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In for the Long Run

Wed June 08, 2011 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Most would theorize that starting up a business in 1991 while the country’s economy was stunted in a deep malaise would probably not have been the best business practice. But with young families to support, two young men formed EUC Corporation of N.J., and today can proudly refer to it as a growing company.

The beginning of this legacy was much different than what it is now, a viable and thriving business — an excavation and site work company. John R. Wallace owner of EUC, Piscataway, N.J., said he and associate, the company’s project manager, Bruce Wayne, began EUC after they both separated from John’s father’s site work business.

“We were two young guys and we both had young families,” Wallace said. “We decided to make a go for it and do what we do best — site work and excavation.” From that determination was born EUC in 1991, they had a couple of contracts lined up but with no equipment to begin the projects.

Having partnered with Foley Caterpillar in the previous business, the men went back to Foley and spoke with Foley’s Finance Department. The meeting resulted in the lease of necessary equipment to perform the work EUC was contracted to complete. That was more than 20 years ago. Part of the success that EUC has earned originated from a strong and professional partnership with Foley.

“The key to good partnerships is loyalty to one another and trust,” Wallace said. “Foley has been with us through the good and the bad and that is why we remain loyal to them today.”

Shortly thereafter Thomas Nadolsky, came on board with EUC serving as the company’s project engineer and in 2000 came the addition of an office manager, Joan Aljian. EUC’s personnel also includes their long time foreman Steve Tissot, Ryan Sibilia and Joe Polanco. Business for EUC centered north of U.S. Highway 195 contracting such projects as warehouses, roads, airports, parks, hospitals, office buildings and schools.

Today their fleet encompasses 30 pieces of Cat equipment and 11 trucks, which includes backhoes, dozers, excavators, compactors, pavers and wheel loaders, all used for the multitude of projects awarded to EUC yearly.

Over the years they built the business to success by having learned from past experiences, Wallace said. They deliberately decided not to take on residential projects but instead bid on commercial and industrial projects. They also made a move to hire only reputable sub-contractors.

Some of the site work and excavation projects include, Warren Regional High School a $40 million project; Marriot Hotel in Bridgewater a $20 million project and Witherspoon Hall at Princeton University a $25 million project, which notably was the oldest dorm at the university where three former U.S. presidents resided.

EUC in 2010 was awarded $3.9 million of a $139 million construction project by Epic Management Inc. for the Rutgers Livingston Housing project. This is EUC’s twenty first project at Rutgers, many of them were performed with Epic Management. The project, when finished, will unveil three new dormitory buildings, which will sleep 1,500 students, and a converter house for the mechanical needs for the dorms keeping them running with heat in the winter and air conditioning during the hot summer months.

The general contractor for the project, Epic Management Inc. hired EUC to complete the site work. This includes cutting 35,000 cu. yds. (26,759 cu m) of cut to fill onsite as well as exporting 30,810 cu. yds. (23,556 cu m) of dirt off-site. In addition, EUC will install 32,393 ft. (9,873 m) of piping for the project to accommodate storm water sanitary drains along with under drains.

Once again EUC immediately turned to their trusted team at Foley which included Jeff Merle, vice president of machine sales, Ed Gudaitis, general manager of Foley Rents and Dewey Cardoso, Foley Rents account manager and Tom Alfano, machinery equipment consultant. EUC decided to rent a Cat 325 excavator to supplement the current fleet specifically for the bulk and excavation work of the Rutgers project. Other equipment included a R82 Wacker trench roller operated via remote control. A feature which protects crews in the event a trenched area collapses due to the vibration emitted from the machine, Cardoso said. Additional rental equipment needed was an MTX 70 Jumping Jack used to compact smaller areas. Because the project stretches for 21 acres the rental of a utility vehicle also gives crews easier access to traverse the job site.

While it is apparent that EUC is a successful company challenges are around every corner. If it’s not the overall economy, funding the payroll week after week there also is the likes of Mother Nature.

Immediately after the Christmas Holiday a winter storm piled on the fluffy white stuff in excess of 30 inches. That meant that all site work came to a halt. EUC crews began their day on the campus grounds in freezing temperatures, warming up the Cat equipment to move massive amounts of snow. The storm covering the 21 acre construction site with snow kept the crews busy for the next few days moving snow into temporary parking lots, Nadolsky said.

As the crews saw clear and engineers re-staked the perimeters to continue the excavation another storm hit this time dropping 12 in. of snow and moving of snow started all over again. But this time with the temporary parking lots full the new snow was moved to staging areas for the project creating even more of a challenge for the crews to remain on schedule, Wayne said.

With the equipment working overtime, Wayne said he felt confident that in the event pieces of equipment should break down, that Foley would be right there to get the equipment back up and running again. Knock on wood everything ran smoothly and Foley’s 24-hour maintenance department wasn’t utilized.

“We chose Cat because of the reliability and durability of their equipment,” said Nadolsky. “Foley has provided us with impeccable product support.”

When asked what keeps EUC ahead of the game and dealing with unexpected challenges? The consensus is simple, great employees, good team work and respecting the importance of partnerships.

Wallace explained that first you need solid principles in partnership. Whether it is with the company’s partners, equipment dealers, clients and suppliers; “trust in each other and to recognize and support each other’s talents is a must”.

This story was reprinted with permission from Paydirt Magazine Spring 2011 issue.

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