Bargersville-Based Business is Built on a Tradition of Excellence
Writer / Julie Yates
Photographer / Amy Counts
Johnson’s Hauling & Excavating has been serving the areas surrounding Greenwood for more than 30 years. The family-owned company passed to the second generation when Dallas Johnson and his wife, Amanda Cottingham-Johnson, purchased it from Johnson’s father in 2019. Many of Johnson’s earliest memories involve growing up around the business.
“At age 6, I was running a backhoe. I was always helping my dad, especially in the summers. I even missed school sometimes to help my dad on a job,” says Johnson.
“A 1950 Ford F5 single axel dump truck – that was our first dump truck. The business has been going since 1978. When Dallas was two years old, Big D started taking Little D with him in the dump truck. Big D would strap the car seat in the front cab, grab a bottle, some diapers, and off to work they’d go,” remembers Nancy Johnson, Dallas’s mother.
Over the years, the company has grown from owning one machine to eight. After recently selling two vehicles, Johnson currently has four trucks, two excavators, one bulldozer and a track machine. They are all housed on the Bargersville farm that the Johnsons moved to when they acquired the business.
“We left our home on the farm where we have our wedding venue business, Barn at Bay Horse Inn, and moved to the house I grew up in, which dad built,” Johnson says.
“The farm here is where all the equipment is. There are two barns and one big, heated 5,000 square foot shop. On the property is one of the oldest barns in Bargersville, and we still use it to store equipment.”
Johnson’s Hauling & Excavating specializes in residential and commercial excavating, and focuses on new construction, water/sewer installation and repair, storm drainage, grading, footings, foundations, and septic installations and repairs. Most of the work sites are in Indianapolis, Greenwood, Bargersville, Whiteland and Franklin, but the seven workers employed by the company have traveled as far north as Kokomo and as far south as Bloomington. The company’s mascot, a blue heeler dog named Dot, accompanies Johnson to jobs each day.
“The Town of Bargersville and the Johnson County Health Department send us a lot of work because they know Dallas has so much experience,” Cottingham-Johnson says.
“Junior is always working,” says Elizabeth Schultz, Environmental Health Specialist, Johnson County Health Department. “As a business owner he knows – if you aren’t working, you aren’t getting paid.”
“He is quite precise with the backhoe bucket, able to quickly pick up a bucket of sand and safely place it near his crew member without worry. He has a good, knowledgeable crew, which is hard to find. Junior treats his crew well and that’s why they stay. He enjoys his work and it shows in his craftsman and ingenuity,” says Schultz.
“We also work with a lot of local builders. I think the kind of jobs Dallas has the most fun with are demolitions,” says Cottingham-Johnson.
“One of the most memorable jobs Dallas ever did was at Sweetwater Lake. He had to tear down a house that was on the lake, and it was only four feet away from another house. Besides that, it was on a hill and had two stories. Everyone came out and watched. They were amazed at how he did it. Dallas is very talented at what he does.”
The company gives back to the local community in several ways. They are the scoreboard sponsor for the Center Grove Bantam Football League. In addition, they make donations to nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Center Grove Education Foundation.
“Four living people named Dallas Johnson exist in our family- my grandfather, dad, me and my son,” Johnson says. “My two boys are now getting to the age where they want to learn to drive the equipment and are showing interest in the company. I’ve always liked heavy machinery and equipment. I learned everything from my dad, and I feel I owe the success of the company to him.”
Johnson’s Hauling & Excavating is located at 4200 North 625 West in Bargersville. For more info, call 317-797-4034 or visit johnsonsexcavating.com.