by Jon M. Casey
John Schivito, owner of A-Jon Construction of Springfield, PA, along with his sons John, Jr. (23) and Nick (21) have carved out a niche market for his family owned business in the suburban Philadelphia and the Delaware County area. A-Jon Construction, located on Old Marple Road, has operated from this location for more than 28 years. The company has become known for a number of construction products and services that include ready-mix concrete for jobs both large and small, concrete cutting and paving services, asphalt paving material and concrete and asphalt recycling to provide sub-base material for contractors. As Schivito likes to say, “No job is too small!”
Schivito recalls that he began construction work in the late 1960s when he was just out of the military at the age of 23. He says he started with just a pickup truck after having had worked with another business doing sidewalk and curb repair. After a year or two, he decided to go into business for himself, doing smaller jobs like removing and replacing sidewalk blocks and curbing, patios and jobs of that nature.
“One truck turned into two trucks,” he said. “Then came a backhoe and other pieces of equipment. I worked out of a garage in the city (Philadelphia). We bought a house out here in the suburbs so I rented a portion of this yard, over where the office sits today. At that time, I had two trucks and a backhoe. That was it.”
Schivito said that when he first operated from this site, there were about seven other contractors at this location. As they left, quit or moved on, he would rent their portion of the site. Eventually, Schivito said he occupied the entire yard.
After several years of renting, he talked to the property owner about purchasing the property. The owner agreed to sell. Today A-Jon occupies the entire complex.
“I went into making concrete myself,” he said. “That grew to what it is today. We have 14 concrete trucks on the road. Five front unloaders, four rear unloaders and five of the two yard trucks. We acquired the smaller, two yard trucks because they go over well with homeowners who do not need a large amount of concrete for their projects. Our customer base includes a mix of commercial contractors, real estate developers and private property owners.”
“We also have three onsite, tri-axle volumetric mixing trucks. Those are great for the do it yourselfers. We keep one here at a permanent location so that we can have a fresh mix when we need it for the small job people who pick concrete up in their own vehicle. Their small dump trucks can back right up below the mixer’s chute and we can fill them up quickly with fresh concrete.”
“We have a one-stop shop here,” he added. “Customers can bring in their broken concrete for us to crush and recycle. Then, they can pick up a fresh load of concrete or fill material, stone sand, topsoil, whatever they need for the return trip.”
“We also have paving crews that works with some of our local utilities,” he added. “They cut pavement for the underground repair work that needs to be done, usually water main work, then we come back when the repairs are complete and do restoration to the road. We have two 10 man paving crews and a saw crew out working every day, weather permitting.”
Another recent addition to the A-Jon list of products and services is their sweeper/vacuum truck and dump truck rental fleet. They offer dump truck rentals to contractors and homeowners as the need arises. They also offer rental sweeper trucks for customers who need to do a variety of jobs such as parking lot sweeping, removal of millings, sand, leaves and dirt and road debris. Small municipalities and businesses enjoy not having to own this equipment, yet they have the accessibility to rent them when they need to do a particular job.
Approximately 10 years ago, A-Jon purchased an eight acre site within a mile or so of the home office that is devoted exclusively to wood, asphalt and concrete recycling. With the addition of this nearby site, Schivito’s team is better able to serve customers in both the construction and recycling markets. At the recycling center, customers can bring in yard waste and concrete and asphalt debris and leave with crushed aggregate, fresh recycled asphalt or natural or colored mulch, depending on their need.
Schivito says his sons are both very actively involved in the day to day business operations. The plan is for them to oversee the business one day when John retires. He says he plans to work until he is 90 years old, so that could be a while! For more information on A-Jon, visit their website at www.ajonconstruct.com .