May 2024 Vol. 79 No. 5


Equappment: App built for better HDD, utility construction production

By Corinna Hunt, Contributing Editor 

For three generations, Melfred Borzall’s focus has been on enabling better and smarter ways of installing underground utilities. 

The company was handed down from Fred Melsheimer to his son Dick, and eventually to Dick’s sons Peter and Eric, now respectively the vice president and president.  

Peter Melsheimer

In this third generation, the original mission has directed Peter Melsheimer toward Equappment, an organization and productivity App currently targeted toward smaller-to-medium-sized utility contractors. “The goal for both companies is the same, really,” he said. “We’re just trying to make the utility contractors more efficient and more productive.” 

Throughout his years of working for Melfred Borzall, Melsheimer spent time out in the field, alongside contractors, where he witnessed inefficiencies halt production, such as crews not having all of the necessary equipment to complete a job, or not returning all equipment back from the site after the job was finished. 

“All this was simple to solve, but it was costing them hours of downtime,” he said. “So that was kind of the first iteration [of Equappment] … a way for contractors to manage their equipment and tools.” 

Having a database inventory of equipment and being able to schedule it out to a job created a checklist that crew members could refer to, ensuring they would take – and bring back – everything they needed, he said. 

Equappment gives crews in the field all the information they need to maximize production and minimize costly downtime.

App evolution 

It’s been a few years since the initial creation of Equappment, which is available as an Apple iOS and a web-based App, with a native Android App coming. The app can still create project checklists, but also offers features such as photo documentation. 

“It’s pretty focused on utility construction because that’s my background and the industry I’ve been involved in,” he said of Equappment. “I can see many of the App’s features being applicable to other segments of construction, but right now the focus is on utility construction.” 

Melsheimer’s first foray into App development has been a learning experience but entirely positive, and Equappment has built out over time to become more of the construction project management platform that it is now. 

Never lose track of another locate ticket for all your jobs.

“The overarching feature is that it gives you a consolidated location for all operational information for field crews that they can pull up onsite,” he said. 

Everything, from equipment to crew members, can be scheduled out through Equappment for different jobs. Tasks can be assigned and given estimates of how long they should take so that crew members know what’s expected. Then, the project manager can see later what was done and how much time it actually took compared to the initial expectation. 

“They can build a history from that data and be more accurate in their bidding,” he said. 

The App is securely cloud-based and syncs in real time, so those in the office can potentially see, for example, a photo from a job site as soon as it’s added to the App. As a job is finished, App users have the option to update the project status from “in progress” to “closed.” 


With the Task Management feature, your crews know what needs to be done next – and you know how the job is progressing.

Equappment requires a two-user minimum for each of the subscription options and offers three monthly pricing tiers: $15, $29 and $49 per user, per month. Users can be added and removed as needed, and when users are removed, the monthly price is prorated. 

Contractors’ response thus far has been positive, Melsheimer said, and their feedback has proven integral to further App development. For example, a locate ticket management feature was developed to help circumvent one “pain point” for contractors. 

Locate tickets are required by law; must be approved before contractors can start work, which they must do by a certain date; and then the ticket can expire and require resubmission – alt6ogether, it can be a lot to manage. 

“Equappment puts it all into the hands of everybody who needs to know, ‘This locate ticket’s been submitted but not approved; this one’s been approved but it’s going to expire in three days.’ And it gives them a visual reminder of when it’s getting close to expiring,” Melsheimer said. 

Forms are another potential pain point that Equappment is designed to assist with. 

Keep track of soil conditions you've encountered, or find out from others using Equappment.

“There are so many forms to fill out on a daily basis or at the start and end of a job,” Melsheimer said. 

He’d like to include an optional setting where, if the forms are not filled out first thing in the morning, nothing else can be done in the App until those are completed. “That was the recommendation of a contractor because they’re required to do these, and it would be a good way to sort of force them to do them.” 

Another feature born from contractor feedback is soil mapping. 

“You encounter cobblestones in a certain location, you can drop a pin on the map and indicate that, so you know for the next time,” Melsheimer said. “If you so choose, you can share it across the platform for anybody else on Equappment to see; all that’s shared is the location and what the ground conditions were.” 

Now that the App has been built out and most of the features are already in place, Melsheimer anticipates starting work on the native Android version this year. 

“It’s still needed,” he said. “Equappment is far enough along that I’m comfortable starting on the Android side.” 


Equappment, or email Peter Melsheimer at 

Related Articles

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}