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Hard Work, Dedication and an Excavator Army

A Hitachi ZX350LC-6 and ZX470LC-5 operated by Consolidated Construction Services works on a residential project in White Marsh, Md.

When it comes to underground utility work, Steve James at Consolidated Construction Services Inc. is a good guy to call. He’s dedicated to his work, and his crew will get the job done with an army of orange Hitachi excavators.

It’s impressive to see Consolidated Construction Services Inc. (CCS) in action. Just when you think you’ve seen all the equipment on site, it seems like another orange excavator appears.

Owner Steve James started CCS, an underground utilities company serving the Baltimore metro area, in 1986. And he has relied on Hitachi equipment since the beginning. His fleet now ranges from a ZX330LC up to a ZX470LC-5.

“Hitachi excavators are reliable,” he said. “Our 330 has about 10,000 hours, and we won’t get rid of it because it keeps running.”

James continues to build his army of Hitachi excavators. Two new ZX350LC-6 excavators were the most recent productive additions to the line-up last year.

“We bought the new 350 excavators to support the volume of work we have,” James said. “We’re pleased with the machines’ performance.”

CCS operator Dave Click, who’s been with the company for 23 years, is a fan of the new ZX350LC-6.

“I’ve been operating equipment since I was 18 years old,” Click said. “The 350 is a great machine. It has a lot of power and it is really smooth.”

CCS operator Nicholas Stafford also agrees.

“The 350 is comfortable, fast and it’s powerful,” Stafford said. “It also burns less fuel than other brands.”

Dominating workloads

The new ZX350LC-6 excavators proved their worth almost immediately on a residential project for Elm Street Development, one of the largest privately-owned developers in the region. CCS brought in most of its Hitachi excavator army – 12 machines – to dominate the workload.

“We needed someone with dedicated resources for this project, and CCS was a good fit,” said David Murphy, vice president of Elm Street Development.

The 200-acre project named Greenleigh at Crossroads is part of a 1,000-acre business development called Baltimore Crossroads off Route 43 in Middle River, Md., near White Marsh. Greenleigh, a $750 million mixed-use community, will include 1,500 residential units – single family homes and multi-family units – and more than 600,000 square feet of office and retail space once completed.

The first phase of the project consists of 80 acres that will have 250 homes. For this phase, CCS installed seven miles of water, sewer and storm drainage pipe, and made cuts as deep as 25 feet.

Meeting aggressive timelines

James was confident that his team and equipment would meet the tight timeline for the first phase of the project. And he was right.

“Hitachi excavators are very dependable, and I have a great team,” he said. “We have about 70 employees, and I have guys that have been with me for more than 20 years.”

Along with operator Dave Click, foreman Eddie Deavers is another veteran CCS guy – he started out laying pipe, then became an operator and worked his way up to foreman. James is quick to credit Deavers and fellow foremen Brandon Barthel and Tony Galdamez for helping keep the project on track.

“We were working on a strict timeline of four months, and we stayed on schedule,” James said. “My foremen were critical to that success.”

Looking ahead

Mike Macon, project manager and field superintendent for Elm Street Development, appreciates the dedication that CCS brings to its jobs.

“We had an aggressive schedule for phase one of this project, and CCS delivered,” Macon said. “They’ve been a reliable partner.”

And that reliability has helped CCS earn more work with Elm Street Development as well as a variety of other projects in the area. With an expanding workload, James might need to add more members to his excavator army. And you can bet that his Hitachi dealer, Elliott & Frantz, will be ready to help. After all, CCS has partnered with the dealer for more than 30 years.

“Bob and the guys at Elliott & Frantz have always taken care of us,” James said. “I know I can count on them for good service and dependable Hitachi equipment. We’re looking forward to adding more Hitachi machines to our fleet.”

Consolidated Construction Services Inc. is serviced by Elliott & Frantz, Jessup, Md.

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