For her birthday one year, Michelle Hodgkin received a vehicle from her dad Richard Halk, though not the kind one takes on the freeway.
“I bought her a trencher,” Dad said.
For Hodgkin, who grew up riding motorcycles and frog hunting with her brothers, it was the perfect gift that led to a career she loves. Michelle and her husband Curt run H&H Tractor Service, and earth moving business (driveway construction, land clearing, drainage, landscaping, etc.), and she recently took over as the owner of the family business — Halk Equipment Rentals in Shingle Springs. Since 1960, the Halk family has helped homeowners and landowners finish their projects by renting out tractors, trailers, tillers, jackhammers, saws, etc. The also rent U-Haul trucks and trailers.
“Out of the four of us (she and her siblings), I was destined for this job,” Michelle said. “I was always playing in the dirt and I always liked being outdoors.”
In addition to being a licensed contractor, Michelle has gone to welding and horseshoeing school and at Halk Equipment Rentals she’s now offering equipment repair and rentals with an operator (that would be her).
Proud dad Richard said she’s done a great job since taking the reins in September 2013. Michelle’s worked for the family business on and off since 1982 and her son Justin, 25, continues the family tradition of working at the family business started by Michelle’s grandparents, Mac and Laura Halk.
“She does really well,” Richard said. “She’s more of a perfectionist than most of the guys.”
Michelle said she loves everything about her job (or should we say jobs), “the dirt, the grease, the grime.” She’s happy to get dirt under her nails to help property owners realize their dreams, whether it be a 600-foot native rock wall in Kanaka Valley, a terraced backyard in Strawberry or a restored pond in Gold Hill.
It’s her “true passion” to work with her clients, visualize that finished project and then transform that idea into reality, Michelle said. she said she enjoys driving around the county and checking up on her past jobs, seeing how the property owners have added to her work over the years. Over the years she’s helped several generations of the same family and her reputation has earned her a lot of repeat business.
Michelle said she enjoys seeing those regular customers come into the “Mom & Pop” business, which has embraced the community. Over the years, the family behind Halk Equipment Rentals has donated to numerous causes, giving back to the community that has helped their business thrive.
When she’s not running the rental office or driving a trencher, Michelle and her family enjoy quad riding in Minden, Nev., “but mostly work comes first,” she confessed. She admitted that she should take more time off (Dad nodded in agreement) but when a dirty job’s this much fun, why would you want to?
Halk Equipment rental is located at 4064 Durock Road, Shingle Springs. For more information about this family business call 530-677-2253 or 916-933-2328. For more information about H&H Tractor Service (license No. 953337) call 916-240-6173 or 916-240-6167. You can also find them on Facebook, facebook.com/halkrentals.