Signs of spring are everywhere – birds chirping, trees budding, and moods brightening. It’s the time of year Midwesterners move out of hibernation mode, ready to resuscitate projects from last year and take on new ones.
|“Working with Mat Gertken is great,” Senkyr says. “He let us try out the Cat machines on the jobsite a couple of times before I bought them. Now that we have them, the guys say they’d never go back.”
As daylight grows longer, St. Cloud, MN-based J&S Excavating also prepares for the work ahead. While the company stays busy in the winter – plowing snow, bidding upcoming jobs, and finding some time for play, they look forward to the ground thawing, as it marks the beginning of their busiest season.
Since 1993, J&S Excavating has delivered excavating services to residential and small commercial customers throughout a 60-mile radius of St. Cloud, MN. Jim Senkyr, president, and his five employees, specialize in new home construction, apartments and small retail – providing services such as basement digging, sewer and water hookup, and grading work.
Staying On Schedule, Meeting Customer Demand
Meeting the ever-increasing demands of customers is a tough challenge for any contractor, and J&S Excavating is no exception. Missing deadlines means losing business to the competition, and a bruised reputation. “We do our very best to keep the schedule, to be there when our customers want us,” Senkyr says. “It’s critical to our success.”
To keep jobs running smoothly and on time, Senkyr relies on two key elements – teamwork and a rugged lineup of dependable equipment.
A hands-on approach keeps Senkyr in tune with his customers and his jobs, allowing him to closely monitor productivity and quality. And project involvement is what he enjoys most about being a small business owner. “I’m not an office guy,” Senkyr says. “I like to be in the field, working alongside my guys.”
Caterpillar® equipment makes up the majority of Senkyr’s fleet. He owns a 315CL excavator and a 318CL excavator, two 257B multi-terrain loaders (MTLs), and a 277B MTL. But that wasn’t always the case. Senkyr previously ran a competitive brand of track loaders, but following some service issues in 2004, he traded them in for Cat MTLs. “I used another, well-known brand of machines for years, but when the track machine broke down, the dealership service disappointed me,” Senkyr recalls.
Making the Switch
Senkyr turned to Ziegler, finding service and products unlike anywhere else. “Working with Mat Gertken is great,” Senkyr says. “He let us try out the Cat machines on the jobsite a couple of times before I bought them. Now that we have them, the guys say they’d never go back.”
Senkyr’s Cat machinery surpasses his expectations in every application. From excavating and backfilling footings to digging retention ponds and final grading, he runs the equipment every day. And his Cat Work Tool attachments – a grapple fork and angle broom – add to the ease of accomplishing tasks like de-brushing lots or grading.
Having plenty of experience with other well-known brands, Senkyr appreciates the efficiency of Cat equipment, saying, “they respond quicker, run smoother, and the overall maneuverability is superior to other brands I’ve used.”
Cat machine design also helped win Senkyr’s loyalty. “We really like the joystick controls,” he says. “We no longer have to operate foot pedals and have two arms working to control the machines. The guys feel less fatigued and more productive because of it.”
Defeating Downtime With Full Circle Service
Most of J&S Excavating business comes directly from referrals, so service is crucial to their success. “The housing market is soft, and 75 percent of my business comes from nine builders,” Senkyr says. “I have to give my customers quality work and honest, dependable service to keep them coming back.”
To prevent unexpected machine problems from crimping productivity, J&S Excavating finds ways to prevent unplanned downtime and stay on schedule. Besides having a talented mechanic on staff to perform regular preventive maintenance procedures such as oil changes, lubes, and filter changes, Senkyr counts on his St. Cloud Ziegler service shop, one of four full-service compact construction equipment service locations in Minnesota, for more complex issues and warranty-related service. “Ziegler does quality work when I need it. And if a machine breaks down, Mat goes out of his way to keep me going with a loaner.”
Following the switch to Cat equipment, Senkyr’s crew notices greater comfort, improved efficiency and productivity, and reduced downtime. Customers, in turn, express satisfaction with speed, responsiveness, and quality – and the referrals keep coming. Another example of quality products and dedicated service making a positive impact on business!
Multi Terrain Loader Product Information