Goettle's Joe "Goob" Gruber of West Harrison, Indiana was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in August 2019 at just 40 years old. He had dedicated 19 years to Goettle, most recently serving as lead mechanic.
Goettle, a long-time customer of US Bauer dealer ECA, purchased the Bauer BG 45 from the company's Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh branch in September 2019. Gordian Ulrich, ECA's director of Bauer Product Sales and Service, worked closely with Joe and Brent Burman to spec out the rig. Sadly, Joe never got to take delivery of the rig he had worked so hard to bring to fruition.
Goettle wanted to memorialise the contributions of a man that not only dedicated an entire career to keeping its equipment running at peak capacity, but also lead the charge to design, spec and acquire its newest Bauer rig. The contractor determined that the BG 45 would be named "Mighty Joe." The rig was aptly named considering Joe's larger than life personality and the fact that the rig would be Goettle's largest.
The BG 45 was branded to memorialise Gruber. Several members of the Goettle team collaborated on the name and logo design. The name Mighty Joe is displayed prominently in bold white letters against the blue counterweight of the BG 45 with Joe's signature from the rig's purchase order inset on the bottom right.
"I have worked all over the world and met many lead mechanics and equipment guys with different contractors, but Joe Gruber set the benchmark with his passion and commitment," said Ulrich. "He and Brent Burman always took on the most challenging jobs and turned them into a great success for Goettle due to an outstanding understanding of the equipment and its application, thorough pre-planning, and Brent's second-to-none ability to form the perfect team for every job. They simply ‘Made Shit Happen' as their famous hard hat sticker says."
Ulrich had been onsite for the start-up service of the BG 45 and was there when Goettle assigned Mighty Joe to its first project in Columbus, Ohio. The drilling of 4ft diameter secant piles up to 90ft long took place under dreary skies for most of the first day. By late afternoon the crew was relishing the BG 45's successful installation of the first production piles. Suddenly the clouds drifted away and sunlight spread across the jobsite. The smiles were contagious as everyone arrived at the conclusion that Mighty Joe was impressed with the first day of production.
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