South Florida Excavation Continues Work on 242-Acre Job

Tue June 10, 2014 - Southeast Edition

The operator of a John Deere excavator feeds the Metso LT106 crusher.
The operator of a John Deere excavator feeds the Metso LT106 crusher.
The operator of a John Deere excavator feeds the Metso LT106 crusher. Crews use a John Deere 870G to move rock from a stockpile area. The operator uses the Volvo motorgrader on a commercial site in Lely. South Florida Excavation uses a Mauldin 1750C paver on a parking lot for a new restaurant. Rob Anderson (L), vice president, and Greg Gerrard, superintendent of South Florida Excavation Inc.

South Florida Excavation did not escape the effects of the recession, but the company has survived tough times due to its long-term relationship with a developer and equipment dealers.

For the past 10 years, South Florida Excavation has been hard at work on two phases of a 242-acre project — Lakoya at Lely Resort project in Naples, Fla. This massive undertaking has involved moving more than 3 million cu. yds. (2.29 million cu m) of material; 2 million cu. yds. (1.5 million cu m) were removed to form 25 ft. (7.6 m) deep lakes, and 1 million cu. yds. (764,554 cu m) was buried on site. Another 1 million cu. yds. was stockpiled and processed for other projects on Lely. Crews needed to blast the rock before digging in about 95 percent of the area, and in the other five percent hammers were used on the rock underwater, adding to the difficulty of the project.

In order to ensure all water was contained on site, South Florida Excavation subcontracted the underground utilities work to Mitchell and Stark. In addition, the firm was employed to complete paving on the project, but South Florida Excavation handled the preparation.

"We crushed the road base material on site, but the paving was subbed out to Mitchell and Stark. We used a crusher Pegson XA 400 to start and then ended with a Metso LokoTrack LT106. More than 200,000 cubic yards were crushed," said Greg Gerrard, superintendent of South Florida Excavation.

The housing site is finished for now, and South Florida Excavation has shifted focus to work on the commercial lots.

In addition to the Lely Resort, South Florida Excavation has been involved in various projects over the last 10 years including preparing the site for Edison College. Eight years ago, during the housing boom, the company was at work on four projects including Grand Lely Drive. Despite the crash that followed, South Florida Excavation continued work on these projects.

"We continued working through the slow down. There were several small projects that carried on because of building permits that kept us working through the lean years," said Gerrard.

South Florida Excavation has been completing site work and paving in southwest Florida for more than 20 years.

"We started in America in the early 90s after we came over from England," said Rob Anderson, vice president of South Florida Excavation. "This is a family run business. My father, Drew Anderson, founded the company and today my brothers Russell, Tim and I run it. We currently have 72 employees. We are survivors, hard work and dedication got us through the recession, and we are coming out the other side of it now."

Anderson credits two equipment dealerships for the company’s continued success.

"We primarily work with two equipment dealerships, Flagler for the Volvo equipment and Nortrax for the Deere equipment. We have had great relationships with them, and when we form a relationship with our suppliers we continue to work with them. Flagler and Nortrax stand behind their equipment and their service is outstanding. All equipment is going to break down at some time, it is what the dealers do that keep us happy. Whether it is loaner equipment, or a standby on parts that are sitting waiting for us, they go the extra mile. That is why our fleet consists of Deere and Volvo equipment. We are very brand loyal. You look after us and we will continue to buy your products."

South Florida Excavation is currently at work on another 38-acre condo complex, completing site work including excavation of lakes and crushing rock.