Reader Profile: Trevor Scherber

Jan. 5, 2017

Just a few years ago, Trevor Scherber was eating a lot of hot dog dinners as he was investing all of his money into his second company, T. Scherber in Rogers, MN. “He played every role,” notes his fiancé, Missy Redman. “In the morning he did sales. During the day he was an operator. In the evening he was the mechanic that kept the equipment running. Late into the night he did billing and estimating. When you first start, you don’t have the resources to hire and pay.”

What Scherber does have is skills and passion for the work, the driving factors leading to the company’s current success as a full-service excavating contractor for many of the area’s high-end residential builders—including the two top ones—on the west side of Minnesota’s Twin City region. That success did not come before convincing builders that his youth did not equate to inexperience. “Once they saw his work and that his passion was backed with precision, quality, ethics and fair pricing, it took off from there,” says Redman.

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Today, the company hardly keeps up with demand; Scherber turns down offers to work for national companies in favor of local firms. His business approach combines his father’s “old school” work ethic—customer service, being onsite, answering the phone—with new approaches. He and Redman market their brand through an attractive and informative website and leverage Twitter and Facebook for promoting not only their company’s work, but that of their clients.

Scherber is a fan of technology and integrates the latest in the equipment to ensure structural integrity. His fleet includes: two Caterpillar hydraulic excavators, a 315C and a 315D; a CAT D4 track-type dozer; a Komatsu D-39PX crawler dozer; two CAT 257B multi-terrain loaders, compactors; and one truck—each from Peterbilt and Freightliner. Scherber and Redman say they have a strong faith in God and a belief shared with many millennials that success is defined through helping others, which they do through partnering with builder clients to donate to local charitable causes.

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What He Does Day to Day
Scherber’s day begins at 5 a.m. to review the day’s plans. A hands-on manager committed to quality, he then heads out to construction sites to mobilize the equipment, the team, and to work with them to execute jobs while staying in constant communication with his builders. Redman, general manager, is in the office supporting both companies administratively while managing sales and marketing. The day ends at 7 p.m., at which time office work is addressed.

What Led Him to This Line of Work
Scherber is a third-generation earth-mover, whose father Craig taught to have a solid work ethic from a young age. “He started us on the equipment at five years old” he says.

Scherber studied finance at the University of Minnesota, leaving six months before graduation. “I watched my friends start to work corporate jobs. I didn’t want to sit in an office, be another number, and wait in line like everyone else,” he says.

Additionally, his family’s Dumpster business was for sale after being adversely affected by the economy. Scherber seized the opportunity to get back into the industry, buying the company and rebuilding it from a struggling to a profitable entity. Five years later, he bought his first backhoe to start doing dirt work. Redman now runs the Dumpster company, while Scherber focuses on the excavating business.

What He Likes Most About His Job
Scherber says he enjoys being on the equipment and likes the ongoing progress required of earthmoving work. “Even after 6,000 hours on a backhoe, there’s still something to learn,” he says. “You can still get better.”

His Biggest Challenge
Scherber’s biggest challenge is finding workers who have experience, but aren’t ready to retire. That sometimes means finding young workers and investing a lot of time training them in industry skills. The company also is partnering with others in the industry to brainstorm solutions to develop the next generation of operators and skilled onsite workers. Redman is on the committee for Construct Tomorrow, a program and media campaign promoting the industry as one which offers hard work that also is well-paying and enjoyable.