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Trench warfare

image Steven Morris, operations manager of Custom Trench

AUSTIN - This war isn’t between armies, but between man and the ground. In days of old, the ground often won the battle. Fortunately, we now have Steven Morris, operations manager of Custom Trench, leading the charge.





    Custom Trench uses its specialized rock trenchers to plow through the worst that Texas - and other states like New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arizona - puts in its path.
    “We outperform excavators,” Morris said. “It takes four to five excavators to do the same amount of work” as one of his trenchers.
    Morris’ father, Danny, is general manager of Custom Trench. He used to have his own rental company, and the younger Morris started working there when he was a lad in school. After high school, Morris started “doing something different for a while,” including automotive repair, but came to work in the trenching industry full time around 2004.
    When he started trenching in the days of yore, Morris said the cabs weren’t air conditioned. The machines were heavier and had less horsepower also. Now, his best machine can do a 30-ft. trench on one pass, about 100 ft. in a single day.
    There are always two men for a single machine - one used as a spotter to monitor the outside of the trencher, while the operator does his thing.
    Morris has done trenching, but spends his time now doing bidding and interfacing with customers. “We have a real loyal customer base,” he said. “A lot of customers like [using us] because it trenches nice and uniform and piles it to the side of the ditch.”
    The longest trench Custom Trench has done was 154 miles, which took about two and a half months total time to trench. The two biggest reasons they are called into a job are the rock is too hard and/or the schedule is too tight and they need the trench done as quick as possible.
    With his handy rock trenchers, Morris can lead the frontal assault against the most stubborn enemy Texas soil can throw at it.
    Custom Trench’s HQ is in Georgetown. -dsz

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Author Info
Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net