Business: Pro Excavating and Grading
In business since: 2010
Location: Edwardsville, Illinois
Doosan machines: DX225LC-3 and DX140LC-3 crawler excavators; multiple Bobcat compact track loaders and compact excavators
Doosan dealer: Bobcat of St. Louis
If there is a construction project or task, and it is too intimidating for other companies in the area, Jason Van Schoyck jumps at the opportunity. Taking on challenges is second nature to the former equipment operator who has built his own growing construction business.
Along with his wife, Heather Biagi, Van Schoyck leads a construction company in Edwardsville, Illinois, an expanding suburb just northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. Their company’s name – Pro Excavating and Grading – implies that they work in the dirt, but that only scratches the surface of what they’re capable of doing for their customers. Van Schoyck says, “We are a one-stop-shop. We handle both commercial and residential projects, and we are involved in a lot of development work in new subdivisions.”
The company has been in business for six years and has grown each year. Many of the expanding suburb’s new residential basements are dug by Van Schoyck’s operators using a mix of heavy and compact construction equipment.
Success came easy because when Van Schoyck started his company, he already had a reputation for being an expert construction equipment operator. After 15 years as a construction equipment operator, Van Schoyck leveraged his extensive experience and industry connections to start his own construction company. When he first started out, he relied on a small fleet of Bobcat® compact track loaders and excavators – the only brand of compact equipment he has owned – in addition to a variety of attachments. He soon realized that he needed a bigger and more powerful excavator to take on heavy lifting and deeper digging tasks, and grow his business. He turned to his local compact equipment dealer, Bobcat of St. Louis (Fairview Heights), to help him find a suitable crawler excavator to expand the company’s offerings and increase productivity. The solution was a Doosan® DX225LC-3 crawler excavator, adding an orange machine to Van Schoyck’s fleet of white compact equipment.
We ve owned the Doosan excavator for only two years, and it has been a great machine, he says. “We do a lot of tree clearing in new residential developments, as well as demolition. We use the Doosan excavator to tear down a house before we dig the new foundation. We need it for both types of work.”
Attachments expand versatility
The DX225LC-3 excavator is configured with a Doosan quick coupler, clamp and trenching bucket. Van Schoyck’s operators can easily grab, lift and place tree limbs or demolition debris with the clamp and bucket combination. “We like how the clamp folds up under the excavator's arm where it is out of our way when we are digging, and the operators have a good line of sight to the work area,” he says.
Van Schoyck's operators also appreciate how the machine’s quick coupler makes for simple bucket changes on the job. With multiple bucket sizes, his operators can quickly change buckets to best match the digging conditions. Doosan DX225LC-3 excavators provide four work modes, including a Lifting mode for use when lifting and placing objects. His operators can easily remove the buckets, retract the clamp and use the excavator to lift building materials.
“We use the Doosan excavator as a lifting machine as much as anything,” he says. The excavator’s quick coupler lift eye can be used as a lifting apparatus to help operators make better use of the excavator and minimize the need for additional lifting equipment on jobsites.
The company also makes use of a hydraulic breaker for demolition applications. Van Schoyck says the machine performs well with the breaker to remove concrete, particularly from residential demolition projects.
As the company has grown to 18 employees, so too has the variety of projects it takes on. The company expanded its services to perform underground utility work and Van Schoyck says the Doosan excavator helps his employees install sewer and sanitary pipes, usually up to 12 feet deep.
“At first, the Doosan machine was a little more advanced than most of my operators were used to,” he says. It didn’t take long for operators to adjust to the larger machine and its features, including the standard 7-inch LCD screen, according to Van Schoyck.
Van Schoyck’s wife Heather says that Bobcat of St. Louis goes out of its way to provide superb service for the company’s compact and heavy construction equipment. The personal service and willingness to go the extra mile makes her and Jason appreciate the dealership’s exceptional sales and service staff, she says.
“We’ve done a lot of deals with the employees from Bobcat of St. Louis in our living room,” Van Schoyck says. “I like to do business with people I know; with people who I’ve built a relationship with. I feel comfortable when I ask a question and I get an honest answer.”
Since purchasing its first Doosan excavator, the company added a second model – a DX140LC-3 – to complement the larger DX225LC-3. Heather says the company rented the excavator from Bobcat of St. Louis, and later applied the rental payments toward purchasing the DX140LC-3.
Van Schoyck has a long relationship with his Doosan sales specialist, who previously worked as a service technician for the dealership. His experience and level of trust with his sales specialist gives Van Schoyck confidence that he can quickly resolve issues and minimize equipment downtime for both his compact and heavy equipment.
Although Van Schoyck considers Pro Excavating and Grading a midsize company, it is clear the up-and-coming contractor is well positioned to grow with his community using the right mix of heavy construction equipment, and compact machines and attachments. “We have a great group of employees, and we are growing the company,” Van Schoyck concludes.