Carter Machinery Company

Ceco Building Systems

When Carter Machinery Company of Salem, Va., needed to merge two of its locations, they constructed a totally new facility that uniquely combined alternating conventional construction and custom-designed metal buildings provided by Ceco Building Systems.

To complete this project, the heavy equipment dealer utilized the services of their local Ceco Builder, Mid Eastern Builders of Chesapeake, which had previously constructed other facilities for their Earthmoving, Power Systems and General Construction divisions in the Chesapeake area.

The new facility, located in Williamsburg, opened in August 2009 at 1601 Green Mount Parkway and is a combination of Carter’s former Newport News and Yorktown facilities. The new 40,000 square-foot building houses total sales, rentals, parts and service operations under one roof.

In business since 1951, Carter Machinery is the authorized Caterpillar dealer serving Virginia and southern West Virginia. The Williamsburg location is the newest of the company’s 23 locations.

The project team which designed and built the new facility included Ricky Blowe of Mid Eastern Builders, Bill Jordan of Carter Machinery, Tim Schrock of Ceco Building Systems, Chris Geiman, structural engineer with Stroud, Pence & Associates, Ltd., and Clay Dills of Dills Architects.

The facility is actually comprised of four building modules, with the unique feature being the way all four connect. Two of the modules are Ceco metal buildings – one is 24,000 square feet for service bays and the other is 11,200 square feet used for a parts warehouse. Two conventional structures were built, 6,000 and 2,800 square feet, to be used for customer sales and rentals, offices, training and conference areas. “The modules are nestled in next to each other in a staggered pattern,” Dills commented. “This is not done too often.”

“They are separate but joined with 4” expansion joints that seal the connection to make it watertight,” added Chris Geiman, structural engineer on the project. “We used the expansion joints to account for lateral movement.”

The four buildings aren’t necessarily aligned but do have a central axis through them that allows equipment to be driven inside from the back of the building to the two-story sales and rental showroom in front. All floors are made to withstand exceptionally heavy equipment.

The roof is off-white Ceco standing seam CXP Galvalume®. Walls are Shadowlite in gray and meet the 2003 IBC code with wind load. All four modules are constructed of rigid frame structures.

Geiman explained one issue that had to be addressed was wind uplift from the nine gigantic service doors. “We had to specially engineer the anchor bolts to assure the structure could tolerate the resulting wind uplift,” he said. Geiman also designed the foundations for all four modules.

Dills explained there were various site and building codes to meet and exceed county restrictions. “This site is in James City County, Va., one of the most environmentally strict counties in the state,” Dills commented. “We had to build two bio-retention basins. Rain water collects from the roof and is sent to storage so there’s no runoff to cause erosion. The water is then filtered before it goes to Newport News Reservoir.”

The 23-acre site around the building contains multiple areas of paving, specially designed to accept the weight of the heavy equipment. But the area is not all concrete – Carter made a considerable investment in landscaping to make the former farm field attractive, and berms were created to hide much of the area.

Founded in 1982, Mid Eastern Builders, Inc., is today one of the most experienced and respected providers of construction services in the Hampton Roads region, the State of Virginia and throughout the Mid-Atlantic. With over $100 million in annual revenue, MEB has a diverse construction portfolio that includes all types of commercial, industrial, government and heavy civil projects.

About Ceco Building Systems

Ceco Building Systems designs and fabricates metal buildings. For more information, visit

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