top of page

About Northwest Excavating

Bob Groff – a farm boy from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania – was a living example of “life begins at forty” when he established Northridge Equipment Rentals in 1951 and eventually became the largest independently rental company of its kind before it was sold to Sunbelt Rentals in 2005. However, in 1959, he felt there was a need to provide contractors with operated rental equipment and thus established Northwest Compaction next door to its “sister” company in Northridge, California. The company started out modestly, with two backhoes, an Arrow hammer, a skip loader, and a Gradall. His only child – Howard Groff – who was 18 at the time, became the company’s first equipment operator and manager.

During the first few years, Northwest focused primarily on operated equipment rental to local grading and sewer contractors. The company prospered during the 1960s due to the ever-increasing construction needs throughout Southern California. While maintaining a conservative approach towards growth, the company slowly added equipment to their fleet.

In 1962, Howard became the president while Bob began devoting himself full time to Northridge Equipment Rentals. During these first years, Howard often worked as: equipment operator, mechanic, low bed driver, or anything else that needed to be done. Howard, much like his father before him, had undertaken a conservative management approach towards the company. During the late 1960s and into the early 1970s, the company grew at a steady pace.

As a result of the company’s experience early on working for utility contractors on rental, Northwest began their own underground dry utilities division for the complete installation of power and telephone construction. This division started out digging trenches, doing the backfill and then compaction by foot for residential developers. Howard was doing all the estimating and running most of the jobs.

In the mid-1970s, needing to better reflect the company’s business, Northwest Compaction re-incorporated under the name Northwest Excavating. Throughout the 1970s, the company continued to experience growth in both of its divisions. With an expanding number of employees, Howard began devoting his time almost exclusively towards company management.

In the early 1980s, Northwest had a fleet of about 15 to 20 late model pieces of equipment in their rental fleet. Constantly striving to provide their customers with the most productive equipment in the industry - with the fleet always in a state of update. The underground utilities division was now specializing in the complete installation of underground power and communications conduit systems - as well as complete street lighting systems for contractors and developers. Building partnerships soon followed with AT&T (1976), GTE (now Frontier) (1985), and SCE (1986) which continues to the present day.

With the construction boom of the late 1980s, Northwest was leading the way in the Southern California rental industry. Their fleet now included D8N dozers, 623E scrapers, and other large machines. With a total of between 20 to 25 pieces for rent, the company still maintained their commitment of productivity and customer satisfaction as the cornerstone of their business philosophy.

While many equipment rental and underground utilities companies were scaling back in the early 1990s, Northwest was maintaining their usual steady aggressiveness. Armed with a strong customer base and a great reputation for the most productive equipment and the best employees in the industry, Northwest was able to stay ahead of its competition. It was the end of this decade that Howard's youngest son Robbie joined the management team after a successful career as a professional race car driver which included finishing 9th in the 1997 Indianapolis 500.

In 2010, Northwest Excavating became the first utility contractor (in over a decade) to contract directly with DWP to build their power infrastructure systems – highlighted with the 10-mile-long Scattergood power transmission project from West L.A. to LAX from 2014-2018.

To provide customers with a wider variety of equipment for their needs, Northwest now has a Saw Cutting division. The saw trucks come fully equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for your entire asphalt cutting, concrete cutting, and core drilling needs.

With a current equipment fleet of approximately 60 late model machines for rent, including – CARB compliant, D8T dozers, 143H blades, 623G scrapers, excavators, backhoes, rubber tire loaders. Northwest continues to strive for excellence. The current management team includes members whose commitment to the highest quality customer service and professionalism are consistent with those of Northwest from years past.

Today, with Robbie at the helm, Northwest has come a long way since first opening their doors for business back in 1959. Throughout the years, the company has enjoyed long-standing relationships with many of their customers. Northwest takes tremendous pride in the forging of these relationships. These relationships and partnerships are what set Northwest apart from their competitors. As the years continue, Northwest will continue to provide their customers with the latest, most productive equipment, and the best employees in the industry. This is the philosophy the company was founded under, and this is the philosophy that will guide Northwest Excavating into the future.

nwex img 5.jpeg

Our Team.

Meet our dedicated Northwest Excavating team, where expertise meets passion. With a wealth of experience and a relentless commitment to excellence, our skilled professionals are equipped to carve out success for your projects, ensuring every execution is a testament to our dedication to quality and efficiency. Bring your business home to our family!

hs 1.jpeg
hs 2.jpeg
hs 3.jpeg

Robbie Groff

Donna Boswell

Ron Nuss

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Financial Officer

Master Mechanic

hs 4.jpeg
hs 5.jpeg
hs 6.jpeg

Mike Piccard

General Manager

Oscar Rodriguez


Jessi Araiza


hs 7.jpeg
hs 8.jpeg
hs 9.jpeg

Susie Contreras

Contract Administration

Cecille Bandalaria

Office Manager

Lory Mariano


hs 12.jpeg

Richard Marshall

Rental Sales

Rafael Calderon Jr.

Underground Sales

Cielo Amiscosa

Accounts Payable

Northwest Excavating Cover Story
nwex img 6.jpeg

Northwest Excavating is proud to be associated with the following industry
and business associations:  

bottom of page