Photo of excavation equipment with "top 10" label

Before any construction of entirely new structures can begin, contractors first must drill into the earth and make way for the new buildings’ foundation. The specialty of excavation and foundation building isn’t just the act of using heavy machinery to move soil, it’s also the diligent pre-planning behind site clearing, setting out the structures, and establishment of safety codes.

Per Engineering News Report’s most recent list of the 600 largest construction contractors in the U.S., excavation and foundation contractors comprised 4.5% (approximately $6.57 billion) of the $145.9 billion brought in across the 600 tracked construction businesses.

Although a relatively small portion of the industry compared to the behemoths that are electrical and mechanical, excavation and foundation remain an essential part of any construction project, and together boast the sixth largest share of revenue across the 16 specialty industries tracked in ENR’s 2022 report.

Here is more about the 10 largest excavation and foundation contractors in the country for 2023.

RankCompanyRevenuePrevious Rank
1Keller North America$1.38 billion1 (-)
2MasTec Inc.$958.6 million4 (+2)
3Malcolm Drilling Co.$573.2 million2 (-1)
4Plateau Excavation$450.2 million3 (-1)
5Drill Tech Drilling and Shoring$285.9 million6 (+1)
6J. Derenzo Co.$261 million5 (-1)
7Ryan Inc. Central$221.1 million9 (+2)
8Manafort Brothers Inc.$200.9 million8 (-)
9Condon-Johnson & Associates$200 million10 (+1)
10Beaver Excavating Co.$199.8 million11 (+1)

1. Keller North America Inc

Total revenue: $1.38 billion

Previous year’s rank: 1

Keller’s North American branch remains unchanged at the top of ENR’s Top 20 Firms in Excavation and Foundation list. The world’s largest geotechnical contracting firm has offices in over 40 countries in addition to six affiliate companies across the United States.

The company has an above-average payment reputation, according to data from last year. Sitting at a B grade, with 83 points out of a 100, around 90% of contractors that have worked with Keller rated their experience 4 stars or higher, while the remaining 10% of reviewers ranked them at 2 stars.

Utilizing techniques in grouting, ground improvement, deep foundations, and more, Keller North America’s reputation has yielded them several high-profile projects, including:

2. MasTec Inc.

Total revenue: $958.6 million

Previous year’s rank: 4

Jumping two spots from fourth to second place in 2022 — with the largest percentage of revenue growth amongst the Top 20 Excavation/Foundation firms (203% from 2021’s $397.3 million) — is MasTec Inc.

Based out of Coral Gables, Florida, the multinational infrastructure specialist contractor lists its excavation work as just one of its seven areas of expertise, with mass communication technology and energy being its most notable and revenue-driving industries.

The firm won a $500 million contract with the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico in 2018 to restore and rebuild the island’s heavily damaged power grid following 2017’s Category 5 Hurricane Maria.

That being said, MasTec still delivers essential groundwork in their home state of Florida and beyond, such as:

The heavy utility and government servicing company shares a similar payment reputation as #1 Keller, with 83 out of 100 points for a solid B grade. 98% of companies who have worked on MasTech jobs within the last year have reported there were no late payment issues on projects worked, resulting in a 4.1 stars average rating.

3. Malcolm Drilling

Total revenue: $573.2 million

Previous year’s rank: 2

Malcolm Drilling, a private drilling company and specialty foundation contractor, dropped from second on last year’s list. It provides deep foundations, retention systems, ground improvements, and dewatering among its services.

Malcolm possesses an average payment score across its California, Florida, and Utah offices.

Coming in at a C, with 74 out of 100 points, 67% of subcontracting companies gave Malcolm Drilling a 1-star review. On the other end, 33% left the drilling company with a 5-star review, bringing its overall average to 2.3 stars.

With nine offices across the continental United States, the San Francisco-headquartered contractor has earned, completed, and continues to work on several notable large-scale projects such as:

4. Plateau Excavation

Total revenue: $450.2 million

Previous year’s rank: 3

Austell, Georgia’s Plateau Excavation finds itself in ENR’s Top 5 yet again for its groundwork in the Southeastern United States.

