Independence Excavating

Experience is the name of the game for Independence Excavating. As one of the country’s largest, and arguably most experienced excavating companies, Independence had modest, family oriented beginnings. The DiGeronimo family founded the business in 1956 that quickly became known throughout Independence, Ohio, as the go-to company for residential basement, sanitary and drainage projects.

By 1971, Independence Excavating had grown in its capabilities, allowing the business to expand into the commercial segment. The Cleveland Courthouse was the first commercial foray, consisting of mass excavation and haul-away in an urban setting. The project was a success, and it demonstrated the company’s ability to handle large-scale projects efficiently and accurately.

Over the past 56 years, Independence has grown in its capabilities and size. “We’re very dynamic,” notes Justin Fox, general manager for Independence Excavating, Pittsburgh division. “We’re at a point where we can do any work that is multifaceted. We offer guaranteed site development. That’s where we do our best – that’s our niche market.”

Although multifaceted work may be the niche for Independence Excavating, the company’s market landscape spans several thousands miles. Over the last five decades, the company has tackled the toughest sites in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and beyond. “We specialize in projects with demanding schedules, multiple technical capabilities and heavy resource requirements,” Fox notes. “With our highly trained management team, experienced field crews, and one of the largest equipment fleets available, we are prepared for any challenge.”

Unique Skill Set
For a half-century, Independence Excavating has excelled in its site development, industrial, environmental, demolition and concrete capabilities. According to Fox, the company owns and operates more than 300 pieces of equipment and employs more than 500 people in the peak summer months.

Year after year, the company applies its resources to a number of projects in a number of areas. However, it’s the projects that are considered “challenging environments” that Independence Excavating has come to excel at.

“We’re very well-resourced in people, equipment, expertise and experience,” Fox explains.

As Fox further explains, Independence Excavating gravitates toward projects with liquidated damages. For example, the company recently performed a number of services for the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, which included $10,000 a day of liquidated damages. The project included pavement demolition, excavation and grading, as well as stabilization and new pavement.

“We’re not scared of these kinds of jobs. In fact, some of our best work has been in this way,” Fox says. “Sites such as these may require a very good safety record, and we have that.”

Much of the growth Independence Excavating has seen over the years has been the result of the company’s unyielding focus on safety. The company states that it has invested in quality people and equipment over the years, which has helped to enhance the overall capabilities of the business.

“Our corporate experience modification rate is .55, and in 2011 we won the Ohio Contractors Association Jerry Keller Safety Award for safety in the category of 700,000 to 1 million man-hours,” Fox explains.

According to Fox, the company’s safety recognition is the result of having a dedicated and talented safety and risk management department. “We have a team of people who are totally committed to safety and do a fantastic job,” he says. “Safety comes down to the culture of your employees.”

A New Way
For more than half-a-century, Independence Excavating has been hard at work providing quality services to various industries across the Midwest and eastern parts of the United States. Just as many changes have taken place at the company, there have been even more changes in the industry. And, as Fox explains, these industry changes have had a lasting influence on how Independence Excavating operates.

“The industry has gotten away from a handshake for a deal to much more paperwork,” Fox notes.

Independence Excavating has embraced the relatively new style of business taking hold in the industry, and it’s proven to be a point of differentiation for the business. “We’re a customer-centric company,” Fox says.

Utilizing its talent, equipment and processes, Independence Excavators has been able to successfully bid on and perform construction services for customers. This philosophy has helped Independence Excavating grow in reputation, capability and assets. And, as the industry continues to evolve, the company has intentions to continue to grow, too. EMI