From Motorcycle to Dozer: This Contractor Loves to Take Risks (Video)

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Todd Bennick, owner of Bennick Grading & Excavating in Nebo, North Carolina, is one of Equipment World’s 12 finalists for the 2022 Contractor of the Year Award.

Back in 1998, Todd Bennick bought a 4-ton dozer just for fun. He was 22 and was a champion motorcross and supercross racer. He decided to look for a way to pay for his new toy, which he loved to operate.

Over time he added employees. The company progressed to clearing mobile home lots, septic tank installation and then site clearing and grading for custom homes and businesses.

A big break came in 2004 when Crescent Resources began developing Lake James. A trusted friend told him that it would be a great idea to be the first contractor with a barge on the lake.

So he took a big gamble and borrowed the money to buy a new barge.

“We had to figure out how to get it in the water, how to put it together, there wasn’t a manual,” he recalls. He rented an excavator to put on the barge.

He blew away the competition, which was still doing the work from land.

He’s also won lucrative jobs to clear lots for multimillion custom homes along the lake. The company specializes in grading on the area’s steep terrain. Today, it has 35 employees and $3 million to $5 million in annual revenue.

“They are a fantastic grading contractor and a great trade partner and teammate,” says Jacob Benson, vice president of Brantley Construction Company. “I can’t brag enough regarding their efforts and quality of work.”

The Equipment World Contractor of the Year program, now in its 22nd year, has been sponsored by Caterpillar since its inception. It recognizes contractors who display the highest standards of business acumen, equipment management expertise, attention to safety and community involvement.

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