Chad Truax supervises his crew as his son Jeremy Truax bull floats a new cement garage pad in Welcome.
BY KATE CROWLEY ROSENBERG
Chad Truax, 46, has worked in concrete construction most of his life. This spring, he decided it was time to start his own business—TCC, or Truax Concrete Construction—serving Truman and the surrounding area.
Since he was 18, Truax has been pouring, bull floating, troweling, stamping and edging concrete.
Truax was raised in Sheffield, IA near Mason City, and that's where he first learned his trade.His first job, which he kept for five years, was pouring concrete for a company in Iowa working throughout northern Iowa and southern Minnesota.
He and his wife, Patty, who works at BoeKett Lumber in Truman, moved to this area to be closer to Chad's parents who live in Lewisville.
Among his six children, two sons are working with him full time: Jeremy Truax, 22, and Skiler Hovenga, 27. Truax lists many area construction firms on his resume, including Tow's Construction, where he worked for twelve years. Other companies he has worked for include Diamond Contracting in St James and Hoffman Concrete of Mankato where he honed his craft pouring pads, walls and roads.
Last week, Truax poured, bull floated and power troweled the new floor for Wendell and Helen Rode in Welcome.
On the day of the Rode pour, Truax was coaching his son, Jeremy, as he bull floated the new garage pad; a task each job needs.
"It helps get all the ripples out. It doesn't have to be really perfect, because we're going to power trowel it. If it's a driveway, you don't want to have a lot of ripples in it."
The process includes several steps, and a skilled hand.
"First you weep skreed. Then we bull float it, next we will power trowel it and do all of our edges," Truax said. The power trowel is a machine—either propelled or riding —that goes back and forth to polish the surface "smooth like glass," Truax said.
In Rode's 700 square foot garage, Truax is going for a smoother finish, but not so slick that one would slip if is was wet.
Other surface treatments also are available.
"Stamping has been out there for awhile, now there's just a lot more different patterns available," Truax said. He recently did a stamped driveway for the Heyn family.
Other recent area jobs have included grain bin pads and basements.
Truax usually calls on Fairmont Martin County ReadyMix to send him concrete. Farther out of the area, Truax calls on Cemstone.
"Once you get out of their area, they usually like to go no more than an hour away. Otherwise your loads get too old."
When winter comes, some cement companies quit. Truax will keep working.
"There's frost busters out there you can use to help thaw out the ground, and there's blankets to where you can still keep the ground thawed and still pour if it's above temperatures."
Lloyd Mau's place by Truman is his next project. He will be putting an addition underneath part of his house this time. "We're going to pour new floors and new footings. That's going to be next week's project."
Truax plans to expand his business.
"We're going to try to get into some snow removal this year. I just bought a skid loader here about a month ago, and I've got other things that we're trying to get lined up so then we can have work through the winter," he said.
Currently, the TCC office is out of his home, but Truax is working on getting commercial zoning on another Truman property where he can build a new shop next year.
TCC can be reached at 507-236-9731 or his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.