TraKSouth Civil Contractors

After five years in operations as a civil contractor, TraKSouth Civil Contractors wants to expand its footprint in the Southeast region, and is doing so through a key acquisition and smart hiring practices. Based in Augusta, Ga., TraKSouth named John G. Hudson its president on June 28. This adds a great deal of experience to the executive ranks, with Hudson previously serving as a project manager at Gemini Construction Co., where he managed enclosed mall redevelopment and construction projects. Hudson also has become an owner of TraKSouth through personal investment. 

“We are delighted that John Hudson, with his considerable talents and record of success, will be leading our company,” according to TraKSouth. “John’s experience in managing operating companies and developing long-term business relationships will allow TraKSouth to develop long-term relationships with key contractors and grow our overall site work business.” 

Hudson says he is looking forward to leading TraKSouth, but understands it is not an easy time for the industry. “It’s no secret it’s a tough economy, and one minute you have good business and the next minute you’re looking for business,” he says. “I think we are a lean, mean company with a lot of assets in our employees and resources in our equipment. I think that will help us do well in this tough economy.”

Joining Hudson is Curt Bender, who brings thirty years of construction experience as TraKSouth’s director of operations. The company notes it believes that “John Hudson and Curt Bender will be an industry leading management team and look forward to their success.”

In addition to the hiring of Hudson and Bender, TraKSouth acquired a full interest in Palmetto Site and Asphalt Co. a little over a year ago, helping to increase its presence. “We had an interest in Palmetto and a year or so ago had a chance to buy out Palmetto as an evolution of our business,” Hudson says. “It increases our resources.”

Military Focus

“Basically, we can do all site civil work,” Bender says about TraKSouth. With the economy and lack of jobs, the company shifted its focus and found a market where jobs are still being contracted.  

“Right now, our focus is mostly on military projects, and we have projects going on a fair amount of sites,” Bender states. “It’s the strongest sector going on right now in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.” In addition, the company also provides its services on commercial and state and local government work. 

A few current projects for TraKSouth – along with the percentage finished for each project and the project’s worth – are:

  • Ft. Bragg 108th ADA TEMF, 90 percent completed, $15,151,560
  • Shaw Air Force Base, 75 percent completed, $4,163,733
  • Salvation Army Kroc Center, 26 percent completed, $2,028,111
  • Ft. Jackson Army Lodge, 98 percent completed, $1,897,050
  • Ft. Bragg UEPH, 97 percent completed, $1,372,788
  • Ft. Gordon AIT Barracks, project in begging stages and scheduled for completion in fall 2011, $450,000

For the military projects, TraKSouth is performing a wide range of site work such as paving and utility construction. “Our background is to do it all,” Hudson says. “We have done everything from shopping malls to city work. We have a lot of really good equipment and operators, and we are part of an organization that likes to do things first-class. 

“We have a large bonding capacity so we can take on large projects, as well as small projects,” Hudson continues. “We have a good maintenance facility where we are able to keep our equipment in excellent operating condition.”

Resources and Capabilities

Along with its several military projects, TraKSouth is performing on a highway-widening project in Thomson, Ga. As part of the project, the company is constructing eight new miles of highway.

In addition, TraKSouth is performing on the expansion of Plant Vogtle, one of Georgia Power’s two nuclear facilities. In the last five years, TraKSouth has amassed $80,477,633 in projects. “We have a lot of flexibility and are trying to grow the business and move forward,” Hudson states.

TraKSouth has a history of commercial real estate development projects, and expects to see this business grow as the economy recovers. “We have the ability to partner with developers to create strategies to engineer the project in a way that ensures the owners of the development will get good value for their dollar,” Bender says.

The company stays up-to-date with tech­nology, which Bender says puts separation between TraKSouth and other civil contractors.“The only way you can gain an edge in this market is through technology,” he notes.

“It’s helpful to have strong financial backing and a lot of good resources,” Hudson adds. “There are plenty of guys out there running grading equipment, but we’re able to dive in.” 

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