MGL, Inc.

CULLMAN, ALA., COMPANY DISCOVERS ITS NICHE WITH PUBLIC UTILITY PROJECTS

January 02, 2019

“The PC210 is awesome”

Gateway Pipeline

Komatsu’s utility-size excavators, like this PC88MR, are essential pieces for MGL, Inc. “We frequently work in compact areas, and the tight tail swing really makes a difference,” said Vice President David Bussman.

Gateway Pipeline

Supervisor Dale Morgan uses a Komatsu PC210LC excavator to install a section of pipe on the Winchester Road water-relocation project in Huntsville, Ala. “The PC210 is awesome,” said Vice President David Bussman. “The operators love it. It’s a smooth machine, and it has all the power we need to complete our jobs and then some.”

Sometimes, it’s just the right time.

That was the case for David and Valery Bussman when they started MGL, Inc., in 1995. David was working for a contractor who was preparing to leave the business, and Valery had several years of experience in her father’s construction company. The couple chose to take the leap and go out on their own.

“We were both in the industry, so we decided to start something together,” recalled David. “We had the experience, and the timing was right for both of us.”

The couple opened MGL, Inc., and focused on governmental utility installations. Today, the Cullman, Ala., company continues to tackle gas, water and sewer projects throughout the state of Alabama.

“We typically prefer to do public utility jobs for governmental boards,” explained David. “I estimate that we bid at least one per week. It’s a very competitive area, but we have developed a strong reputation for delivering quality results and staying on target with our budget.

“We also mix in some private subdivision work or other unique projects,” he continued. “Those make up a small percentage of our time. If the schedule allows, or the job makes sense for us, we will take it.”

Valery, who is President, heads the 12-employee company. David serves as Vice President.

“We have a small staff, but a few people, like Supervisors Dale Morgan and Joe Collins, have been here for 15 to 20 years,” said David. “It’s a dedicated group with a lot of experience. They are the reason we have succeeded.”

Getting jobs done

MGL, Inc., built its reputation on projects like the one it completed in Susan Moore, Ala. The $2 million undertaking was the largest of its kind for the firm. It installed 100,000 feet of six-inch HDPE gas line along a 20-mile stretch of highway.

“That contract had some real challenges,” noted David. “We had to install the lines deeper than normal because the ground was solid rock. Both in the amount of pipe we laid and the dollar value, it was the largest project we’ve done. It was a great example of what we can do.”

Two recent assignments have also highlighted the company’s abilities. On a 2017 water-line installation for the City of Eutaw, Ala., the firm installed a combined total of 60,000 feet of 12-, 8- and 6-inch plastic water pipe. In addition, MGL, Inc. was tasked with changing nearly 1,600 water meters along the lines.

“That was a good opportunity for us,” said David. “They needed us to repair the lines that had developed leaks. We ended up installing an entirely new line and closing off the existing one.”

The Winchester Road water relocation in Huntsville, Ala., is the company’s most recent endeavor. MGL, Inc. crews began installing 5,000 feet of 18-inch and 7,500 feet of 12-inch ductile in October and plans to wrap up construction this spring.

“We really like the water and gas projects because the dig isn’t as deep as it is for sewer,” noted David. “It allows us to get in and out faster and help more customers. I consider those small to medium water and gas jobs to really be our niche.”

Gateway Pipeline

Tractor & Equipment Company (TEC) Sales Rep Donnie Burgeen (left) meets with MGL, Inc. Vice President David Bussman. “When Donnie says he’s going to do something, he does it,” said Bussman. “Things like that are invaluable to a company like ours. TEC’s commitment to us has been unbeatable.”

Gateway Pipeline

MGL, Inc. Supervisor Joe Collins uses a Komatsu PC210LC to dig a trench at a jobsite in Madison, Ala.

Komatsu, TEC deliver

Last year, MGL, Inc. was in the market for new excavators. After running another brand almost exclusively since opening its doors, the Bussmans decided to make the switch to Komatsu. Tractor & Equipment Company (TEC) and Sales Rep Donnie Burgeen have made the decision pay off.

“Donnie was in the right place at the right time,” kidded David. “We were thinking about making a change. Credit to TEC and Donnie, they always came around and beat the bushes – even when we kept telling them no. They built a relationship with us, and when Donnie walked in that day, it finally paid off. I’m glad it happened.”

MGL, Inc. purchased a Komatsu PC210LC excavator in October and put it to work on the Winchester Road water-relocation project. It didn’t take long for operators to switch allegiances.

“The PC210 is awesome,” proclaimed David. “The operators love it. It’s a smooth machine, and it has all the power we need and then some.”

Soon after, the company rented a second PC210LC and added two more utility-size excavators, a PC88MR and a PC30MR.

“We frequently operate in compact areas, and the tight tail swing on these excavators really makes a difference,” explained David. “We can save space while maintaining our power and production. The PC30 is great too, because we can tow it behind a truck. Then we can hook it up and hit several small jobs quite easily.

“It’s also convenient for me when I want to sneak it back to my house on the weekends to play around on,” he joked.

According to the Bussmans, the attention they receive after the sale sets Komatsu and TEC apart from their competitors.

“The service we get from TEC and Komatsu is above and beyond,” pronounced David. “Komatsu CARE came complimentary with our machines, and for the first three years or 2,000 hours, TEC handles all the maintenance. That’s unheard of for us. They service the machines at times when we aren’t running them. We don’t lose any productivity. The machines are great, and the service has added so much value in our eyes.”

TEC’s nine Alabama locations also make it convenient for MGL, Inc. to get parts or service as soon as it needs them.

“They always seem to be close by,” stated David. “More importantly, they are ready to help at any time. If I need a part or an attachment, it’s usually here by that night. When Donnie says he’s going to do something, he does it. Things like that are invaluable to a company like ours. TEC’s commitment to us is unmatched.”

Looking ahead

MGL, Inc. is entering year 23 and the business remains dedicated to delivering for its customers. The Bussmans hope that they will be able to do that for even more clients in the future.

“We run two crews right now, but we’d like to be at three at some point,” said David. “If the economy and confidence continue to grow, there will be an opportunity for us to add another crew.”

Fortunately for MGL, today’s economic climate might make that hope a reality in the near future. Whether it leads to expansion or not, the company’s approach will remain unchanged.

“It’s an exciting time in our industry,” David continued. “There’s a lot of optimism, and that’s a great feeling. We’ll continue to bid on governmental utility projects and deliver quality results on time and on budget. It’s what we do.”