The year was 1911 when a very young, 19-year-old, Porter W. Yett Sr. joined forces with two other partners to purchase two dump trucks. These actions were the start of his career in the construction industry. Their trucks hauled many different types of building materials to construction sites in the Portland area.
One of these materials was concrete, which had its own particular set of problems involving the mixing and transportation of this material. When mixed at a central plant, concrete had to be hauled and placed within a short time window. Any delay in the process could mean the loss of the product. Also, there was no further control of the water content in the mixture, and the very act of transportation could cause the separation of the rock and sand, which ended up with an uneven combination and the loss of strength.
The solving of these problems occupied the thoughts of Porter W. Yett Sr. for some time. Experimenting with various scale models, he finally reached a solution. After working with another inventor, a joint patent was filed for the first practical truck mounted concrete mixer. These units were known as the Paris - Yett Transit Mixer. Yett marketed these units worldwide, and their success gained the attention of another investor who was the son of the founder of the Esco Corporation. A three-member partnership was formed to market sand, gravel, and concrete to the Portland area and using the advantage of the truck-mounted mixer. This partnership supplied concrete to many projects in the Portland area. These projects included roads, buildings, bridges, and grain elevators. Most of these are still in use today and will endure for many years into the future.
The economic depression of the 1930s took its toll on the partnership, and two of the partners sold out to Porter W. Yett Sr., who reorganized the company and expanded into contracting as well as a building material supplier. Most of the activities involved the placing of concrete on various projects in the Portland area. However, a few projects involved paving with asphalt. With the post-war era, asphalt paving offered the company such a great opportunity that concrete operations were phased out in favor of asphalt paving.
In the late 1940s and 1950s, the Porter W. Yett Company built projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. During this period, Porter W. Yett Jr. joined his father in the family business and assumed control upon the death of Porter W. Yett Sr. In the 1960s and 1970s, the company concentrated its construction activities on the Portland market building many streets in and around that area.
In 1972 Steven P. Yett joined the firm on a full-time basis and became the company president in 1977. Currently, the company has phased out asphalt paving operations but still is a supplier of asphalt and road base rock to the construction industry. Construction activities at this time involve such specialties as road base stabilization, which started in 1979 and asphalt milling, which started in 2007. The Porter W. Yett Company is heavily involved in the recycling of various building materials as well as the reconstruction of roads and airports.
Recently John P. Yett started working at the firm; he is the fourth generation to be involved in the company and will give the Porter W. Yett Company the longevity and guidance for the future that has sustained it for almost 100 years.