• 1/26/2022
  • By Doosan Infracore North America LLC

Business: T.O. Development
In business since: 1981
Location: San Diego, California
Doosan equipment: DL580-5 wheel loader
Doosan dealer: Mega Machinery

When you rush to make a crosswalk or to unlock your car in a parking lot, you probably don’t think about what is underneath your feet. Lucky for you, the team at T.O. Development does.

Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, David Rowland and his wife, Janice, moved to San Diego, California, 30 years ago and founded T.O. Development. The business operates as a clean import fill site, rehabilitating land across Southern California and making it suitable for development. T.O. Development’s strategy starts from the ground up.

“We’re in the land development business,” David says. “We import fill and charge for it, and that’s a fill import site. We turn it into a business park and then rent it out.”

Currently, the business owns approximately 100 acres of commercial and industrial property. A family business, T.O. Development has five employees, including the couple’s son, Trevor.

For companies working on a construction project, it’s vital to have unpolluted dirt to work with. A clean import fill site can provide that material for them. Clean fill is defined as a non-water, non-decomposable solid, such as rock or gravel. Clean fill can also include items such as bricks, blocks or concrete from construction and demolition activities. A machine digs out the weak dirt, replaces it with the non-decomposable material and packs fresh dirt on top.

T.O. Development uses several local resources in their fills, including leftover dirt from motocross tracks and emulsified concrete from demolition activities. Over the past 30 years, the Rowlands and their staff have worked with hundreds of customers and completed thousands of loads. A few of their past clients have included Ecology Recycling, Western Towing and the San Diego Department of Corrections.

Year-Round Work

T.O. Development purchases a large property — between 20 and 40 acres — that is low in elevation, completes the import fill and then sells the land back to local businesses or developers. On a busy day, the team can take in up to 500 loads.

Each state has a different set of requirements when it comes to ensuring that a clean fill is actually clean. A construction firm and its team must work carefully to follow federal, state and local regulations. For example, in most states, pollutants are not permitted in the fill. A pollutant could be something as simple as food waste or something more complex like a radioactive substance.

Due to the warm climate in Southern California, David estimates that his team only has about four to six weeks of slow time per year.

“There’s at least 10 to 11 months of really busy work,” he says, “We’re going, doing and pushing dirt.”

Pushing material isn’t all that the crew and their machines are expected to accomplish. The business relies on its machines to do multiple tasks in succession. David says a machine needs to “knock down the dirt, water it, compact it, stir it, mix it and make sure they meet the right hydration requirements.”

To accomplish this, T.O. Development uses a variety of heavy construction equipment. When the company was in the market for a new wheel loader in December 2020, David selected an equipment brand that was new to him: Doosan. His company researched the brand and eventually purchased a Doosan® DL580-5 wheel loader for its bulk material-handling needs.

Machine Necessities

The DL580-5 wheel loader is currently the largest model that Doosan offers in North America. Key standouts of the 380-hp DL580-5 include exceptional performance, simple preventive maintenance and a comfortable, enclosed cab with heat and air conditioning. It also features a reinforced Z-bar, a larger profile arm and an adjusted lift cylinder geometry for enhanced productivity.

For optimal visibility, David’s operators can easily access a rearview camera and see what’s behind the machine on the LCD screen in the enclosed cab. His operators can choose to leave the rear view on the screen or toggle between it and the real-time machine functions.

To accompany the wheel loader, David ordered an 8-cubic-yard bucket. The bucket is made with high-strength alloy steel and is designed to allow for 110% overfill. For enhanced digging, David added cutting edges to the bucket. With these features, the wheel loader can efficiently haul the wet material that T.O. Development regularly handles.

“When it comes to cutting edges, it’s like a hot knife through butter,” he says.

T.O. Development continues to have success in Southern California, and Rowland plans to one day hand the business off to his children. Until he’s ready to retire, he and his team show no signs of slowing down.

“We’re a growing company,” he says. “And we do a good job. I’m proud of our crew and our accomplishments.”


Learn more about Doosan wheel loaders at na.DoosanEquipment.com/DL

A machine needs to knock down the dirt, water it, compact it, stir it, mix it and make sure they meet the right hydration requirements.
David Rowland , Owner
There’s at least 10 to 11 months of really busy, going, doing and pushing dirt.
David Rowland, Owner


David Rowland purchased his first Doosan® wheel loader from Mega Machinery in Lakeside, California: a construction equipment dealer that he has worked with for more than 15 years. David says that if he calls the dealer with an issue, an employee will be there “within hours.” That’s not bad considering Southern California traffic. Occasionally, David asks one of his employees to pick up a necessary part at Mega Machinery.

“If we have a piece of equipment down and need a hose or a filter, we call the dealership up and say, ‘Set it on the counter; we’ll be by.’ They never disappoint,” David says.