Otis Puckett or R.O. Puckett to many and his brother Richard Puckett founded Puckett Brothers Manufacturing in 1969 after several years of partnership in the asphalt paving business. Together they developed and introduced a compact self-propelled paver known as the “Power Box”. This paver was designed through necessity in their own asphalt paving business. The PowerBox paver revolutionized asphalt paving for the residential and commercial class paving industry because the machine was self- propelled and no longer had to be pulled around the worksite by a dump truck like the “drag box” pavers they had to use in years past. This little paver allowed contractors to pave in much tighter areas while significantly reducing wasted time and unnecessary back-breaking labor.
In 1976, Otis Puckett sold his shares of Puckett Bros. to his brother Richard, then started his own business known as BASIC Equipment. BASIC Equipment found immediate success by manufacturing a traffic roller and designing a new version of a 6 wheel articulating motor grader that was all hydrostatic drive. BASIC Equipment went on to introduce the 601 and 701 Articulating Motor Graders. However; in 1980, with the rise of interest rates, it became difficult for contractors to borrow money to buy needed paving equipment. As if this wasn’t a big enough hit to BASIC Equipment, vandals broke into the BASIC factory one night and used diesel fuel to burn up more than one million dollars worth of equipment and inventory. Immediately, the next day Otis Puckett brought in temporary office trailers, set up temporary phone lines and used his production employees to rebuild the factory to ensure his employees would not miss a paycheck.
However, in 1981, as the market continued to struggle, Otis sold his designs for the 701 articulating motor grader and closed BASIC Equipment. The design has since changed hands numerous times and eventually, it fizzled out.
Otis Puckett went on to design several unique and industry-changing machines including a 3 wheel motor grader, several sweepers, and a mobile earthmoving conveyor system. One of the most noted of Otis’s concepts were the three-wheel sweeper he designed for Lay-Mor. This design went on to be built under the names of Lay-Mor, Terramite, SweepMaster and Broce Brooms.
In 1996, when Otis’ stepson, Shannon Chastain, finished school he was fueled with the same enthusiasm and desire as Otis and was determined to reintroduce the BASIC name to the asphalt paving industry. For Shannon Chastain, being raised by Otis and being around the manufacturing and paving industry his entire life, it was a natural transition for Shannon to move into this role.
Under the influence and experience of his stepfather Otis, Shannon designed and introduced the Model 700 Pneumatic Asphalt Roller in 1996. In 2001 Shannon and Otis redesigned the 601 Articulating Motor Grader while making some needed changes to better serve the construction industry. Sadly, Otis passed away from lung cancer in June 2002.
In 2008, Shannon designed the Model 240V Split Drum Vibratory Roller around the look of the old Puckett Bros. S240 Roller and a couple of years later he introduced a smaller version, the 120V Split Drum Vibratory Roller.
Today, BASIC Equipment offers the Model 700 Pneumatic Asphalt Roller, the Models 120V & 240V Split Drum Vibratory Rollers and the Model 601(L) Articulating Motor Grader. Shannon Chastain prides himself and his business in hands on customer service and face to face communication with customers. Over 50 years later, Shannon Chastain continues to focus on producing Simple, Reliable and Affordable equipment that meets the needs of the ever changing construction industry while staying committed to the same level of integrity and dedication carried by the previous generation.
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