Komatsu excavators are “perfect for us’”
Ron Clark likes to be in control; it’s his can-do mindset that helped Clark & Sons Excavating, LLC, cultivate the skills to perform a wide range of applications.
“We can take care of everything,” stated Ron, who is Managing Member of Clark & Sons Excavating. “From purchasing to design, to grading and vertical construction, we can do it.”
The jack-of-all-trades company is also the epitome of a family enterprise. Patriarch, Bob Clark, started the business in 1953. Ron was a constant presence on jobsites as a kid before he graduated and joined the company full time in 1971. Today, Ron’s two sons, Kyle and Bobby, are Supervisors and have followed a similar path.
“Just like me, they were always helping with the business growing up,” recalled Ron. “At 10 years old, I would have put Kyle up against any operator around. Being on a jobsite is in our blood.”
In the early 1980s, a conversation with a long-time customer ignited a spark that would turn Clark & Sons Excavating into the company it is today.
“Dad and I did a lot of work maintaining pumps for a dairy farmer,” shared Ron. “One day, we learned he had 100 acres for sale, so Dad bought it and asked me what I thought about building a subdivision. I said, ‘Let’s try it.’ We were already licensed for sewers. Then I started getting the certifications I needed to complete any job that came up for the project. It was a great way for us to gain a lot of experience and knowledge.”
From then on, the company has been a constant fixture in and around Cape Girardeau, Mo. While Ron hires extra help in the busy season – he, Kyle and Bobby are the core of the operation. “We’re a true family business,” he stated. “It’s something we’re proud of.”
Taking on the construction of an entire subdivision provided Clark & Sons Excavating with a broad range of capabilities that eventually led to opportunities beyond residential projects.
“We still handle subdivisions, but we do demolition, lagoon construction, water treatment, road construction, sewers and trunk lines,” said Ron. “Because we’re very diversified; we tackle it all.”
One area that has been a growing focus is commercial construction. The company is a registered dealer for Bigbee Steel Buildings and has raised several massive structures, including a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in Cape Girardeau.
The firm recently wrapped up a two-year project for a plastic chroming company in Portageville, Mo., where it completed the site preparation for the 10-acre complex. Clark & Sons Excavating moved 120,000 cubic yards of dirt and installed nearly one mile of 48-inch pipe at the site.
The company was also involved with developing the Clark Sports and Recreation Complex in Jackson, Mo., which opened in 2016. Clark & Sons Excavating built a baseball field on the location and donated the land for the neighboring Jackson Civic Center, which features a gymnasium, offices and a banquet area.
Komatsu and Roland
To succeed in so many applications, Clark & Sons Excavating needs versatile equipment it can rely on to be productive every day. That’s why it turns to Roland Machinery and Territory Manager Dan Christensen for Komatsu excavators.
“We know they are going to run without requiring a lot of effort to maintain them. That’s perfect for us,” raved Ron.
Clark & Sons Excavating deployed its arsenal of Komatsu excavators, a pair of PC360LCs and a PC300LC, on its latest endeavor in Jackson. The company had to break and remove nearly 10,000 cubic yards of rock before it could begin construction on the pad and anchors for a substation at the site.
“We used breakers because we were in a residential neighborhood and less than 500 feet from houses, so we couldn’t blast the rock out,” said Bobby. “The Komatsus were up to the task. The PC360 was stable even with the heavy breaker on it. Most importantly, the cab was awesome. I didn’t feel the vibration while I was operating. It was quiet, and I felt great when the day was over. It was impressive.”
Ron says the value of the Komatsu excavators is further enhanced by the service and attention that Roland provides. “We’ve counted on Roland for 40 years; we consider them a partner in our business. Whenever we need something, they are on top of it, which makes a huge difference for a business of our size.”
The future is now
The succession plan at Clark & Sons Excavating is no secret– the name has been an accurate reflection of that for three generations and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
“I take it one day at a time, but Kyle and Bobby will do great when I decide to hang it up,” noted Ron. “What sets us apart is the quality we bring to a project. We control all aspects and do a great job. My dad instilled that in me, and I did the same with the boys. As long as that trend continues, we’ll be in good shape.”