At 300 miles of shoreline, Lake Keowee in South Carolina is a real estate developer’s dream. A growing community of vacation homes continues to fill in the area, and it’s keeping JT’s Companies, LLC busy from sunup to sundown.
JT’s focuses on dirt and excavation, but also performs residential and commercial landscape work, and has its own commercial greenhouse. Operating for 15 years, the company has established a hard-working brand throughout the upstate S.C. area.
The contractor works primarily with builders and commercial developers. Their largest customer often takes them out of state to Georgia, Tennessee, and other places down south. They are proving to be a big asset to the developer, helping bring seven lakefront developments to the market in three states in less than two years.
“We are known for moving in on the job and knocking em’ out, and going right to the next one,” says Josh Tinsley, owner of JT’s Companies, LLC. “That is a big reason why builders like working with us.”
Around Lake Keowee — a high-end lake — JT’s can primarily be found working on waterfront homes. It is not uncommon for the houses to cost two million dollars or more.
Starting at ground zero, their team is regularly clearing the lots and digging basements. Tinsley says the lot clearing jobs take about a week on average.
“Those are fairly routine for us and we can get them done quickly,” says Tinsley. “We always try to be a good resource for our customers and many times end up doing more than clearing and digging. If they have a problem, they know they can call us any time and we can normally take care of whatever it is.”
It may be fairly routine for JT’s, but the landscape around the lake comes with its own trials and tribulations.
“The terrain is an issue because everything around here on the lake is fairly steep, so we are always battling elevation differences from the lake level to the top of the lot for the most part,” says Tinsley. “The slope is pretty heavy towards the lake, so that makes it a bit of a challenge. It is also not uncommon for us to dig a basement and find a lot of rock.”
A Helping Hand
With the many business divisions JT’s owns, they have, at most, 15 employees during the busy season. For a small company who thrives on getting in and out of jobs, they have come to rely on Bennett Equipment & Supply as an extension of their company. The equipment dealer continues to go above and beyond for the contractor.
“Bennett performs all major service on our equipment,” says Tinsley. “I can call Keith, our sales guy, and he answers even when he is off the clock. They also haul our bigger equipment for us to whichever location we need it. When you have customer service like that, it makes a huge impact on your bottom line.”
It was Bennett who first introduced Tinsley and his crew to Takeuchi machines a couple years ago. Takeuchi has now become a staple in Tinsley’s lineup, renting several units from Bennett, in addition to owning a TL8 track loader. The TL8 is proving to be a workhorse for them around Lake Keowee, used primarily for fine grading by physically getting the basement on grade to the precise elevation.
Value is King
“The value for the dollar for Takeuchi machines is the best of any manufacturer out there,” says Tinsley. “With all the work we have already put our TL8 through, we have had no major mechanical issues, just simple ones that Bennett has been able to quickly take care of for us. The power for the size of the Takeuchi machines and precision of the controls is outstanding.”
A contractor can only work as diligently as their tools allow them to. There is no question the value the TL8 provides is crucial to JT’s approach to the jobsite. A tough as nails, hard-working machine delivers the uptime they need to get the job done and move right on to the next one.