Case Studies

C. & E. Excavating Inc.

Prepping for quality construction with high-quality people

Since 1977, C. & E. Excavating Inc. has been family owned and operated, working throughout Indiana and southern Michigan on a range of public and private projects, ranging from municipal and city work to Indiana Department of Transportation (IDOT) contracts. Based in Elkhart, Indiana, the company has built a reputation of trust, timely delivery and reliability.

A trusted name

“We’re family owned, so we have a small, close-knit feel and our employees do an exceptional job on all projects, in managing time and budgets and working with customers,” says Ed Bessinger, founder and president of C. & E. Excavating, in regard to the company’s 35 employees. “We have more than 100 pieces of equipment to support all of our projects and we have an excellent track record with municipalities, as well as clients on the private side.”

After military service in Vietnam, Ed decided to start his own company in 1977. He founded C. & E. Excavating as a family business and today the tradition continues. “My son and daughter are Purdue graduates and they’re working in the business,” he says. “We now have a secondary side of C. & E. Excavating that does directional boring and we have one engineer that oversees all of this business.”

In terms of traditional scope, C. & E. Excavating offers site work and grading, demolition, water and sewer work and repairs. The company also offers material recycling and reclamation. “We have two recycle center pits that crush and recycle concrete and asphalt. We also screen topsoil, sand and stone. These facilities are located in South Bend, Illinois, and Edwardsburg, Michigan,” notes Ed.

C. & E. Excavating is based in Elkhart, but serves customers as far as La Porte and LaGrange, north to Three Rivers and Cassopolis, Michigan. The company’s crews tackle all facets of water, sewer, site work, stone, grading and site prep work on all projects and leave the concrete, asphalt and landscaping to subcontractors. “Typically, that’s the model, but it all depends on the contract,” says Ed.

Project points

C. & E. Excavating is capable of handling a wide range of project sizes from a small $500 job up to a $500,000 scope. In Topeka, Indiana, in LaGrange County, C. & E. Excavating’s crew is working on a new fire station project, performing all water, sewer, site and curb work. “This job started in October 2015 and we’re on hold through the winter, but set to finish by spring 2016,” says Ed.

The company has been an ongoing part of the Elkhart General Hospital project, which includes a new parking structure and brand-new hospital wing. “We’re doing all excavation, water, sewer and some demolition on this project, which has been in the works for three years,” says Ed. “We’re now finishing the exterior work because the bulk of the water and sewer work wrapped in 2015. This is our second major hospital project.”

Also in Elkhart, C. & E. Excavating has worked on Waterfall Drive, part of the scenic Elkhart River Walk — a $1 million project. “We drove sheeting, installed new stormwater drains, curb and concrete on this six-month project,” notes Ed. “Another project is the Cedar Street redevelopment, where we’re doing all sanitary sewer, curbs and street work, which we just completed.”

With a lot of work on the books, Ed says C. & E. Excavating is bouncing back from the recession, which hit the company hard. “We were losing money for a couple of years,” he admits. “We kept a core group of 20 people, but we knew if the economy didn’t change, we were going to have to do something different, but luckily it turned around.”

Now, Ed says the local Indiana-Michigan economy is quite strong. “Our backlog is healthy and there’s a lot of work being bid,” he says. “With such a constant flow of work coming in and new projects to bid on we’ve been able to retire old equipment and update several pieces, which is helping us speed up projects and do more.”

Ed says he sees the C. & E. Excavating attracting more municipal customers, especially for installation and demolition services. “Our local economy is strong, I see another good year,” he says.

To keep jobs running, and juggle a lot of work, Ed is well aware of the kind of team it takes. “We are so fortunate to have tremendous people and a dedicated working crew,” he says. “It all comes down to quality people.”

With the right people, the right equipment and the reputation to get projects off on the right foot, C. & E. Excavating Inc. is running on almost 40 years in business and a trusted name.

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Spring 2018



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