The Story Of How A Little Ol’ Utility Contractor From Bertram, Texas Came To Own Two Giant Excavtors

When we first acquired these machines in the later part of 2007, they were bought for a particular project, that was in some fairly hard limestone. We had approximately 6 to 7 miles of very deep wastewater to lay. We didn’t have our own deep trenchers that it would take to dig the depths we were going to need. We would generally subcontract that portion of the work out. We had equipped our two 385 Cats out with Leading Edge buckets (the very strange buckets at the bottom of the page) and had been having great success excavating rock with … Continue reading The Story Of How A Little Ol’ Utility Contractor From Bertram, Texas Came To Own Two Giant Excavtors

The VW Bus Was Parked In A Bad Spot

I wasn’t long out of school, probably had just turned 18. One of my first jobs was driving a haul truck for Nelson Lewis, a cousin in the utility business. He had just landed a project in downtown Austin, laying a wastewater line up West Ave. It started down at 7th St and would continue up to about the 24th block on Rio Grande St. Right up in the middle of the University of Texas Campus. The first piece of equipment I hauled to the job was an old White-Oliver Rubber Tired Backhoe. It was a beast, 4 wheel drive … Continue reading The VW Bus Was Parked In A Bad Spot

My Friend Dave

I first got to know Dave in 1972. He was a successful underground utility contractor and very well respected in the business. His office was located in Lubbock. My first subcontract was working for him installing water lines in Burnet, Texas. It was actually more complicated than that. I was a sub to another sub that subcontracted to Dave’s company. That happens in our business a lot. Ok if you aren’t too confused I’ll continue. Throughout the 1970s I worked with Dave several times. He had an enormous capacity for numbers. I learned a lot from him. There came a … Continue reading My Friend Dave

My Friend Udo

I have had the great fortune to meet many people in my lifetime. None probably made a greater impact on me than Udo Haufler. Udo was my neighbor, my friend and my mentor. The first day of 1977, Madeline and I moved into a house on a very quite, secluded south Austin street. Albert Road was like being in another place altogether. It wasn’t like living in Austin. Directly across the street was a large 2 story house, with a horse stable in the back. Esther and Udo Haufler were the elderly couple that lived there. (of course now that … Continue reading My Friend Udo

It Set There All Day

When Kenny had a ranch in Mexico and was going back and forth a lot, so he bought a helicopter. He also used it to look at projects around the state. It was pretty handy. I had a lease agreement with him, so when I’d need to get around to take care of business it was at my disposal. To make sure I was as cool as my brother I built a helipad at my house. The pilot would fly in, grab me and we could leave Bertram and be in Arlington, Tx in an hour and twenty minutes. One … Continue reading It Set There All Day

Learning To Fly

In my younger days In the construction business I had a bookkeeper, G.K. , that was always after me to take up flying. He wasn’t a pilot but claimed he almost was. He told me how we could fly to faraway destinations to look at and bid jobs. How we could head out to the coast and go fishing at the drop of a hat. I was a little queasy about me flying an airplane, but I finally figured that I’d get used to it, as many people had. Why would it be different for me? Finally one day I … Continue reading Learning To Fly

Harold wasn’t known as a man with a stellar reputation

Sometime in the later 1970s Harold showed up in Austin as an underground utility contractor. There have been a bunch of them that have come and gone in Austin over the past almost 50 years that I’ve been around. But none like Harold, that would cause you to feel like you needed a bath, from just having a conversation with him. Okay that last sentence is a little bit of a lie. There have been several others that gave me that feeling. Harold had a gift of gab and you knew he was a bullshit artist the second he started … Continue reading Harold wasn’t known as a man with a stellar reputation