The Empire State Building in New York, the Sears Tower in Chicago: these skyscrapers and their urban siblings are sublime. These iconic American sights send imaginations soaring. Your mind, consciously or unconsciously, dwells on the human ingenuity and labor that went into erecting them, and the unimaginable breadth of human endeavor the building now houses and supports on a daily, even hourly, basis.
And all of that soaring majesty begins in the dirt. Erecting these concrete jungles has always been dependent on the excavations completed prior to installing foundations. Land excavation is simply critical: proper earthmoving means a stable building, and there is no room for error in this crucial step toward bringing a new skyscraper into being.
Many general contracting firms and excavation specialists offer a spectrum of excavation services that make it difficult even for well-informed parties to choose the best one. To help you, we’ve listed the top 24 Excavation Contractors in the U.S. We looked for contractors that have extensive experience in this specialized area. Whether it’s a residential or a non-residential building, there’s an excavation expert on this list that’s right for you.
24) Otto Baum Company
Website | 309-266-7114 | 866 North Main St., Morton, IL 61550
Otto Baum Company is a result of a persistent man’s American Dream. Otto came to the U.S. with a dream of making it big in the construction industry. The skilled brick mason started working along the rural areas of Illinois, slowly introducing his quality work to residents. He prospered, and his firm became a leading contractor in the state of Illinois.
Otto Baum Company’s outstanding accomplishments have gained it memberships in organizations including the American Concrete Institute, Better Built, and the Morton Chamber of Commerce. Visit the firm’s website to see and select the earthwork services it offers.
23) Reliable Contracting
Website | 410-987-0313 | 2410 Evergreen Rd. Suite #200, Gambrills, MD 21054
Reliable Contracting, established by Frank and Bill Baldwin in 1928, started as a hauling business. It shifted fully to road construction and excavating when Frank’s son, Tim Baldwin, bought shares of the company in 1950. Today, the firm is one of Anne Arundel County’s leading site-work contractor and contractors in Maryland, working across multiple industries.
The firm’s progressive team has introduced eco-friendly practices. They burn recycled oil for fuel, and they recycle asphalt for base materials. And reliable Contracting creates foundations that are safe and stable to build on. Preparing such foundations requires great attention and skilled professionals on the site. The firm is equipped with the right machines to excavate, haul, and level the ground. Its portfolio and directory of services available on the company website feature a number of impressive capabilities.
22) Rachel Contracting
Website | 763-424-1500 | 4125 Napier Court NE, St. Michael, MN 55376
Driven by his passion and interest in the construction industry, Don Rachel established Rachel Contracting in 2006. Rachel Contracting is composed of construction specialists who work towards offering clients better earthwork, demolition, utility installation, and specialty contracting services from Minnesota to North Dakota.
Rachel Contracting’s exemplary works have paved the way for the firm to become a leading construction company with over 750 projects and an annual revenue of $26.5 million. The Engineering News-Record recognized the firm’s growing team and the excellence of their work by including it on the magazine’s annual list.
In a 2016 project, Rachel collaborated with Adolfson & Peterson Construction to perform demolition and earthwork services for the Aurora on France. Rachel performed common excavation on 18,000 cubic yards of land. Other services that Rachel provided were the soil corrections, the export of structural excavation, and backfill operations.
21) Fox Contractors Corp.
Website | 260-747-7461 | 5430 W Ferguson Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46809
Fox Contractors Corp. started operations in 1948 when Jay Fox established the firm. The slow and steady growth of the company is a result of its professional team keeping up with the latest techniques and technologies in construction. The firm specializes in environmental and site development works. Through its bold growth progression, Fox Contractors Corp. has diversified its selection of services and capabilities.
Fox Contractors Corp.’s efficient equipment and vast capabilities provide top-notch service throughout Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. This outstanding achievement in the construction industry brought the firm attention and acclaim. The Building Contractors Association awarded the firm a Safety Excellence Award for Outstanding Effort in Promoting Construction Workers’ Safety throughout 2014.
20) Horst Excavating
Website | 717-581-9910 | 320 Granite Run Dr., Lancaster, PA 17601
Construction experience that dates back to the 1800s has been Joseph Horst and Horst Excavating’s work standard since its inception. Abram and Clyde Horst are fourth generation leaders who continue the legacy Joseph started. Horst Excavating is now an essential unit of the Horst Group, with a revenue of $5.9 million.
Its excellence in building and earthworks can be seen through the firm’s online portfolio. Infrastructure, educational buildings, commercial buildings, wind farms: Horst Excavating has provided the excavation work for all of these projects.
Featured below, from its recent works, is an excavation work for the York County resource recovery center situated in Blackbridge Road York, Pennsylvania. The resource center is a waste-to-energy facility that converts municipal solid waste into electricity. Horst Excavating performed excavation and other earthworks on a total of 133,906 cubic yards of land.
