Land Clearing Contractor Helps Keep Raleigh Booming
Posted on: 09 Feb 2021
Lamonte Williams built his business from scratch and now clears the way for continued growth and development in the region.
Lamonte Williams is a self-made man who, in witnessing the growth and development of his hometown, set out to build a business as a trusted land clearing contractor.
Based out of Raleigh, North Carolina — still one of the fastest growing regions in the country — Williams Land Clearing, Grading and Timber Logger LLC works with site developers to take untouched land and turn it into a workable property that homebuilders, utility crews and other contractors then use to build the homes and commercial developments fueling Raleigh’s growth.
“We come in and log it first, get all the [saleable] timber out and take it to the mill,” explains Williams. “Then we’ll send in another crew to stump and grind it. And then the last part of the job that we do is that we’ll haul the chips and mulch away.”
The “stump and grind” operation requires both power and finesse, as ripping out mature pine, oak and poplar stumps while working to leave all of the workable soil on the property takes coordination.
Coordinated Equipment Fleet Refines Site Development
We recently caught up with Williams and his team at a new site development for a major national homebuilder where they were clearing land for almost 200 homes just outside of Raleigh. Williams has worked with Hills Machinery in Raleigh to build a fleet of CASE equipment dedicated to stumping and turning a workable site over to developers.
The workhorse is a CX300D excavator (67,271 pounds) with a bucket digging force of 39,341 pounds — up to 42,781 pounds with the integrated auto power boost that increases hydraulic demand based on the load being put on the machine. That power, combined with the excavator’s smooth and responsive hydraulics and controls, proves efficient in pulling out the stumps that cover the property. Williams has two of the CX300Ds working this site.
“It’s a great size machine to pop the stumps,” says Williams. “It’s easy to maneuver around the stumps, and it’s big enough so that we don’t have to struggle with the stumps. It’s the perfect machine [for this application].”
The excavator team is rounded out with a CX250D (56,909 pounds) equipped with a hydraulic splitting attachment that breaks up the stumps into smaller chunks before they are ground up into mulch and wood chips.
In addition to the power and performance, Williams attributes his selection of these excavators to their size and ability to be hauled on both highways and city streets without special equipment or oversized transports.
“They are easy to move,” says Williams. “You’ve got to have a permit, but you don’t have to have flag cars and all that. They’re perfect for what we do. They’re big enough, they’re strong enough, and they’re just easy to mobilize and move around.”
Working behind the excavator fleet is a CASE 1150M dozer outfit with a special, heavy-duty root rake attachment that separates the remaining wood materials from the soil. What remains is tillable/workable land for the site developer.
“We use the dozer for root raking,” explains Williams. “That’s to get all the roots out of the ground, and that’s to rake the material so that there’s no dirt in it because, the more dirt in it, the more it hurts the grinding machine. So the dozer and the rake play a big part in keeping everything running smoothly, keeping the dirt out of it, and just making great material.”
The CASE 1150M is a mid-sized dozer in the CASE fleet and provides operators with the ability to seamlessly adjust steering and shuttle settings to smooth, moderate or aggressive — making it extremely agile on a site with varying terrain and load conditions.
“It’s the perfect dozer to rake with,” says Williams. “Easy to rake, easy turning — quick turning. We own a CASE 2050M also — when we’re doing major pushing, we use that machine and we bring the 1150M for the raking.”
Each of the CASE machines working this site represent a focus on the power and strength required to do the work, but also on an operator environment that provides large, spacious cabs with plenty of room and environmental control to keep the heat and the dust of the jobsite outside of the cab.
“The guys love CASE compared to some of the other machines,” says Williams. “They’re very comfortable, got a lot of leg room and stuff like that. They like them, so we continue to buy them.”
Support from Hills and CASE is Critical to Willams’ Success
Williams works in harsh conditions and under heavy loads. As the first large contractor to hit the development, much of the schedule that follows for other contractors is dependent on how fast and efficiently Williams gets his work done. He counts on Hills Machinery and his salesman Nick Morgan to keep his business pushing forward.
“He cares about the customer and not just selling a piece of equipment,” says Williams. “Anytime I call him, he sends somebody out to keep us rolling. And that’s what keeps the money coming in.”
Each of the heavy excavators and dozers that Williams owns from CASE comes standard with CASE ProCare. ProCare includes a three-year Advanced CASE SiteWatch™ telematics subscription, a three-year/3,000-hour full-machine factory warranty, and a three-year/2,000-hour planned maintenance contract. ProCare allows contractors to invest in new equipment while making owning and operating costs predictable for the first three years of lease or ownership.
“That’s a big deal — oil changes and maintenance — that’s where a majority of your money goes,” explains Williams. “So when something does happen, I make the phone call, they come out here and fix it. I don’t have to worry about a bill or any of that. It’s already taken care of. So that’s a big thing for us.”
It’s that level of trust and support that keeps Williams moving forward as he sees his business continue to grow.
“I’m proud of starting it from scratch by myself. No help. Just something that I put my mind to and started to just grow it from day one,” says Williams.
The thing that matters the most to him? Getting the work done on time and to the satisfaction of his clients.
“That’s what we thrive off of,” concludes Williams. “Getting the job done, getting it done fast and cost efficient for the customer. That’s just what we love to do.”