Materials Price Increases

It almost seems as if a person can’t win. The virus has caused havoc and now again, we have multiple notices from our vendors and subs letting us know prices are increasing 10-20%. The reasons range from extreme weather and commodity prices, to labor costs. We know these factors are playing in because we experience them too. This is the 2nd big bump in pricing in just about a year. Similarly fuel prices have increased and never did decline as much as expected for so much surplus to be had elsewhere.

I mention this simply to communicate some of the hurdles Orcas Excavators faces. We are always looking for solutions and have done a lot of purchasing recently to stave off the inevitable. We continue to look for quality pipe, fittings, and materials at the best price possible. We have purchased a truck that will travel on the ferry for the price of a passenger vehicle yet haul more weight and volume than a standard pickup. And, of course we continue to buy in volume to reduce prices.

We share the results of our efforts with you and will continue to look for other strategies to mitigate the challenges and expenses of construction in the San Juan Islands.

Erosion Control

Erosion control is essential for most or our projects during the rainy season and must be done year around to comply with regulations. It is a great disappointment to us that our efforts to protect the environment actually might be harming it in other ways.

At Orcas Excavators, we use rolls and rolls of plastic sheeting. “Straw” blankets encase straw in plastic netting. Our erosion control barriers are made from woven plastic, and the straw waddle that we purchase is straw encased….you guessed it…in plastic. A lot of this plastic ends up in the environment or for only a single use before it ends up in the dumpster.

We like to offer other solutions such as “tub grind” which is wood debris ground up in a grinder into a course bark product, or local hay which can be used in some situations. We have found that unless the hay is applied when it’s raining, the wind can blow it off the area we’re attempting to protect.

We are always looking for a better way to approach storm water challenges. We also would love to make our single use plastic debris into at least a 2 use product. With that in mind, please feel free to contact us if you’d like any used 6 mil plastic sheeting. We currently have a pile and I’d love to see it reused.

We’re in the midst of learning how to create a website. Picture someone with more experience using a shovel than software, with the great outdoors calling, wood that needs splitting, fencing built, holes dug,….anything other than this, and you have a picture of the process. Add some sweat and frustration, and the inclination to use the former (shovel) on the latter (software) and you have added color to the picture. So please excuse the mess….We hope you find the phone number or come by and see us!

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