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While in Lincoln, NE trying to sell heavy equipment to a potential customer, Cale Quall had an epiphany that soon led to starting a business of his own.
“He [the customer] was trying to find someone to crush rock for him, and I was trying to sell him a crusher,” Quall recalled of his trip to NE, “I was pretty disappointed I didn’t get the sale.”
So Quall called his younger brother Lance, who worked as a foreman crushing rock for Michaels in WI, to see if they could help out. The two brothers discussed busy schedules and complications before arriving at a potential solution. “Why don’t we crush it,” Cale asked Lance.
Thinking it would be a long-shot, Cale called the potential customer back and offered to crush the rock. “If you write me a check for $100,000, I can be there Monday,” Cale stated.
The unlikely business proposition turned into their first crushing job, and Cale and Lance left their respective employers to custom crush and produce a variety of materials from aggregates to recycled rock.
Although they were flat broke for two years, it never took them more than a day or two to find another job. Being persistent enough to track jobs down has been the secret to Quall’s success.
They started by driving around looking for concrete piles, and recycled concrete and asphalt for a few years. Generally, they custom crush whatever the customer asks for. “We can do it at a price that makes sense for our customer,” Cale says.
Now, seven years later, QBQ Industries provides excavation, demolition, and grading services on site throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and South Dakota.
Their biggest job so far was at an air force base. “We pulled up concrete, crushed it, and then put it back down,” said Cale.
Currently, they are recycling rock from street demolition jobs, and they just finished crushing rock along I-29 earlier this summer.
The Quall brothers also just installed and moved into their new 60 x 175 foot repair and fabrication shop four miles East of Mount Ayr.
However, Ringgold County was not the place they had initially sought out to establish their business operation. Cale was looking for a house in Glenwood, MO as they had just secured a big job on the South side of Stanberry. He was driving South from Ankeny, where he and his young family lived, heading to MO when he saw a property for sale on Highway 169 near Redding in 2020.
After they bid on three houses in Glenwood and their offers fell through, they decided Ringgold County looked pretty good. “You get twice as much for half the cost,” Cale says of Ringgold County. Plus they have good highway access and are centrally located within 2-3 hours of their crushing spreads in Omaha, NE, Manhattan, KS, and Barnard, MO.
While Cale would like to grow the business a little more, they are having a difficult time keeping up with all the jobs they currently have. “The work is there,” states Cale, “we could be doing double the work, and we are always looking for help.”
Finding hard working employees who don’t mind working long hours is their biggest hurdle. “We have tried having four crushing sites, but everyone gets worn out and spread too thin.”
For more information about QBQ Industries LLC, visit www.qbqindustries.com.