Website | 917-438-4500 | 50 Fifth Ave., 32nd Flr., New York, NY 10118
Skanska USA started with one small project in 1971 and today it is one of the leading contractors when it comes to commercial and industrial building. The firm has grown its annual revenue to $19.6 billion. Richard Kennedy took on the responsibility of leading Skanska’s team and operations in the U.S. His leadership and steadfast work ethic has provided Skanska a guiding, systematic vision.
Skanska’s unparalleled service was honored by New York Construction magazine in 2010 with the Overall Project of the Year award. The award recognized the firm’s work on some of New York’s most complex, high-profile buildings. Aside from this, the firm was also granted the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Green Leadership Award for its environmental practices.
The 2+U development in Downtown Seattle required 120,000 cubic yards excavation work which Skanska provided. The 2+U building is a 38-story office building in Seattle. Construction for the building started in April 2017 with the help of over 60 skilled professionals. Most of its construction was conducted during night hours to reduce the carbon footprint and ensure the safety of both the craftsmen and civilians.
18) B.R. Kreider & Son
Website | 717-898-7651 | 63 Kreider Ln., Manheim, PA 17545
B.R. Kreider & Son started with a 1936 22 CAT excavating machine with one operator. The father and son tandem, Ben and Elvin Kreider, built the firm into a leading excavating and paving contractor in Pennsylvania. By 1969, the firm had achieved growth we can only call exponential. B.R. Kreider & Son is now on its fourth generation of leaders and builders, all continually looking for ways to build a better community.
Since excavating is one of its specializations, the firm introduces innovative and safe excavating services. B.R. Kreider & Son uses a hydro-vacuum excavator which it refers to as the X-Kavator. This excavation process uses pressurized water and industrial-strength vacuums to excavate and evacuate soil underground. This results in a clean cut site, far safer than traditional excavation methods.
Although there are new methods for excavation, traditional excavations are still the most common. Take this example of a traditional excavation for a demo and site construction. The project in Bethel, Pennsylvania was completed to prepare the site for the construction of a new store. The site needed excavation for an underground stormwater detention system.
17) Sierra Pacific West
Website | 760-599-0755 | 2125 La Mirada Dr., Vista, CA 92081
Sierra Pacific West Inc. is a general construction company located in the City of Vista, San Diego County, California. The firm’s extensive experience in public, private, and even military projects has been a reason why it has become one of California’s contractors of choice.
The featured Sierra Pacific West project was completed for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA’s La Jolla Laboratory replacement project entailed grubbing, mass excavation, and large amounts of material export for site preparation.
Website | 847-526-5457 | 1205 Garland Rd., Wauconda, IL 60084
Berger is a public and private construction provider serving Illinois since 1975. Dale Berger pioneered the family-owned business, then passed it on to his daughter, Julie Berger-Chamberlin. Women in the construction industry are still a rare sight, and Julie’s case shows why this is unfortunate. Julie grew and expanded the business far beyond the scope of her father’s original vision.
One of the firm’s specialties is detail excavating. Berger’s team of experts on the field can work with traditional trench foundations and do so even under the most demanding situations. Berger employs skilled engineers and equally knowledgeable craftspeople to manage equipment and get the job done right.
15) MAC Construction
Website | 812-941-7895 | 1908 Unruh Ct., New Albany, IN 47150
As a startup in the 80s, MAC Construction served the southern Indiana and Louisville Metro area in the 1980s. Under the supervision of Jeannie and Victor Unruh, the company rapidly increased in size as they started bidding for government and municipal contracts. The firm is now under the care of Chad and Travis Unruh who continue the legacy of their parents.
MAC Construction’s excellence in construction received awards from the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC), including the President’s Award for Excellence, the President’s Award for Merit in Construction, and the STEP Platinum Award, an award recognizing the firm’s safety programs.
The firm offers clients a wide variety of site development services and solutions. Just like the featured photo, MAC Construction can provide earthworks such as clearing, mass excavation, and landscaping for commercial and residential projects.
Website| 908-725-1026 | 3311 US-22, North Branch, NJ 08876
Herb and Nancy Vollers built Vollers with a standard of unparalleled expertise in the construction industry. This work ethic has been the guide of its management team as it continues to grow and deliver excellent service.
Safety is just one of the many things Vollers takes into consideration while building or preparing a particular site. To ensure the safety and risk reduction in site works, Vollers is equipped with a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager and a Licensed Site Remediation Professional who identifies environmental hazards and prioritizes the efficiency and safety of daily site activities. Featured below you’ll find a project taken from its online portfolio. Vollers did site work for the Prudential tower situated in Newark, NJ.
