Cedarwell Excavating Finds Ways to Keep Growing

Thanks to an enthusiastic, always looking- for-an-opportunity owner, Cedarwell Excavating Ltd. is continuing to find new ways to grow, despite a somewhat sluggish economy.

“Years ago we started with a single Hitachi EX100,” states Jorg Weller, owner, “providing custom excavations to area contractors and farmers. We kept getting asked by different people around town to do one project after another.”

Headquartered in Hanover, Ontario, the company was situated at the far northwestern edge of metropolitan Toronto and was able to profit from the city’s fantastic growth and expansion of the 1990s. As a result, Cedarwell found opportunities providing site-development work for developers and building pads for commercial buildings, as well as doing the odd farm-drainage job.

“I did well during those boom times, for sure,” says Mr. Weller. “The excavating business was good, and my first choice of a Hitachi excavator turned out to be a good one. It never let me down. So, I bought more.”

The commercial-development business led to Cedarwell becoming involved in trucking as well as their own aggregate pits. “It became a natural to have more and more of my own trucks for hauling dirt in and out of the building pads and development sites. And then, of course, the sites needed gravel. Fortunately, there is good rock in the Hanover area,” he adds.

The company bought and leased multiple pit locations, bought a mobile crusher, and went to work providing for the needs of their customers. “We bought a Hitachi EX750 to dig in the pit, supported by a ZX450,” Mr. Weller says.

Then the market slowed.
“We had to batten down the hatches a bit,” explains Mr. Weller. “We reorganized our finances and started to look around where the action might be next.”

And the new action players? Ontario’s provincial government and its municipalities.

Municipal work has always been around and a part of Cedarwell’s business. But by sheer determination and very close bidding, Jorg Weller continues to keep his crews and equipment busy.

“Infrastructure work is now providing about 80% of our volume,” notes Mr. Weller. “We are aggressively bidding complete packages of new utility lines, new curbing and sidewalks, and new paving. We’re usually the prime contractor and then team with one of our aggregate customers like Miller Paving. We do the dirt work, install the new utilities, and provide the select material for both the new utility lines and the paving. Miller provides the paving expertise, equipment, and labor.”

As the commercial-development side of the excavating business comes back to life, the current work Cedarwell is doing for municipalities should provide an opportunity for him to grow even more. Thanks to the tougher times, Jorg Weller learned how to be a stronger, more efficient contractor capable of making money on toughly won government contracts.

And his Hitachi fleet?
“We currently have five ZX200s, and one apiece of the 35, 50, 135, 350, 450 and 750 Hitachi excavators. Eleven total,” notes Mr. Weller. “I like the Hitachi excavators. We have been happy with the production and especially the fuel economy. They are quite dependable.”

Source: Hitachi Construction Americas

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