknown Speaker 22:21
Yeah, so good question. So we work Weather permitting from, I'd say about April, till we could roll right up until Christmas. As long as we don't get any crazy snowstorms in December. asphalt is definitely a seasonal business. So come December, some of my guys do get laid off. And you know, we worked so many hours over the summer and that big. I think they kind of look forward to it. Yeah. Kind of like the kids with their family. A lot of my drivers get laid off, but we have like four or five guys that we keep on all winter. So in the winter, we stay busy. Oh man, we do all like, we don't have a mechanic per se. But we do a lot of maintenance on our equipment, you know, run through all of our machines top to bottom. For years, we did a lot of snow plowing, which a lot of pavers do as well. We've kind of inch data snow plowing, because it's becoming so much. And then what else do we do? We went to a lot of office stuff where you know, we're bidding jobs all winter. We also do something that might be a little in depth for someone that doesn't know paving, but we recycle blacktop all winter. So basically, throughout the season, that leftover blacktop that normally gets dumped at like a gravel pit, we have a spot where we dump it and it gets crushed up into little I'd say like pieces like size of a basketball and we have this machine and you melt it down into hot patch. And contractors say utility guys, you know people doing gas lines in the winter water main breaks. You know when there's a water main break in the road, they they're supposed to patch the road with hot asphalt. And since the asphalt plants closed from December to April, they have to get hot blacktop somewhere so we sell hot blacktop all winter. Pretty good gig, we don't you know, we're not making millions doing it, but it keeps some of our guys busy. And keep us on the streets and in the winter. So you know, we always see our trucks out all year round, which is cool. It's not like we're totally shutting down, which is tough to do. You know, it's tough to totally shut down. Yeah, come back in April and pick right up back up. So being that we're seasonal from April to December, you know, you know, we take Sunday off, but it's really no days off, man. It's nonstop tough on our employees because, you know, we let our guys take a vacation here and there. But you know, if we're seasonal, you know, my guys are getting 6070 hours a week, we asked our guys to take care of their vacations in the winter, you know, other than a funeral or wedding man, we need you guys there every day. You know? So it's tough. That's what makes our business so stressful as you got eight nine months out of the year to to you know, feed your family Anyway, so for paving guys first starting out, you know, those winters are tough, you know, those are long winters for those guys who you know, they're not a really established company yet. You know, I remember when my dad first started like throughout the winter, you know he was doing anything for a buck all winter, now we're established, you know, we've cut back on our snowplow and we're able to go on vacation with the family. So it's different for every company, depending on the size, you know,
Jeremy Perkins 25:27
you know, but you do what works for you. I mean, you know, I got a heavy marine background. And it's interesting, because a lot of guys liked that they'll work their way through the summer and, you know, seven days a week, 12 hour days, and then come November, December, they're like, dude, I'm going sledding up north or I'm seeing and it's, you know, it's nice, you know, they'll they'll pick up a job here and there. So, for the right person, it is an ideal situation, you know what I mean? If you don't like summer, and you don't care about grinding it out. Your gig is, is the winter months, like, paving seems to be where it's at.
Unknown Speaker 26:05
Yeah, it does suck that, like, I wish the business was reverse, right. And we're busy all winter and our summers off, but that's just not the way it is. I always joke like people saying, you know, you ever been to like Cape Cod or Newport, I'm like, that's a summer vacation. And I've never been up there. You know, I take my vacations down south in the winter. And because that's the only time I can go you know,
Jeremy Perkins 26:26
you gotta get you gotta get pops to start doing some jobs out on like Nantucket or something like that. Right.
Unknown Speaker 26:30
I know, that sounds like a late night for me.
Jeremy Perkins 26:36
And bringing the bringing the equipment over on the ferry and bringing it back same day. Oh, thanks. So one of the cool things that I don't think people realize is, so you brought up the fact that you have plants that produce asphalt and they produce the temperature that you need to take it from there and bring it to the job how, how tricky is that for you for scheduling jobs and, and logistics around that.
Unknown Speaker 27:01
That is the hardest part of our job. You know, asphalt, I just I'd say it gets made around 350 to 450 400 degrees. By the time we get it, it's probably like anywhere from it should be anywhere from like, should be right around 300 degrees. So but it's a perishable product, right? So, you know, we get a rainstorm and it comes in, if that blacktop sitting on the job and it's raining for two hours, that's gonna be like a brick, you're not gonna be able to lay it lay that down. We're very dependent on on the weather. We like to think we work fast so we could squeeze a job in in the morning and it's going to rain in the afternoon but yeah, man during the summer, you know, you're checking the weather every day. And not only that, just on the job, you know, you can't have trucks sit and own time. Ideally, you want a truck you know, sit in there for 10 minutes. Other truck dumps truck backs in dump that and probably three minutes and then it goes back to the plant. So on a typical day we'll have 10 trucks running and they'll make you know five trips to the plant and that's that's like a solid day but uh yeah definitely just asphalt being a perishable product could make it makes our lives very stressful.