13) Stark Excavating
Website | 309-828-5034 | 1805 West Washington St., Bloomington, IL 61701
From a single backhoe in 1946, Lyle Stark worked tirelessly to grow Stark Excavating into one of Illinois’s leading construction firm. Today, the firm has an annual revenue of $10.6 million. Lyle’s son, Dave Stark, joined his father in growing the business. This strongly influenced Dave into taking the same path as his father in the excavation field.
Stark Excavating has received over 80 awards since 1996, proof of its commitment to excellence and safety standards. Some of the notable awards it received were the Certificate of Commendation from the Underground Contractors Association of Illinois, the Contractor of the Year award from the Illinois Department of Transportation, and in 2016 the firm landed a spot in the Top 600 Specialty Contractors of the Engineering News-Record.
Although Stark Excavating started as an excavation company, it now offers clients a wide selection of services for different construction and earthwork needs.
12) Peterson Contractors Inc.
Website | 319-45-2713 | 104 Blackhawk St., Reinbeck, IA 50669
Peterson Contractors Inc. is a multi-state heavy and highway construction business which started its operations in 1964. Founder Cordell Peterson is joined by Gale Peterson Jr. in running the firm. Peterson Contractors’ skilled and experienced team of engineers use the latest in technology to develop an accurate, specialized project.
Peterson Contractors’ sharp, clean work was recognized by the Associated General Contractors of Iowa (AGC Iowa) with a Bravo Award and the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. of Iowa Award of Excellence.
Peterson Contractors Inc.’s has skillful employees and it also has an efficient fleet of equipment: both explain the company’s success. The firm ensures its performance through a goal-driven team armed with extensive experience in construction.
11) Petillo Inc.
Website | 973-347-6166 | 167 Flanders Netcong Rd., Flanders, NJ 07836
Quality projects begin with high-quality planning. Michael Petillo opened Petillo Incorporated’s doors in 1994 to provide New Jersey with a safe, first-class commercial contractor. Petillo Incorporated’s excellence in construction can be seen through its valued clients including the New York Giants, Target, WalMart, and FedEx to name a few.
In 2018, Petillo was honored with a Construction Safety Award from the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey (UTCA). Prior to that, the firm had received a total of 10 awards recognizing its excellence in construction.
Petillo accomplished major earthwork on the Empire Casino & Resort in Montecillo, NY. The firm provided mass excavation, site utilities, and foundation excavation for the new building.
Website | 614-228-1029 | 6235 Westerville Rd., Westerville, OH 43081
Kokosing is a family-owned self-performing general contractor that has been serving the Midwest since 1951. Kokosing provides clients with an extensive list of services and delivers exceptional quality on its projects. The firm’s careful earthwork process and high safety standards have recognized on numerous occasions by the National Asphalt Pavement Association’s (NAPA) Quality in Construction awards.
One of Kokosing’s notable projects: The construction of Kentucky US460. Kokosing was awarded the project from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for this $73-million project. The firm excavated a total of 21 million cubic yards of land from two mountains. Other items of work on the project included two CIP box culverts, re-decking of an existing railroad bridge for future access, 9,400 LF drainage and 8,200 CY of gabions baskets installed in the mountainside ditch lines. With over 800’ of elevation difference in the terrain making it difficult to maneuver, Kokosing found a way to complete the project safely and on budget.
9) Wayne Brothers
Website | 704-956-2200 | 357 Concrescere Pkwy., Davidson, NC 28036
Wayne Brother’s dynamic work culture is evident in its use of cutting edge technologies, and in its careful planning and construction. Keith Wayne, who co-founded Wayne Brothers in 1985, acts as the firm’s President. Keith’s strong work ethic is the firm’s standard. The company delivers top-notch service, and that commitment has earned the firm numerous awards and affiliations with professional associations.
A notable example of Wayne Brothers’ quality work is the Residence Inn by Marriott situated in Concord, North Carolina. The firm completed a number of earthworks including the excavation of the main area, the installation of segmented retaining walls, targeted rock removal, and all underground utilities including stormwater detention and filter systems.
8) Valley Construction
Website | 309-787-0292 | 3610 78th Ave., West Rock Island, IL 61201
Valley Construction is one of Illinois’s leading construction firms. The construction firm began paving during the 1920s. As the years progressed, the firm expanded its service to cater to a growing demand for an all-in-one contractor. Now in its third generation of leaders, the company continues to uphold its reputation among its valued clients.
Valley Construction provides site work like excavation, concrete foundations, and demolition from transportation construction to industrial construction. An example is Alcoa’s automotive expansion project. Valley Construction was contracted by Weitz Company to perform demolition of existing structures, complete structural excavation, and provide underground utilities.
7) Joseph J. Albanese, Inc.
Website | 408-727-5700 | 851 Martin Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95050
Joseph J. Albanese, Inc. is known for working on a number of large projects including stadiums, schools, and research centers. Completing these big projects meant completing the excavation, and they know the process well, including mass excavation, demolition, grading and paving, shotcrete, and site concrete.
