Getting actual dirt on your hands and coming home dog-tired at the end of the day can still buy success in this country.
Dan Wall exemplifies this idea.
Since 2006, through his hard work and perseverance, Wall was able to turn a one-man, one-truck operation into a booming business.
Wall’s Elite Waste Services is a successful firm in the Raleigh area due in large measure to his tenacity and enthusiasm.
Elite Waste provides many of those ubiquitous bright yellow dumpsters, or roll-offs, seen around the Raleigh area at various construction sites, office buildings, apartment complexes and warehouses, as well as in residential areas outside small, home-improvement projects.
The company has 320 roll-off dumpsters in five different sizes — all available for rent at a flat rate — and it will deliver whatever size is needed right to its customers with one of its 15 roll-off trucks.
Elite Waste also is a major local demolition company. That includes demolition at industrial, commercial and residential sites. The company will handle everything from full building strip-outs to mold remediation, and have the equipment and experience to tackle any kind of project.
Additionally, the firm offers reclamation services such as concrete crushing and tree debris reclamation. For those who have landscaping needs, Elite offers a yard with reclaimed stones, mulches and soils.
Moreover, Elite Waste will do onsite crushing for demolition projects and concrete plants with its fleet of crushers, screeners and stackers.
“The advantage that we offer is that most people have to have their waste hauled off to a facility to have it crushed,” Wall said. “Then, when we do it on site the customer can reuse that material. I bought a smaller crusher, a Sandvick QJ240, so that I could be more mobile. Most guys have super-load crushers; mine are underneath super-load. I shopped specifically for that crusher for the convenience in moving it.”
In the Business From a Young Age
Wall’s father owned a demolition business in New Jersey for many years. At age six, Wall was first allowed to sit on his dad’s lap while he operated an excavator to wreck a home.
That was when Wall realized what he wanted to do when he grew up.
“We were demolishing the neighbor’s house and he let me wreck most of it,” Wall said. “He put me on the machine and told me to have fun. Because I couldn’t reach the pedals he knew I wasn’t going anywhere.”
After a trip to visit an uncle in the Raleigh area when he was 15, Wall discovered he wanted to live there when he was older.
That opportunity presented itself just after Wall turned 21 years old. He owned a small landscaping company at the time, but decided to sell it and open a similar business in North Carolina.
“But, when I got here, I saw only one main garbage company, so I bought a 1987 International truck and ordered some dumpsters,” Wall said. “They weren’t coming in for three weeks, though, so my dad gave me a dumpster that I drove down here from New Jersey.”
He soon landed a house wrecking job that he accomplished by renting his uncle’s excavator. That lead to another project where he purchased his own excavator, and later some more roll-offs.
Today, Elite Waste has more than 35 highly experienced employees and a large fleet of roll-offs and equipment, including crushers, grinders, screeners and rolling stock.
A Profitable Relationship
Wall can thank R.W. Moore Equipment Co. in Raleigh for helping him choose the right machines for his company.
Through the dealership and Brian Metcalf, the R.W. Moore representative working with Wall, Elite Waste purchased three Hitachi excavators (a 200 model and a pair of 210s), as well as a John Deere 270, all of which are workhorses for Elite Waste.
“These excavators are the key pieces we have in our business,” Wall said. “They have performed great — better than you could hope for. I always wanted Hitachi excavators because they are very smooth machines. The product support from R.W. Moore is also great. The best part of the Hitachis, though, is that they barely need any support — they just run and run. But, if they do go down, R.W. Moore is always there.”
Wall also has been most impressed with the excavators he has bought from R.W. Moore because of the machines’ fuel efficiency while working under relatively harsh working conditions. That leads to direct cost savings for both Elite Waste and its customers.
“It starts to pay for the operator’s salary if you are saving a gallon or two an hour vs. using other machines,” Wall said.
A Well-Tended Yard
In Elite Waste’s reclamation yard, Wall and his employees have all the different building waste sorted neatly into different piles for customers to inspect. In order to do that efficiently, one of the firm’s excavators loads the waste into a crusher where any metal or stone is then compressed and moved into a screener. At that point, it is cut down to make two products: railroad ballast and ABC, or aggregate base course, stone.
All of the raw material comes from demolition sites, construction sites and from Elite Waste’s roll-off business, according to Wall. He added that as much as 20 percent comes from the sites the company demolishes and the rest comes from other companies the company does business with.
“We make a really good processed fill with ABC stone, which is used underneath parking lots and is a cheaper, greener alternative to other stone,” Wall said. “For our grinding business, they bring in the tree debris and we grind it and use it for boiler fuel or grind it to a triple-shredded mulch, either dyed or natural.
Lending Customers a Hand
Wall added that Elite Waste, due to its large number of dumpsters, tries to do as much green waste hauling itself as it can, although most of that waste is brought in from customers who have done local clearing themselves.
“But we will do onsite grinding,” Wall said, “and that’s a big deal, because if a contractor clears a site and doesn’t want to have to move the material from the site himself, he can call us.”
To do that kind of work, Elite Waste uses two Vermeer HG6000 horizontal grinders, which are fed by his two Hitachi 210 excavators.
At the end of the day, Wall has a simple objective for Elite Waste: to be a company that you only have to contact one time to get all your commercial and construction waste needs met.
“My goal is if you have a construction site, I want to sell you your stone, do your waste, do your demolition and hopefully do your grinding,” Wall said. “We want to get on your site and stay on your site throughout the whole project. If you want us to switch out your dumpster and bring you a load of stone, too, we can do that. We mainly want to keep it to one call as much as possible.”
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