Issue Vol18 Iss5
Relaible, honest service
Over three decades from its inception, Muschlitz Excavating maintains its sterling reputation for quality work, responsive customer service and safety
One of Eastern Pennsylvania’s leading providers of site development, excavation and paving services, Muschlitz Excavating was founded in 1990 by Ron Muschlitz and his two sons, Jack and David. Cutting its teeth on small-scale residential projects, the company quickly built for itself a sterling reputation for delivering quality and within three years it had taken on its first large commercial project, building athletic fields for Lehigh County in 1993.
“Working together, Ron, Jack and David started the business the good, old-fashioned way with just a backhoe and a track loader, and literally built it from the ground up,” begins Muschlitz Excavating’s Chief Operating Officer, Steven Goffredo. “Growing in parallel with the economy of the local area, the business rapidly moved onto handling ever-more challenging projects, investing in its fleet and in new technology such as GPS-enabled equipment in the process as it evolved as an organization.”
Today, Muschlitz Excavating is home to more than 120 skilled professionals, utilizing a fleet of over 200 late-model pieces of equipment to consistently complete mid- and large-sized projects on time and on budget. The business specializes in bringing multiple services together, including site development, land clearing, mass earthwork, underground utilities, rock crushing/recycling, asphalt paving, surveying, foundation excavation, and landscaping. This capability has resulted in a number of successfully completed contracts for a diverse set of clients, including Camelback Mountain Resort, Lehigh Valley International Airport, several large developers, and numerous municipalities and school systems.
“Throughout our journey, one thing that has remained the same is that we have never judged ourselves against the performance of our peers or competitors,” Steven explains. “We consider ourselves to be thinkers and we grade ourselves purely on the substance of our own work. We embrace change and new technologies, and we have also shown ourselves to be willing and able to take a leap of faith should the circumstances feel right to do so. Sometimes this works out, and sometimes it doesn’t, but we have found that if you are not willing to take steps forward then you will invariably be left behind, and this has helped to make Muschlitz Excavating a leader in its field.”
As Steven goes on to detail, there are other factors that are also responsible for the business’ considerable success. “First, it is the people who make up our family of employees, and we go to great lengths to find, hire and retain those individuals who are invaluable to our continued prosperity,” he says. “Meanwhile, another facet that is somewhat unique to Muschlitz Excavating is our ability to be very detail orientated in all of our collaborative decision making. We possess a great balance of personalities here, which allows us to bounce different ideas off one another, and I think that has played a large part in our success as well.”
We have touched briefly upon some of the projects completed by Muschlitz Excavating in the past, but just as impressive are some of the work that it is currently undertaking. One particular example – and its largest undertaking to date – is its work on the Northampton Business Center. Located in Allen Township, Northampton County, PA, the proposed site extends over 280 acres and will eventually be home to no fewer than five substantial warehouses. The project involves over two million cubic yards of earthen material that needs to be handled, as well as 600,000 cubic yards of rock, and will also see three township roads being upgraded with new traffic signals, storm sewer and paving. Muschlitz Excavating will be performing all of the site work, rock blasting, storm sewer, underground utilities, curbing, paving, retaining walls, and landscaping.
“The award of a contract of this size is testament to the efforts made to grow this business over the years to handle projects of such scale,” Steven states. “Nevertheless, at the end of the day we still have to go out there each day and perform to the best of our ability, and in doing so we have been able to excel and remain ahead of schedule when it comes to delivery of work. The way we look at projects such as the Northampton Business Center is not too dissimilar to others, only that it is on a larger scale. Therefore, our detail orientated philosophy remains unchanged, and while we do make baseline schedules and plans for the weeks and months to come, our ability to also adjust on fly also makes us incredibly successful partners to work with.”
Returning to a previously mentioned topic, it is Muschlitz Excavating’s willingness to embrace technology that has been at the heart of some of its most successful undertakings. “The thing about the use of technology is, we don’t necessarily use anything that people out there haven’t ever heard about, but what we do is use technology correctly in order to make good people deliver even better results,” Steven points out.
Two of what are numerous examples of the aforementioned efforts include its work with the companies, Propeller and SITECH. In the case of the former, Propeller provides 3D drone mapping, surveys and inspections. “Through the use of Propeller’s products, we are able to take countless images of our project sites from the air, and it is also the company’s ability to utilize advanced software systems to transform these images into concrete data in under 24 hours that really brings something significant to the table for us,” Steve enthuses. “Again, this is not technology that is only accessible to Muschlitz Excavating, but what we have done over the years is pay close attention to how it has evolved, learning its various intricacies in order to get the very best out of it.”
Meanwhile, when it comes to SITECH, it is the leader in providing easy-to-use Trimble construction technology solutions, from machine control systems, to site positioning and other associated software. “SITECH have aided us immensely over the years in guiding us through the ins and outs of Trimble’s solutions in order to make use of it to the highest possible level,” Steven affirms.
“Our knowledge of such solutions is of huge importance when it comes to the type of large projects that we take on, and we have been working very hard to narrow down our numbers and better understand different processes in order to get a truer value of our cut-to-fill basis,” Steven continues. “If we take the site of the Northampton Business Center, this had over 1.2 million yards of cut-to-fill material to take care of, so moving the dirt was one thing, but balancing the site after the fact was an entirely different challenge altogether. This is because as well as balancing that 1.2 million yards of cut-to-fill, you are also balancing five different sets of building spoils, all with different designs, interior and exterior peers, various underground utilities and all of the dry utility calculations. Throw on top of that over 600,000 yards of rock and the need to understand swell and compaction factors, and it makes for a complex and interesting conundrum, but one that we very much enjoy taking on!”
Looking back on the last 12-to-18 months, and Steven suitably refers to it as a unique period of time. “When you come across a once-in-a-generation event such as a global pandemic, then it doesn’t matter what type of business you are, there is no written blueprint that specifies how to combat this. What we can say from our own experience is that our ability to face down adversity with a collaborative, level-headed approach has paid off, in spite of losing approximately 7.5 weeks of business during the height of the pandemic.
“During this period, we were able to keep our repair shop open, and we had the foresight to use the time wisely to do things such as rebuild a lot of our trucking division while our fleet was not out on the road. The result was that we emerged from those 7.5 weeks stronger and hungry to get back to work, and with arguably a greater appreciation of our day-to-day life as part of a business that continues to retain the respect of its customers.”
For Muschlitz Excavating, the first several months of 2021 have continued to deliver good results, but Steven is keen to stress that the goal of the business remains that same, and that is to become even better at what it does. “Our philosophy has never been to be the biggest player out there – although we are now at a size where we are able to compete with the largest contractors in the state of Pennsylvania – but rather to be the best. We have every confidence in our team of employees, and we know that when we put the proper workload in front of them that the end result will be of the highest standard possible. So, 2021 will be another year of bettering ourselves,” he concludes.
Services: Site development, excavation and paving work