Montana Contractors Law: “We can do just about anything.”


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Talk to anyone from Muggli Contracting long enough and you’ll likely hear the phrase “we can do just about anything.” And for such people, this is not a quick way to summarize the type of work they perform, but to recite a creed. Muggli Contracting, a finalist for the 2020 Equipment Contractor of the Year award, does a little of everything because they believe they can do a little of everything. For the most part, this was a necessary look. “In this small community, we have to diversify and do a lot of different things. We will do whatever it takes to stay busy,” says Bob Server, a veteran equipment operator at Mogley. The company, owned by John, Michelle and T.J. Mogley, is based in Miles City. , Montana, where winters are so harsh and last so long that cold off-season isn’t really an option if you want to stay in business, but a hard-working strategy is only one side of the coin. The people at Muggli didn’t enjoy the work very much. “Sometimes after we’ve done something new, we won’t do it again, just because we can say we’ve had the experience,” says John Muggli. “Some of these things you might call bucket list markers.” Work John Muggli grew up on a 1,200-acre farm near the city of Miles.Because wheel tractors couldn’t cut the muddy soil properly packed onto their frame, Muggli’s father and brothers used Caterpillar D4s, D6s, and D8s on their crops.And while he loved those machines, he didn’t Jun really sees himself as a farmer Instead, when he was old, John went to welding school and worked for a building contractor named LP Anderson. Eventually he decided to go out on his own, and in 1988 he started Mowgli Contracting, today the company employs 10-15 workers, depending on the season, and in 2019 generated $3 million in revenue. About 80 percent of the company’s work is private, but John says he loves public work when he can get it. As mentioned earlier, the company does “a little bit of everything,” including site preparatory work, installation of underground utilities, irrigation preparation, reservoir repair, dirt road construction, bridge erection, tree removal and demolition. Mugglis also has a Scoria mining operation, operating a concrete plant and managing a local landfill. Another unique business is that Mugglis cut deals with railroad cars. The company takes old 20,000-30,000-gallon tanks retired from service and turns them into underground tanks for ranchers to water their livestock. Mugglis will clean and sanitize the old tanks and make any necessary repairs to make them water tight and then install them underground. Love Old Equipment When you visit the Muggli offices, the first thing you’ll likely see is John’s massive collection of vintage machines, covering most of the sprawling country where the company buildings and Mugglis home are located, and the Mugglis property hosts a huge collection of vintage machines. From old construction equipment. Caterpillar tractors, specifically the D6 models, make up the majority of the range, which ranges from the 1928 International T20 crawler tractor to machines from the 1970s. Even more surprising than the sight of this huge group is the fact that 95% of the devices on the property are actually functional. John and TJ spend most of their free time keeping them running or reviving a new discovery. “We have a great time,” John says. “The time we spent together doing this was unbelievable. …You can’t put a price on that.” “I just love history. We saved so much iron that other companies would have scrapped it.” “The best thing you can have on earth is iron. You can’t build skyscrapers out of gold. You have to have iron.” Staffing Challenges With the company wanting to diversify and trying any kind of work at least once, it wasn’t hard to get Jobs, says Mugglis. The company is enjoying steady growth, but John says the inability to find enough skilled workers is holding the company back. “This summer, we bought a crusher and it was there,” he says. “We could have run it for another 20 days this year.” year if we had enough people.” John stopped for a photo in front of a custom Caterpillar work truck built from old international cabs, chassis, and parts from Cat machines. The company lists jobs locally and on job sites, and has worked on an equipment operator training program affiliated with the local community college to find new employees. That wasn’t enough, and Michelle Mogley says the problem is exacerbated by the fact that the company does so many types of work. “It would take at least five years on the job for the new employee to see everything,” she says. We do.” “It takes about five years Watt so that we can send them to any particular job without worrying about them.” “We might have to consider buying an apartment or two for them to stay in” to attract new employees, John says. “They’re doing it in Williston.” Quality first Mugglis say their primary competitive advantage is the quality of work and pride they take. “I always try to treat people the way I like them to be treated, so we go back in time so John says, “The job is as right or as right as we can get.” “My main concern has always been people wanting to come back to do work.” When we’ve finished a project What, will they call us back? They usually do.” Cat tractors make up the majority of the old Muggli family of machines. Wayne Grayson John Muggli Construction can be counted on not only to get the job done, but also to do it in a safe and professional manner. “John is honest, trustworthy and always dependable when needed,” says Scott Gray of Miles City. “They have very skilled HEOs, Including the best excavator and bulldozer operator in this part of the country.” “When John tells you he’s going to get something done, he’s as good as gold,” says Mike Briller, plant manager at Transco Railway. “I’ve had John Muggli Construction do jobs for me. In my residence as well as in the railway yard. Every project is done right the first time, done on budget or under budget, and leaves the site better than it arrived. … No task is too big or too small for her [Muggli Contracting]. ”


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