Doing More with Less

Huey P. Stockstill

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Huey P. Stockstill LLC, referred to as HPS, is a recognized and reputable player in the asphalt paving and construction services space in Southern Mississippi and Louisiana. Its name and legacy is representative of three generations of family, hard work, leadership and a firm commitment to quality and integrity that has helped it thrive.
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“Where a handshake still has meaning,” is more than just the motto of HPS; it is a guarantee.

“Today, we are a vertically integrated paving contractor, ready-mix producer and aggregate producer with the ability and resources to service all of southern Mississippi and Louisiana that is owned and operated by my father Huey Stockstill II,” Huey Stockstill III said, “and we operate the business today the same way as his father Huey P. Stockstill Sr. built it, and that is to always stand behind your word and do what’s right.”

HPS was established by Huey P. Stockstill in Picayune, Mississippi in 1964 and has been successful ever since. Throughout the years, it has undergone numerous changes and much growth, but it has never lost sight of the excellent service upon which it was built.

The company began by moving dirt and preparing sites and evolved in the 1970s to include an asphalt plant. It further added to its operations in the 1990s with mining and aggregate operations, adding ready-mix operations in the early 2000s.

HPS is under the leadership of President Huey Stockstill II and his son, Huey Stockstill III who serves as operations manager. It remains true to its founding principles and has never compromised on its promise to a job well done.

Today, HPS is a leader in asphalt paving and production, highway construction and site development, ready mix, mining and aggregates and hauling. Being vertically integrated has enabled it to better serve its customers, saving them time, money and offering them the reassurance that the job will be completed to specification and to the highest standards.

When Stockstill III was asked what sets HPS apart from its counterparts, he responded that it is because of its breadth of service and resources. “We’re kind of like a package deal, a one-stop shop. We can produce, lay and haul our own asphalt, produce our own ready mix; we produce our own aggregates for our asphalt and ready-mix operations,” he said.

“Having the aggregate reserves that we do for our operations is a very nice comfort for us because we know we always have those resources for our own operations.” This helps to ensure quality product while adhering to a timeline every step of the way.

These services are sustained by three full-time asphalt plants located in Picayune and Gulfport, Mississippi, as well as Houma, Louisiana, all of which produce hot mix and warm mix asphalt, as well as two ready mix plants in Picayune and Poplarville, Mississippi and three aggregate mining locations across Pearl River County.

“With these locations, we are able to service all of South Mississippi, from the Alabama State line to the Louisiana State line. We are able to service both the north shore of Louisiana and the south shore of Louisiana as well. So we’re able to cover a pretty wide geographic area based on our facilities and where they are,” said Stockstill III.

As logistics plays an important role in these operations, HPS has also invested in its trucking and equipment fleet to help in its success and round out its full-service offerings. Included in its fleet of eighty GPS-enabled trucks are live bottom tractor trailers (trailers that push the load out the back, from the bottom), tri-axle dump trucks, bulk cement and liquid tankers, front- and rear-discharge mixers and lowboy units (trailers with a low deck for easy loading and unloading) for equipment delivery, as well as over 75 percent of its heavy yellow iron.

HPS makes it efficient, safe and easy for jobs to get done and get done the right way. Projects from HPS’ portfolio of work highlight both the quality of which it is capable and the range of its services.

The company is responsible for eight miles of mill and overlay of I-10 in Harrison County, three miles of reclamation, soil stabilization and paving of LA 438 in Washington Parrish, eight miles of full-depth pavement patching and overlay on LA 57 and the Morganza to the Gulf of Mexico hurricane protection levee in Terrebonne Parrish, as well as the construction roundabout at the intersection of SR 15 and Lamey Bridge Road in Harrison County. Mill and overlay is a road reclamation method that grinds off the top layer of asphalt and replaces it with a veneer of fresh road surface. Such repairs can delay the more costly and involved total road surface replacement.

As a result of its work, such as the projects mentioned above, HPS has received industry recognitions such as Mississippi’s Best Interstate Overlay in 2012, Mississippi’s Best Thin Lift Overlay in 2014 and Mississippi’s Best Interstate Mill and Overlay in 2016. These acknowledgments are sources of pride for the company and augment its reputation.

HPS can complete projects of various sizes and complexities due to its vast resources and team of 175 employees who are responsible for the company’s everyday operations. The company’s ready-mix division has concrete technicians who are certified by the American Concrete Institute, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The company also has accreditations from state-certified laboratories and quality control labs.

Hiring plays an important role in HPS’ ability to attract and retain talented professionals and skilled laborers who fit the company’s family-oriented work culture. Safety is maintained through weekly safety meetings and what Stockstill III referred to as simple but effective policies and procedures. HPS has an ongoing program of continuous improvement.

“One thing we focus on is having the right people in the right places based on our culture and try to treat all of our employees like family. We stay involved and stay active with them,” said Stockstill III.

The Stockstills demonstrate true leadership at the company’s helm and are undoubtedly a major force behind the company’s continuing market penetration in South Mississippi and Louisiana.

“Me and my father are very active in day-to-day operations and activities, and if we have to go work at an asphalt plant, help out a paving crew or drive a truck, whatever we have to do, we don’t hold ourselves above any job to do it. I think that really plays a vital role for our employees when they see us out there. It shows we really do care, and we’re all one big team,” said Stockstill III.

Just as it has been for other companies in various industries, labor shortages pose an ever-present challenge for HPS, but this is one that it is prepared to overcome. “We’re going to have to focus on doing more with less. But having the best people that we can get, and we feel that, if we can get the best people and get them in the right spot and show them that we’re all in this together, I think we can overcome this labor shortage and challenge by doing so,” he said.

Stockstill III is dedicated to making HPS a place where employees want to come each day, just as much as he and his father do. “We truly try to support them day in and day out, so they’ll hopefully buy into what they do and will believe in the entire program.”

He noted, “There’s so much more to it than just being a paving or highway contractor.” The Stockstills and HPS are working to drive the next wave of growth and secure the next half century for the company and the family.

Building the Next Generation

As thousands of experienced workers retire across North America every day, it is small wonder many industries are concerned about the future. It has been a decade since the oldest members of the baby boom generation started leaving their jobs, removing from the workplace decades of experience and skills that are tough to replace. The situation is so dire that, when younger workers are not available or knowledgeable enough to take over, retired staffers are often called back to work on a part-time basis.

November 14, 2019, 12:22 PM EST