JULY 2008

A Closer Look E-mail the author

North American Dismantling Co.
Tim Seagraves • 810-664-2888
North American Dismantling Co. on location during a demolition job.

Tim Seagraves, sales and marketing director of North American Dismantling Co. (NADC), started with the company in April of 2005.

Prior to working for NADC, Seagraves had worked as a manufacturer’s rep in the automotive industry, but said, “I have always been fascinated with demolition.” While some people might see only the destructive nature of the business, Seagraves sees it as a natural evolution. “The old must be removed to make way for the new,” he said.

When he joined NADC, Seagraves saw a trend in America, going from “labor-intensive industrial” to “a new high-tech process.” He compared this current shift to the industrial revolution in the 1700’s and 1800’s when mechanization replaced manual labor and many of the industrial districts were built.

“Some of these facilities, grandfathers and great grandfathers worked in there,” he said of some of the buildings. But, like the industrial revolution that changed the landscape, the high tech revolution is making its changes. “They are coming back in a full circle,” Seagraves said.

Even the demolition business has evolved. Seagraves pointed out that the company’s logo is a wrecking ball, which is “pretty much obsolete, although we still sometimes use it.”

Pummeling a building with a wrecking ball might be traditional – and dramatic – but it also runs the risk of throwing particulates into the air, including asbestos that might be found in old buildings. NADC prefers to “strategically take it down,” with excavators equipped with shears and jaw-type concrete crushers that do the job better and cleaner. A mini-concrete crusher is also available to go on-site when needed.

The destination of the demolition material has also changed since wrecking balls were king – now, the metal is sorted and sent to scrap yards and mills; equipment like tanks, light fixtures, furniture and machinery may be salvaged and sold, and the un-recyclable debris is sent to state-approved landfills.

Rules and regulations have also evolved. Seagraves said, “We realize it is for a very good reason,” and added that safety of both the workers and community is of paramount importance.

At the same time, Seagraves said that part of what makes the dismantling business so interesting is that each job is different, and each can have “hidden dangers” that must be addressed. Each project has an on-site job superintendent, and that superintendent knows that help “is only a phone call away,” whether the help needed is more or different equipment, or more workers.

On 9/11, different sorts of phone calls were made when NADC joined the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center. At that time, a crew was working at a General Motors (GM) facility, and NADC asked GM if they could leave the GM job to help with rescue efforts. Without hesitation, GM said, “Go – this can wait.”

NADC loaded up the equipment they had at GM, including a high-reach excavator, for the trip to New York. “You just drop everything and mobilize. You just make it happen.” Seagraves said. Unlike most projects, where so much time is spent in preparation and planning, “We just needed to do what we needed to do.”

While Seagraves is relatively new at NADC, he has seen significant growth in that short time. “It has been absolutely fascinating to observe,” he said. The company, founded in 1984, has about 50 “core” employees, but can employ as many as 250 workers at one time.

As far as his own challenges, he said that as soon as a job is done, there has to be another one, and it’s part of his job to find those projects. He said that Rick Marcicki, the company’s owner, has told him, “When we’ve got work, we don’t know who you are, but when we don’t, you’re the most popular one here.” The best part of his job, he said, was that it “allows me the opportunity to interface with very different companies.”

“NADC will never short-change a project,” Seagraves said. “The more difficult the job is, the better the opportunities to get that job because we’re not afraid to get the people and equipment.” He said that if a piece of equipment is required and the company doesn’t already own it, they will buy one or lease one for the job.

Seagraves said that the company’s tagline is, “In pursuit of progress,” but he almost feels a little embarrassed because along with that progress comes the need for the remnants of the industrial boom “to go out for the new high tech to come in.” However, he sees the change as good and said that he believes that NADC is playing its part in “reshaping America and the world.”