Business Matters: Big business done the old fashion way

Business Matters

You’ve probably heard the phrase go big or go home? That’s pretty much the motto when it comes to Kevin Balog and his Big Island trucking & gravel company.

Edwin De Luz Trucking & Gravel hauls everything from containers, to the massive D-10 bulldozers used to create emergency bypass roads through hardened lava.

“We do a lot of big deals.That’s our bread-and-butter” said Balog. “But if Howard Dashefsky needed a couple tons of material we will go right to his house and we would service him the same way we service the big boys, and give him the same deal we give to the people with the large contracts”.

It’s that family style that has led to Kevin’s success. He says for all deals he does every year, ranging well into the millions of dollars, he doesn’t have a single signed contract.

“Every deal was done on a handshake and that’s how we want our business,” Balog tells us.

He says what started out as a pure transportation company has grown into not just trucking cargo, but also selling the large trucks that move it.

Then there’s his other company.

The one that allows him to play with life sized Tonka trucks.

Balog operates one of five mines on the Big Island. In this case, a quarry that mines and crushes rock.

“So we take boulders that are about 3X4 in size or smaller, and run them through the crushing plant to make aggregate. The majority of it is used for roads and house pads in subdivisions and all the stuff that goes with that. And then the smaller minority part of it but the most intensive material that goes for the concrete aggregate or asphalt aggregate”.

Today, Balog has a total of 55 employees. But he prefers another word for them, and everyone he serves. 

“We view the Big Island as one family” said Balog. “So whether there’s a need in our backyard or in another community that’s on the island in their backyard we want to be there to support them.” 

Following what he calls his core principle, Kevin says his company has donated and hauled tons of materials for everything from skate parks to basketball courts to soccer fields.

“We want to make sure that in our business, we can do whatever we can to provide places and areas for children and teenagers to have a place to go. It’s important for us”.

And most recently he donated materials for the very foundation of the transitional housing community for families that lost everything in the eruption of Kilauea volcano.

“We didn’t think twice. They called us and we donated the material,” said Balog. “Then they needed other material like rocks and sand so they could do piping and build pathways and stuff. And that’s something that we take a lot of pride in. To work and help the community and work right next to the other family business that are helping out.”

 And when it comes to his many companies secret to success, he says it’s not much of a secret at all.  Keep it local and keep it family. 

“First we consider it an honor to serve people business, but it’s more of an honor that people that we have to do business with professional level and her family want to do business with us.”

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