A medium-sized New Holland excavator is one of the key components of a major housing project in York County, PA. The machine fills a unique role for excavation contractor BN Excavating Inc., Marietta, PA, in the digging of foundations for the Allyson’s Crossings project.
The general contractor of the job is EG Stoltzfus Homes, Lancaster, PA. According to Project Manager Roger Glick, work began in 2003, and the projected end date is December 2006. The $1.3-million project covers approximately 40 acres (16.2 ha) and involves approximately 95 lots with single-family housing in Windsor Township. The homes average approximately 2,000 to 2,400 sq. ft., and are designed mostly for first-time home buyers. The project was developed by Fours-A-Crowd.
BN Excavating was awarded the excavation contract, for approximately $600,000. A New Holland E160 crawler excavator was the company’s machine of choice to complete the job. Adam Enterline has worked as an operator of BN Excavating for several years.
“Compared to the other machines that I tried, this machine had the extra reach that I needed,” he said. “Throwing dirt where I need it was the key in choosing the machine for me. I like the reach of this machine for this particular job. It fills a great niche, and I can work comfortably and not waste time and money.”
Enterline also noted that the maneuverability of the machine is excellent. He spends a lot of time working around slopes and caps, and the cab offers good visibility.
“Like their [New Holland’s] ag equipment, the front is slanted so I can see what I am doing all the time,” he said. “You can also get in and out of the cab very well.”
Enterline explained that another feature that he appreciates is that the tracks have a nice gap, giving him a little extra room. This comes in handy when the machine sinks and mud gets in the tracks.
“That happens a lot in working on a job like this,” he said. “This machine gives you the room to take a shovel and get the extra dirt out of there.”
BN Excavating Shop Foreman Clarence Eckman noted that 95-percent of the job is residential dig-outs.
“After researching all kinds of machines, the New Holland machine fit the size and specs for the jobs compared to other machines in the same range,” he said. “It was a great fit. We did a fair trial with other machines, and our operator hands down liked this one the best. It has run amazingly.”
According to Eckman, the machine was purchased from Messick’s, of Elizabethtown and Abbottstown, PA, because of its “outstanding service and knowledge.” BN has done business with Messick’s for approximately 16 years.
“Messick’s is out there more than to sell you a piece of equipment, and we have dealt with them for a long time in other industries,” Eckman noted. “We knew they were new in the construction line, but the company is the same, and they impressed us with their knowledge of construction as well. They are upfront with no half-hearted answers. They are honest and will fill me in on the truth. Messick’s is looking at the big picture, and it shows from their president on down.”
BN Excavating’s President Bob Nafziger noted that the company was formed in 1986. From that time, it has grown steadily and was able to find its specialty — digging out residential projects and grading.
“Now we have 20 full-time employees, and we are loving every minute of it,” he said.
He noted that the Allyson’s Crossing project involves “moving all kinds of soil off mountainous areas,” which has presented a challenge.
“The dirt on the site is leveled off, but sometimes we haul it away,” he said. “Obstacles always happen on the job, but as far as the project itself, it’s going right on schedule.”
Another challenge noted by Glick involves erosion.
“We had a lot of heavy rains, so we’ve had to keep it contained and under control,” he said. “York County has been getting more strict as far as conservation policies, so we’ve been trying to work with them.”
Other equipment used by BN Excavating includes a Cat backhoe and loaders and a Kobelco trackhoe. Approximately three to five people are assigned to this portion of the job.
Other major subcontractors of EG Stoltzfus Homes include AKD Masonry, Columbia, PA, for block and footer; Zimmerman Steel, New Holland, PA, for steel; Steffy Concrete, Reamstown, PA, for concrete; EG Stoltzfus and Gary Good Electric, Manheim, for electrical; and Pave ’N More, York, for paving. CEG
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