United Dredging is Growing in Ellsworth
28 Oct 2019
United Dredging is a family-owned Ellsworth company who has recently purchased the Fullerton Building. As a family-owned business, Mark Herzog and Jake Hoon pride themselves in developing relationships with clients and helping them to achieve their goals in a cost-efficient manner. In fact, one of the reasons people hire them to dredge is to save on the up-front cost of purchasing expensive equipment while also reducing the expense of needing to have trained and certified employees to operate the machines.
As a cost-saving solution for the mining industry, United Dredging has completed local and regional projects. The company uses a Skyline Dredge that can get through clay layers, reach deep deposits and excavate large aggregates. The Skyline Dredge can also be useful on dry land, excavating materials and doing reclamation jobs, giving the company opportunities for diversification.
Mark Herzog and Jake Hoon started dredging together almost 15 years ago throughout Montana and the Western United States. In the fall of 2013, the expansion into the Upper Midwest Region began. In 2016, the company moved its main base of operations to the region, before moving to its permanent location in Ellsworth, Wisconsin in 2019. With over 30 years of combined dredging experience between the two of them, the owners of United Dredging have dredged millions of tons of material in all types of digging conditions and terrains. They generally have 3 to 5 sites operational at any given time throughout the United States.
“We are mobile with our equipment and can affordably get to jobs all throughout the country. Right now we have five sites going from coast to coast,” said Jake Hoon, co-owner of United Dredging.
When asked what sets their company apart, Jake answered, “In addition to our ability to move large equipment to the job sites, it’s the efficiency of our crew, how well they are trained, and the attitude they have about getting a job done and done well. It takes a lot of training to operate our equipment, so hiring the right people who want to travel is key. We are blessed to have a good crew who works for us, and half of them are based in the Ellsworth area.”
A Business Philosophy Based on Relationships
“United Dredging is a Family based business specializing in dredging and excavation. We believe in putting your faith and your family first and that this will allow you to be successful in life, as well as in business. We are an ambitious company who wants to make a long lasting footprint in the mining industry, and we are confident that we can help your mining company accomplish your dredging, excavating, & reclamation needs, and allow you to accomplish this in the most affordable and efficient way as possible. Being straightforward, truthful, and a solid handshake is the way we handle our business” (United Dredging).
Why Companies Are Choosing to Hire United Dredging
“One of the biggest reasons that I have found why some companies prefer contract dredging with us is that if you buy your own machine (one of the three main systems) the upfront costs of these machines are very high. The problem here is once you make this investment, if it doesn’t dig as good as expected, or if for some reason the market drops like it did during the Great Recession, then you are still stuck with a machine that theoretically needs to produce a certain amount of material to pay for itself,” said Jake Hoon.
He continued, “We give customers the ability to invest their money directly into an asset that makes them money — their gravel.”
Why United Dredging Choose to Grow in Ellsworth
Jake chose to locate United Dredging in Ellsworth because that is where he and his wife chose to settle down. Originally from Texas, they spent some time traveling for work. When choosing a permanent location, they wanted to enjoy the country life while being close to the Twin Cities and the Packers! Ellsworth offered all of the above, including the ability to hunt and fish minutes from the house. The Spring Valley school district being highly rated was another selling point for their family. “Living in Ellsworth is the best of country living within an hour from the Cities and we’re still close to the airport for travel. It’s the best of both worlds,” said Jake Hoon.
United Dredging has also benefited from the location. The company has had three sites operational in the midwest for the majority of the past six years. Being centrally located to those sites has been helpful since the crew travels. In addition, they have the break down the equipment to transport it so having a good road system is critical. As the company has expanded into states like Pennsylvania and Washington, airport access has made traveling easier.
By purchasing the Fullerton building in Ellsworth, United Dredging has put down permanent roots. In the future, Jake would like to add a machine shop and continue hiring local people. “Mark and I really want to build a long-lasting business in the area and to be a staple here,” he said.