Written by: Aaron Witt

Off to California! This week was a whirlwind of visits in southern California with LB3 Enterprises and Hawthorne Caterpillar. A majority of my work is in California these days but I don’t think I could handle living there full time. The trade off — lots of time in the car…

I drove out to San Diego first thing Wednesday and stopped for what’s arguably the world’s best breakfast burrito in Tacna, Arizona. You’ve probably never heard of Tacna because absolutely nothing is there. Just Gonzo’s Market. I highly recommend you stop by for a burrito if you find yourself vacationing in Tacna (highly unlikely). I only know about Gonzo’s because I spent a month working on the railroad about 20 miles away. Every day I’d make the drive for one of their beautifully delicious burritos. I digress…

Back to the job at hand. First stop upon my arrival to San Diego was Hawthorne Cat’s headquarters. A few of their awesome people reached out on Instagram and invited me to tour their shop. This is the magic of social media — building relationships with people who I otherwise would never have the pleasure of meeting.

We walked through their shop, which housed three 657 scrapers being repowered. I’ve heard a lot about the repowering process but this was my first “hands on”, more like eyeballs on, experience. In short, they take the old engine out and replace it with a modern, tier 4 engine. Due to strict California emissions standards, all old machines are slowly becoming repowered and Hawthorne is the undisputed expert at 657 scrapers.

After my visit, I drove to the beach for a run. Traveling often times sucks, but if you make the effort to make it suck less, it probably will. I am a wordsmith. A run on the beach in La Jolla isn’t a bad deal… I also stayed at an AirBNB with a pet pig. You don’t get that at the local Best Western!

Day two brought a drive north to visit LB3 Enterprises in Corona at their Terramor development. Myself and BuildWitt have worked with LB3 closely for months now and their Terramor project is truly a work of art. Over two million yards of dirt and rock moved to shape over 1,000 new house pads overlooking the valley. I had an awesome time visiting and I even got to break in my new truck on site.

After a few hours at Terramor, I headed south to meet the forward thinking man behind the company, Tim, at a quarry overburden project. I love a good quarry and this facility was no joke. LB3 had excavators, rock trucks, big dozers, and even a 16M blade hard at work to keep aggregate flowing. LB3 knows how to get it done!

The rest of my day was spent with Tim, talking about his vision for LB3 and how they’re becoming the future of the earthmoving industry in California. Impressive is an understatement. There’s exciting stuff on the horizon!

Day two wrapped up with another run along the beach in Coronado which was as terrible as it sounds. I stumbled across a dog beach, which was arguably one the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced. All flavors of dogs splashing about and chasing tennis balls on the sand from all angles. What an experience.

And with that, my trip was finished. A quick six hour drive back to Phoenix and I was off to edit photos and work on everything I ignored during my travels. Time to do it again next week!

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