Building Up a Demolition Business

Tue November 19, 2019 - West Edition #24
Lori Lovely – CEG CorrespondEnt


NDC has all the right tools, including two new high-reach excavators capable of reaching over 100 ft.
NDC has all the right tools, including two new high-reach excavators capable of reaching over 100 ft.
NDC has all the right tools, including two new high-reach excavators capable of reaching over 100 ft. All of NDC’s operators have been with the company for 20 years.
Visually, NDC?feels that it just looks better to have all Cat equipment, in terms of branding and marketing.
NDC prefers to own its fleet, but they have a rental program to rent out their equipment to other contractors             —  but not just the iron; renters get experienced NDC operators too. NDC’s rental program benefits smaller firms because they get quality equipment and elite talent behind the sticks. 
NDC will continue to grow and evolve with more environmental remediation work and mass excavation projects —  maybe even the mining 
industry. 
Founded in 1995 as a hauling and disposal business, NDC has evolved from simply picking up and disposing of construction and demolition debris from job sites to being the company doing the demo.
In addition to heavy civil demolition, mass excavation and grading and earthwork, NDC also performs abatement, specializing in environmental remediation, as well as asbestos and lead remediation. NDC owns and operates one of the largest Tier IV-compliant fleets of Cat equipment in the southwest region.
NDC’s fleet contains more than 52 pieces of Cat equipment, from skid steers to 374 excavators. NDC stays with Cat because they have treated them right from the beginning. NDC?focuses on specialized demolitions, like high-rise structures, maritime operations, bridges, wharfs and buildings near the water. NDC wants to be that “go-to” company for seemingly impossible jobs. 
Two recent projects involved over one million sq. ft. in demolition and abatement of hazardous materials. “We can handle residential housing jobs like nobody’s business, but we prefer to challenge ourselves.”

Maybe it's only natural that a demolition contractor prefers to focus on the future rather than look back. National Demolition Contractors Inc., (NDC) based in San Pedro, Calif., doesn't dwell in the past. "For us, it's all about moving forward," said Frank Sahagun, business development manager. "What's the next phase?"

Founded in 1995 as a small hauling and disposal business by Jeff and Jennifer Perry, the company evolved from simply picking up and disposing of construction and demolition debris from job sites throughout Southern California to being the company doing the demo, employing many people.

In addition to heavy civil demolition, mass excavation and grading and earthwork, NDC also performs abatement, specializing in environmental remediation, as well as asbestos and lead remediation. Other services they offer include disaster relief, emergency services and operated rental equipment.

Equipped for Work

From the beginning, Sahagun explained, NDC has invested a large portion of revenue into the company in the form of machines, personnel and office space.

"We've grown from humble beginnings into a company with more than $500 million in bonding capacity and [more than] 45 pieces of heavy demolition equipment."

That investment has resulted in NDC owning and operating one of the largest Tier IV-compliant fleets of Caterpillar equipment in the southwest region, with more than 52 pieces of equipment, from skid steers to 374 excavators.

"We have all the right tools," Sahagun said, "including two new high-reach excavators capable of reaching over 100 feet."

That fleet is all Cat. Sahagun stated that it's easier for them to stay with one brand and "Cat has treated us right from the beginning, with maintenance and new orders." In addition, NDC's mechanics find it easier and faster to get the parts they need. "And visually, it just looks better, in terms of branding and marketing."

NDC prefers to own its fleet, but they developed a rental program to rent out their equipment to other contractors — but not just the iron; renters get experienced NDC operators too. Sahagun explained that the program assists smaller firms and general contractors who may not have the infrastructure to support multiple projects.

"Our rental program benefits these firms because they get quality equipment and elite talent behind the sticks. And it keeps the fleet busy. Jeff doesn't like to have a full equipment yard," Sahagun added.

Projects

NDC keeps its equipment busy on a variety of projects. Sahagun said they're often called to "take down and remediate the most complex projects, from high-rise building demolition to mass soil excavations."

Two recent ones — Temple and Southgate LACCD — span over one million sq. ft. in total demolition and abatement of hazardous materials … and both had short deadlines with very strict schedules.

Mission

NDC is known for taking on the high-risk, high-profile projects like those two aforementioned projects.

"Our focus is on specialized demolitions, like high-rise structures, maritime operations, bridges, wharfs, buildings near the water ― the types of jobs that your ordinary demolition company can't handle," Sahagun elaborated. "We can handle residential housing jobs like nobody's business, but we prefer to challenge ourselves."

He said that NDC wants to be that "go-to" company for seemingly impossible jobs.

"If there's a bridge that has to be demolished within 24 hours, that's when you call National. It is what we specialize in," he added.

Experience and expertise set NDC apart and enable them to think of solutions other contractors can't provide.

"We have an environmental manager who is an actual scientist," Sahagun pointed out. "Our abatement coordinator has nearly 20 years of experience in that line of work."

All of NDC's operators have been with the company for 20 years.

However, all of the expertise in the world doesn't mean anything if you can't work as a team.

"When we're communicating and working together, there's nothing we can't solve," Sahagun believes. "So many other companies in our industry have high turnover and near-constant moving parts, but our key people have been here for a long time."

Communication with the customer also is important. Knowing that every customer has unique needs, NDC adapts to each situation. Sahagun said they continually challenge themselves to do a job better than anyone else could.

The Future

That dedication goes hand-in-hand with customer service.

"We've always asked our clients what else we can do to help them," Sahagun said.

That determination to meet customers' needs led NDC to add abatement, environmental and marine divisions to the company.

"Today, we're a true turnkey solution for our customers. Offering turnkey services saves the customer time and money and helps build trust," Sahagun added.

NDC will continue to grow and evolve. Sahagun envisions more environmental remediation work and mass excavations projects — maybe even the mining industry.

"The future is bright for NDC and we have only scratched the surface," he concluded. CEG