Rummel Construction

Reaching milestones in safety that few in the construction industry have ever accomplished and building lifetime partnerships with its clients are just a couple of the reasons Rummel Construction has become a leader in heavy civil construction. Celebrating its 20th anniversary next year, the company remains dedicated to delivering safe and innovative solutions through its experienced team.

“Rummel is a great place to work,” Vice President Scott Lane says. “It’s a family oriented company. The owners, Rod and Rick Rummel are involved in day to day operations and are often seen on job sites and participate in bid reviews. I believe that hands-on approach really gets conveyed to everyone from the equipment operators to vice president level. They care about our company and its future.” 

Brothers Rick and Rod Rummel began their careers in construction as teenagers, working for a family owned business in Missoula, Mont. After graduating from college in Arizona, they were both employed by a local road building firm and continued to gain experience. In 1996, the brothers formed Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Rummel Construction with a focus on residential earthmoving and road construction for Departments of Transportation. “As things evolved with the residential housing market crash, we refocused our efforts heavy into pursuing energy work and started doing a lot with solar in 2010,” Lane recalls. “Ever since then we have been doing site prep for utility scale solar projects, wind farms, electrical substations, transmission lines and power plants.”

Rummel Construction offers its services in the southwest United States, focusing mostly on projects in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. Today, the company provides a multitude of services for the mining, energy, commercial, transportation, industrial, government, recreation, residential, flood control, dam construction and landfill markets. “Each vice president oversees a sector and I lead our energy sector,” Lane says. “We chose to create sectors to align our senior managers with the market sectors where we build work.”

Safe Production

Rummel Construction’s safety program is successful because of its integration with the company’s construction processes, continuous improvement methodology and employee involvement. The company has been named one of America’s Safest Companies for 2015 by EHS Today, the magazine for environment, health and safety leaders. 

“We are really proud of our safety record,” Lane says. “Our current EMOD is 0.49 and we have surpassed three million man-hours since our last lost-time injury and have more than one million hours without a recordable injury. There are certain clients we do work for that if we didn’t have a good record we wouldn’t be able to bid their work.” 

Rummel Construction hosts quarterly safety meetings for all of its 400 employees to keep them up-to-date on the latest trends and requirements. Every employee receives yearly MSHA training to work in the copper and gold mines. Operator training programs require daily logs be kept on the equipment they have run and the company performs proficiency checks. Additionally, operators are trained on all the equipment in the company’s fleet. 

At each job site, Rummel Construction holds daily meetings before work begins and throughout the day if the tasks change. “We work with industry professionals to run our managers through training on the latest trends in construction, including safety, leadership, and changes in industry trends and equipment technology,” Lane says. 

Mesquite Solar 3

Rummel Construction began working as a subcontractor for Tucker, Ga.-based AMEC Foster Wheeler in August at Mesquite Solar 3 in Tonopah, Ariz., a 150-megawatt solar plant that sits on 1,000 acres. “AMEC Foster Wheeler is a global construction company with more than 40,000 employees worldwide and they have just been a great partner,” Lane says. “We have built for them in California and Arizona and bid work in Nevada. They have very high standards, are very fair and we really enjoy working for them.”

The company’s scope of work for the project includes nearly 900,000 cubic yards of drainage excavation, 60,000 cubic yards of soil cement, five cast-in-place concrete box culverts, 40,000 tons of rip rap and more than 500 acres of level-roll. 

“We started out by clearing the land and doing all the earthmoving and grading on site to level it out for the solar plant,” Lane explains. “We are also installing concrete structures for drainage on the project and installing rip rap, as well as soil cement, electric trenching and backfill.”

Rummel Construction is using interesting building material at the site that is created by mixing cement powder with soil and creating a concrete-like product to line the drainage channels for the plant. “It basically uses naturally occurring materials in lieu of ready-mix concrete and provides value to the project,” Lane says. “It’s less expensive than commercially sourced concrete and the amount we can place in a day versus the amount of concrete is much greater.” 

The major earthwork performed by Rummel Construction at Mesquite Solar 3 will be completed in April, but the company will return in the summer to resurface roads throughout the interior of the site. “We have more than 100 Rummel employees on this job site and the project has started off great for us due to how much we stress the importance of preplanning our work with the stakeholders,” Lane says. “We always have backup plans with that many people and equipment on a project. If we are thrown a curveball, we can remain light on our feet and adapt to work on another aspect of the project without decreasing production.”

Building Relationships

Moving forward, Rummel Construction will continue to focus its efforts in the southwest United States but would consider performing its work in other regions for its long-term clients and a select group of new customers. The company prides itself on putting its customers first, which could include entering a new state to perform their work. “We don’t just want to do one project with a customer,” Lane says. “We would like to do a lifetime of projects with our customers. It’s not just about the one opportunity.” 

To develop those long-term relationships, Rummel Construction listens to its customers’ needs. “One of the main reasons we get repeat work is because of how well our field personnel perform on the job,” Lane notes. “We can give them a great price and make promises, but if we don’t perform it doesn’t mean anything to the client. We shine once we get through the bid process and get the contract. Our clients see the difference with Rummel Construction.”   

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