If you found yourself on a tour of Tindall headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina, a team member might guide you out into the Building Systems manufacturing facility, eventually leading you to stand in front of a small shed. Today, that shed is used as a supervisor’s office, but in 1963, it was where our team’s story first began.
This year, the Tindall family is proud to be celebrating our 60th anniversary as a team. Now with over 1,500 employees, six manufacturing facilities, and more than 10,000 projects under our belt, it’s almost impossible to imagine that the Tindall we know today began in such a humble space. But, in many ways, that’s why it still stands. More than a simple office, the shed stands as a symbol of everything we’ve accomplished together since 1963.
The shed helps us remember our roots. It encourages us to carry on our team’s legacy of growth and innovation. It assures us that through teamwork, a can-do attitude, and an unfailing commitment to service — literally, anything is possible.
As we celebrate our 60th anniversary throughout 2023, we’d like to invite you to join us in taking a look back at the many people, projects, and opportunities that helped us get to where we are today. In this blog, we’ll be breaking down our history and exploring our team’s growth over the last six decades.
The Early Years
In the spring of 1963, William Lowndes III, a businessman and father, was working in textiles when he saw an opportunity to buy and grow a small concrete pipe company in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Tindall was a modest operation then, with little more than an acre of land and a small shed to its name, but Mr. Lowndes, or “Bill” as he’s known, took a leap of faith and purchased the company.
With only six employees and a single concrete mixer, Mr. Lowndes and his team took on the business, and through their hard work and dedication, the foundation was laid for what would one day become the Tindall we know today.
The business progressed quickly. By 1966, Tindall had relocated to Fairforest, where our South Carolina Division and Corporate Headquarters still operate today. Our plant was growing tremendously during this time, and so were our manufacturing capabilities. Where initial offerings were limited to concrete piping, we were rapidly expanding into other services, offering additional precast concrete utility products, such as maintenance holes and other precast solutions.
In 1967, we acquired our first prestressed beds. This allowed for the production of prestressed concrete components to begin, altering our scope and scale and allowing us to grow. Because of this change, “Tindall Concrete Pipe” was no longer the fitting name it had once been. With more services under our belt, Tindall Concrete Pipe became Tindall Concrete Products, and from there, the growth continued.
By the 1980s, demand for custom precast concrete solutions was rising, and although our team had solidified ourselves as a manufacturer of high-performance stock components, a new era of precast concrete was beginning, one which required manufacturers to think outside the box and explore new solutions. While some precast producers remained solely focused on delivering stock products, we at Tindall shifted our strategies to meet our customers’ needs with both standard and customized solutions.
As a response to the changing landscape, Mr. Lowndes also began investing in recruiting in-house engineering talent. Many precast competitors outsourced engineering, but Mr. Lowndes saw the value in bringing talent into the Tindall family. He began recruiting engineers from places like Clemson University, which dramatically increased the team’s ability to deliver custom solutions. As a result, our reputation for going above and beyond to meet our customers’ needs flourished. Because of Mr. Lowndes’ foresight to bring talent in-house, the foundation for Tindall’s future growth was firmly set.
By the mid-80s, we began looking to expand. Tindall was growing, and our client base was no longer centralized in the way it had once been. To better serve our clients across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, we began exploring the potential of a Virginia expansion, a plan that was shelved (albeit briefly) when an unexpected opportunity in Georgia presented itself.
In 1986, we opened our second operation, Tindall Concrete Georgia, with two plant facilities, one in Jonesboro and one in Conley, allowing us to dramatically increase our capacity and ability to meet customers’ needs throughout the region. Just two years later, we followed through with our original plans, and in 1988, we opened Tindall Concrete Virginia in Petersburg, supercharging our team’s capacity and enabling us to serve more customers across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. This not only increased our flexibility, but it allowed us to explore new markets that had at one time been out of reach.
Becoming Tindall Corporation and Our Growth Westward
Now with precast manufacturing facilities in three states, Tindall was delivering more precast, prestressed concrete solutions in more markets than ever before. But as our customer base in the Gulf Coast region grew, the need to expand west became more apparent.
In 1993, Tindall Concrete Mississippi in Biloxi joined the family, becoming the team’s fifth and newest prestressed manufacturing facility. This new location not only enabled our team to better serve customers across the Gulf states, but it also provided much-needed support throughout Tindall’s network of precast manufacturing facilities.
By 1998, we’d grown across four states and had dramatically expanded the utility team at our South Carolina location. To better serve our markets and galvanize our team, we brought all our sites and groups under a new name: Tindall Corporation. With the utility team now formally recognized as its own division, we were well-equipped to serve practically any construction market with highly engineered precast solutions.
Over the next few years, businesses across all regions continued to grow, but disaster struck in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Much of the Gulf Coast region was ravaged in the storm, including our Biloxi facility. Our team was evacuated, but when they returned, they found the plant had suffered considerable damage due to storm surges that had reached heights of nearly 35 feet. Debris was washed ashore, and much of the plant was littered with boats and barges, making the prospect of cleanup a daunting one. However, with the support of the entire Tindall family and the surrounding community, the plant was back up and running within months.
