Dozer Construction Inc.: Grinding Out a Reputation in the Oil Patch


In pipeline land clearing, dealing with the downed trees can be a problem. Dozer Construction Inc. has found the answer to that issue in the trees themselves, thanks to a Morbark 3800 Track Wood Hog.

“Rights-of-way cleared for oil pipeline must be 100 percent totally clear,” noted Jeff O’Rourke, owner of Dozer Construction. That means the tree tops and trunks need to be removed from the area, as well as the stumps. But a lot of pipeline right-of-way is in remote areas, too remote to truck out the felled trees.

Like many land-clearing companies, Dozer shreds the wood to minimize the volume. But the company takes it further, using the chips for erosion control instead of installing silt fencing or other barriers. Using the mulch instead of fencing presents distinct economic and environmental advantages, O’Rourke noted. It’s just as effective at preventing erosion, and it provides savings in several ways. The company doesn’t have to purchase silt fencing, and it doesn’t have to pay a crew to install anything because the mulch can be spread by one operator in a dozer or excavator. There’s also no removal cost, as there would be with silt fencing. Furthermore, the mulch is naturally biodegradable.
O’Rourke has used mulch in place of fencing for pipeline projects in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania since it also meets EPA requirements, he said.

After clearing land and stacking the trees, Dozer Construction uses a tracked Morbark 3800 to turn that timber into mulch. O’Rourke estimates the 3800 can handle the wood cleared from about 60,000 square feet of land in a day. 

Before purchasing the Morbark 3800, Dozer rented a competitive machine of a similar size for recycling the wood. “The difference between the Vermeer HG6000 and the Morbark 3800 is night and day,” O’Rourke said. “The Vermeer was on wheels, and we really like the benefit of being on a track.” The rental had problems with material getting caught on the belt and not being fed properly, as well as smoking.

“With the Morbark, it’s just grab and go,” O’Rourke said. “There are no problems with wood getting caught or stuck.”

The Morbark 3800 was O’Rourke’s first purchase from Columbus Equipment Company, and he has been impressed with the sales and service he has received. “When the machine needed its first service, they coordinated around our schedule so we had no downtime, instead of just sending a mechanic and telling us we had to shut down for a day,” O’Rourke said. “If we have a question, we can just call [Environmental Division sales rep] Bob Stewart and he’ll always get back to us with the information we need within a day.”

Dozer Construction works in both the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania and the Utica in Ohio, providing a variety of oilfield services, including land clearing, pad construction, restoration work and reclamation. Dozer maintains an office in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

The company was founded in 1990 by Jeff’s father, and current co-owner, Doug O’Rourke. At its busiest times, Dozer employs about 25 people. Originally, Dozer Construction focused on golf course construction in Michigan, and “Dozer Doug” built golf courses—including with noted golf course architect Robert Trent Jones—before that market slowed with the 2008 recession.

The company started performing oilfield services three years ago, Jeff O’Rourke said. “Through some contacts we had in the industry, we had an opportunity to bid on the work. We came out and did a good job, and they’ve kept us working since.”

Contact your Columbus Equipment Company sales rep today for more information.