Complete Concrete

Hockstad Enterprises
Written by Grace McDermott

Based in northern Maryland, Hockstad Enterprises is an innovative concrete construction contractor that is redefining customer service one project at a time.
With over thirty years of experience within the industry, Hockstad offers clients both concrete construction services and peace of mind. The firm is emphatically committed to remaining family owned, and, over the years, its reputation for quality and affordability has led it to the top of the region’s construction sector.

Today, Hockstad is stronger than ever. A case study in the benefits of hard work, the company provides an example of the potential of medium-sized, homegrown enterprises. The once small firm set out to take on the notoriously competitive Maryland construction sector and thrived. By creating quality in innovation, Hockstad led the way for a new era of regional construction development.

Shawn K Hockstad, the current vice president of Hockstad Enterprises has been around the firm since he was a toddler. As the son of the president, he has watched the company grow and is helping to lead the way for its next decade of development. According to Shawn, the business’s success is the result of ambition, ethics and, most of all, a commitment to people. He provided us an in-depth look into what exactly sets Hockstad apart.

Family-owned Hockstad Enterprises began as a local operation, serving the needs of clients in the immediate area. According to its vice president, “Hockstad Enterprises, Inc. started with exactly $1,200, a Ford Jubilee Backhoe and a dream.”

From what started out as a three-man operation, Hockstad grew to have over fifty staff, and its economic footprint has expanded tenfold. Today, the firm is pulling in over ten to fifteen million dollars annually. These gains have created a diversified vertically-integrated palette of services and a cutting-edge in-house fleet.

It is safe to say that Hockstad is an empire in the making. The company has a growing portfolio of renowned projects and increasing demand for particular construction methods, such as tilt-up, in which it specializes. However, according to Shawn Hockstad, the ethics at the core of company are what has kept it thriving and are the reason that the next five years promise to be its best yet.

Hockstad is known for its attention to detail and affordability. By investing in a top-of-the-line fleet, the firm has maintained an ability to provide the highest level of service, ensuring that every job is done right and on time. “We have the combined expertise to provide nearly any type of commercial concrete work you require with integrity, efficiency and customer satisfaction,” the company promises,

Often, the major pitfalls of any large construction project are miscommunication and missed timelines. As many look to consolidate a vendor list, Hockstad offers a glaring difference. Due to its existing fleet and knowledge base, the company self-performs a significant portion of the concrete demands on even the largest of projects. Hockstad maintains a Somero S-240 Laser Screed machine, a John Deere 450 bulldozer with a Topcon laser system, and concrete placing and finishing equipment to produce the best product backed with technological innovation.

In the last year, Hockstad has completed some of its toughest projects to date. One of these, the Jackson Shaw Brickyard in Beltsville, Maryland, exemplified just how far Hockstad is willing to go. The Brickyard was challenging due its small-scale; the entrances had a five-foot wall that protruded horizontally, which made the stacking of panels nearly impossible. However, with a combination of ingenuity and the right tools, Hockstad was able to complete the project, reaching a new height of accomplishment.

Tilt-up construction was first developed in the early 1900s but only became popular after World War II. After the war, while there was a building boom across the country, a shortage of both laborers and materials made the demands of development nearly impossible. Tilt-up construction provided a much-needed, affordable construction method with the added benefit of quick turn-around times.

Today, tilt-up construction remains in high demand, but the number of contractors with the skills and technology to perform it is scarce. Hockstad’s broad skill set has always been centered on concrete, which is why the firm’s diversification into tilt-up construction was an obvious decision. “In the state of Maryland, we pioneered the tilt-up industry by being one of the first to build using the tilt-up method.”

As the industrial footprint of Maryland continues to change, an increasing number of commercial warehouses and big box stores are being built, a market that is increasingly turning to tilt-up as a standard practice. Tilt-up has become a popular technique for even multi-story structures, which means that the future of these specialized firms is limitless. As one of the earliest contractors in Maryland to perform tilt-up construction, Hockstad has become the first point of call for these projects. For those seeking the low-impact and cost-friendly approach, Hockstad Enterprises promises quality, a guarantee that is priceless in the highly skilled world of tilt-up.

A major component of Hockstad’s success is its ongoing commitment to personalized customer services. In an industry dominated by multinationals, Hockstad offers a friendly face and attention to detail which can only come from a mid-sized enterprise.

Where many companies attempt to keep costs down by skimping on expenses, Hockstad has taken an alternative approach. The company has embraced inward investment, finding that the best method of cost-control is the development of a highly trained team of staff. “One point that sets us apart from our competitors is we have low-overhead. Meaning, our employees are versatile and flexible,” said the vice president.

Each member of the Hockstad team is trained and experienced at each step in the concrete construction process. From operating equipment to driving nails, the professionals at Hockstad have the knowledge to see a project through from scratch. The project managers and superintendents can often be seen getting their fingernails dirty to make sure a project meets deadline.

There is a fine line between the quality and quantity of a contractor, and maintaining this balance has been a focus of Hockstad throughout its progression. Mr. Hockstad said.

“We produce quality work while meeting the scheduling demands of our fast-paced industry. There are always companies that can produce product faster but with less quality. And there are always companies that produce a great product, but with longer construction times. We at HEI have found the perfect ratio which makes our clients extremely happy and keeps us in business.”

This balance has underpinned the Hockstad name for three decades and has ensured the firm’s growth even throughout some of the toughest economic times in US history. Its story is a success because of the firm’s focus on relationships, and these relationships are the reason it will have a place in the US construction industry for years to come.

However, in the end, it is not the technology or the number of clients which gives Hockstad its greatest success; it is its people. Many of the Hockstad staff have worked for the firm for more than ten years and, of course, the company also has along legacy of family commitment.

“With key values such as honesty, integrity, extremely hard work, long hours and dedication by our family and employees, Hockstad Enterprises, Inc. is a company we are all proud of, and we will continue to strive for excellence into the future.”



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