Jeremy Perkins 28:10
My boss would always be an outlet and I know a lot of guys do this is like hey, he worked with an asphalt crew and they had you know asphalt sitting in the truck bad day they came down laid it at our at our job for Yeah, for just pennies on the dollar and it was like just to get it off their truck roll it out and be done with it and so having all those logistics and operations figured out is we can we can be
Eric Girouard 28:39
a dumping ground here for a bad day.
Jeremy Perkins 28:43
Yeah, well you gotta get lucky it's I trust me I've tried and you got to know people and it's really a timing thing and the asphalt crews really got it down so
Unknown Speaker 28:55
you know it's tough dude. It's like we I get people that stop by our jobs when repayment of town road like, almost every day like if you gotta call if you got any extra material you can dump it in my house, but like, on the scale, we're doing things you know, my guys are working 12 hours a day. I'm not telling them to go over and patch some lady's driveway at 6am that enemy Do you know I don't
Eric Girouard 29:18
like maybe half a truck will do your whole driveway and that's gonna be like 10 grand Yeah,
Jeremy Perkins 29:24
that's literally why you have like on residential jobs guys will go out and bid a job and they'll try to get Mrs. Johnson you know, Mrs. Anderson like all in a row so that they can
Eric Girouard 29:35
they can well that happen to my father and mill then you have the guys that run out of town which probably a bad part of your business. Well, not so much for you but which is yeah, we're in here. We're doing this drive where we got actually we'll give you a deal. My father in law, they live in a town that thing that by end of winter that driveway was destroyed or taken for run.
Unknown Speaker 29:55
Yeah, that there's a lot of those out there and you know, if you want A cheap job, it's a cheap price, you're getting what you're paying it for. Exactly. They, they think that they're going to, they're getting some swinging deal, and they're going to have a driveway last for 20 years. And, you know, joke's on you, man. So
Jeremy Perkins 30:14
what is the number one thing that you know now, as a seasoned asphalt professional that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Unknown Speaker 30:25
That's deep. Experience, man, he, the bad days are experienced, you know, you have a bad day, you got to learn from that, you know, every day, if something goes wrong, you got to it sucks. But you got to take that as a learning experience, you know, just, you know, if something happens on the job, however you fix that if it worked, it didn't work. You know, remember that next time. And then I'd also say like, as a foreman, as someone who's leading guys, when when shit gets stressful, like, that's, that's the time to like, stay calm, and fucking buckle down and be the man. You know, it's all good. When everything's going smooth. That's good, that you're a good foreman. But when shit hits the fan, when the clouds are black, you know, and you think it's gonna rain in an hour. That's when you mean like, really have to buckle down and, and do your thing. So I just say, you know, learning from your experiences, and just staying calm when when shit hits fan because that that speaks to your character
Jeremy Perkins 31:33
that actually resonates with me. I mean, to be honest with you, I was a foreman of a shop and then me and my wife started a farm for all our listeners that it's probably, you know, just repeating the same thing over and over again. But one thing that my wife told me when when shit hits the fan, and she goes here, I am overthinking the situation right. And you go to the basics, the tractor won't start, hey, you know, did you push the clutch pedal? Did you push the brake pedal? And a lot of times if the gas but a lot of times, it's the simplest things that cause the most stressful situations. And as far as a leader, it's assessing the situation, dialing it back and breaking it down starting from scratch and saying, Hey, did you do this? And a lot of times it resolves itself,
Unknown Speaker 32:22
right? I agree. You know, your machine doesn't start in the cold. You know, you don't automatically go get cables. You know, make sure you have those cables. But you know, check the fuse, the fuse probably popped 10 cent fuse. We posted a video yesterday actually. My dad was explaining, you know, he said we have 1000 ton road, right, so that's a pretty long road. 1000 ton. So we have 10 trucks on the road carrying 20 ton of peace. So at that rate, we have, you know, each round we have 20 grand on the road coming to us $20,000 Worth asphalt. So, when you have a little washer or a seal that blows that's pretty serious, right? So yeah, just like, like, you could look at it like a mechanic, right? You know, truck won't start, you know, you got power, or you got power. So it's not the battery, you know, just taking things just like you said, taking things one at a time. Absolutely. Right exam.
