WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO BLACKLIDGE?
David Vaught handles all of operations for our facilities in Florida, Texas, Ohio, and Tennessee – which is no small task when Blacklidge is responsible for products on over 70% of Florida’s road alone. On any given day, David is probably in his truck driving between facilities. He took some time to reflect on the growth of Blacklidge.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT AT BLACKLIDGE?
Definitely process improvements. When I started at Blacklidge, I was a manager for a plant that produced about 380,000 gallons of asphalt emulsion. I made some changes, and after just seven months, production went up to 1.5 million gallons. The year after that, we increased to 2.5 million gallons. Our product has been extremely successful, and we’re continually improving production to meet customer demand.
Another big accomplishment is that the Florida Department of Transportation now requires that all contractors use a trackless tack. This is a big change and one we’re proud to have encouraged with UltraTack, which is a far superior product that doesn’t track at all.
WHAT’S THE OUTLOOK FOR BLACKLIDGE AS A COMPANY?
Our future is bright. We’ve worked hard to narrow down our portfolio and now we’re focused on what we’re really good at – making the highest quality and longest-lasting asphalt and emulsion products. Because of our success, we’re going to be getting a lot bigger than where we are today. The company is really investing in the facilities, so improving capacities won’t take a lot.
WHAT’S THE COOLEST INNOVATION YOU’VE SEEN AT BLACKLIDGE?
The automation that is available now is pretty amazing, if you ask me. We used to do a lot of processes the “old school” way, but now I can stand behind a screen and open valves. I can perform a complete process from a central location. Automation improves quality control, safety, and efficiency.
WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
Family time is really important to me. I’ve been married for 20 years and I have three grandkids. My whole family lives in Tampa, so this is a great place to be.