2021 Contractor of the 12 months: Pruss Excavation Refashions Fleet After Assembly Twin Flood Challenges

The development lineage is deep within the Pruss household. Matt’s grandfather, Jim Sr., began Pruss Excavation in 1968. His father, additionally named Jim, joined him 4 years later, and Matt got here on board in 2001.

However Matt’s begin in development goes a lot additional again than 2001.

“I received on an excavator once I was 10 years previous. When my dad instructed me to dig, I simply stored on digging,” he says with amusing. “Mother freaked out, however I loved it.” And as he was rising up, each he and brother Scott, who now serves as superintendent with Pruss Excavation, pitched in when his father discovered himself shorthanded.

Matt went on to get a development administration diploma, one thing he didn’t know was obtainable till Freshman Day on the College of Nebraska. He had deliberate to enter enterprise, however after the dean of the college’s development administration faculty discovered his dad was a contractor, he satisfied Matt to change majors.

“We had some wonderful professors who gave us real-world eventualities,” Matt says.

One instance: it’s bid day and the scholars are estimating a mission. The professor would undergo the scholars with a handful of papers with vendor and sub quotes. “He would actually simply throw them your means,” Matt remembers. “Some quotes didn’t have bonding and a few didn’t embody taxes, and you had work out the great ones to develop the bid.”

Matt thought the train was exaggerated till he received again into the household enterprise proper after faculty. “It was not,” he says.

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“A whole lot of contractors would simply chase the flood work,” he provides, “however Matt caught round, and he stored the job shifting. It was an enormous deal. Matt is aware of he can’t simply be an proprietor and decide up a paycheck. He’s very concerned and he drives the ship on their modeling.”

This flood remediation expertise got here into play when the firm bid on an emergency $1.05 million contract with a 144-hour turnaround.  The job required over 33,500 tons of supplies to be imported to shut a breach that was 350 ft lengthy and over 25 charge deep with flood water nonetheless flowing via it.  “We had a pre-bid assembly at 1 p.m., they needed bids at 4 p.m. and would signal the contract at 4:05 p.m.,” Matt says. “We had been low by $11,800 and received it completed early.” The mission required a dozen operators and 30 vehicles. 

“Every week later we had been low bid on one other fast-track levee restore,” Matt says. “We had been low by $55,000 on a $2.eight million contract with a 168- hour completion.  We efficiently accomplished that restore on-time as nicely.”

Matching fleet to job demandThe company's fleet of pull-behind scrapers -- now at 32 -- has helped them tackle wet conditions.The corporate’s fleet of pull-behind scrapers — now at 32 — has helped them sort out moist circumstances.

“We now have had extra machines than folks all through the years, and we’re nonetheless that means,” Matt says. This additionally permits Pruss Excavation to stage an upcoming jobsite whereas ending one other and thus reduce time spent on mobilization.

Its fleet of pull-behind scrapers now numbers 32. “Pull-types are superior within the moist and the sand,” Matt says, noting that the corporate additionally makes use of Cat 627 self-propelled scrapers in drier circumstances.

Though the majority of his fleet is within the massive machine class – together with dozers, excavators, articulated vehicles, scrapers and scraper tractors – Matt additionally makes use of skid steers as help machines. “We’re additionally heavy into Topcon GPS,” he says, “and along with dozers, scrapers, and motor graders, we additionally put the excavators on grade management. We’ve discovered it very person pleasant.”

Whereas operators are liable for each day greasing, Pruss makes use of NMC to deal with PM duties. “They’ll service my total fleet, irrespective of the model,” he says. Engine, transmission and different main repairs go to sellers.

Right now’s machine telematics additionally assist with service, he says. “After we get a warning, sellers can diagnose and know the place the machine is and what they should repair it.” 

However he’s additionally discovered these handy diagnostics can eat up tech time if a simple repair just isn’t readily obvious. “I all the time press my sellers for warranties that cowl diagnostics,” Matt says. “I don’t wish to be billed for the time it takes them to determine an issue.”

LegacyFather Jim Pruss (left) and brother Scott Pruss (right) flank Matt Pruss at the Contractor of the Year event.Father Jim Pruss (left) and brother Scott Pruss (proper) flank Matt Pruss on the Contractor of the 12 months occasion.

Being named the 2021 Contractor of the 12 months has particular resonance for Matt: His father, Jim Pruss Jr., was named a Contractor of the 12 months finalist in 2004. Each his father and brother attended the Contractor of the 12 months occasion final month and witnessed his win.

Neither is shocked he got here away with the award. Matt’s purchasers and distributors additionally discover his consideration to element in how he approaches his jobs.

“He’s a heck of a businessman,” says his supplier consultant Kevin Peterson with NMC. “And you’ll see it in the best way he’s grown.”

“They know the sort of management it takes to run an important small enterprise,” says Ridder. “They only get it completed.”

“We let our work to talk for us,” Matt says. “We wish to under-promise and over carry out as an alternative of the opposite means round.”

Watch Matt Pruss obtain the Contractor of the 12 months award under: