Commercial excavation is susceptible to holdups. As the rain tapered off this year, finally, and the floodgates opened we started to get a clear picture that it was going to be a crazy year. While the rain was falling last winter the banks were still lending on the American dream. Before February was over we had 6 commercial projects in cue and before we knew it we were overloaded as G.C.’s started to announce start dates. We can handle it. This was our mantra as each day started. Just keep plugging away and we will wrap this one up. On to the next.

As summer drug on and the temps hit the century mark we were chewing through jobs like nobody’s business. However, we still had two jobs that were seeming to drag on. They kept getting the 2-3 inch rains when other areas were starting to dry out. We kept having to go back and repair damage that other contractors made by refusing to know when their profit came at the expense of other contractors. Skytracks breaking water lines in the soft wet dirt, concrete trucks high centered on piers, and whatever other horrible scenario you could possibly dream up, it was all happening on two separate jobs.  So what do we do? That was the question I kept getting asked by our G.C’s. What can we do to still make some progress while this is going on? You are the excavation professional, you are supposed to know! Mother Nature has a mind of her own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t flank her just a little. We changed our mindset from big iron moving mass quantities of material to smaller machines and more manageable work areas. The trenches from the utilities company were left uncompacted and sopping wet so we started there. Moving onto the radius points that naturally drained water with skid steers instead of trackhoes and big dozers, shaping berms outside of the construction areas for aesthetics, etc…. Point being, there is always some sort of progress that can be made. Pull your superintendent for the job in tight. Start communicating more than normal and think outside the box as far as job planning. Take the things usually saved for later in the job and put them on the front burner and always remember, it’s going to dry up. The last thing you ever want to hear from a General Contractor is that their dollar is waiting on your dime.