After Steve Lloyd went to his first ACI finisher certification committee meeting he went home and told his wife he wasn’t going back because he felt intimidated and also felt that they were just going to talk the subject to death and not really do anything. She told him if it bothered him so much that he should go back and make a difference. “So I did. And I soon learned that I didn’t need to be intimidated,” he says. “They were all people like me who were only trying to achieve the ultimate concrete floor.”
In 1973, Steve Lloyd was a former U.S. Navy diver who got a job as a concrete finisher for $10 a day. By 1986, he knew he loved the work but wanted to do more so he started Lloyd Concrete Services with five other concrete workers, all of whom still work for the company. Today, Lloyd Concrete does both flatwork and structural concrete work primarily in the Lynchburg, Va., area but also in 28 states when one of their many loyal customers asks.
He also consults on projects and has developed a near-jointless slab system using steel fibers he calls Maxxcrete that has been installed on about 25 projects. “What bothers me,” he says with his authentic Appalachian accent, “is why, as an owner, would you want a floor with joints? Once they see it, they want it. On most floors there are miles of joints which equals miles of problems.”
Lloyd has an abiding passion for concrete and is always working to make his business and the industry stronger by providing a quality product. To get that level of quality, he uses a process to train his workers. “I tell them they have to work one year with hand tools; then they can move up to a walk-behind and when they have that mastered they can move up to a riding trowel.” And that extends to his family: His wife is president of the company and his three children work for the company on jobsites or dispatching pump trucks. “Finishing concrete is hard work,” he admits, “but it’s easier than it used to be and a fella can make good money and take those skills anywhere and find a job.”
Working with ACI Committee C640, Craftsman Certification, Lloyd was the driving force behind adopting the new Tradesman Certification that can be awarded to a finisher that has good hand skills without having to pass a written test. “The reason I’m so into certification is that I am a finisher and I don’t think these guys get the credit they’re due,” says Lloyd. “These guys are some of the hardest working people I know. They’ve got the most important jobs on the site. They get one chance to do their job and no one else has to meet the tolerances these guys do. If there’s one thing I want people to know about me it’s that I’ll always be fighting for the finisher!”