Lone Mountain Excavation recently received the 2021 Silver Shovel Award from the Nevada Regional Common Ground Alliance. From left are Larry Hanson, safety director; Stefan Hoffman, president; Alex Slocum, foreman; Haley Burger, project engineer; and Darren Blitsch, foreman.


Lone Mountain Excavation & Utilities recently took home the top prize at the Nevada Regional Common Ground Alliance’s annual awards dinner. The NRCGA honors one excavation company each year with the Silver Shovel Award in recognition of excellence in safe digging.

To be eligible for the award, contractors must have had no at-fault damages to underground utilities during the previous 12 months. Nominees also undergo a 45-minute interview with the NRCGA board of directors. Lone Mountain was nominated for the award by NRCGA and the Nevada Public Utilities Commission.

Lone Mountain President Stefan Hoffman and Safety Director Larry Hanson fielded the board’s interview questions.

“One question was about calling in for re-marks,” Hanson said. “They asked about our process and communication to the field. We have one person who handles all 811 calls. The more hands involved, the greater chance something will get missed, so we dialed it down to one person. They liked that.”

Hanson said during the interview he and Hoffman emphasized that it’s always about the team and not the individual, and that the health and well-being of employees comes first.

Hoffman credits the entire Lone Mountain team with earning this award.

“Our team works together so well, and we take these initiatives about underground utilities so seriously,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman and Hanson shared a few company best practices that contribute to their safe digging record.

  • Slow down and think. Taking five to 10 extra minutes to plan work could prevent an accident that causes property damage or injures someone.
  • Constant education. Safe digging is constantly being talked about in the field and is drilled down from leadership to field leaders to all employees.
  • While Lone Mountain always calls 811 before digging, the company recognizes even that process has room for errors. Therefore, they spend a little extra time and money to hire a hydroexcavation or vacuum excavation contractor to open things up before they start work. This allows their crews to see exactly what they’re dealing with before they put a bucket in the ground.

Lone Mountain is a leader in the field of commercial earthwork and paving preparation for the greater Las Vegas metropolitan and surrounding areas.

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