Planning For Expansion In Northern Nevada

MOB meets traffic control management needs across Nevada.  

Along with an expansion to meet the 2020 UTV World Championship traffic control needs in northern Arizona last year, Masters of Barricades (MOB) has set its sights northward. The company recently secured five licenses in northern Nevada to better serve its customers in Carson City, Reno, Sparks, and other jurisdictions in and around Washoe County.

“We were originally invited up by the Mears Group in anticipation of a major pipeline repair and installation project,” said Jeff Pritchett, CMO of MOB. “Although the scope of the project never evolved beyond initial inspections, it did introduce us to how beneficial a MOB presence might be for the area.”

While the Reno-Sparks area isn’t growing as fast as the Las Vegas metropolitan area (which includes Henderson and North Las Vegas), Sparks is expected to become the fourth fastest-growing city in Nevada this year; and Reno sixth. As area construction keeps up with a demand for more housing and infrastructure, it will become even more important to meet state and federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) regulations. 

“We noticed that the quality of work tends to vary. It wasn’t uncommon to see two-striped cones instead of four-striped cones, tapers with about half the number of devices to direct merging traffic, or even signage bolted to cones that were never intended to support signage,” said Pritchett. “This may have served the Reno-Sparks area in the past, but insurance, liability, and regulations have a tendency to catch up with municipalities once they cross a certain population threshold. I’m not exactly sure where this threshold exists, but Reno does have more residents than North Las Vegas.” 

According to Pritchett, customer service and a keen eye for safety are what originally propelled MOB to quickly become the largest privately owned traffic control, special event, pedestrian management, and barricade provider in the region. So he doesn’t see establishing a permanent branch in the Reno-Sparks area taking very long, especially if the company can secure several short-term projects in the months or year ahead. 

“We know how to do it, especially after sending two certified traffic control technicians and a flatbed truck up there last year,” said Pritchett. “Our director of operations, Scott Palmer, and I also went up there to consider all of the logistics, including how these communities were weathering the pandemic and restrictions.”

Some logistics were relatively simple, including subleasing yard space from long-time customer Flippin’s Trenching. Like the Mears Group, which was founded in 1970, Flippin’s storied past dates back to 1956. Other aspects were more challenging, such as navigating the various protocols construction companies and contractors are currently following and finding suitable long-term housing. 

“We are already familiar with working in the area, having drawn up CAPA plans for several jobs in Reno,” said Pritchett. “But we also want to be sensitive to any protocols that new customers might have in place as their project funds are released again. MOB places a significant emphasis on being responsive and providing world-class service, and that begins well before someone submits a plan or work order or has a credit application approved.” 

This is the kind of work ethic Pritchett wants to instill in any MOB operation in northern Nevada. By doing it right, much like when the team first founded MOB, Pritchett sees this as an opportunity to raise the bar in northern Nevada while also making it easier to service the rest of the state. People tend to do business with people they trust, and MOB is already well regarded by many of Nevada’s most successful companies.

Establishing a branch in the Reno-Sparks area would solidify MOB’s ability to serve Nevada’s traffic control, special events traffic control, pedestrian management, crowd control, and barricade needs. The company is already well established as far east as Mesquite, which is expected to become the number one fastest-growing city in Nevada, as far west as Pahrump, and as far south as Laughlin in Nevada and Lake Havasu in Arizona. The company is also familiar with regulations in St. George and Cedar City, Utah.

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