Interview with Our Playground Installers

October 18, 2016

An Interview with playground installers, Dave and John

ABCreative has been working with the same playground installers for the past 15 years. Often, we get questions about what our installers do. We wanted to share this insight on the experience they bring to their work.

Want to know more? Contact Tim McNamara.

Experienced Playground Installers

In the late 1980s, I [Dave] began by working with my in-laws in their home-building business. A few years later when the building hiccup happened, I found the playground business. We began by selling and installing residential swing sets; however, we were sought out to help a commercial playground vendor on a repair job that needed to take place quickly. After that, the door to the commercial playground business opened up for us.

A few years into the playground work, we secured three years of a 5-year bond project for playground work with the Shawnee Mission School District. Through this partnership, we built our reputation for workmanship and square dealing.

I am happy to say that I have a solid 27 years’ experience strictly working on playgrounds and we have been working with ABCreative for 15 years.

Family Owned and Operated Business

John Bueker, playground installer

John overseeing Cloud 9 footing installation, Lea McKeighan Playground, Lee’s Summit, MO

My son, John, started coming to work with me from time to time when he was young. Around the age of 12, when we started doing commercial work, he would get up early and come with me on a regular basis. For a kid, what’s not to love about working with Dad on playgrounds?

John worked in the business through the rest of his school years, summers and holiday breaks. Today, many of our long-standing repeat customers remember that little boy hanging around who is now consulting with them on their installation.

John continues to work with me and now does most of the daily heavy lifting of owning a small business. He is a joint partner and we have every intention to keep quietly doing what we love, building a business that John will be able to hand down to his children, if they want it.

Consistent Work Processes Lead to Successful Installations

We have a consistent way in which we approach our business.

We try to visit every site before the start of a job.  The playground purchased and the site conditions help us decide what construction equipment will be needed on site to safely and efficiently do our work. There may be access limitation or slope that need to be considered.


What else do we do?

  • Order and verify that the line locates have been done.
  • Double check at the site to make sure the unit fits; this is especially important when we are following another trade.
  • Un-crate the equipment, check colors and quantities, line out holes and again check for our required use zones.
  • As we build sometimes we will concrete bag in a few posts; this stabilizes the unit to make it stand on its own.
  • Once assembled, ensure it gets plumbed, leveled and eyeballed to see that the posts are aligned. We like to use a concrete truck for the bulk of the holes especially on bigger playgrounds.
  • And, of course, there is always the final tighten, drill and pin work.


There are so many little things that come up on the jobs that it would be impossible to list here. Suffice it to say that we have had to deal with a lot and bring those solutions to the next little problem that pops up.

Each playground project is different so ensuring a successful project starts months before the holes are dug. During the bidding process we try to help catch potential problems and look for any way we can help improve the plan.

With a solid 27 years’ experience in the commercial playground business, the diverse range of equipment we continue to acquire and the talent of John and our employees, our business has the capability to meet its clients’ diverse needs, offering turnkey park and playground construction.

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