Trusted Excavators Get Jobs Done Fast

Technicians fight over who gets to use the favorite excavator at Jack’s Septic

Trusted Excavators Get Jobs Done Fast

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Manuel "Manny" Diaz, owner of Jack’s Septic, likes his excavators.

“I just like digging. I always have,” he says. “I learned on an old backhoe behind a Ford tractor and fell in love with it.”

At his shop in Newark, Ohio, a 2006 Kobelco SR50 is everybody’s favorite. There are newer excavators, but technicians often fight over who will use the Kobelco. “It’s a trusted machine. You can do some fine grading with it, and it’s worn, but you know what you can do with it,” he says.

In addition to the Kobelco, the company has a 2012 Cat 305 and a 2018 Case CX57C. He describes the new Case as a mini-excavator on steroids, about 1,500 pounds more in weight and with an extra foot of reach. Yet it’s still small enough to be pulled by a 1-ton truck. The same goes for the other mini-excavators. Technicians can move them without the need for a large trailer.

“Several times a year we’ll get into a job where we’ll need a bigger machine, and we’ll just rent that,” Diaz says. He used to own a large excavator for digging basements, but the company became so busy with onsite work that he sold it.

In Ohio, it pays to have more than one machine, and not just because technicians are working two jobs. Recent state rule changes require elevated drainfields, and that means moving a lot of topsoil. Add in bad weather, and crews sometimes need an extra machine or two to beat the next storm. 

“We use two of them at once all the time because one of the biggest challenges around here is the weather,” Diaz says. “There are a lot of times when we’ll move everything we have into one job and try to get it completed. Last night we finished under a huge thunderstorm. We got the inspection at 3 p.m. and had the site backfilled by 5 p.m., and it was pouring rain when we left.”

You could tell from his voice that he didn’t mind the work, even in the rain; but you’d expect that from a guy who loves to dig.

Read more about Jack's Septic in a full profile in the December issue of Onsite Installer.


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