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Frederico Construction Still Making the Grade in Rochester

Tue April 19, 2005 - Northeast Edition
CEG



What drives a construction company, making one succeed into the third and fourth generation while others fall by the wayside? In the case of Frederico Construction Company located in Rochester, NY, a close family bond and a passion for quality construction and equipment have been the keys to success.

Lee Frederico’s interest in construction and construction equipment goes way back. In fact, he still has a family photo taken of him as a toddler atop his father’s Case 750 dozer.

“I’ve been around construction sites and equipment since I was a child,” said Frederico, son of one of the company’s founders, Len Frederico and grandson of the other, Joe Frederico.

“My father and grandfather purchased their first piece of new machinery, a Case 750H crawler dozer, from Henry M. Hansen, of Monroe Tractor, around 1967. It was the first piece of machinery that I learned to grade on, and as I recall, it handled very well.”

That was more than 25 years ago. Frederico has since left the grading to his employees, as he now heads the Road and Site Work Division of Frederico Construction Company.

“Our company is made up of two separate companies, joined together in 1999,” said Frederico.

About Frederico Construction Company

In 1967, Frederico’s father, Len, along with his grandfather, Joe, started Jolen Excavating, a construction company focused primarily on road and site work. That same year, another family member, cousin Jim Frederico, opened the door to his new company, Frederico Wrecking Company, turning his attention to both private and public demolition. Jim ran the business with his two sons, Gary and Jim Frederico.

Today the two companies operate as one, under the name Frederico Construction Company, bringing in annual revenues of $5 million to $8 million.

Frederico Construction has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of demolition, roadwork, site work and milling, and despite rapid growth, remains very much a family business. Frederico’s father, Len, serves as company president. His brother Mark is responsible for milling and paving contracts, while cousin Gary Frederico heads up the demolition division of the company. Lee Frederico is responsible for road and site work. Even his wife, Tracy, and mother, Linda, are involved in the company, serving in an office capacity.

“My father and cousin Gary have so much experience and knowledge in this business,” said Frederico. “They offer a wealth of information and insight to my brother and me, and with all of us working together, it creates a great cohesiveness within the family.

“In a way, it’s like we are all kids playing with life-size Tonka trucks,” joked Frederico, “I mean, we love the construction business; it’s addictive to this family.”

Ingredients to Success

Frederico said that having a strong staff of family and employees dedicated to delivering top-quality work, coupled with reliable machinery and support staff make for a successful business.

“We drive our equipment hard, so it has to be reliable, durable, operator friendly and fast just to name a few qualities,” said Frederico. “One tool that we utilize a lot on our job sites is a backhoe, and we have found the Case backhoe to be by far one of the best on the market.”

The speed, durability and attachment versatility of the backhoe make it a machine of choice and necessity to the company on many of its projects, according to Frederico. And, of course, the company has been using crawler dozers for decades. In fact, they just added a new Case 850H to their fleet this summer.

“I’ve been around Case products since my youth and find them to be extremely dependable,” said Frederico. “We just recently rented 750K and 850K dozers from our Case dealer, Monroe Tractor.

New Case K Series Dozers

“I was very impressed with the way the K Series performed on the job. The operator controls were virtually effortless to use, and visibility from the cab was spectacular.” Frederico went on to say that the machine’s versatility to maneuver in various directions and power put to the ground is superb.

“Our sales contact, Steve Chait, does an excellent job of keeping us informed on new products and enhancements,” Frederico said.

“This business is all about the relationship,” said Chait, who is district manager of Monroe Tractor in Rochester, NY. “The relationship between dealer and client is one that extends beyond the confines of a sales contract. As machine performance and equipment specs get closer together, the support behind the product is what keeps a customer like Lee Frederico coming back.”

Chait went on to say that it’s what one does for a customer after the sale that counts — keeping the equipment running and taking care of the equipment and the customer when the equipment is down.

“It’s my job to add value to my clients’ business by making sure that I hear and understand their needs and concerns,” he said. “If a client comes back to me pleased with the performance of a machine — and the way we support his business — then I’ve done my job.”

Dealer Support Key to Frederico Business

“Steve is well aware of our business needs and does a good job keeping us abreast of industry trends, as well as product changes and enhancements,” said Frederico. “He and Monroe do a good job of providing us with the service and support that we need.”

It’s this dealer trust and loyalty that prompted Frederico and his brother Mark to return to Monroe Tractor for a special job request.

“After retiring my father’s original Case 750 dozer in 2002, my brother and I thought it would be great if we had the dozer restored to its original condition as a surprise to my father on his 60th birthday.

“Monroe Tractor did a spectacular job restoring the dozer back to its original color and condition, complete with gauges and logo decals,” said Frederico. “The look of sheer surprise and pleasure on my father’s face when he saw the dozer was awesome. He couldn’t believe the attention to detail and performance features given back to the machine.”

38-year-old Case Dozer Still on the Job

“We tested the dozer and found that it still performed well,” said Frederico, “which I guess shouldn’t be any real surprise to me or my father, considering the name behind it.”

Frederico’s father had intended to use the now 38-year-old Case dozer on private projects, but for the moment has decided to enjoy it in its like-new state. It’s a pleasure the senior Frederico has earned and a joy to the rest of the Frederico family as they and their business look forward to more generations of success.