With the information provided to Levelset, Plateau Excavation retains an above-average payment score of A, with 85 out of 100 points. Despite this score, which was calculated by comparing its payment performance with thousands of other national contractors, no subcontractors have provided Levelset with a review regarding their experience.

The regional market leader works within commercial, industrial, landfill, transportation, and energy infrastructure services, with most projects being associated with Amazon fulfillment warehouses. Apart from these, Plateau has also completed integral work to the following:

5. Drill Tech Drilling and Shoring Inc.

Total revenue:: $285.9 million

Previous year’s rank 6

Antioch, California-based Drill Tech Drilling and Shoring saw their revenue grow 16%, gaining them a spot in this year’s list.

Offering foundations, ground treatment, mining and tunneling, and architectural shotcrete as their services, Drill Tech additionally boasts six subsidiary companies, with E.E. Construction Company being among them.

Overall, Drill Tech sits at a C Grade for payment, with 59 out of 100 points. Based on seven vendors who worked with them, the company currently sits at an average of 2.3 stars, with 57% leaving 1-star reviews.

Drill Tech has performed work on projects such as:

6. J. Derenzo Co

Total revenue: $261 million

Previous year’s rank: 5

New England’s J. Derenzo Company experienced a small 3% decrease in revenue for 2022, dropping them out of the top 5 Excavation and Foundation firms list.

Regardless, the 73-year-old ground working company remains in demand and busy servicing clients in the Northeast’s commercial and industrial sectors. Such completed projects include:

  • Merrimack Premium Outlets, Merrimack, NH
  • Kensington Place, Boston, MA
  • Harvard University Innovation Lab, Cambridge, MA

Based on information provided to Levelset, J. Derenzo retains a C for payment and ranks in the bottom 25% of small U.S. contractors. They currently do not have any contractor-written reviews.

7. Ryan Inc Central

Total revenue: $221.1

Previous year’s rank: 9

Hailing from Janesville, Wisconsin with an origin story dating all the way back to 1884, Ryan Incorporated Central commands the American Midwest earthwork market.

With an above-average grade of B made by scoring 81 out of 100 points compared to their peers, Ryan Incorporated Central’s subcontractors and vendors have reported being paid on time for five jobs in the last 12 months.

They currently do not have any written reviews detailing experiences working with them.

With a diverse portfolio containing site grading work performed on commercial, industrial, warehouse, and golf course sites to name a few, Ryan Inc is responsible for setting the foundations of:

8. Manafort Brothers Inc

Total revenue: $200.9 million

Previous year’s rank: 8

While prominently specializing in demolition, Plainville, Connecticut’s Manafort Brothers Incorporated is another foundational specialist in the Northeastern U.S.

With regional offices in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Manafort Brothers list excavation for civil utility, highways/bridges, and mass transit projects among their specialties.

Noteworthy foundational projects include:

Although there have not been any subcontractor-submitted reviews made to Levelset as of writing, Manafort Bros possess a C payment score.

9. Condon-Johnson & Associates

Total revenue: $200 million

Previous year’s rank: 10

Oakland-based Condon-Johnson & Associates saw their firm drop 2% in revenue in 2022, but they gained one spot in this year’s list.

As a West Coast leader in Geotech services such as grouting, dewatering, and deep foundations, Condon-Johnson sees most of its work performed in the transportation sector.

Some of their featured projects include:

With the highest payment score in the ENR’s Top 10 list, Condon-Johnson currently sits at an A grade, with 90 points out of 100.

10. Beaver Excavating Co

Total revenue: $199.8 million

Previous year’s rank: 11

Entering the Top 10 this year is Ohio’s Beaver Excavating Company. Apart from their earthmoving work, the Canton-based firm also works with concrete, demolition, power generation, and placement of underground utilities.

The midsize contracting firm holds an above-average payment score of 81 out of 100 points. In addition to this B Grade, Beaver Excavating has been rated 3.5 stars for their rate of payment on 13 projects over the previous 12 months.

Some projects listed on its Mass Earthwork portal of their website include: