Made in Michiana: Ozinga
For nearly 90 years Ozinga's familiar red and white cement trucks have been laying the foundations of communities across the region. The first truck hitting the streets after making the switch from horse and carriage.
The fourth-generation family owned business operates 85 plants throughout the region, 20 of which are in Indiana.
“That’s been the huge part is 90 years of continual same ownership, same family and same family values," says Scott Underwood.
Underwood has worked out of the South Bend plant for the last two years.
"We’ve got 60 plus trucks on average in this area," said Underwood.
All of them carefully tracked from a new state of the art dispatch center in South Bend.
“In this dispatch center through the busy time in peak season we are between 6 and 7 hundred calls incoming as well as outgoing calls of 100 plus a day," said Underwood.
Justin Hagen is one of the many drivers responsible for getting that concrete to the many job sites.
“They know when I get to a job site," said Hagen. "They know when I’m pouring, when I stop.”
The whole process has become streamlined in recent years.
“Everything we have is truly automated from our computer base, which is constantly changing and we are trying to keep up with all the new inventions that are out there," said Underwood.
That includes the actual mixing that happens inside the plants -- all done by computers and only taking minutes.
“We pull underneath the plant and all the sand, stone, concrete mix and the water it will flow right down to the back of the barrel," said Hagen.
From there the truck does the rest.
“When it’s spinning one way it’s actually pulling the concrete back," said Hagen. "When it spins the opposite way it will dump out in front.”
Then the trucks are on the road to various job sites.
“Anybody from a home do it yourselfer on a residential foundation project to commercial work," said Underwood.
Some of that commercial work includes the University of Notre Dame’s Campus Crossroads project and the new bridgework on the Indiana Toll Road.
“Our most important thing is that we’re laying the foundations of the community we’re in," said Underwood.
Communities being built up with concrete made right here in Michiana.