The mass excavation featured is the 2012 Lytton Gateway project. The Lytton Gateway is a multi-functional building space offering 47,000 square feet of office space, 5,200 square feet of retail space, high-speed elevators, and a two-and-a-half level basement parking garage. The Lytton Gateway is located beside the Caltrain station, an important component of Palo Alto’s transit-oriented development.
Website | 402-342-2052 | 3555 Farnam St., Omaha, NE 68131
Kiewit’s services extend across the transportation, oil, gas, mining, and chemical industries in the U.S. Because of the wide spectrum of sectors it serves, Kiewit realized revenue of $8.7 billion in 2017 and employs over 22,000 people.
In 2018, the firm landed a spot on the Fortune 500 magazine ’s list as well as being awarded the fifth spot in the Engineering News-Record’s Top 400 Contractors list. While these are great achievements, the firm refuses to rest on its laurels, continuing to astound clients and people with its stellar work.
Among its many works is this excavation project in Denver, Colorado. The work required a range of 20 to 36 feet of excavation for the 64,000 square feet of cement-bentonite cutoff wall.
Website | 571-392-6300 | 12011 Sunset Hills Rd., Reston, VA 20190
2018 marked the 120th birthday of Bechtel Group, Inc. The legacy of Bechtel has been passed on to Brendan Bechtel, a fifth-generation builder who now leads the company. 25,000 projects in seven continents stand in as a symbol of the company’s success, and the firm’s commitment to each project it handles.
The firm’s exceptional standards and work methods are visible throughout its extensive portfolio. Bechtel was ranked as number one on Engineering News-Record’s Top 400 Contractors list for the 20th consecutive year. The firm received a revenue of $32.9 billion in 2017.
The Consolidated Nuclear Security partnered with Bechtel to supply excavation and mass filling for the Uranium Processing facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The $6.5 billion project aims to ensure the long-term safety and stability of American uranium capability.
4) Buesing Corp.
Website | 602-233-3339 | 3045 S 7th St., Phoenix, AZ 85040
Jerry Buesing and his brother started Buesing Corp. in 1965. Minnesota was the firm’s first home, but it moved permanently to Phoenix, AZ in 1986. During this time, Buesing completed various projects, providing mass excavation, hauling, building basements and garages, and completing utility projects. Because of its countless pioneering projects, Buesing is now considered Phoenix’s leader for commercial projects.
In 2009, Buesing Corp had the opportunity to handle the Phoenix Children’s Hospital project in Phoenix, Arizona. The 60,000 cubic yards of facility extension needed mass excavation and hauling. Buesing provided this service along with soil nailing and a shotcrete finish wall. The firm seamlessly completed all the earthmoving in an infamously busy area.
Website | 717-445-4571 | 825 Reading Rd., Bowmansville, PA 17507
When Ben Brubacher established Brubacher in 1971, he committed to delivering high-quality workmanship on every project. His belief in quality has been the firm’s guide to each and every one of its interactions with clients. The firm carefully plans and analyzes each project to preempt the kind of obstacles that can delay project completion. But even when unexpected issues inevitably arise, the firm handles such challenges with grace and professionalism.
Brubacher’s excellence in industrial construction has kept its affiliations with professional associations such as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Delaware Valley Family Business Center, and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. The firm has also won the ABC Eastern Chapter Site Work Excellence Award and ABC Excellence Award for works over $3 million in heavy construction. Take a look through the company’s online gallery and get to know the firm’s capabilities.
2) Malcolm Drilling
Website | 415-901-4400 | 92 Natoma St. Suite #400, San Francisco, CA 94105
Malcolm Drilling is a construction company located in San Francisco offering ground improvements, deep foundations, dewatering, and other industrial needs in states including California, Washington, Florida, Wisconsin, and Utah. Malcolm Drilling’s principal, John Malcolm, continuously updates himself and the firm in the latest technologies and techniques to improve the construction process.
Malcolm Drilling received Deep Foundations Institute’s 2018 Outstanding Project Award for its 181 Fremont Tower project in San Francisco. In this project, Malcolm Drilling worked with Brierley Associates for excavation design, as excavating in the bustling city of San Francisco required a delicate, sophisticated approach. Malcolm installed a temporary shoring system to perform the excavation without affecting adjacent structures.
Website | 469-398-7000 | 6700 Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, TX 75039
Named as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine from 2001 to 2019, Fluor remains fixated on providing—not only the U.S. but the planet—top-notch service. A simple construction business which started in 1912 has grown into a successful corporation serving a wide spectrum of sectors of construction.
The countless recognitions received by Fluor over the years speaks volumes of how committed, organized, and experienced the team is. The firm has received top rankings for technology innovation, and its online portfolio showcases the firm’s breadth of skills. Fluor offers services in industries like mining, energy, infrastructure, and building government facilities.