Wade Williams Dozer Service

BUYING AN EXCAVATOR FOR PERSONAL USE OPENS THE DOOR TO NEW BUSINESS FOR TRENTON FARMER

Oct 30, 2013

Komatsu - reliable, powerful and fuel-efficient equipment, and superior support

When Wade Williams bought his first piece of equipment eight years ago, he didn’t put much thought into starting an excavation business. He just wanted to clean up around the farm.

“My family and I have some ground that needed work, and rather than hiring it out, I decided to buy an excavator and take care of it myself,” recalled Williams, who’s a one-man operation with Wade Williams Dozer Service. “I had no background in earthwork, although I’d always had some interest in it. In fact, the only equipment I had ever run was a mower when I cut grass in high school and college.”

When neighbors saw that Williams had an excavator, they came knocking on his door, asking him to do projects for them. “With my lack of experience, I was a little hesitant at first, but I wanted to help them out, too. I looked at it as an opportunity, and fortunately customers were patient as I gained the knowledge and skills to make a go of it. I also have to credit some other people, such as Kenny Smith, for letting me hang around and see how they work and how to go about the bid process.”

Based in Trenton, Tenn., Wade Williams Dozer Service now serves about a 70-mile radius, providing a long list of earthwork-related services to farm, industrial and commercial customers. Williams believes he’s built the business the right way, slowly and by word-of-mouth referral.

“As I gained confidence, I gained customers, and they helped me gain more,” said Williams. “I also started adding to my resume. At this point, there’s not much in terms of dirt work I don’t do. The majority of my projects are still for area farmers, including cleaning fence rows, clearing timber, ditching and building pads. I frequently do projects with farmers in conjunction with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, building ponds, dams and other structures. During the past few years, I’ve branched out to include building pads, footings and other work in the commercial and industrial markets.”

Appreciates Komatsu’s, Power Equipment’s help

Williams handles the work himself, occasionally calling in some extra help if needed. “The other guys are terrific about helping out if I call, but I believe that being on my own is the best fit for me right now. My projects tend to be small to medium, so I can make that work while still providing the quality that my customers expect and that I expect of myself.”

Williams added that ensuring projects are done on time and on budget also takes quality equipment, especially the Komatsu machinery he’s purchased from Power Equipment Company’s Memphis branch with the help of Territory Manager Jimmy Spence. Wade Williams Dozer Service recently added a Tier 4 Interim PC240LC-10 excavator to go along with a D51 dozer.

“My first excavator was another brand, and I replaced it with a second competitive machine,” noted Williams. “After the second one, I switched to Komatsu, and it remains my brand of choice because it has proven to be productive. I’ve owned a PC200, a PC220 and now a PC240. Komatsu is reliable, faster, powerful and more fuel-efficient than anything else I’ve had. I can move dirt faster and at a lower cost, both with the excavator and dozer. I love the visibility and versatility the D51 offers. It allows me to better see the load, and it works equally as well in pushing a mass quantity of dirt as it does in fine grading. It’s a good all-around dozer.”

Williams also appreciates the service he gets from Power Equipment and Komatsu. “I’ve found Komatsu to be hands-down the leader when it comes to support. They’ve shown me ways to increase my bottom line, including bringing idle time to my attention. I really never gave it much thought before.”

Komatsu and Power Equipment contacted Williams about participating in Komatsu’s recent No Idle Initiative, which was designed to increase awareness of excessive idle time and easy ways to reduce it. Starting from a baseline idle time, Komatsu tracked participants over several months to chart and reward their progress. Williams earned a “Best of the Best” award, given to companies that reduced their overall idle time to 15 percent or less.

“Power Equipment sent me monthly reports showing a breakdown of idle time versus run time and documenting how much idling dropped,” Williams said. “It makes so much sense, and I’m grateful they brought it to my attention. It opened my eyes to how much excessive idling was costing me in terms of wasted fuel, unproductive hours that contributed to more frequent service intervals, and unnecessary wear and tear. It’s that kind of service and support that’s kept me loyal to Komatsu machinery and Power Equipment.

“Jimmy has been terrific about finding me the right machines to fit my needs, and Power Equipment and Komatsu are great about ensuring it continues to be productive,” Williams added. “For example, the complimentary CARE program that was included with the PC240. Power Equipment calls and lets me know when it’s time for maintenance and schedules it to minimize downtime. I really appreciate that.”

A chance to grow

Williams also appreciates the opportunity that was presented to him when he bought that first excavator. “I wouldn’t change anything, including the growing pains that have helped me get to this point,” he stated. “Now that I have a few years under my belt and am more comfortable about bidding work, I can see the possibility of growth. But I won’t do it in a way that jeopardizes my ability to take care of the customer. Slow, steady and with a continued eye toward building it the right way is the best practice for me.”