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Morgan’s Excavating Transforms Coal Mine into Rubicon Trail

By: Brittney
June 20, 2022


Morgan's Excavating and Cleveland Brothers

As fans of the Cat brand and equipment for as long as they can remember, Ralph Morgan Sr. and Ralph Morgan Jr., owners of Morgan’s Excavating, LLC. (Morgan’s Excavating), knew exactly what equipment to use when they accepted their largest project.

Fiercely loyal since opening their company doors in 1970, Morgan’s Excavating is proud to be family owned and to operate Cat equipment. As the company continues to grow and years pass, Morgan Sr. and Morgan Jr. have taken on bigger challenges and subsequently purchase bigger Cat equipment. From residential excavating and mine reclamation to site work and governmental jobs, the Morgans are always ready to handle any job that comes their way.

Most recently, with a dozen crew members and a lengthy list of Cat equipment, including six giant dozers, five excavators, four articulated trucks, two skid steer loaders and a track loader, Morgan’s Excavating completed some of the newest trail work offered by the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area Trails (AOAA Trails) in Coal Township, Pa.

AOAA Trails provides thousands of acres with exhilarating off-road trails for full-size vehicles, ATVs UTVs, dirt bikes and nonmotorized bicycles. Before AOAA Trails existed, however, these lands were utilized for mining or illegal solid waste disposal. Since then, numerous cleanup projects have been initiated and AOAA Trails, along with many other partners, restored these lands to offer an outdoors experience for thrill seekers. Today, visitors from all over enjoy the 6,500 acres of scenery and
off-road trails. Recently, Morgan’s Excavating and AOAA Trails expanded its trails to further improve these lands and attract more visitors.



AOAA Trail Extension constructed by Morgan's Excavating and Cat EquipmentMorgan’s Excavating partnered with AOAA Trails to transform an abandoned coal mine into a trail that extends to the Rubicon trail. This is the second Rubicon offered in the entire country and the only offered on the east coast. While this was just an extension to the already existing trails, the massive project required plenty of time, diligence and Cat equipment.

Using their Cat equipment, Morgan’s Excavating cleared 88 acres, hauled 2.5 million cubic yards of dirt, built a 11,000 square yard access road and created a 1,000 square yard parking lot. Additionally, Morgan’s Excavating dewatered, treated and refilled two ponds onsite, one as large as an acre wide and 17 ft. deep near an overlook for spectators.

While D11 dozers moved a million cubic yards of dirt, the excavators and articulated trucks moved the remaining 1.5 million cubic yards, totaling about 45 articulated truck loads a day. In addition, the crew placed boulders, some as large as a car, throughout the 5500 ft. long trail. Some rocks were so massive they filled the entire bed of a 745! Several were too large for a 980 wheel loader with a 9-yard bucket and had to be pushed by a D11 dozer.

A project of this magnitude—from earthmoving and dewatering ponds to road development and transporting rocks—required Morgan’s Excavating to perform their job with efficiency and excellence. Knowing that, Morgan Jr. relied on Cleveland Brothers and Cat equipment to finish the job.



Morgan’s Excavating has grown from completing a couple of jobs a year in 1970 to now completing 15 to 20 jobs each year, keeping the team busier than ever—and in continuous need of a reliable equipment supplier. That’s why, as long as Morgan’s Excavating has been in business, they have partnered with Cleveland Brothers.

For more than 50 years, Morgan’s Excavating has chosen Cat equipment and Cleveland Brothers because “there’s no comparison,” according to Morgan Jr. “The support from [Cleveland Brothers] Cat is definitely better than the others,” he said. “They are state-wide and we work state-wide. With [Cleveland Brothers] Cat, I can go to any branch and get the parts I need. I work all over the state and being able to get parts anywhere is everything to me. I’ve always had a good experience.”

In addition to parts and sales, Morgan Jr. also utilizes service for his equipment, including the full-service preventive maintenance program known as a TLC agreement. “We have TLC agreements with our equipment and our experience has been good; really good.” Whether Morgan Jr. is in need of preventive maintenance, a complete engine overhaul or a machine rebuild, he trusts Cleveland Brothers to get the job done efficiently.

Even with quality equipment, parts and service, however, Morgan Jr. acknowledges the staff at Cleveland Brothers the most. “I’m pleased with all my Cat guys, it is personal with me. Dennis [Cleveland Brothers Construction Equipment Parts and Service Manager, Turbotville] will come see me. Ryan [Cleveland Brothers Construction Equipment Account Manager, Somerset] will call me. When I have a track problem, Jason [Cleveland Brothers Parts
Counter/Track Shop Coordinator, Mahanoy City] always seems to get it fixed. I can’t say just one guy does it. They always seem to check up on me if I need something, it’s never an issue. That means a lot to me.” As he recognized the team and the strong partnership they have developed, he also noted the ease of every transaction. “I like the fact that if I need something, all I need to do is make a phone call and it’s delivered here, to my house, or someone brings it to me. I don’t need to track that down. I’m too busy to worry about that stuff.”

When time is crucial and quality is everything, Morgan Jr. knows he can trust Cat equipment and Cleveland Brothers to keep his business up and running. Whether he’s in need of a machine, some parts or top-notch service, he knows Cleveland Brothers is just one call away.



Cleveland Brothers offers support across the state of Pennsylvania and throughout northern West Virginia and western Maryland. For quick parts, exceptional service and the best equipment in the industry, trust Cleveland Brothers as your total solutions provider. For more information, please complete a contact us form.