We do power. That simple statement is the foundation for Grade Tech Power Services, a civil contractor and family-owned business that grades and excavates sites exclusively for power generation companies. Their work includes right-of-way paths for installing power lines, as well as sitework for building, expanding, and demolishing substations across the western United States.  

Supplying these services is where the Midvale, Utah-based company excels—from both a safety and quality standpoint. 

“We got into this work years ago, working on the local substations and all the upgrades for the Olympics back in 2002 in Salt Lake City,” says Rory Hall, co-owner and operations manager, Grade Tech Power Services. “To stay in the work that we do, we have to travel, 100 percent.”

With the travel required across Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, California, and more comes logistical considerations. 

“The initial struggle was fuel on site,” Hall explains. “And then, one of our biggest challenges was with the auto greasers. We were spending hours filling them up with a little hand grease gun.”

Recognizing that this approach to maintenance was costing time, money, and labor, the company turned to Thunder Creek Multi-Tank Oil (MTO) Trailers in the 690-gallon capacity. Since making the investment, Grade Tech Services has seen significant benefits in time, efficiency, and labor. 


When prepping the sites for power companies, Hall and his crew run a diverse fleet of compact and heavy equipment to grade and excavate. They regularly build the pads for structures and utility poles and excavate and backfill for structural concrete at the front end of the job. Once the power company has completed the wiring and power line installation, Grade Tech then reclaims the area to its natural state. 

“We run a lot of small equipment, whether it’s mini skidders or cast slingers for putting in gravel and backfilling foundations. Then we go all the way up to D8 dozers, power wheel scrapers, and graders,” Hall says.

The Thunder Creek MTO has proven to be a reliable solution in caring for the equipment. This multi-fluid trailer offers fuel and preventive maintenance solutions, can hold up to six service fuels, including oil, diesel, coolant, and tanks for waste-oil reclaim with additional systems for grease and DEF. 

“The MTOs have been a huge problem-solver for us,” says Hall. “Depending on our crew size, we only need to get fuel once a week. We can leave the trailer on site. At the end of every week, we either fill them up locally, or the fuel companies come out and fill us up.”

That efficiency is in stark contrast to the process Grade Tech relied on before investing in the MTOs. Previously, the crew carried tanks and smaller containers in their trucks that could require multiple trips to refill during the weeks they were on a project—time that Hall needed crew members on site. 

“If we only had a couple of trucks and were in the middle of nowhere, we’d fuel up our iron and have to send someone back to town,” he explains. “We’re not usually close to anything. We’re 30 minutes from the closest town on average. We don’t have to worry about that lost time with the MTOs.”

Hall has also seen increased efficiency with routine maintenance, because the MTOs feature a system for grease. 

“Before, we’d have a box of grease and make sure we had enough charged grease-gun batteries,” says Hall. “We’d sit there and pump the grease pots full every day.”

Hall and his crew also like the DEF system included on the MTOs, since it eliminates the need to load two-gallon jugs into truck beds and allows for faster fill times.

According to Hall, in addition to saving time, the MTOs have helped increase the daily care of equipment.

“We have a very structured system now. At the end of a shift, we fuel all our equipment. We grease everything,” he explains. 

Hall adds there is less opportunity for maintenance activities to be overlooked, since the crew now has all the tools onsite. Along with fuel and daily fluids, Grade Tech has a compressor, generator, and other tools on their MTO. The company also supplements the MTOs with one of Thunder Creek’s No HAZMAT Multi-Tank fuel trailers (MTT), which supplies Hall and the crew with additional diesel when needed.


Along with the efficiencies that Grade Tech has gained with the MTO, Hall appreciates the added environmental benefits the trailer offers. 

“We work in very environmentally sensitive settings. Before, if we had five-gallon buckets of oil or other fluids, we’d run the risk of making messes,” he explains.

With the MTO, Grade Tech has fluids at the ready and doesn’t have to worry about extra oil containment.

“When we’re moving the trailer and fueling each piece of equipment, we’re not creating a little spill zone,” Hall adds. “Plus, the way these trailers are built, we don’t get any scrutiny from anyone on the environmental side of things.” 

Not only is this design more environmentally sound, but it eliminates the need for Hall’s crew to carry HAZMAT endorsements. In many instances (depending on truck and trailer combinations, and local regulations), crew members may not need a CDL either. From a labor standpoint, those benefits are important. 

“Any of our younger crew members, under the age of 21, wouldn’t have valid HAZMAT or CDLs when we leave the state. And we leave the state week in and week out,” explains Hall. “So that’s another huge advantage.”


Grade Tech has carved a place for itself serving the power generation industry. Hall says the company relies on organic growth to build the business and prides itself on retaining crew members, especially with the travel required for the job. 

“We don’t go chasing work unless it’s with our relationships and we’re asked to go there. And that’s worked very well for us,” he says. 

As the company moves forward, Hall and the crew will continue to look for further ways to streamline their operations.  

For More Information:

For more, visit www.thundercreek.com

Modern Contractor Solutions, March 2024
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