Shook Construction Company: Leading National Contractor Dedicated to Community


For 90 years, Dayton-based Shook Construction Company has been helping to build communities, focusing on key sectors such as education, health care and water resources.

Shook is one of the nation’s Top 20 water resource contractors, according to the Engineering News-Record. Unlike many contractors, Shook performs all work on water treatment projects in-house, rather than subcontracting out the sitework, piping, concrete and other portions of the job.

With the self-perform model, most of the company’s construction equipment is used on the water treatment projects, said Randy Lykins, equipment superintendent for Shook Construction. These projects require a crane, and in the last few years the company has acquired several Link-Belt cranes.

Currently, the company owns 10 cranes, including two Link-Belt RTC-8065 65-ton rough terrain cranes, an RTC-8040, and a 138 HSL 80-ton crawler crane.

Shook bought the Link-Belt 138 several years ago while working on a water project in Virginia. “The 138 has never been to our yard in Dayton,” Lykins noted. “It just goes from job to job. It has been a great machine. It is designed for ease of tear-down and set-up, and its ease
of transport is a huge benefit.”

Crews use the 138 for pouring concrete, setting pipe and setting steel. “That machine has over 8,000 hours, and the only thing we’ve had to do is put a set of injectors in it. We do the maintenance on it as scheduled and we haven’t had any problems with it.”

Shook purchased the crane to replace a much older 138 “that was a good crane, but it got to the point we couldn’t find anyone to run it,” Lykins said.

For many years, the largest rough terrain crane Shook owned was a 50-ton model, but it has recently purchased 8065 models for two water projects. “We like the rough terrain cranes for the ease of movement. Work on a treatment plant is scattered all over the site, so we might use the RTC to pour concrete on one side of the site today, and move it to the other side tomorrow,” he commented.

“Operators really like Link-Belts for the ease of operation. They are very comfortable and operator friendly. You don’t have to know how to work a computer to run it. They are simple to operate, smooth, quiet, a real nice machine,” Lykins added.

Lykins started with Shook Construction 33 years ago as a mechanic, and he has been equipment superintendent for the past 23 years. His employer was doing business with Columbus Equipment Company long before he arrived, he said. “We have a lot of dealers close by, but Columbus Equipment isn’t your average equipment distributor. It’s very easy dealing with Mike Early and the guys at Columbus Equipment. Any branch we deal with, they do what they need to do to help us and get us out of a bind. If I need a piece of equipment quickly, they don’t have a problem finding it, even if they have to go to a different branch.”

While Lykins has a crew of mechanics in Dayton, when his equipment needs work around the state, he knows he can call on Columbus Equipment Company. “We frequently use them in Cleveland, where we have several jobs. That’s a three-hour drive for us, and Columbus Equipment can get there quickly. Most of the equipment we own is Komatsu or Link-Belt, so whether we need service on either one, they can do it.”

The Shook mission starts with “community.” By building schools, hospitals and water treatment plants, “we are fortunate enough to be a part of really creating the fabric of the community,” said Shook Construction President Bill Whistler.

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