“About just about every 10 many years we reinvent ourselves,” Marcia Veidmark, chief govt officer and chairman of the board suggests of SSC Underground, now in its 53rd year.
Together the way, the Phoenix-dependent business she and her partner Arvid Veidmark Jr. co-established in 1969 has transitioned from open-slash excavation to horizontal monotonous to offering a comprehensive slate of trenchless providers.
Their son Arvid Veidmark III, who was just lately named president, places the company’s operate in basic conditions: “You’ve acquired to like sweating.”
Tools WorldBuilding a small business
SSC (for Specialised Providers Firm) started out of the entrepreneurial inclinations of Arvid Jr.’s moms and dads, Lois and Arvid Veidmark Sr. The two experienced secured a U.S. West deal to set up telephone strains in Phoenix.
“It turned out that we liked functioning jointly and experienced the competencies necessary,” Marcia claims. “We constructed the business and just grew it all with God’s blessings, really hard work and grit.” The senior Veidmarks left following 4 several years to go after yet another company. Above the several years, Marcia and Arvid Jr. worked with all a few of their sons in the small business. Arvid Jr. retired in 2002 followed by Aaron pursuing new chances in 2011 and Abe accepting a posture with TT Technologies in 2021.
For the initially 20 years, the pair concentrated on setting up utilities and web site growth. But the levels of competition in the open up-minimize marketplace was rigorous and the hunt was on for other possibilities. The trenchless marketplace held attractiveness. Just one reason: because of to the complexity and money expenditure needed, there have been less corporations to compete with.
SSC obtained its very first horizontal boring equipment in 1989 with the couple’s son Arvid Veidmark III directing the energy.
“That was a essential decision for us, a real turning place,” Marcia claims.
The business now has revenues of about $9 million and employs all over 40 persons. It provides a comprehensive slate of trenchless services, such as vacuum excavation, hydro excavation, tunneling, utility potholing and underground consulting.
Significantly of this expansion stems out of the company’s want to “take a full turnkey technique to a project,” Marcia claims.
To achieve this, SSC started out featuring vacuum excavation/utility locating and underground consulting, which authorized it to become associated in a task upfront, heading off much less-than-attractive ailments and modify orders additional in.
“We want to definitely dial in and get a venture correctly designed so then we know anything about it,” claims Arvid. “There are continue to going to be unknowns, but we want to be in a situation where we’re ready.”
SSC started out endorsing their expanded expert services in a collection of “lunch and learns,” with Arvid educating municipalities, engineering, and general contracting companies on the capabilities and criteria of the trenchless technology and vacuum excavation companies that the company gives.
It requires endurance both to explain the intricacies of underground do the job and to carry out it, Arvid says.
The work requires precision. We’re anticipated to strike a concentrate on the measurement of a basketball hundreds of feet absent, and you only get a single likelihood to get it right” Arvid says. “We do not transfer speedy we get it carried out proper. It’s not only obtained to be appropriate, it’s got to be 100-percent certain that you are likely to carry out it no make a difference what you run into.”
That can involve cases this sort of as the 42-inch boulder that SSC encountered in a 60-inch tunnel bore. “If it experienced rolled, it could have broken someone’s leg,” Arvid suggests. SSC crews diligently utilised hand breakers to get it out of the tunnel.
Products GlobeTurning into SSC Underground
Beforehand acknowledged as Specialized Products and services Corporation, SSC Boring and SSC Worldwide, the company became SSC Underground in 2019, its 50th anniversary.
It has developed together with Phoenix large water/sewer infrastructure jobs are its sweet spot.
“It utilized to be a significant offer to do a 12-inch bore for 100 ft,” Arvid says. “Now every thing is 86 or 96 inches at 500 to 600 feet. There’s a good deal of creative imagination that goes into what we do to get from Level A to Level B.”
Michelle and Steve Walker round out SSC’s leadership crew. Michelle, a 24-yr-veteran of the business, serves as vice president of finance and administration, and Steve, manages the subject, fleet and qualities for the business.
In addition to her complete slate of obligations at SSC, Michelle also is a founding member of the Design Industry Alliance for Suicide Avoidance, serving as the organization’s previous chairman and spokesperson, and serving to it grow into an business-vast initiative.
“Our sector has the maximum suicide fee of any business,” Michelle says. “Five moments as quite a few development employees are dying by suicide each calendar year than by basic safety-similar workplace fatalities.
“As a enterprise that prides alone on caring for personnel it seemed quite wrong to switch a blind eye to that,” she carries on, “it just match to establish it into the caring tradition that we satisfaction ourselves on having”
Translating SSC’s lifestyle into the company’s values and discovering a way to implement them daily direct the leadership group to build the “I AM SSC” slogan, which stands for their main values of Integrity, Perspective, Mutual Respect, Safe, Good and Dedicated to Excellence. Every month “Values Awards” accompanied by hardhat stickers fortify the residing out of these values by recognizing workforce when they exemplify them in their everyday get the job done.
