Thu May 04, 2023
Chuck MacDonald – CEG CORRESPONDENT
When Adam Medek plays pool, he isn't afraid of the 8-ball being in a precarious position. "I like to be aggressive. That's just the way I am."
He brings that philosophy to business as well.
Starting a tree business at 18, Medek grew it into Medek Corp., a business with $15 million of equipment, 28 employees and a 12,000-sq.-ft. facility under construction. The company is located in the Richmond, Va., area.
Medek and his team clear trees, stumps and brush. They also handle grinding and grubbing.
"I have to move fast," said Medek. "Because when a developer or city finally gets all the permits in hand, they want the area cleared right away so the next stage of development can get in after me."
Medek's team gets impressive results. One 11-acre area of Glen Allen, Va., was crowded with trees and all manner of wood debris. The developer wanted to get the land cleared so he could build town homes similar to others in the area. Within days all that was left on the plot was a small pile of roots, a tub grinder chewing through those roots and a row of excavators lined up, ready to move on to the next job.
Medek considers his stump shears and grapple rakes, from Nye Manufacturing and National Attachments, to be two of his star players.
"These pieces of equipment enable my team to tear into the trees and shear the stumps in order to grind up the material quickly," said Medek. "By splitting the stumps first, we can shake free the dirt more quickly and move on to the next steps of the operation."
The SHX stump harvester from Nye Manufacturing is made from an exotic blend of the best hardened alloy steel, according to the manufacturer. The digging teeth are made for ripping, prying and digging, and there are hardened alloy pins and bushings throughout. The splitter fang is part of the jaw and assists in efficiently shearing the wood.
Disaster clean ups often take his teams to Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and other states. A decade ago, when he was doing disaster recovery work in New York after Hurricane Sandy, he was first introduced to Nye products.
"I saw that I could get the stump harvester shears and grapple rakes much cheaper than what the Nye products cost. But I often saw those other products broken and useless after a year. I like to buy quality and get long-lasting value. The Nye products from National Attachments fit the bill for that."
The stump shears, grapple rakes, excavators, loaders and grinders travel with them to take care of downed trees, limbs and brush. They also cut up, but do not grind, discarded furniture and housing items and haul material to dumps in the aftermath of storms. These activities are crucial in helping local people take steps to rebuild their lives and homes.
Although Medek is aggressive in business, he is careful in managing costs. He has a mechanic and welder on staff. The welder puts a "hard face" on the stump harvester and grinder to protect the equipment in its rough and ready environment — the bead on the face of the tool absorbs as much of the punishment as possible.
"The bead wears down first and keeps the equipment in action longer," said Medek. "When the welded material wears down, my guy just puts another bead on, and we keep going."
Medek loves the versatility of the Nye products.
"We can switch from shearing stumps using the stump harvester attachment to a grapple rake attachment in order to load the grinder or grub the land with the removal of one small cylinder pin in only about 10-15 minutes. It saves us the expense of bringing separate excavators for each task. When I am going to Florida or elsewhere for disaster work, that can be a big cost savings."
He also has been impressed by the teamwork of working with National Attachments and Nye Manufacturing. On one occasion he needed a custom grapple rake that would enable his team to get more trees and roots cleared faster. Not only was Nye able to fulfill Medek's request, but the company came back to him to get his input for future enhancements on its equipment.
In today's construction job market, owners bemoan the fact that it is so difficult to find good employees. Medek agrees.
"That's why I buy quality equipment," he said. "I am trying to get the job done efficiently with as few employees as possible."
Medek's extensive fleet includes seven self-loading grapple trucks with customized beds and trailers. While a traditional dump truck will hold about 20 cu. yds. of material, his custom trucks can hold five times as much. They also can be parked closer to the edge of the street. This allows his grapple equipment to transfer high volumes of brush and trees quickly and easily into the bed for haul off, he said.
Medek's business receives high marks for "green" practices.
"I try to recycle as much stuff as I can," he said. As often as possible his team cuts off the tops of trees designated for removal and sends them through the chipper. These cuttings become chips that companies can use in their power plant generation. Some trees are cut up as logs and sent to mills for further shaping. Other grindings can be used as mulch.
"I'm thinking about starting my own mulch company," he said. "We try to maximize the profit out of each job."
Medek has worked with Wyatt Holzbach (RHD&W LLC Equipment Sales & Rentals) for more than 10 years in getting the right equipment for jobs, including the Nye products. As an independent dealer, Holzbach can procure products for his customers from virtually any dealer and he offers machines with Nye products readily available for sale or for rent. And he knows about Medek's preferences for Nye products.
"All my customers who have Nye products love them," said Holzbach. "Adam's company has had unusual growth. He was even successful during COVID when many companies faced downturns."
Holzbach likes the fact that Medek knows the value of quality and dependability.
"The stump harvester shears and grapple rakes attachments from National Attachments have had a big part in his success."
National Attachments is the exclusive distributor of NYE products in America and Offshore. For more information, visit nationalattachments.com. CEG