The Biloxi location operated as usual for the next few years, but in 2008, we relocated the facility. The new, state-of-the-art location in Moss Point, Mississippi, was on higher ground, a notable advantage given the storm that had struck it just a few years before. It was also significantly larger, located on a 100-acre site with considerable under-roof manufacturing space and a batch plant. The Moss Point facility also featured a cutting-edge automatic concrete delivery system which provided higher capacity and offered greater product capabilities, allowing the Mississippi team to expand into new markets.
While the Moss Point location was getting up and running, Tindall underwent a fifth expansion in San Antonio, Texas. With the launch of our Texas Division, our footprint now spanned three distinct regions: the Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern, and South-Central United States. Tindall’s capacity was growing, and while these six facilities allowed for new and unique opportunities in different markets, a significant benefit of these expansions was the facilities’ ability to support one another, allowing them to readily work together to take on larger, more complex projects than any one facility could handle alone.
By the late 2010s, Tindall was becoming not just a competitive force in precast but the construction industry as a whole. Demand for custom precast utility solutions had skyrocketed, but the need for innovative construction solutions was also increasing in tandem. That’s why our team redoubled our focus on innovation, exploring new ways to deliver high-performance precast solutions to the numerous market segments we served.
One such innovation during this period was the Tindall Superior Lightweight All-Purpose Beam (T-SLAB®). Tindall first unveiled this patented precast slab system in 2020, marking a new era for total precast mid- and high-rise construction. T-SLAB® is designed to leverage multiple concrete types and Roman arch design principles to create better, more flexible, and more cost-effective solutions without sacrificing the speed and performance of precast.
Then, in 2022, we took another major step forward by officially becoming two distinct business groups: Tindall Building Systems and Tindall Infrastructure. This change in corporate structure dramatically increased our opportunities for focused growth and greatly enhanced our capabilities to react positively to a changing construction landscape.
Tindall Building Systems combined our five prestressed divisions and offered greater product capabilities and engineering horsepower than ever before. This group was created to continue expanding into new market segments, such as residential and manufacturing, bringing fully customized precast solutions to the greater construction industry.
Our Utility Division became Tindall Infrastructure. Just before the announcement of the bifurcation, we opened a state-of-the-art precast manufacturing facility in 2021. The Tindall Infrastructure Manufacturing Facility was purpose-built with innovation in mind, featuring cutting-edge automation technology and countless operational enhancements. With this new facility, Tindall Infrastructure now had the capacity, engineering capabilities, and technology to deliver more custom infrastructure solutions than ever before.
Celebrating 60 Years as Tindall
Throughout our team’s growth since 1963, we’ve always been driven by two principles. The first is service. Our dedication to serving our customers, our communities, our industry, and, perhaps most importantly, our own people has always been at the forefront of our decision-making.
The second guiding light has always been innovation. We’re passionate about developing new solutions that not only meet our customers’ needs but ones that challenge our team to think outside the box and push our industry forward.
Today, service and innovation have become so ingrained in our company culture that they’re represented in everything we do — we are Engineered to Serve. You can find the motto painted just about everywhere you look at any of our manufacturing facilities. It’s more than a tagline — it’s a mantra that stands as a reminder of why we do what we do every day as a team.
This focus on innovation and service has always been outwardly apparent in how we develop new products and solutions to meet customer and industry demands. But, since the beginning, we’ve made it a point to focus that same dedication and effort inward. You can see it in Tindall University (our continued education resource program), the Tindall Coaching program, our college student co-op experience, and many other initiatives designed to foster the growth of our people, both personally and professionally. You can also find our desire to grow and evolve in many of our major milestones, like the recent promotion of Cheryl Lang to become Tindall’s first woman president.
Being Engineered to Serve is more than a framework for how Tindall conducts business. It’s a philosophy that finds its roots in the teachings of our founder, Mr. Lowndes, one that informs how we work, how we problem solve, how we contribute to our communities, and how we treat our people — one that each member of the Tindall family is proud to embrace wholeheartedly.
Now, 60 years from that small concrete pipe company, it’s difficult to pinpoint any one thing as a more impactful driver for growth and success than those words. We’ve continued to evolve and push ourselves to be at the forefront of our field, but we’ve never lost sight of that servant mentality and how it has influenced our business to become the Tindall we are today.
So, as we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we hope you’ll not only look back and enjoy the story of where we’ve come from but that you’ll be here with us as we look forward to the future. Throughout the year, we’ll be sharing more stories, videos, and other content here on the Tindall website and across our social channels. We’ll be highlighting the many people, projects, and pivotal moments that have made us who we are today, and we invite you to celebrate alongside us as we explore what it means to be Engineered to Serve — then, now, and always.