Husein Hrustic bought his first dump truck, a Mack, in 2003 intent on building a family business his young sons could one day take over and help grow.
Husein Hrustic bought his first dump truck, a Mack, in 2003 intent on building a family business his young sons could one day take over and help grow. But those early years were surely not easy ones. Barely two years into the business, Hrustic returned from an out of town job and parked the truck overnight in a nearby parking lot. When he returned in the morning to move the truck to a storage facility, it was gone. Stolen.
So Hrustic bought another truck, but this one was a different brand since the dealer had no Macks at the time. Soon, sons Emir and Elvis joined the business. They set goals, like adding a new truck every year. But then came the day a client couldn’t pay for the Hrustic Brothers services. Rather than accept the loss, Hrustic negotiated a trade for their soil, and turned that setback into yet another opportunity to grow his business. Then the recession hit and many in the business floundered. Not the Hrustic Brothers. Instead, they took the business to Kansas and Connecticut where their services were needed, while still maintaining a presence in their hometown of Jacksonville, Fla.
Today, the family boasts a fleet of 11 dump trucks. Recent projects include supplying and transporting 250,000 cu. yds. (191,138 cu m) of fill for the North Port Warehouse, 200,000 cu. yds. (152,910 cu m) of select material for the New Kings Rail Road overpass, as well as removing 100,000 tons (90,718 t) of contaminated material from the city of Jacksonville ash remediation projects and replacing it with clean fill. Crews also logged 16,000 hours in onsite/offsite hauling for the SR 200 widening.
With jobs like that, maintenance of the fleet is crucial.
"It is essential for our equipment to be reliable because we have a strong reputation for completing our projects on time and up to our customers’ standards," said Emir Hrustic. "We also often run these trucks day and night. For example, we will have one crew of drivers running the trucks on dirt jobs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Then they come in and a different crew of drivers will take the trucks and run asphalt with them from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Due to this demanding work schedule it is important that the trucks are reliable and in good shape to minimize down time."
They also keep a close eye on costs, knowing that even small savings add up over time.
"We try to minimize the costs that we can," Hrustic said. "A lot of people don’t pay attention to things we do. If you take good care of your tires, that can save you money over the long run. It is the small things you can control that end up saving you money in the long run. We track our truck costs day to day. In the morning we come in and log how may miles it ran the day before. If there is an issue we can take care of it right away. If that truck has an issue with the fuel with the tires, we can get on it right away.
Recently, when one of the trucks started showing its age, Emir sent out an inquiry over the Internet to dealers seeking their best offer.
"We were trying to find a truck that would give us more efficient running more miles per gallon, cut down on fuel costs," Hrustic said.
This time the Nextran Truck Center in Jacksonville, the same dealer Hrustic worked with in 2003, once again had Macks on the lot, and sales representative Alex D’Agnillo came through with an enticing offer.
"They really went to bat and got us a good deal," Hrustic said. "We tried one out. We ran it in all different applications. We ran it on the job site; we ran it on longer runs."
Not only did the GU813s Granite model run great, they noticed something interesting. Usually, the readings on the miles per gallon display in their other trucks were skewed, Hrustic said. If the display indicated the truck got 6 or 7 mi. to the gal., a little work with pencil and paper usually proved that number to be closer to 4 or 5 mi. to the gal.. Not so the Mack. It really does get 6 to 7 miles per gallon.
"We saw on this truck the mile per gallon reading was accurate," Hrustic said. "That’s a 25 percent savings."
So, Hrustic Brothers Inc. added two more Macks to the fleet, each with a five-year warranty that covers everything but the tires, oil changes and towing.
"We’ve had a really good experience with them," said Hrustic. The pre and post purchases were pretty good."
And Nextran is glad to be doing business with the family as well.
"To get them back and buy one and then the other ... We’re just really happy to have the Hrustic brothers back in the Mack family, said Alex D’Agnillo.