Mellott Company Employee Spotlight: Rodney Divelbliss

Mar. 29, 2019

Mellott Company’s team member commitment separate us from the competition. Many team members have worked for Mellott Company for decades, enabling growth and allowing us to remain an international leader in the aggregate industry.

We sat down with one of our longest tenured employees, Rodney Divelbliss, to discuss his experience working with Mellott Company and how the company has changed over the years. Rodney has been a recipient of our Respect Award in 2016 and Lifetime of Service Award.

Rodney, tell us, how long have you worked at Mellott Company?

40 years.

What kind of work did you do when you first started at Mellott Company?

I started working on heavy equipment. I really didn’t fill out a job application. Forrest had called my house and I called him back and he set up an interview Saturday morning for me to come down and see the place. I was still going to Vale Tech. I probably had three or four months left of school. I met with him and he showed me the shops and quarry at Warfordsburg. He said he’d probably start me out on trucks. And I graduated at Vale Tech on Saturday the 28th and started to work on the 30th of October, 1978. My first morning he took me up with Galen Shaw and there was a 15-ton haul truck sitting there that had a transmission clutch that needed to be replaced. The transmission needed to be rebuilt and that was the first thing I did. Started on that and I worked on heavy equipment pretty much the rest of the time.

You never did any crushing site work specifically?

Oh well, yeah. I mean, if I was out at a job site working on the equipment or if somebody got sick I had to fill in. Yeah, I got some experience. Norm Mellott, was good for, “Hey I need you to do this” whenever he was working on something else. They had their priorities, and I worked on the crushing equipment helping to repair.

What do you do at Mellott Company now? You still do a lot of heavy equipment work and repairing?

Well I don’t work on the heavy equipment so much now. They outsource a lot of that work. I rebuild a lot of components and make the hoses. I identify fittings and what they need. I also rebuild, test small components, and anything that needs overhaul. I help with Mellott University to mentor the students from 1 pm to 5 pm. They have two hours’ shop time and then two hours of classwork. I follow through with them. I also show them tools, how to use them, and tricks of how you do things to not damage other parts (laughs) and how to put it together properly. Whatever you’re working on, you want to do the job right the first time.

Are you kind of the expert that a lot of the Mellott University students and a lot of the young guys go to when they need advice?

Well, I’ve had a good bit of experience here, (laughs) and I didn’t do the same thing day after day. I’d start overhauling an engine, and I might get four or five hours into it, and a phone call would come and I ended up going somewhere. I would work at another job and I might be there for a week. Then I come back and start back where I stopped.

What was Mellott Company like back then versus now? From your perspective?

We did a lot of running. I’d go from New Jersey to Augusta to Georgia. All over. We had a lot of equipment. We had 19-98 B’s at one time. I guess it was 25 or 35’s running. And we had 22 plants crushing. I’d done the scales for all those job sites also. That was with a monthly scale check. And whenever I went to that job I’d do whatever repair work there was. Check the equipment over. Make a list. Then the next time I went there, I that got addressed. Yeah, it was very, very busy. I usually only talked to Galen Shaw, my supervisor. It was just a couple of people making decisions. He would talk to Paul and Forrest (Mellott) and they would say do it or don’t do it. There’s a lot more managers now than there was back then.

What about Mellott Company has impressed you the most or been the most consistent throughout your 40 years?

Some of my classmates, they’d work somewhere and say how great of a job it was. But then they’d get laid off and they’d end up going somewhere else. Here, I didn’t have to worry what I was going to be doing. There was always work to do.

How do you see Mellott Company changing or any future growth in the company?

Oh it has boomed actually. (laughs) I mean – it’s just hard to imagine. It has really, really expanded.

What stands out from the company that you most like? What separates Mellott Company from other companies?

I don’t have much experience with other companies. (laughs) It’s like you’re part of the family here whenever you come here. It’s just a total family environment. They respect you for what you do and what you know. You get to help other ones to get to the point where you’re at.

Did you feel like there were good learning opportunities? Would they teach you something if you needed to learn it?

Back in the day we didn’t do a lot of training. You pretty much learned what you were doing on the job. That held us back some but as long as you could retain that, it was good. Galen was my supervisor and he had a lot of experience. If I got stumped on something I would call him. Sometimes I’d call the dealership and ask for assistance. Right now they have tremendous amount of training which is good. It helps the guys. But, the main thing is to retain it when you learn it.

Any final thoughts or memorable things you want to talk about in your 40 years here?

Whenever I was working, we always tried to have fun. And that made the job go a lot better. The time has flown by though. (laughs) It really has! I always had fun doing the job and definitely enjoyed it.

Mellott Company has been a family owned and run business for nearly a century. If you are looking to get a start on your long term career, apply for a job with Mellott Company. Check out our current job opportunities.

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