Michelle also serves as the company’s inner basic safety director, partnering with an external 3rd celebration protection consultant.
“SSC has a phenomenal safety program,” claims Brian Carroll, with SSC’s insurance plan enterprise LeBaron & Carroll Insurance coverage. “Safety is a leading-down affair at SSC. Most firms discuss about protection but the men in the area really don’t reside it. SSC is different—safety matters to all,” he suggests.
“Someone can only be as risk-free as they are mentally and emotionally equipped to be,” Michelle says. “We try to use a holistic method. There’s a lot far more to it than having your OSHA 10 card, your PPE and training.”
Equipment EarthPrecision and care
“SSC’s big fleet of vehicles and hefty equipment are managed with precision and treatment,” Carroll says. “They have excellent fleet management guidelines and applications in position to guarantee this.”
SSC’s products fleet contains both equally trenchless and earthmoving machines considering that their bores have to have launch and exit pits and spoils removal, together with an comprehensive fleet for their vacuum excavating operations: eight auger monotonous equipment, 6 backhoes, six excavators, 7 skid steers, nine air vacuum trucks and two hydro excavation vehicles.
The corporation has a pick out checklist of products brands, including American Augers, Barbco, TT Systems, VacMasters, TruVac and Caterpillar. “We’re shelling out hundreds of thousands of bucks on iron and we’re 100-% dependent on it functioning every single working day,” Arvid claims.
With the temperature extremes in the Phoenix area, this tools gets stretched, Arvid suggests: “You’ve got to know what you have the elements and provider available to deal with it swiftly. If we know it will work and it’s tested, we’ll stay with it.”
The corporation purchases both new and applied, relying on the software, Steve Walker says. The vacuum excavation vans are purchased new earthmoving gear, which is additional ancillary, is usually purchased utilized. SSC’s in depth maintenance method will allow it to use its tools for several decades and, in the scenario of its horizontal monotonous machines, even many years.
Products GlobeLeader in the field
“SSC is a great case in point of a firm that has set up on their own as a leader in the field in the eyes of municipal and private challenge owners and outside the house stakeholders,” says Debby Anderson with surety broker Insurica Southwest.
When SSC finds a complete plate of function in the Phoenix space, it experienced a special chance to extend when an prospect arose in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2007. SSC achieved four bores in below four months at an oil refinery there, a challenge that took a yr and a fifty percent to plan.
“If it is the proper fit, we’ll go in which any one desires us to go,” Arvid says.
The SSC workforce appreciates that the just-passed infrastructure invoice will ramp up regional chances in the up coming handful of several years.
“A lot of that work has obtained to be completed by way of trenchless because you really do not get to dig up railroads, light rail, canals or freeways,” Arvid claims.
In 1972, SSC obtained the to start with creating at its headquarters in north central Phoenix and slowly included adjoining attributes. An additional house in Phoenix’s exploding West Valley location will give the corporation the opportunity to build an equipment servicing facility.
“It will permit us to be a lot more effective and a bit much more aggressive for all the coming West Valley operate,” Marcia says. “We can design it from the floor up and make comprehensive use of new technologies.”
Gear Entire worldPotential
Immediately after Arvid Jr. retired, Marcia experienced a heart-to-coronary heart with their son Arvid: was he truly fascinated in taking SSC forward?
“I’m a rather direct human being,” Marcia says. “It’s so significant to get this on the table and converse enterprise. Sure, we’re a relatives, but we’re planning it and constructing it collectively.”
Together the way, her niece Michelle was requested to fill SSC’s vice president place. Later, as Aaron and then Abe moved on to new opportunities, Steve Walker was brought on and his purpose has innovative over the previous ten years to now involve the whole scope of field, fleet and residence management.
“My spouse and I have the satisfaction of observing the corporation continuing to be thriving,” Marcia suggests. “We know they are ready. I get enthusiastic for the up coming technology likely forward simply because we have received the basis laid and we have obtained a amazing workforce.”
“This do the job pays perfectly for the reason that we work tough,” Arvid says. “It presents us alternatives to genuinely extend ourselves and deliver answers for our community and prospects, and a fantastic profession for our staff of staff members.”
But there are boundaries.
“I’ve never ever purchased into the assumed that you’re possibly developing or you’re dying,” Arvid proceeds. “Our basis is faith, and it does not align with worldly values. It is a distinct belief process than what guides a great deal of the environment. It’s really crucial in our marketplace to be strategic about what we go after.”
SSC Underground was Machines World’s 2022 Contractor of the Calendar year. The application acknowledges contractors who screen the greatest standards of company acumen, products administration skills, attention to protection and local community involvement. Just about every year, 12 finalists obtain an expenditure-compensated excursion to Las Vegas to participate in roundtable discussions and an awards ceremony.
The 2023 application will coincide with ConExpo-Con/Agg, North America’s most significant design trade display. The nomination period will open up this fall. For additional info, visit https://www.equipmentworld.com/contractor-of-the-yr.