At Grade Tech, it’s our people that set us apart from the competition. Each and every member of the Grade Tech team plays an integral role in the success of our projects and our company.

We’d like to introduce Grade Tech heavy equipment operator, Zach Conder.

Those who work with Zach will not be surprised to see his many quotes in this blog – as he is known to sprinkle various quotes and sayings into conversation. In other words, he can really turn a phrase.

Zach is a tried and true tradesman who works hard and loves what he does. He describes himself as the last of a dying breed, a true champion of the trades. “I love being in the trades because it’s a dying breed for guys my age,” he explained. “I am like the last of the Mohicans – there’s not a whole lot of young guys who want to work hard like the old boys did, but I am one of them. I am doing what I was put on earth to do.”

Zach was born and raised in Pavilion, Wyoming and moved to Utah when he was 16. The proud “small-town boy” was raised in a blue collar family, so when it came time to choose a career, he says he “fell in with the crowd.” But make no mistake, he chose to follow in the footsteps of his family because he believes that working in the trades is his destiny and he loves being out in the field on a job. “I was put on this earth for a few things and working hard morning to night is one of them,” he said. “I love moving dirt and learning new things, and it’s never the same like a 9 to 5. It’s different every day.”

Zach has been in construction for 6 years, four of which have been as a heavy equipment operator. After laying pipe for two years, he was given the opportunity to move to operator, a rare break for someone who had only been in the construction trade for such a short time. Zach attributes that opportunity to work ethic and effort, explaining that it “paid off to always be 15 minutes early and the last to leave.“

Zach capitalized on his operator experience from the residential sector to further his career at Grade Tech where he has the opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals and use the latest equipment. He has readily accepted the challenge of learning the ins and outs of excavating for power utilities and operating new equipment. “This is a whole new ball game, but l am loving the challenges of it. The train leaves with or without you so you better jump on board. If you want to be the top dog in your trade you have to stay ahead. Not a lot of companies run the tilt rotators and it will be nice to know how to run it better than everyone else once that becomes the norm.”

Not counting the challenge of learning new equipment, Zach says the hardest part of the job is missing out on some things because of the time spent away from home – especially on the weekends. But he realizes that it will all pay off in the end. “If you’re going to be in the pack, you want to be up front,” he explained. “There are sacrifices you have to make, but if you do the grind now, and don’t make failure an option, you are going to be successful.”

He sums uphis philosophy like this: “Life isn’t going to give you anything. If you want something you have to go and get it – grit your teeth and make it happen.”

Zach says that there are many perks to working in constructions and that he has seen hard work pay off. “If you want to work outside and see the country, this is the job for you. I know more successful men that are in the trades than in office jobs. If you like building stuff and to see the finished product, this is for you. Buildings don’t fall down very often.”

When he’s not working hard on the job, Zach enjoys taking some down time to “recharge his batteries.” An avid outdoorsman, Zach spends his free time fishing on a riverbank or hunting in the mountains – as long as it is somewhere out of phone service range!