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How Discount Two-Way Radio Paved the Way for Great Lakes Construction Company’s Superior Two-Way Communications System

By Vincent Aviani December 18, 2019


  • Industry: Construction
  • Customer: Great Lakes Construction Company
  • Products: RDR2500 Portable Radios
  • Problem: The company was using one channel for the entire company, making the radio communication crowded and unproductive. Also, they were using an expensive repeater system that they were told they needed to make their radios work
  • Solution: We advised them to get rid of the poorly designed repeater system and provide each job its own fleet of two-way radios. This limited the radio traffic to only communications that relate to that specific job.Overview:

Happy Customer: The Great Lakes Construction Company

The Great Lakes Construction Company was founded in 1948 as a heavy-duty civil construction firm that would serve the Northeast region of Ohio. Almost immediately the firm won several large interstate highway construction bids in the Canton, Ohio area, and soon became one of the premier structural concrete construction firms in the State of Ohio. Today the company has grown to include more than 500 employees and expanded its operations to include full-service design/build projects, environmental remediation jobs, site development, steel piling work, and oil/gas construction. The firm is also recognized as one of America’s Safest Companies after reaching one million hours without a single lost time injury!

The Challenge: Too Expensive Radio Equipment and an Over-Engineered Communications System

Joel Hanna is the Area Superintendent for Great Lakes Construction Company. However, back in 2008 he was the Field Support Manager, tasked with keeping his crews supplied with mission critical equipment. This included providing everything from trucks to professional two-way radios. It was during that time that Joel noticed his crews were using an unnecessary repeater system that worked with $800 Motorola radios programmed to a single channel. This meant that every time a radio would break or get lost, it was an expensive proposition to replace it, and it became obvious to Joel that having the entire company share one channel was an ineffective and disruptive strategy.

“The thing you have to understand is that these guys flat out abuse their radios. I mean they drop them in mud, break the antennas, and basically treat them like crap. We needed to find a better supplier of heavy-duty radios for our company that could withstand the abuse but not cost $800 apiece. Plus, it was ridiculous to be using one channel where everybody was talking over each other. Then one day I found Discount Two-Way Radio on the Internet,” said Joel.

The Solution: Introducing Less Expensive Radios, Eliminate the Repeater System, and Create Customized Programming

After contacting Discount Two-Way Radio and talking with one of our two-way radio experts, Joel was advised to eliminate the repeater system and shift to multiple fleets of professional grade hand-held RCA RDR2500 portable radios that could be distributed according to individual jobs. In addition he added authentic RCA speaker mics to help protect the radios from dropping, and improving safety by allowing his workers to keep their hands free while on-the-go. This RCA two-way radio series set-up is one of the most popular for construction firms because the equipment is compatible with Motorola radios, more durable, and nearly 50 percent cheaper. This solution also allowed his construction teams to use multiple frequencies for their respective jobs rather than sharing one frequency for the entire company. Discount Two-Way Radio programmed his radios at no cost, and safely documented the radio’s frequency, programming information and specific equipment models for fast and pain free reordering in the future. The Results: Better Two-Way Radio Coverage at a Fraction of the Cost of Motorola Joel is now the Area Superintendent for Great Lakes Construction Company, and no longer responsible for procuring radio equipment. However, his successor, Bryan Luka, continues to use RCA RDR2500 two-way radios, and has come to rely on and appreciate the relationship with Discount Two-Way Radio his predecessor forged.“You guys are really great to work with and the radios are cost-effective, durable, and easy-to-use. Plus, we were able to get rid of that repeater system and pay much less than what we were paying for Motorola radios. Now when it comes to maintenance, you guys get our radios back to us quickly and your rates are really good. Everything works out really well for us all the way around,” said Bryan.Call Discount Two-Way Radio at 800-895-5122 and see how we can help your crew perform safer, more efficiently, and for less money.