No, it is not a children’s story, but it is something that brings the whole family together, literally. Wildish, a family-owned business, is king of construction throughout Oregon, where their trust and reputation has been building since their inception over 79 years ago. It all started in 1935 when T.C. Wildish began hauling material with a single truck. Over time, the business has grown vastly and now features five separate divisions out of their corporate office in Eugene, Ore., making it one of the most diversified companies throughout the state. As far as companies go, Wildish is about as stable as they come.
The five divisions include, Wildish Land Co., Wildish Construction Co., Wildish Building Co., Wildish Standard Paving, and Wildish Sand & Gravel. These divisions include anything from buying land to road work, concrete work, commercial and industrial work, bridge and major transportation work, and aggregate and asphalt materials, among several other capabilities. The company profile averages about 80 percent public sector work and 20 percent private sector work. They have been involved in just about everything from commercial and industrial buildings, sports facilities, and airports to wastewater/water plants, bridges, highways, and utility work. Name it and they have done it.
With a reputation that precedes them, Wildish has been involved in many high profile jobs throughout Oregon and surrounding states. They reconstructed the historic Monroe Street Bridge in Spokane, Wash., made safety improvements on the runway and ramp parking at the Eugene airport, expanded the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium, increased the seating capacity at Oregon State University’s Reser Stadium, and last year, they helped build the Oregon State basketball facility, just to name a few projects.
Wildish is successful not only because of their diversified portfolio and quality work; the company thrives off their long-term relationships with customers. It is those relationships that can only come from four generations of the Wildish family working there, of which the second, third, and fourth generation family members are all actively involved in the day-to-day operations. Simply put, they are deeply rooted in the community that surrounds them.
“Wildish is very involved in the community and contributes to several different organizations; there really is a great family dynamic here,” said Scott Vogl, general superintendent at Wildish Standard Paving. “We always put the customers first, and we really measure success by how pleased our customers are. It’s the customers that are our biggest advocates, and many of them have come back seeking additional services from us.”
Having a large construction company means having a big equipment fleet and tools for the job. Wildish owns several hundred pieces of heavy equipment in their fleet and even more tools. As important as having a good rapport with customers, it’s equally as good to have the same relations with distributors. For a company that is into so many different folds of construction, Wildish can ill-afford to have tools break down on the job, and if they do, they have good distributors that are right there for them.
The Wildish Standard Paving division, which specializes in bridge and major transportation work, has a close relationship with their distributor, CESSCO Inc., out of Portland. CESSCO has a full service operation, featuring mostly, but not limited to, concrete cutting and coring equipment. Their main clientele is bridgework, demolition, remodeling and retrofitting customers. It’s where the Wildish division came across Chicago Pneumatic handheld equipment to help them with bridgework.
Once concrete is cut for bridges, it needs to be busted up. Bridge builders use rivet busters to knock the slag off of bridges or for leveling the decks. Wildish features 15 Chicago Pneumatic 4608 D rivet busters in their lineup that they use on bridge decks for cleaning and remodeling. Overall, Wildish has more than 50 CP handheld tools in their repertoire. CP rivet busters offer one of the best power-to-weight ratios on the market and include four different models in the lineup: the 4608 D, 4608 P, 4611 D and 4611 P. All CP rivet buster models feature a stepped cylinder design to prevent accidental ejection of the piston from the cylinder, making it very valuable to both Wildish and CESSCO alike.
“We stock several CP handheld tools, including the rivet busters, which have built-in safety features that other rivet busters don’t have,” said Brian Tubbs, sales and rental manager at CESSCO. “Over time, the steel can wear out and eject, which is potentially harmful for the operator. There is less concern with CP models, and it is a big purchasing decision for buyers. The CP rivet busters also have great longevity as long as they are maintained properly.”
“We have a great relationship and work very closely with CESSCO, and it’s where we purchased our line of CP handheld tools,” said Vogl. “We utilize the CP rivet busters a lot, and they perform great on the job. It was a genius idea to put the safety feature on those. Before we took on the CP line, we had rivet busters that wore out and the piston would fly out. We had a few of our workers severely injured with the piston flying out of the ends, so the safety feature was a big reason we decided to go with CP.”
There is no shortage of demand for Wildish, and they expect the best out of their tools and equipment to help them get the job done right the first time. For the last 79 years, Wildish has hit on all cylinders as a company and are going about things the right way. They are the epitome of the American Dream: a company that started out as a one-man, one-truck hauling business, that has grown to become an industry leader throughout the Northwest. To top it off, they are led by the same principle the company was founded on: family values.