As you cross the Jefferson Barracks Bridge on I270/255 and look South you’ll see a sprawling office and industrial complex – much of it floating on barges on the river. That’s J.B. Marine, a barge and tow boat repair facility, founded in 1976.
Dave Heyl, J.B. Marine, chief financial officer, is a big Aschinger fan. “I’ve worked with Aschinger for five years and they’ve upgraded our electric several times through our moves and expansion,” Heyl said in an interview from his floating office. “Because we’re located on the Mississippi it’s a unique situation. We’re dealing with OSHA, St. Louis County, and the U.S. Coast Guard.”
Mike House, Heyl’s contact at Aschinger, heard his concerns and put together team of electricians, who can work anywhere in J.B.’s four dry docks, shops or fab facilities. “They’ve taken such an interest that I can refer to the “Hennepin barge” (barges are named for their place of origination), the fab shop, the machine shop – they know exactly what I’m talking about, and they take care of it,” Heyl said.
J.B. Marine has expanded its business significantly in the past seven years, adding the machine shop six years ago, and the fabrication shop 18 months ago. Tow boat props and rudders can be severely damaged on the river. Each boat’s equipment is a one-off custom installation, so J.B. Marine’s services are highly valued in the industry.
And J.B. Marine’s partnership with Aschinger Electric helps make delivery of those services possible. “There’s a lot of watertight equipment. There are special connections so we can make quicker disconnects when we pull a barge out of a tow,” Heyl said.
Through it all – repairs, expansions, even a recent proposal from Aschinger for a solar panel installation – Heyl looks to Aschinger for service and technical leadership to keep J.B. Marine rolling on the river.