Why did a former up-and-comer at one of the world’s leading aerospace engineering companies pull his head out of the clouds and pursue a career in excavation?
“I love getting into Bobcat machines and digging in dirt,” says Dwight Messick.
As the owner of a thriving residential and commercial excavation company, you could say Dwight certainly landed on solid ground. He attributes much of the success of his company, MH Services in Northern Virginia, to his trio of Bobcat® T870 compact track loaders.
“It’s like grabbing your computer when you go to work,” says Dwight. “The T870 is that piece of equipment that makes me the most money and provides for my family.”
But finding his professional footing in excavation wasn’t always part of his master plan. In fact, he had other lofty aspirations.
Unique breeding grounds for a future business owner
Dwight’s enterprising mindset was instilled early in his career at Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s leading security and aerospace companies. Shortly after joining the global corporation, he was accepted into their leadership development program, an exclusive group that gave Dwight exposure to some of Lockheed Martin’s top leaders, such as Marillyn Hewson, current strategic advisor to the CEO.
As a Six Sigma company, Lockheed Martin provided Dwight a unique training ground to hone his mechanical and management skills. He completed six-month rotations across various disciplines, including manufacturing, procurement and floor assembly. The experience taught him a valuable professional lesson that would fuel his future endeavors: “There’s a place for everything and everything has its place.”
Dwight eventually earned a Lockheed Martin supervisory position that saw him lead an award-winning team. Coupled with his technical know-how, his aerospace management position made him a better problem solver, the skills of which come in handy as a business owner today. “If there are hiccups involved, I can always work through them,” says Dwight.
After a rewarding eight-year career at Lockheed Martin, Dwight left to pursue his lifelong goal of running his own business. He started a truck accessory business before selling it to manage dozens of rental properties.
That’s where his love for Bobcat machines was born.
“I was either borrowing or renting their loaders for grading and other dirt work, and installing culverts,” says Dwight. Everything from technology to toughness, and comfort to paint color left Dwight thinking one thing. “Bobcat is number one.”
His love for operating earth-moving Bobcat machines combined with a passion for entrepreneurship naturally led him to start MH Services, Northern Virginia’s premier excavation company.
Compact Bobcat machines are company’s workhorse
Dwight loves the versatility of his Bobcat T870 compact loaders and their attachments, which equip his seven-person team with the tools needed to tackle almost any job. “We do a lot of farms and work out in the country. We do storm sewers for HOAs. We do driveways.”
Despite test-driving countless loaders and excavators over his career, Dwight always comes back to Bobcat machines. “The T870s are so powerful. It’s unbelievable what that small of a machine can do.” While compact in size, Dwight says the T870’s large frame and bigger, deeper bucket allows him to get more done onsite, especially on woody terrain.
A self-proclaimed techie who installed the audio and lighting systems at his former truck accessory business, Dwight loves the comfort and ergonomics of his Bobcat loaders’ air-ride seats and easy-to-navigate controls and displays. “It really is a plush vehicle for what it does.”
Good people make for one great grind
Dwight’s divergent career path obviously paid off for not only himself, but also for his MH Services’ team and their customers. “Going from a corporate environment with 40,000 employees to this, where it’s me and seven guys, just doesn’t feel like a job,” boasts Dwight. “We’ve been blessed that our business has grown substantially without having to advertise. So many customers have heard the good word about us and it’s spread.”
That passion and appreciation for doing business with good people is evident in Dwight’s relationship with his local Bobcat dealer, Barbara Minor at Bobcat of Northern Virginia. “They’re absolutely amazing and I can call or text them any time. They get right back to me and are always able to solve my service and product needs.”
It’s a prime example of the motto that drives Dwight’s business: Jobs may come and go, but good people shouldn’t.