Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Tue 20 Apr 2021

Takeuchi Fan on the Right Track

American contractor Brandon Johnson (39) who hails from Joplin, Missouri, is clearly a fan of the Takeuchi brand and thanks to the wonderful social media platform of Instagram, we caught up with him to find out more about his business, Elite Earthworks LLC and his affection for the distinctive “Red & Grey” machines.

Takeuchi Fan on the Right Track

Brandon had served 17 years working for his parents landscaping company where he spent much of his time running a tracked skid steer loader, primarily grading out and building yards to be sodded. Brandon said, “I have always loved equipment and enjoy operating the machines, I have also always wanted to work for myself and do more excavation type work”.

So, in the spring of 2017 Brandon took the leap of faith and started his own business Elite Earthworks LLC, initially starting out with his Takeuchi TL250 tracked skid steer and an International 4900 single axle dumptruck.

Brandon had originally purchased the TL250 way back in 2012, with only 900 hours on the meter, the machine has since amassed over 8400 hours and is still his go to skid steer on the fleet.

Brandon takes up the story, “We had a big tornado hit here back in 2011 which destroyed some 14,000 structures, so in 2017 there was still a lot of building work going on. I saw that as a great opportunity to set out on my own. Initially I started working for several local builders working on the house pads and then putting in the yards. Grading and loader work was all I did for the first year I was in business and it certainly set me on the right track.

In the summer of 2018, I added a used Takeuchi TB153FR excavator and started digging the footings and the water & sewer lines for those houses. So now armed with both the excavator and the loader I found I could do a lot more for the builders.

As time passed by, I found I was using the excavator more than the loader for all kind of projects, so in 2019, I traded in my TB153FR for a brand new TB260 C/W a Werk Brau hydraulic coupler and a full set of buckets.

Very quickly I was able to be more productive with this new machine and with the various size buckets, I was not digging out more dirt than I needed too. In 2020 I purchased a 1994 Peterbilt 377 tandem axle dump truck to be able to haul more material at a time and at the end of that year I also purchased a new 25 tonne Felling trailer which enables me to haul both the TL250 and the TB260 together which is a huge time saver”.

Brandon continued, “Now I seem to be landing bigger projects but I still get the occasional house to grade so it’s great that I can take both machines in one trip. These days my projects range from rough grading and finish grading, spreading dirt or rock to forming gravel driveways and parking lots, digging water and sewer lines. I also do brush clearing, building house/building pads, removing concrete driveways, forestry mulching and land clearing, in fact we can tackle pretty much anything!”.

Brandon currently has no plans to employ any help yet, saying, “That was one thing I got burnt out on when doing the landscaping was putting up with employees”, a common sentiment these days, I’m sure.


Talking about his love for the Japanese Takeuchi brand Brandon said, “I am on a project at the moment where I have been renting a 15-tonne class Takeuchi TB2150 and I absolutely love this machine! It’s so quick and smooth and with my new trailer and dump truck I am able to haul the machine myself making me totally self-sufficient.


I do plan on purchasing a TB2150 in due course, but I really want to try the TB2150R first so I will have to wait until later this year. But as you can tell I’m a huge Takeuchi fan, they have been great machines, extremely dependable and reliable, I especially like the large cabs and how smooth the controls are”.

Pictured above: Erin and Brandon Johnson make a great team. 

Like all good men, Brandon has a great woman by his side in the form of his wife Erin Johnson whose own Instagram page is hilarious. You can check out Elite Earthworks LLC on Instagram by clicking on the link, where you will find many more photos and videos of Brandon’s work. You can also find them on You Tube and I have included a video from their channel featuring the day when "Mrs Elite" popped out for some stick time on the TB2150.

The Digger Man Blog would like to thank Brandon for getting in touch and sharing his material here on the blog.


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