Jeremy Perkins 33:21
It was funny because my brother in law called me one day from a job you know, one of his one of his landscapers just dumped stone things like the dump body stuck up and I was like, hey, pop the hood there's gonna be something that looks like a knife switch like a little breaker. He got found it was over by the he locked it in it was power up power down. And he goes Holy shit, you know, dump bodies going down and I was just like, You got to boil it down to the simplest you got to start from scratch. Right and that was listening to Greg and dude, I'm just I'm just saying you gotta you gotta keep it simple. I mean, there's there's a reason why they have kiss keep it simple, stupid, right? Yeah,
Eric Girouard 34:01
Unknown Speaker 34:02
Unknown Speaker 34:04
and YouTube. Exactly.
Jeremy Perkins 34:05
Yeah, exactly. Awesome. What's the biggest challenge that you're you guys are currently facing or you with Raystown blacktop, you know, what's the next step for you guys?
Unknown Speaker 34:16
Finding a pair of work boots that can last this season bro.
Eric Girouard 34:21
Guys do go hard.
Unknown Speaker 34:24
As far as raised on blacktop goes. So as of now, I don't know what you guys do with merchandise but I am I buy all my merchandise. I get it from a place in Texas. They ship it to me. At our shop. I have like a loft upstairs where I hold all the inventory. I do all the shipping all the customer service. So in the next actually probably tomorrow I'm going to sign a contract to team up with a merchandising partner where all my merchandise can be stored at a facility. They're going to ship it fulfill all the orders ship it handle customer service. was helped me with designs. You know, I got to the point where I'm not going to say I can't push anymore but you know, work in 1012 hours a day and then getting home and or getting back to the shop and doing 30 orders at night. That's takes a toll on me, man. And it's not only is it taken away from the American payment side, because you know, I could be doing other things in the shop, but it's stressful. It's tough. And it's just not scalable at this point. So I'm ready to blow the brand up. And I think this is the next step. I hopefully it works out. I think it will. So I'm really excited to get that going.
Eric Girouard 35:34
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. All right. So one thing we always like to ask everyone as we as we kind of close things out is obviously you guys are going hard especially in the season when you can set some winters are you know a little different, but outside of anything, when you're when you're able to kind of kind of get away from work, which for you may not be for certain seasons, but what's something you like to do to unwind that has nothing to do with paving? Nothing to do with your brand? Nothing to do with you know, completely unwind? Is it you know, from anything movies to fishing, to hunting to sitting on a beach?
Unknown Speaker 36:11
I mean, vacations are fun, right? I like to take a look. I like to go hard on vacation, take a nice luxury vacation in the winter. Like during the season. I'm 29 years old now I can't party like I used to so nice restaurant, me and my girlfriend, couple friends. You know, go out to a nice dinner, have a bunch of drinks. And that's that's pretty much it, man. I'm in the cars. So I'd like to go a car shows on the weekend sometimes. But you know, my hobby now is raised on blacktop. So and I'm not working. You know, I'm doing everything else. Yeah.
Eric Girouard 36:45
When you're vacationing. We're obviously it sounds like that. So wintertime, is it going down to Florida or different places every year and exploring or is you have a spot that you like to go to? Or how's that work out?
Unknown Speaker 36:56
When we were kids? My mom and dad had a timeshare in Kissimmee, Florida, right outside Orlando. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So that was like our spot and we're kids, they take us out of school for two weeks and we go down there. But now that I'm older, I got a little money. Last winter I went to Mexico actually, I've been to Mexico two years in a row now. Right in a big Airbnb ran on beach. I had a pool. I had a blast. So yeah,
Jeremy Perkins 37:24
that's Don't call me territory. I'm that far away. Like I can't be mad, or anything.
Unknown Speaker 37:29
I was working out there. I mean, sending emails back and forth. But
Jeremy Perkins 37:35
Awesome, awesome. You guys are pretty, you know, powerful on social media. But if anybody wanted to find you or what you guys do or wanted to get involved in that trade, where are some of the places that can find you?
Unknown Speaker 37:48
We're big on Instagram, that's probably our most popular platform. So at America payment at rhizome blacktop, I do a lot on Facebook, too. But you know, I don't really reply to Facebook messages months. So if someone wants to contact us, just send us a DM, try to filter them through like, you know, at least once a night. And then right now we're pushing YouTube a lot. So we didn't get to talk about this, but we we got a videographer on our team, my boys, Shane, Dana, he and I, the kids a beast man, he puts together these really cool YouTube videos when he first started we were doing like, our videos kind of look like commercial zero montages with good music. But now we're like, adopting the vlog style a little bit, which is meaning like, you know, less edits, we still mix in like cool drone shots and B roll and stuff. You know, just showing people behind the scenes because I read all the comments and that's what people want to see. You know, the last video we did, I just threw Shane in the truck, my dad and my dad was going from job to job and just bullshitting with them and you know, telling them you know, every day in the life type of thing Yeah, yeah. Right so YouTube's like what I'm trying to push right now. A lot of fun it's hard to put out consistent content on there but we're trying to do one a week is a goal of mine and just see where that can take us social media has been insane for us just like you guys we we've had an established business already you know we got enough work we're not really getting work offline although we do a little bit we're John Deere influencers now and that all comes from you know, not only putting 30 years of blood sweat and tears in but social media, you know, we're the largest fall paving company in the world and to be partnered up with John Deere on something like that is like insane to me. And it's something that I you know, it's always been a goal of mine, but it's pretty cool to make that happen. Oh, yeah.
