Although riveted steel bins were being built at the turn of the century, the amount of interior bracing needed to support the walls interfered with the flow of ingredients. In 1961, Warren Sargent began designing bins with the bracing on the outside. The end result was the distinctive Todd & Sargent bins with their welded design, allowing for a smooth interior surface. This meant the bins emptied completely between batches so there was no hang up of stale feed or grain to contaminate fresh material.
Todd & Sargent built many steel structures from 1960 on. In the late ‘60s, T&S proposed a steel feed mill for Ceres Land Company in Sterling, Colorado. The customer said “Concrete,” and Warren said “Can Do,” adding jacks and buggies to the company’s vocabulary and slipforming to its construction methods.
Concrete construction allowed for larger facilities to be built more economically. Thanks to larger farms, higher yields, and increasing overseas markers, farmers were moving their grain to the country elevator sooner, creating the terminal elevator boom of the 1970s and early ‘80s. Elevator structures went from 150,000 bushels of storage in 1971 to two million bushels by 1980.
As the grain economy softened in the ‘80s, McDonald’s introduced Chicken McNuggets and the poultry industry began building new mills to meet the growing demand, renewing feed mills as the prime clients for T&S.
While grain terminals and feed mills were the main products, concrete construction took Todd & Sargent into many areas throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, including flour mills, pet food plants, and oilseed processing facilities and opened the door for work across the United States and Canada.
During the 1990s, changes in Canadian shipping rates created demand for major expansion of the grain industry. Todd & Sargent Canada was formed to participate in this new opportunity and built many new shipping terminals over the next decade.
In the 2000s, feed mills, grain elevators, soy processing facilities, and flour mills kept the slipform business moving, but the company was about to expand its presence in a new industry. In 2001, T&S began work in the ethanol and biodiesel industry. The first biodiesel facility was for long-time client West Central Soy in Ralston, Iowa. The boom in construction of new biodiesel facilities led to a strategic alliance between Todd & Sargent and Renewable Energy Group (REG), specializing in the design, engineering, construction, and start-up of new biodiesel facilities across the US.
In the 90-year history of the company, no two jobs have ever been exactly alike. Even when the same client wants identical plants in two locations, you can bet there will be some changes. Meeting these individual specifications is a challenge which motivates us to stay ahead of the changes in the industry and to design and build facilities which not only meet the client’s current needs, but also their future growth and expansion.