Business View Magazine interviews Justin Rawls, VP of Operations of T Bailey, Inc., as part of our focus on best practices in the construction sector.
T Bailey, Inc. is a diversified, heavy-civil/industrial general contractor with expertise in construction (earth/utility/concrete work, mechanical, tank and steel erection) and heavy steel plate/structural fabrication, with extensive experience in aboveground, field-erected fuel and water tank projects. The company was founded in 1991 by Gene Tanaka, and today, is a leader in the Northwest for safety, quality control, and project management.
According to Justin Rawls, Vice President & Director of Operations, T Bailey, Inc. began just doing field work, but eventually moved into a 125,000-sq.-ft. facility on 30 acres of improved industrial property near the Burlington Northern Railroad, five miles from the deep-water port of Anacortes, Washington. “We didn’t have a shop,” Rawls recounts. “But, as time progressed, we realized we needed our own fabrication facility. So, we started our first shop in ’96; in ’97 we realized we had to be in painting also, so we had our own paint shop facility. We’ve always been driven by the need for innovation and the need to have a grasp on schedule and control our destiny. We’ve grown from there to where we are now with a variety of different fabrication capabilities.”
Over the years, T Bailey, Inc. has successfully completed numerous, widespread projects throughout the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Hawaii on oil refineries, welded steel storage tanks for bulk fuel and water facilities, wind energy towers, large plate exhaust ducts, large diameter casings, pressure vessels and Co-Generation plants. The company’s primary clients are federal government contracting agencies, public works agencies, Departments of Transportation, private developers, wind turbine manufacturers, refineries, fuel terminals, chemical plants, pulp and paper manufacturers, and drilling/boring contractors. The company’s Paint Division provides machine and hand blasting, prime and finish painting, and metalizing services.
Russ Gibbs, Director of Business Development, believes that T Bailey’s diverse offerings give it a distinct advantage over its competitors. “A lot of the competition that we deal with are specific to certain areas – they may do construction, but they don’t do fabrication; we’re turnkey general contractors; we do fabrication and construction. We send site personnel to install our products, so that separates us out.” Rawls agrees: “I don’t think there’s anybody that covers the same depth of scope that T Bailey does,” he says. “We’ve got competitors that will do certain parts of it and then hire other contractors to support their operations. But one of the things that helps us is to be able to control the schedule and the quality of the work by doing a lot of it ourselves.”
Rawls adds that the company is always looking for opportunities to grow and take on new challenges, and one of those challenges, he admits, is finding enough trained people to perform the work the company contracts for. “Typically, we don’t bring in trained craftsmen,” he explains. “We’ve got some local shipyards that employ skilled welders and painters, but a lot of the people that come to work at T Bailey come without skills for what we do and they learn the craft while working here. We regularly train people as they come in. On the tank erection side, we have skilled union Boilermakers, with the ability to draw on quality craftsmen who are available. Even then, we try to keep as consistent a crew, who are well-trained and have an in-depth knowledge of the codes and standards we work to including our own quality standards.”
Some of T Bailey’s signature projects include the following:
- Port Mann Bridge Piling – Sixty-three 240′ lengths of bridge pilings for the new Port Mann Bridge in B.C., Canada. The pilings were assembled and shipped in full 240′ lengths from the Port of Anacortes to the new bridge site in B.C. on a special tipping barge at the rate of 14 pilings every 14 days.
- Harbor Enterprises Float Assembly – A new float assembly for Harbor Industries in Sitka Alaska c/o Transpac Marinas. The final float was made up of six each 20′ x 56′ sub-assemblies and four pile hoop float assemblies.
- USACE Centralized Fueling Station in Yakima, WA – Performed site development including fuel containment and underground utilities to accommodate 3 new API 650 fuel tanks and 2 UL 142 fuel tanks.
- Tumalo Irrigation District Siphon in Bend, OR – Fabrication and field installation including excavation and backfill of 1200 linear feet of AWWA C200 92” OD and 84” OD welded steel irrigation siphon including inlet and outlet structures.
- Star Lake Seismic Upgrades in Federal Way, WA – Performed seismic upgrades to three existing water reservoirs. The Star Lake upgrades included 36 each 24” diameter drilled piers through a larger foundation.
- North Water Reservoir in Gig Harbor, WA – A 2006 Steel Tank Institute Tank of the Year Award-winning, 160’-high x 53’-diameter welded steel water tank with a self-supported, seal-welded knuckle roof. The foundation was 80′ diameter x 8′ thick with approx. 335,000 lbs. of rebar and 60,000 lbs. of anchor bolts to keep the tank from overturning in a seismic event. The massive foundation was poured in one monolithic pour of over 1500 cubic yards of ready-mix concrete delivered in over 150 truckloads.
T Bailey’s diverse portfolio of services, notwithstanding, Gibbs stresses that the company’s main strength lies in its strong business ethics and its relationships with its clients. “We work very hard to make sure we do what we say we’re going to do,” he states. “We give our clients a little bit more than they expect to get them a good product on time and safely.”
AT A GLANCE
WHO: T Bailey, Inc.
WHAT: A diversified, heavy-civil/industrial general contractor
WHERE: Anacortes, Washington
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