Eric Girouard 39:42
No, we love it. We love it. This is incredible. Everything from the one on one and to what the blacktop world is to obviously at the level you guys are at is is incredible. We're We're super appreciative of you taking the time even to sit down with us and kind of talk through it and all that stuff. It's such a unique world and so critical for the infrastructure one the states that we both live in, let alone the country and so, so now we're super, super appreciative of that
Jeremy Perkins 40:09
dude and thrown it back to the eight sucks. So welcome to CONNECTICUT, Connecticut founder as you go, you know Connecticut business, Connecticut, it's shaking and moving. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 40:21
real quick guys. I want to ask about your NASCAR. You guys run that every race you got to pick and choose races because we sponsor NASCAR as well. So we we ran
Eric Girouard 40:30
six cars six races this
Jeremy Perkins 40:33
year, we ran Daytona we ran Fontana, California. We ran Las Vegas we ran Phoenix Arizona. We ran loud in New Hampshire in our backyard and we finished it off in Daytona in the fall
Eric Girouard 40:47
Yeah, yeah we
Unknown Speaker 40:48
sweet that Daytona race was cool huh? Go
Jeremy Perkins 40:52
was a was a bloodbath.
Eric Girouard 40:56
We've lost our engine but we we our car was actually we blew our engine right before the bloodbath So luckily, our car to unattach knowledge and go down the drain. I would have been a lot of cars got wrecked in the last blast. That was unusual. You know? After mid you know almost midnight star. We're racing till like two and almost two in the morning. Really? Well. You guys didn't finish right? Yeah, yeah, we're in the experience here. Yep. Yep. Yep, we did the trucks here is Oh, nice. Nice. Yeah, trucks here is awesome.
Jeremy Perkins 41:28
Good stuff, man. Come on, man. Well, thanks for being on the podcast and I really appreciate you taking your time out of your busy schedule to get down and dirty with us.
Unknown Speaker 41:38
Likewise, man, I'm Thank you for having me on big fan of what you guys are doing. And a huge thank you for all the support you show to industry having guys like me on your podcast, you know, reposting everyone's content and it means a lot and you shine the light on our industry and respect that
Connecticut born and raised, Matt Stanley was always destined to enter the pavement trade. His father and his grandfather before him have both been pavers, starting with his grandfather’s first business in 1959. After starting with his grandfather, Matt’s father branched out and started his own paving company, which is where Matt works today. Even his three brothers are in on the act.
“It's not just about the money…we want to do the best job...you know, we're all here to make a dollar, but we want to be the best and we want to be known for being the best.”
Though one brother has branched out to start a residential paving company, Matt, his father, and other brothers are still leading the charge at American Pavement, taking big jobs for business parks, malls, grocery stores and just about any other place you can imagine needs paving. You’d think the gang was worried about who would take over the family business, but with Dad showing no signs of stopping, the brothers have adopted a team mindset.
“We're a team. You know, we leave our egos at the door in the morning. As our company grows, I think our roles were expand, and we'll we'll place into those roles accordingly. There's no succession plan here, man, we're just taking it day by day.”
In addition to his paving work, Matt has developed quite the side hustle with his brand Raised on Blacktop. After years of back and forth conversations and frustration with screenprinters, he decided to take things into his own hands and make merch for American Pavement on his own. After getting good at that, he started toying with other ideas, and this was where Raised on Blacktop was born. He bought his own screenprinter and is now making everything from hats to baby onesies, all with the goal of bringing more attention to the paving industry.
“I thought I was the only one that grew up in a family paving business that actually wanted to, you know, stay in the business, but there's a lot of people out there just like me…[so] I was like, let me come up with a brand where I could pull the whole industry together.”
BUCKET TALK | EP 43
Lee Ohmen@regalstreetwoodshopThis week on Bucket Talk, we caught up with Lee Ohman, who spends his days working his main gig as an electrician and his off-time crafting custom wood items ranging from corn hole....PLAY EPISODE