Lake Charles native Stanley Caldarera started what became Stan’s Airboat and Marsh Excavator Service back in 1994. Although our business is based in the small town of Iowa, Louisiana, our reach has grown over the last 23 years to include wetlands work across the nation.
In October 2017 we’re celebrating ten years under the leadership of Tommy and Liz Todd and the company has grown to become a true family-run service that supports dozens of industries.
In the beginning, Stan ran a “working” airboat service (as opposed to a “tour service” that gives tourists rides through the swamps). His target customers were survey and pipeline companies. To pay the bills, however, he supplied alligator farms with eggs harvested from wild nests every July and August.
In 2005, Stan started buying Wilson mini-marsh excavators, which he put to work digging hunting trails and performing reclamation work on abandoned oil well sites and (following the destruction of Hurricane Rita) disaster clean-up.
In 2007, Stan sold the company to Tommy Todd. A longtime farmer and a contractor of metal structures (as well as an avid hunter and fisherman), Tommy knew the business would be a perfect fit for his personality. In April of 2008, his wife Liz joined the Stan’s Airboat and Marsh Excavator Service team. Collin (their son) came on-time full time in 2015 after getting his civil engineering degree.
The Todds were already the owners of successful businesses building metal structures and fences and providing hydroseeding/lawn beautification services. The couple dove into the airboat transportation and excavation service as well.
Tommy brought construction and project management experience to the business; Liz brought administrative operations and sales know-how. Together they grew Stan’s into an even more prosperous wetland services business.
One of their first decisions was to add the multipurpose, amphibious vehicles known as Hydratreks to their line of airboats and excavators. These vehicles are driven by a diesel engine that provides lots of power and a reliable hydrostatic drive system with lots of torque. Now Stan’s can reach the toughest, most remote locations in Louisiana or anywhere else. With the variety of attachments that can be used to modify them (these customized, patent-pending attachments are created “in-house” by Tommy), these machines are useful for a lot of jobs. The jobs range from mowing to clearing vegetation to clearing right-of-ways. The work might also include saving lives after a hurricane, moving people and equipment during environmental cleanup, or transporting workers quickly and safely during high-water events.
The Right People for the Right Work
One reason for Stan’s success in the last ten years is the hiring of quality operators and project managers. Only qualified and experienced people can maneuver our swamp buggies. A safety consultant ensures that we meet all ISNet World and OSHA requirements, so we complete your jobs safely as well as on-time and on budget.
Today, The Todds and the other employees of Stan’s provide quite a few services, including (but not limited to):
Right-of-Way Mowing and Maintenance: Clearing tall vegetation and grass and small trees (grubbing) in wet areas.
Disaster Rescue: Providing equipment for hurricane rescue efforts, including restoring power and giving assistance in flood protection and clean-up operations. Stan’s equipment can also reach a crash site in cases of downed aircraft.
Pipeline Reclamation and other Work: Most oil companies are required to bury their lines for safety purposes. Stan’s can clear a right-of-way through swamp and marshlands, dig a trench for the pipeline to be buried in, pull the line into position and then recover the line. We also cut trees down to clear the path around these lines.
Oil Exploration: Stan’s can transport seismic equipment and men into the marsh and swamps to test and search for oil.
Dredging: Some waterways are too shallow for conventional marine equipment. Stan’s has amphibious equipment for shallow water dredging. This equipment works well with large hydraulic suction dredges that pump silt from the floor of the waterway.
The silt and water that is pumped cannot be discharged into the marsh and swamp due to potential environmental damage, so we assemble pipe systems to carry the materials away from the site. We can also help build levee systems to contain the disposal material.
Unblock and Reclaim Waterways: We’ll work for the drainage companies reclaiming their ditches so these waterways can properly drain.
Fiber Optics: Stan’s can bury fiber optic cables the same way we handle pipeline work.
Highway Construction: Debris left on-site and covered up can decay and weaken the highway. We help with road construction by clearing marsh and swampland of trees and stumps.
Land Reclamation: Stan’s can build dikes and barriers to protect fragile marsh and swamp land from tidal erosion.
Levee Construction: Stan’s can assist with the erection of hurricane protection levees. These levees are vital to protecting communities in low-lying areas.
Swamp Logging: Cypress trees and other valuable lumber can be harvested from swamplands and right-of-ways when cleared.
High-line Construction: Our equipment can lift and set power poles in marsh and swamplands. We can also transport other needed equipment, such as welding equipment, to the job site.
That’s not all we do. Here’s are a few of the other kinds of work we’ve done through the years:
- Mine and Pit Dewatering
- Non-Hazardous Waste Removal
- Installation of Bulkheads, Docks and Wharves
- Rerouting of Migratory Fowl
- Hurricane and Natural Disaster Recovery Efforts
- Mosquito Control: Draining areas of stagnant, standing water
- Building Duck Blinds
- Beaver Dam Removal
- Archaeological Surveys
We’ve been working hard to improve, evolve and expand our services for ten years now, and we hope to be able to do it for another ten years. Put our experience and dependability to use on your toughest jobs. Contact Stan’s Airboat and Marsh Excavator Service today. You might even be able to talk us into collecting a few alligator eggs next summer.