Customers in Action

Pat Bruch Excavating

THIS PEWAUKEE, WIS.,- BASED RESIDENTIAL EXCAVATOR TREATS EVERY JOB “LIKE IT’S MY OWN HOUSE”

January 16, 2015

Outstanding Komatsu excavators

Pat Bruch Excavating

Having opened its doors in June of this year, Pat Bruch Excavating is a new company, but Pat Bruch is no novice to construction work. He started working for his dad, Myles, at Bruch Brothers Excavating while in high school. After graduating from UW-Milwaukee in 1994, Pat and his brother Bill started BPX (Bill and Pat Excavating). They amicably split the company this summer after 20 years in business together.

“Bill’s 10 years older than I am and will want to retire sooner than me,” Pat said. “I have two teenage boys, at least one of whom is likely to be interested in this line of work. It was just the right time to go our separate ways, but we still help each other on jobs.”

Based in the Milwaukee suburb of Pewaukee, Wis., Pat Bruch Excavating does residential excavation and grading almost exclusively. Pat and his half-a-dozen employees also do demolition, erosion control and some trucking.

“The vast majority of my work is for homebuilders,” said Pat. “The mason, who follows me on the job and does the footings and the walls, is like my business agent. If he prefers my holes for his foundation work, he’s going to recommend me to the builder, which happens a lot.”

Bruch has been doing residential excavations long enough that he has good relationships with many masons and homebuilders in the Milwaukee area. He says there’s one primary reason for that.

“I treat every job like it’s my own house. I don’t just show up and start digging. I take extra time to make sure the grade is correct. If something doesn’t look right, whether it’s the way it’s laid out, the elevation or the setbacks, I’ll call the builder and tell him what I think. Usually, they’ll take another look at it and will often make some design changes. The bottom line is, all of us involved in the homebuilding process have the same goal: give the homeowners a residence they’ll be happy with.”

Bruch does a lot of the field work himself, but he also relies on trusted employees Zak Krahn, Rod Drott, Mike Drott, Garret Richards, Trenton Strey and Tony Gumina, as well as his wife, Chrissy Bruch. “The guys are good, and I can trust them to successfully complete jobs whether I’m on site with them or not. As for Chrissy, I couldn’t do this without her. She takes care of everything in the office so I can be out in the field doing what needs to be done.”

Komatsu excavators

Pat Bruch Excavating

Pat Bruch Excavating’s key pieces of equipment on any residential job are his two Komatsu hydraulic excavators – a 2012 PC200LC-8 and a 2014 PC210LC-10.

“If our business is the universe, the excavator is our sun – without it, we have nothing,” said Pat. “Komatsu excavators have been a mainstay for us for many years. In 1994, when Bill and I started BPX, we got a PC200LC-5, and that machine was bullet-proof. It more or less put our company on the map.

“As for our current excavators, both are outstanding,” he added. “The PC200 was my machine, and I loved it. I hated to give it up to one of my guys, but I wanted to run the new PC210, which is our first Tier 4 machine, so I could compare the two. Both units are fast and comfortable. They’re so similar, if you were blindfolded, you may not know the difference. However, I’d give the edge to the new Dash-10 because it’s slightly quicker, travels a little better and uses about 15-percent-less fuel.”

Bruch bought the PC210LC-10 in late June 2014 and didn’t bother shopping around.

“I needed an excavator; I like Komatsu; and I trust Roland Machinery and my Sales Rep Ben Stanisch. Ben has always taken good care of us, so I just called him and told him what I needed and had faith that he would do right for me. I never even saw the PC210 until it showed up on the job.”

Plenty busy

Bruch isn’t looking to grow his company significantly in the years to come. He says he’s happy with the current size and scope of work that Pat Bruch Excavating does.

“Several builders call me regularly, and I’m plenty busy working for those people. They’re good to me, and I try to reciprocate. We’ve found a nice niche, and I’m not looking for anything more. The most important thing to me is to do a good job and keep the customers I have. My dad really instilled two things in me: do the job right, and don’t leave until it’s done. Working with him and seeing how he did things has definitely helped shape who I am and what my company is today. As long as we keep doing those two things and taking care of the customer, I’m confident we’ll be fine in the years to come.”