The Contractor That Did It All

One time we ventured off to Laredo to bid on a project, a new water line. This was way back in the late 70’s. The bids were turned in the late afternoon. We had to stay over until that night when the bids were opened and read at the city council meeting. I figured that was a ploy to get more hotel tax revenue. My brother, Kenny was with me for this trip. We got to the council meeting and saw where not only our bid was going to be opened that night but probably 6 or 8 other bids … Continue reading The Contractor That Did It All

Hauling A Parsons Ladder Trencher

Back in 1970, not too long after I graduated from high school, I was driving a truck for Nelson Lewis, hauling equipment. I remember being dispatched to Devine, Texas to haul a Parsons Trencher from there over to Port Lavaca. It was a trip of around 200 miles, maybe more with weaving my way down through the many little south Texas towns. This was before any big highways were built. Those towns were connected with Farm to Market Roads and a few State Highways. I got to Devine late in the afternoon one day, loaded the machine and chained it … Continue reading Hauling A Parsons Ladder Trencher

The Check Washer

Years ago, maybe 1977 or 78 a fellow showed up in our office selling portable check embossing machines. Those are the ones that punched a series of tiny perforations in the amount line of the check, to make it less likely to be forged. As part of his sales pitch he had us write out a check and within 3 minutes he had put a solution on the check and washed all the ink off. He left our signature on it by taping over it before the washing started. Then he made it out to himself with a million dollars … Continue reading The Check Washer

Hiring The New Office Guy

Many years ago I had lost my office person to a better opportunity in Houston for him. I knew of this young man that I thought would be a perfect replacement. This fellow was very good with radio’s. In fact he had been trained in electronic repair. He was a HAM Radio Operator. That would come in handy, because back then when most all of our dispatching was done with 2-way radios. We had just started using computers in the business and Joe was already getting into computers himself. This fellow was very orderly and organized like no one I’d … Continue reading Hiring The New Office Guy

I Could Never Pass Up Tools Laying In The Road

It always amazed me how often I used to find tools, like wrenches, hammers, screw drivers and the like laying on the road when I was traveling from place to place. I always accused my careless mechanic Paul of being the one that lost most of them. Almost any day I could drive out of the yard and find something Paul had left laying under the hood or on the bumper that would fall off. Of course he wasn’t too worried about it as long as I had charge accounts at all the parts houses in Austin. Paul’s carelessness fed … Continue reading I Could Never Pass Up Tools Laying In The Road

Tumbleweed Hill

Kenny had only been out of the Army for a short time. He was working for the company. I had a 1976 Chevy 4 Wheel Drive Pickup that I handed down to him. We had a project installing a new waterline that extended from near Mesa Dr, along Far West Blvd. The line would end near FM 2222 and Bull Creek Rd. This was Kenny’s project to oversee. We were for the first time living a role reversal, where I was his boss. I made an early morning drive by to check the progress and didn’t see Kenny anywhere, even … Continue reading Tumbleweed Hill

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

I had a new Cat 385 that was delivered probably in 2003 or 2004. I ordered it equipped with a mass excavation boom and a short stick. I knew it would limit our ability to go very deep, but most of the jobs we were bidding on were hard rock jobs. When I compared the different stick and boom configurations, the breakout force of the one I ordered was almost double of a long stick machine. If we were going to be successful digging hard rock we need the most force that we could get at the teeth. The machine … Continue reading You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

When You Can’t Buy It, Just Build It.

For many years we would be working on projects and an idea would pop in our head of a better way to do something and with a good team of fabricators on board with us we’d just build it. Not everything we built worked as well as we hoped, but when we got a winner, it was the real deal. Below was something we built that allowed us to set a large diameter pipe one it, the larger rollers were hydraulically powered and would slowly turn the pipe while the hydraulic pipe saw would move down to the correct mark … Continue reading When You Can’t Buy It, Just Build It.

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

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 Excavators