Business: Moody Excavating
In business since: 2017
Location: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Doosan equipment: DX350LC-5, DX300LC-5 and DX255LC-5 crawler excavators; DX85R-3 mini excavator; DL200-5 and DL200-3 wheel loaders
Doosan dealer: Bobcat of Nashville
Rusty Moody’s dad built his construction business on the oil industry. Rusty built his on the back of another hot commodity: Amazon.com.
The tech giant’s massive warehouse in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, helped drive a population boom southeast of Nashville, Rusty says. That meant a slew of new residential work for Moody Excavating, his equally booming business that grew from four employees to 32 in just three years.
“We do full commercial projects — everything but constructing the building,” Rusty says of his team, which lays water, sewer and electric lines and puts the roads on grade in the new residential areas popping up everywhere. “In 20 years, I’ve seen this little town grow so much it’s unreal.”
In 1998, Rusty moved to Murfreesboro from Oklahoma, where his dad constructed oil field sites back when “the Oklahoma economy was oil fields.” Years earlier, Rusty’s grandfather worked on flood control dams in the Sooner State. After his own run in the oil business, Rusty moved into construction.
In Tennessee, Rusty founded a firm with his brother that lasted 20 years before tragedy struck — a death in the family. As the company halted operations, Rusty considered retiring. But clients kept calling.
“The people we’d worked with for 18 years came to me and said, ‘Hey, I want you to do my work; we’ve got contracts,’” Rusty recalls.
That’s when Rusty’s adult children joined the family business — his new one, Moody Excavating, that is. Rusty’s son Jeffrey Moody works now as a project manager. Jeremy Moody is an engineer. And Christy Moody, his daughter, oversees the firm’s office.
The children added fresh energy to their father’s business. New software, too: maintenance and payroll files were digitized, and the firm began using GPS systems on jobsites.
“They brought me up to the 21st century, and that’s made all the difference in the world,” Rusty says. “Everything was on a hand ledger. Now it’s all computers. Same thing with the equipment.”
Laying it on the line
Key to the company’s 21st-century successes are six Doosan® machines, including two DL200-5 wheel loaders and four crawler excavators from the DX255LC-5 to the DX350LC-5.
The machines operate on Moody’s three pipe teams: five-person crews, each with their own wheel loader and excavator. Once a new subdivision is placed on grade, the teams enter to lay water and sewer lines before the residential area’s roads get placed back on grade behind them. “Then we start laying electric, lay curb and asphalt, backfill, clean up, collect the money and go home,” Rusty says.
These boomtown subdivision jobs roll out in six- to eight-month stretches as the subdivisions grow and grow. One such residential development, in nearby Smyrna, hired Rusty’s team for its initial phase in 2006. Its final phase just concluded this past summer.
Shelton Square, an expansive 148-lot local subdivision, put Moody Excavating in a tight spot: the development has just 40 feet of right of way for utilities (versus the typical 50 feet), necessitating a bit of Tetris to place the storm drain, gas, electric, cable and phone lines — each with its own depth and space requirements.
No "Big-Fish" Needed
Moody family’s midsized machines fit their residential work to a T. Their crews don’t need “big fish equipment,” Rusty says. They don’t move millions of cubic yards of dirt at their jobsites, and the smaller-sized equipment reduces operating costs.
“You move up to the bigger equipment; you’ve got to have the bigger trucks,” Rusty says. “Bigger trucks are more money.”
Still, the work’s not for lightweights. The DX350LC-5 picks up 60-inch concrete pipes with ease, Rusty notes, and the DL200-5 wheel loader is plenty versatile.
“The DL200-5 is big enough to unload a bunch of wire and pipe, but yet it’s small enough to get around in the tight areas that I need to get into sometimes,” Rusty says.
And with the Doosan hydraulic quick couplers, swapping out attachments for huge lifts doesn’t mean leaving the cab.
“Quick couplers is the only way to go, in my opinion,” Rusty says, calling them an obvious add-on for his equipment.
Doosan orange first appeared at Rusty’s worksites two years ago after Ryan Vaughn, a sales specialist for Bobcat of Nashville, walked into Rusty’s office with a promise: “Give me a shot: I’ll take care of you.”
And he did.
Rusty remains “extremely satisfied” with the service. Bobcat of Nashville’s parent company has a central dispatch center in the St. Louis area, and service trucks and technicians are dispatched from the dealership in Nashville to arrive at Moody’s Tennessee sites within a few hours.
The machines are fuel-efficient, Rusty notes, and rugged too: the four excavators let crews dig confidently into the tough Tennessee soil. “In Tennessee, you have a lot of big rocks, and they try to get the rock out,” Rusty explains, adding that “You’re liable to rip a bucket in two.”
Unless it’s a Doosan machine, he adds. He has talked up Doosan to several of his industry peers who now sport orange on their jobsites, too.
Rusty Moody’s company wouldn’t exist without his family. His father and grandfather inspired him, and his brother helped him launch his career in Tennessee. And with his kids’ help and some new tech (those six Doosan machines included), it’s family that will enable Moody Excavating to thrive long after Rusty retires — if he officially retires at all.
“He’s in here three days a week,” says Jeffrey Moody, Rusty’s son and project manager. “He’s never going to retire. We don’t want him to, either.”