More than just a dirty business
Ditch digging has long been be considered at the bottom of the list when it comes to job desirability, but Charlie Holub has turned it into a successful business that uses modern equipment.
Together with a partner, Gene Chizek, he started the company 25 years ago. He became sole owner in 2015.
A crew from Ditch Diggers will be seen around Marion in the weeks and months ahead. Ditch Diggers has a contract with the city to replace old water lines.
Holub grew up north of Marion. He attended Centre High School but dropped out to get a job in construction before starting his own business.
“I’ve had a pretty good go of it,” he said.
Holub has installed water lines all around Marion County. His first big project was installing an extension of Marion County Rural Water District No. 5.
He installed a water transmission line south of Lawrence and has done numerous water-line rehabilitations, such as the Marion project.
He also installs and rehabs sewer lines.
Holub and his wife, Kathy, live near Aulne. She is a cook at Marion High School. They have three grown children. Daughter Beatrice lives in Marion. Their two sons, Shawn of Canada and Charlie Jr. of Dwight, work in the business.
Holub has three other employees and hopes to hire additional ones in the next two weeks.
“Good help is hard to find,” he said.
Holub attributes his success as a businessman to his work ethic.
“If you work hard, you can succeed,” he said.
The contract with Marion includes installation of 20,000 feet of mainline and 10,000 feet of service lines. Ditch Witch also will install 280 meters.
On Friday, Holub’s crew worked to install an 8-inch poly water line under Luta Creek, between Maple and Fourth Sts. Entrance and exit pits were excavated on both sides of the creek. Holub used a directional drill rig on the east side to bore a path 18 to 19 feet under the creek to 4th St.
“I wanted to make it deep enough that no future changes would damage the pipe,” Holub said.
A reamer was attached to the drill rod and pulled through to enlarge the hole. The water pipe was then attached to the rod at Fourth Street and pulled back through the conduit by Holub’s rig.
“We are going to use the directional rig to install all of the water lines so we won’t have to mess up people’s driveways,” Holub said.
He has until the middle of December to finish the job.
Last modified Jan. 28, 2021