Sand on Demand
Brothers Terry and Todd Pecha may hail from small-town Bloomer, Wisconsin, but they have big plans for the future of A-1 Excavating Inc.
After nearly 40 years of site clearing, demolition, excavation, road construction, trucking, and underground utilities work, the company diversified into silica sand mining in 2012 — and business is booming.
For co-owner and vice president Todd Pecha, success started from the ground up. “We joined up with a local silica sand-mining company a little over six years ago. They brought us in to do the initial sitework, and the relationship grew from there. We knocked down the cornstalks, dug the freshwater and storm-water ponds, and just kept working.”
Pecha knows there’s still plenty of work to do at the site. “They produce about 1.4 million tons of finished sand each year. For every ton of sand, we have to move a ton of overburden, which comes out to almost 1.5 million yards of dirt a year. We also load the trucks, take care of the mud and storm-water, and handle the reclamation efforts. We take the overburden and restore areas where we’ve already worked. We haul in topsoil and seed it down. It’s a continuous operation.”
We have 450Ks, 650Ks, 700Ks, 750Ks, 850Ks, a 950K, and our new 1050K [Dozer]. I can jump in any of those machines, feel comfortable, and get the job done.
A-1 Excavating currently works several Wisconsin mines, and it continues to expand operations to other sand-mining hotbeds across the country. “We were invited to see a site that’d been purchased in another state,” says Pecha. “So we flew out, made a few recommendations, and they said, ‘Great, when can you start?’”
Co-owner and president Terry Pecha understands that expansion presents a whole new world of opportunities for the family-owned business. “The construction season up here in Wisconsin is eight to nine months max. After that, you’re fighting the elements. But elsewhere, there’s a 12-month season, which gives our team a chance to work year-round.”
ONWARD AND UPWARD
With utilities, trucking, and roadbuilding work continuing to grow in Wisconsin, the brothers have expanded operations back home. “We’ve been at our current facility for 21 years,” says Terry. “But we’ve outgrown it. We have over 300 pieces of equipment, including our new 1050K Crawler Dozer, and 50 trucks. We’re going where the opportunities are, especially in sand mining and trucking, but we need the room to do so. That’s why we’re building a bigger facility out by the interstate. We’ll have more space for the shop, the office, and parking. We’ll have more room to spread our wings. We’re really looking forward to the move.”
While new opportunities continue to present themselves for A-1 Excavating, Terry wants the company to remember its small-town origins. “Keeping roots in Bloomer is key. The people up here are hardworking, dedicated, and loyal. And they come back year in and year out — office staff, shop workers, equipment operators, laborers, and truck drivers. We all take pride in our work, whether we’re in Wisconsin or wherever we end up next.”
A-1 Excavating Inc. is serviced by McCoy Construction & Forestry, RDO® Equipment Co., and Yellowhouse Machinery Co.