In the northeast corner of Georgia, hugging the South Carolina border lays Evans, a suburb of Augusta, where Stephen Wheatley Jr. has quietly slept, dreamt, ate and drank the construction industry since he could collect his first thoughts.
A few decades ago, Thomas Wheatley, Stephen Jr.’s grandfather, started Consolidated Construction Co., leading the business for close to 20 years before handing over the reins to his son, Steve Wheatley Sr. in 1980. Steve Sr. eventually ventured off and created Steve Wheatley and Associates, a company that provides electric utility construction, underground utility construction, utility construction services and utility line construction.
With a deep-rooted passion for construction, this third-generation Wheatley decided to branch off of his father’s successful construction company, creating a subsidiary that he called Maintenance Express. Stephen Jr.’s new venture allowed the company as a whole to become even stronger, creating more opportunities and diversifying their portfolio.
As Maintenance Express evolved, the idea was for his company to take on smaller projects while his father managed the larger contracts. It proved to be a wise decision—this new arrangement didn’t alienate any of their customer’s needs, whether big or small, and continued to allow the Wheatleys to work together in unison.
Stephen Jr. knew that his company could only go so far without a solid equipment foundation—he knew that he needed equipment that was reliable and wouldn’t break down on the job. Stephen put in hours upon hours of time into doing research and demo work, and that work drove him to his ultimate decision of purchasing a Takeuchi TB135 compact excavator.
While his scope of work eventually outgrew the more compact TB135, the Takeuchi line continued to spark his interest even further with the durability and performance that he experienced with his first machine.
“I genuinely feel with the research and demo that I have done, Takeuchi is the best on the market,” said Wheatley Jr. “They have the best undercarriages on small equipment, and their horsepower ratings and hydraulic ratings are better in this spec line than any other equipment out there.”
“I feel Takeuchi is stronger and requires less maintenance than any of their competition. There are a lot of problems with rollers and bearing issues typically with undercarriages, but my experience has shown that Takeuchi has very limited problems and this is what ultimately led to my decision to go with their line of equipment.”
Wheatley Jr. recently upgraded his fleet to include a brand new TB260 hydraulic excavator as well as a TL10 compact track loader—an easy decision for the new business owner.
“I’m very happy to be an owner of Takeuchi equipment and I hope I can be able to purchase more Takeuchi machines in the coming years,” said Wheatley Jr. “I really like both the excavator and track loader that I own and there is nothing I would really change about them – you know there are always things here and there you would want differently but as far as the handling and capability of the machines, I believe they are the best out there.”
Wheatley Jr. grew up watching the hard work both his grandfather and father put in each and every day before following in their footsteps. Owning a small construction business takes a lot of backbreaking work, instinct as well as confidence in the equipment. Wheatley’s research and instinct led him to Takeuchi. Takeuchi’s standard for performance and durability allows him to focus less on his equipment and more on the business side with the ultimate goal of taking good care of his customers and getting the job done.