Q&A WITH MISSISSIPPI CONTRACTOR GABE SHEMPER
Business: Homestead Dirt Works and Mulching
In business since: 2016
Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Doosan equipment: DX140LC-5 and DX225LC-5 crawler excavators
Doosan dealer: Equipment Incorporated
Gabe Shemper is well known in the Hattiesburg, Mississippi, area for his work transforming commercial and residential landscapes. He’s made a name for his company, Homestead Dirt Works and Mulching, by performing a variety of earthmoving and land-clearing services.
In 2020, Gabe shared his success story with Doosan Infracore North America. Continue reading to learn more about this successful contractor and what drew him to Doosan® construction equipment.
Q: WHY DID YOU CHOOSE CONSTRUCTION AS A CAREER?
A: As a kid, my family had a scrap yard called Ben Shemper & Sons. Growing up, I’ve always been around heavy equipment. As I got older, I went on pipeline construction for about seven years. I came home one day and I was like, “I’m tired of living on the road.” I figured that I’d go into business for myself, and I bought a compact loader with a forestry mulcher. Soon after that, I bought my first Doosan excavator.
Q: WHAT TYPE OF WORK DOES YOUR COMPANY PERFORM?
A: We perform tree clearing, stump removal, excavating, grading, dirt removal, concrete work and mulching. Our day-to-day, we build driveways. We do a lot of ponds. We’re not the big guy. I’m sure some people look at my company as a big company, but we’re not building interstates and levees for 200-acre lakes. Most of the people I deal with are residential customers. They might have 10 or 15 acres where they want to build a road, dig a pond or prepare a house site.
Q: HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH SO MUCH WORK WITH A SMALL CREW?
A: Despite having a smaller crew than other construction companies, we can accomplish a lot because of our productive equipment, including three Doosan excavators. We move a lot of dirt. We’ll load it out of pits with a Doosan excavator.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL DAY-TO-DAY LIKE?
A: On an average day, I might haul a load of dirt or haul a few loads of dirt. I might even be on a job in an excavator, but whatever I do myself, it’s usually something I can stop at any time because I might have to go check on my guys or meet with a customer. I’m always busy and I do what I need to do.
Q: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
A: I enjoy transforming people’s property from a group of overgrown trees into a beautiful driveway with a house lot.
Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR DOOSAN EXCAVATOR?
A: It’s a comfortable machine. It has climate control and heated seats. And it’s fast and dependable. Since I’ve been running Doosan excavators for five years, I haven’t had any of them shut down on me. Any job that we go to, my Doosan equipment is top-notch.
Q: HOW IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR LOCAL DOOSAN DEALER?
A: I’ve been working with Equipment Incorporated for five years. I have a good relationship with them. When I call, they react. They have parts in stock. If I have a problem, I can call them right now and they’ll be fixing it quicker than any other sales and equipment dealers around here.
Q: WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF YOUR COMPANY?
A: I’ll be honest, I think I’m as big as I want to be. I might need another excavator, but that’s probably it. I don’t want any more trucks. I see it as just kind of cruising along right where we’re at. We’re successful now, so I’m trying to find a spot where I’m content. It’s really easy to always want more.
TORNADO CLEANUP WORK
In 2020, numerous hurricanes came through Mississippi and spun off tornadoes. Two of Gabe Shemper’s employees used Doosan® excavators to clear downed trees and pull up stumps, and then filled the holes with topsoil. Gabe’s excavators are paired with buckets and thumbs. He says the combination is particularly effective when an operator is handling stumps. The excess dirt drops to the ground before the stump is removed from the site.