To understand the history behind Mobile Track Solutions, you must understand the history of C.J. Moyna & Sons, Inc.
Glance out a window in Clayton County Iowa or the eastern half of the state for that matter, and you're likely to see the work of C.J. Moyna and Sons, Inc. It might be a road, a terrace in a field, a farm pond or a berm in a rock quarry. With over 60 years in the construction business, it's easy to see how C.J. Moyna and Sons have had an impact.
There is something about taking the black earth, the loose soil and hard clay and building a road from it that runs in the blood of the Moynas. "I guess it's in the genes" says John A. "Jack" Moyna, the past company president. Jack's father was a road builder and his namesake—his great-grandfather, Patrick was too, emigrating from Ireland to build roads and haul dirt with a wooden wagon and a team of mules.
The modern era of the family road-building business began over 50 years ago. Cecil Joseph Moyna was a heavy equipment operator for a construction company. He decided he would like to take his knowledge of earth moving and start his own business.
Equipment is an important part in the construction business and even though Cecil Moyna was working with limited capital, he bought a hard-working bulldozer and that was the only piece of equipment the company owned in the early years. "It was a model L Allis-Chalmers. It was the first hired custom bulldozer to be used in Clayton County," according to Jerry Moyna. He went on to say that "No one else had anything like it. I remember as a kid, how big I thought that machine was, and it was at the time."
Jack came home from the Army in 1956 and returned to work with his father and brother. A few years later, Cecil, Jack, and Jerry formed a partnership, which became C.J. Moyna and Sons.
Just as Grandpa John Moyna had taught Cecil how to build a road, Cecil taught his sons, Jack and Jerry, and they taught their sons. Building is a tradition passed down from generation to generation. John Patrick Moyna, Jack's son and the company president was barely able to walk when he took his first ride in a Caterpillar tractor. He fondly recalls the days of his youth spent on the job site. "I was five years old and one of my best friends was my Grandpa. We were parts runners; going to Cedar Rapids to get a part or get something fixed. Sometimes the guys would complain when we didn't get back sooner. With Grandpa, there was usually time for a soda pop or a stop at the melon stand," John states.
The company's big break in the construction business came when it started to get county-contracted jobs to build new roads and improve old ones. "The Clayton Road [east of Elkader] stands out. It was our first big venture, but it was quite a load on us and we wondered if it would turn out. It was steep and crooked and a difficult job to do, about eight miles of heavy grade, but we made it through and that seemed to get us started." Jack said.
Jack Moyna went on to say that "we also did county work in Buchanan, Delaware, and Allamakee counties and in the late 1960's and 1970's and we did quite a few sewer lagoons for cities around the area; we built the business a little at a time from the ground up."
Another milestone for the company was in 1979 when C.J. Moyna and Sons, Inc., did its first major Iowa DOT grading project near Peosta on Hwy. 20 "We went to a sale and bought two 631 scrapers and took them to the job site unloaded them and proceeded through the ditch and got the first one stuck. It took us two weeks to get enough horsepower to pull it out," John said. "With good weather conditions the next spring we completed that project and that was the spark that ignited the fire" John recalls. This directly lead to the company's current dirt moving capacity which encompasses nearly a dozen job sites and millions of cubic yards of earth moved each year.
"One of the biggest keys to success of the company has been to bid work outside of Clayton County," commented John Moyna. John went on to say, "Once we were able to include a larger geographic area to bid on we could be more selective on the projects we took." State highway work has had a big impact on the company's ability to expand from a workforce of about 10 employees 25 years ago, to more than 170 today. A couple of five-year projects had C.J. Moyna & Sons, Inc. upgrading Highway 20 from a two-lane to a four-lane road from Hamilton County in north central Iowa to Dubuque County and the Illinois border. The company has also been a pivotal contractor in the upgrading of Highway 61 in Dubuque, Jackson, and Clinton counties and Highway 330 in Marshall County.
C.J. Moyna & Sons, Inc. is currently developing and implementing new technologies to improve workplace performance and efficiencies has been an important part of the success of the company.
An example is the use of the articulated dump trucks. John Moyna remembers that "In the mid-'80s we had been to an equipment show in Las Vegas and saw a concept we thought would benefit our earth moving operation." He goes on stating that "After attending the show we made a decision to try the CAT articulated dump truck and became one of the first companies in the Midwest to use this new technology, now it is the industry standard." John explains that because of this "We were able to tackle some of the tougher projects with little or no additional manpower or effort because of the ADT concept." But just utilizing new technology is not enough. Improving technology and adapting it to construction site applications is where John is now headed with the ADT's. With tight quarters sometimes restricting full extension of the dump truck box, John designed and patented the E-Ject box. The E-Ject box used a ejection system, similar to a motor scraper, on the D-400 articulated dump truck allowing loads to be pushed out the rear.
"For C.J. Moyna & Sons, Inc. to stay ahead of the competition, it is always looking for ways to modify and improve equipment and processes to enhance productivity," John Moyna said. "We are always on the hunt to develop ways to hold overhead extremely low while keeping productivity at extremely high levels," he says.
John Moyna says the company's emphasis on a safe operation is another factor, which increases productivity and reduces cost. No pun intended, but being safe on the job does not happen by accident. C.J. Moyna & Sons, Inc. has instituted a safety program which has a safety coordinator at the job sites monthly for job and equipment site inspections and a safety program. "John hired me to make the best better," says Linda Moyna, Safety Director. "When the wheels aren't moving, the company's not making money, but C.J. Moyna & Sons has made a commitment to its employees that safety is the top priority and the benefits from the time invested is paid back ten-fold, not only for the company, but for the workers, their families, and the community," Linda Moyna reports. "I'm extremely proud of our work force," John Moyna said. He goes on to state that "We have dedicated people that take on every project with the ambition and effort that produces quality work that tells the people we are working for that, we care about what we do and that we want to work for them again."
Finding new and innovative ways of moving earth has been a part of C.J. Moyna and Sons, Inc. since its inception. It's this history of innovative thought that led the company into the manufacturing sector. In 2002, Eject Systems Inc., a company dedicated to the manufacture of quality earth- moving products, was started. The success of this company was due in equal part to the company's visionary leader (John Moyna) and its quality workforce. E-Ject Systems was purchased by Caterpillar Inc. on January 1, 2008.
In 2007 Mobile Track Solutions, L.L.C. was started. The business model for this new company mirrors that of E-Ject Systems Inc. The goal is to use years of experience that C.J. Moyna and Sons, Inc. has in the earth moving industry and a hard working and innovative workforce to manufacture quality products. At Mobile Track Solutions the dream that was started all those years ago with Cecil Joseph Moyna still lives. With a hand-picked team of outstanding workers and an owner with one eye towards the future, Mobile Track Solutions is poised to be vital part of the earth-moving industry for years to come.