Gateway Dealer Network keeps Colt Roderick informed of the newest equipment for his current projects. He recalled when his dealer introduced him to the new Doosan DD100 dozer.
(Doosan Infracore North America photo)
Colt Roderick works in the field, but not with crops. You'll find him trenching and plowing field tile or grading soil with a mix of heavy and compact equipment. Roderick, a natural entrepreneur, discusses scaling his Mattoon, Ill., drainage business with bigger and newer construction equipment.
"We started with an excavator and a dozer," said Roderick. "We got to where we would lay a tile on a lot of our jobs. We bought an old T600 trencher. Once we bought it, we just started doing more and more ag drainage, and now that is basically the bulk of our work."
Roderick founded CR Roderick Excavating and Drainage Inc. in 2008 after working for another drainage company for five years. His company initially focused on excavation, surface drainage, brush clearing, site clearing and site preparation. Three years later, the company expanded into farm tile installation and subsurface drainage.
"We trench and plow in corrugated plastic field tile to drain excess water off of farm fields for agriculture purposes," said Roderick. "That's directly in line with helping farmers and landowners in the corn and soybean industry produce more bushels per acre."
Today, he has a waiting list for his company's tiling services.
Roderick credits a big part of his success to his company's relationship with the local construction equipment dealer. Roderick noted how employees Paul Gebban and Cody Bell of Gateway Dealer Network have been valuable supporters of local contracting businesses.
"Their service has been awesome," Roderick said. "We blew a hydraulic valve on our Doosan DX140LC excavator. I called Paul on Monday morning at 7 a.m., and Cody was with us in an hour. You can't ask for anything better than that."
The dealership also keeps Roderick informed of the newest equipment for his current projects. He recalled when his dealer introduced him to the new Doosan DD100 dozer.
"I demoed a Doosan excavator and was very impressed with the machine," Roderick said. "The responsiveness, the maneuverability; all the amenities in the cab were incredible."
Roderick's first impressions of the new dozer and the cab have been positive.
"Then the Doosan dozer came along, and I talked to the dealer about it," he said. "I said that I'd be interested in it. When it came in, I demoed the machine, and just the maneuverability, being able to see a 360-degree view in the cab, plus just the controls and the operator station, and the responsiveness of the blade were great. The machine is very nice, just well-built and operator friendly.
Deeply impressed, Roderick elaborated on his experience with the Doosan dozer.
"As far as the operating station it almost reminds me of an excavator seat," he said. "You're sitting up, you're basically in a captain's chair. The controls are very responsive. The buttons are very user-friendly for all those functions. The LCD screen is very advanced in the fact that it has all your options for changing your settings for the machine. The backup camera seems very clear. The Bluetooth connection on it is user-friendly and operator-friendly. I was in it the other day for 14 hours straight and did not feel exhausted."
The Doosan DD100 dozer equipped with a 2D grade control system is valuable for the bulk of Roderick's worksites. The dozer's satellite-enabled software coordinates his teams' work in real time.
"We have to have a certain number of satellites giving us our coordinates," he said. "What's really critical is holding the grade for your optimal depth on your tile. You enter the information into your Trimble screen if you want to be four-feet deep, optimal depth; you don't want to be any shallower than three, and you don't want to be any deeper than six. It'll adjust the grade of your survey line and install the field tile to those specs."
Together, both Roderick and the DD100 bring on wonderful results for their clients.
"Say you've got a field that produces 150 to 160 bushel corn and 40 to 50 bushel beans per acre," he said. "When we install the field tile, that gets rid of excess water. What that does is that increases your yields by 30 percent at minimum. You could be up around 200 to 250 bushel corn and 90 bushel beans."
Roderick's work also helps the environment while preserving the land.
"The environmental benefit is your field's not going to lay dormant and wet," he said. "You're going to have runoff that's going to be decreased for the simple fact that your water table doesn't get to the surface of the ground and erode your property."
For the Future
Roderick looks to diversify his company and strengthen its economic outlook.
"I'd say in the next five to 10 years, my goal is to add another tile plow to our company, and then I would like to focus more on-site excavation," he said.
Roderick offers these words for up-and-coming contractors.
"Don't discount yourself. You want equipment that works as hard as you do. If you're going to go out and follow your passion, you need something that's going to match your pace. That's what you want."
This story also appears on Agricultural Equipment Guide.
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