M&J Pipeline Discovers Success Below Florida

Wed January 17, 2007 - Southeast Edition

M&J Pipeline Inc. has found a balance in what could be an overwhelming world of utility construction in Florida.

With a team of 16 people and a fleet of 13 machines, the Ridge Manor, Fla., company has enough work to keep itself busy, as well as two sub crews during the peak of the construction season, which work under the name of Tovic Corp.

The company’s owners, Frank Miller and Willis Johnson, had worked together for 20 years before heading out on their own in 2000 to form M&J.

Miller, Johnson and one other employee started with just a backhoe and a loader, and the grace of good credit with its vendors. The company has since quadrupled in size and in its amount of work.

“We don’t want to get any bigger,” Miller said.

He said he’s satisfied with the work the company is doing, plus it’s tough to find good people in the workforce. All of his employees have been around for nearly five years and he hopes to keep them around for many years to come.

M&J runs Kobelco excavators and Kawasaki loaders, which it purchased from G.S. Equipment in Tampa, Fla., as well as John Deere dozers.

“We have gotten very good equipment from G.S. Equipment and that is why we buy everything we can from them,” Miller said.

The crew in mid-December wrapped up work at Chappel Creek in Zephyrhills, Fla., a 934-home subdivision on approximately 350 acres. M&J was a subcontractor of RIPA & Associates of Tampa.

During the two-month-long job, Miller said his crew placed 14,000 ft. (4,257 m) of sewer pipes, 18,000 ft. (5,486 m) of water pipes and 9,000 ft. (2,743 m) of storm drain. Pipe was installed anywhere from 5 to 28 ft. (1.5 to 8.5 m) deep

Miller said the Chappel Creek job is typical of the work his company usually undertakes. It usually has three active job sites at any given time. CEG Staff