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Cleveland Brothers

Heritage Coal: Descendants of Success

By: Brittney
November 2, 2021

Cat 6020B and 777 in coal mining pitAngela Svonavec, President, and her husband Jason Svonavec, Operations Manager of Heritage Coal & Natural Resources, LLC (Heritage Coal), know coal mining better than anyone. The Svonavecs grew up on coal mines their entire lives, so when they decided to join the industry and create a family business, it came naturally. When choosing the company name, only “Heritage Coal” seemed appropriate to honor the generations of family members who devoted their lives to coal mining. Coal mining runs deep in Angela’s and Jason’s family genes, and has been passed on from generation to generation, with their grandparents, parents, themselves and now their children, Sydney and Spencer, all involved in the coal mining industry.Cat 6020B and 777

In addition to remembering family with the company name, Heritage Coal demonstrates family history in their landscaping, too. At the Heritage Coal main office, a Cat® motor grader from the 1940s sits on display. This motor grader was purchased by and belonged to Jason’s grandfather when he owned and operated his own coal mining company. After Jason’s grandfather got out of the business, he sold it to a local farmer. Years later, the Svonavecs had the opportunity to purchase it back. So they bought it, restored it and now proudly display it at their main office to showcase their coal mining heritage.


Finding the Right Equipment

Cat 6020BThe Svonavecs started their company in 2008 with only eight employees and a few pieces of equipment. As of today, Heritage Coal has expanded to 120 employees, more than 150 pieces of Cat equipment and is operating 10 pits. While rock trucks, dozers and excavators entail the majority of their fleet, their newest machine purchase, a Cat 6020B Hydraulic Mining Shovel, stands out among the rest.

As the company has continued to grow, the Svonavecs needed an equipment upgrade and wanted a machine with magnitude and durability. After building exceptional rapport with the finance department, sales team and product support team of Cleveland Brothers and Cat Financial throughout the years, the Svonavecs made the decision to work with Cleveland Brothers and purchase the Cat 6020B. Angela Svonavec commented on the relationship, stating, “Cat [equipment] emerged as a leader right at the beginning. They [Cleveland Brothers] are great to work with. They always make you feel like valued customers the whole way though. Our employees love working with Cleveland Brothers.”

Once they looked closer into the specs of the machine and its capabilities, coupled with the parts and service support, the decision became simple. Jason Svonavec stated, “The biggest decision for me with the new 6020 is parts availability. A big thing with Cleveland Brothers and Caterpillar that we really enjoy working with is not just the sales, but the service and parts availability. Ninety-five to 98 percent of the time we can have parts the next day by 5 a.m. Service has been very reliable and helpful, and Cleveland Brothers drops off the parts right out front of our office.”


Cat 6020B Offers Heritage Coal Endless Capabilities

The Cat 6020B Hydraulic Mining Shovel, a massive coal mining excavator, optimizes efficiency with extraordinarily large bucket loads. In fact, the machine is so large that it took about 10 tractor trailers to haul and was assembled on site due to its incredibly vast size. The 6020B boasts a Cat C32 ACERT engine with gross power of 1,040 horsepower. Additionally, it weighs over 254 tons, which is equivalent to the weight of nearly 200 cars combined!

As far as productivity, just one bucket holds up to 18 yards of material and can fill a 777 rock truck in just four buckets. Since purchasing the machine, Heritage Coal transports 30,000 yards of material daily with the 6020B, which has boosted their overall productivity to over a million tons of coal per year, thanks to the faster cycle time and bigger bucket loads. In addition to the increased productivity, the 6020B keeps safety in mind with its enhanced cab visibility and numerous safety features included. Overall, the productivity and safety of this machine has helped Heritage Coal further their success and complete their business goals.


Cat articulated truck

The Best Choice for Heritage Coal

Reflecting on the progress of Heritage Coal, Angela stated, “When I think of our business, I am very grateful to God for all the opportunities and successes. I’m so appreciative of the business relationships we’ve built. It’s impossible to get to this point without lots of good relationships, and we are especially grateful for our employees. We are fortunate to have dedicated and skilled employees and we try to keep them happy—that’s why we buy them Cat [equipment]—it keeps them happy.” From successful business relationships and dependable equipment to reliable employees and parts availability, Cleveland Brothers and the 6020B was the right choice for the Svonavecs and Heritage Coal.