Hitachi Construction Machinery - North America
Productivity at a Higher Level
March 27, 2017

A Hitachi ZX300LC-6 operated by Coyote Ridge Construction works on a residential development in Colorado.

With a rapidly growing housing market in Northern Colorado, general contractor Coyote Ridge Construction (CRC) needed reliable equipment that would perform in the high altitudes. CRC owner Ken Baty discovered Hitachi excavators were his solution.

Established in 2009 in Loveland, Colo., Coyote Ridge Construction (CRC) is owned and operated by Ken Baty and his wife, Jane. The company specializes in the underground phases of residential, industrial and commercial construction projects. Baty and his wife also own two additional businesses: Front Range Concrete and Coyote Ridge Residential.

“We started doing basement excavation work and we branched out to subdivision work,” Baty said. “Most of the time we’re the general contractor on the project so we start from corn row to streets. We also have a concrete company for doing our own curb, gutter, sidewalk and inlets on our storm/sewer projects. It helps us control our schedules better.”

Originally from Colorado, Baty got his start in construction after college. He first operated Hitachi equipment working for a company in Arizona.

“When I worked in Arizona, our company got one of the early Hitachi models, an EX200,” he said. “As an operator then, I enjoyed the way it ran and felt. It was a very comfortable machine to run.”

After returning to his Colorado roots, Baty eventually started CRC. The company has enjoyed impressive growth in a short amount of time.

“It started with me and one employee, and here we are today with 140 employees doing about $45 million of work a year,” he said. “That growth wasn’t done all by myself! We had many partners that helped us along the way. Between our great employees, suppliers and equipment dealers it takes all of us to make it a success.”

High-elevation performance

Aside from the scenic views, the Colorado terrain comes with its challenges. Baty knew he needed productive and reliable equipment that could perform in altitudes at more than 5,000 feet.

“I was glad to hear that 4 Rivers Equipment was going to carry Hitachi,” he said. “I was excited to try Hitachi in the altitude in Colorado. We’ve had issues with other brands of equipment overheating in these elevations.”

With a growing housing market in Northern Colorado and new residential developments underway, Baty needed a long-term equipment solution. Working with 4 Rivers Equipment, CRC began transitioning its fleet to Hitachi by buying two ZX300LC-6 excavators, a ZX350LC-6 and a ZX135US-6. And so far, so good.

“Our Hitachi excavators have not had any issues with overheating in the altitude,” Baty said. “The equipment is comfortable for our employees to run, it’s been durable, and we’ve had no breakdowns to speak of.”

The excavators have stayed busy completing utility and foundation work for several residential developments in the area, one of which is a $10 million project for a Hartford Homes development in Fort Collins, Colo.

CRC is serving as the general contractor on the development, called East Ridge, and is also completing the utilities and infrastructure work. Phase 1 of the project, which started in August 2016 and is estimated for completion in June 2017, will include 218 single family homes. The overall plan consists of an 869-residence community of single-family, multi-family and duplex buildings with nearly 23 acres of open and natural space, including a neighborhood park and pond.

“We’re proud to be part of the East Ridge development,” Baty said. “It’s a large-scale project, and we’re up for the challenge.”

Sticking with Hitachi

After 35 years in construction, Baty still enjoys being in the field.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” he said. “I never grew up, I just got bigger toys. I enjoy being in the outdoors, being with the guys. I love the opportunity to take a piece of paper and actually make it into something in the field.”

And Baty will continue to turn paper into completed, successful projects for his customers with his hardworking Hitachi excavators by his side.

“I believe in doing what you say,” he said. “We’re always looking for a competitive edge, and Hitachi equipment is a big part of that for us. We’ve demoed different brands and sizes of machines over the years, and we feel that Hitachi fits us best. They’re productive, fuel-efficient and durable, and they don’t have any overheating issues in the Colorado altitude.”

Based on that track record, Baty said he’s looking forward to growing his Hitachi fleet.

“We’ve still got some other brands of equipment in our fleet,” he said. “But as those get traded in, we’re going to stick with Hitachi since we’ve had good success with them. 4 Rivers Equipment and Hitachi are great partners in helping us succeed as a company.”

Coyote Ridge Construction LLC is serviced by 4 Rivers Equipment, Fort Collins, Colo.