Proving to be a company as American as apple pie, Nacirema has experienced the best and the saddest of jobs in the nation during the 10 years since it was founded.
“We’ll go anywhere,” said Sal Carucci, Nacirema’s vice president of sales.
For example, the company has been involved with replacing luxury boxes at the Green Bay Packers’ venerable Lambeau Field. And within hours of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on New York City’s World Trade Center, Nacirema was called in to assist for the next three-and-a-half months, 24/7.
Phenomenal growth from its early days, when the company had just five employees, two excavators and a truck also has been a part of Nacirema’s story.
Today, the Bayonne, N.J.-based firm has grown to more than 350 employees and is among the nation’s most trusted demolition contractors, according to the company.
The Nacirema Group consists of two divisions: Nacirema Environmental (primarily the demolition side of the business) and Nacirema Industries (the waste management, construction, demolition and hazardous material removal and disposal side of the company).
The business started in 1998 after the three principals — John Cherchio, president; Sal Carucci, vice president of sales; and Anthony Novello, vice president of administration — met and shared their vision for the future. According to Novello, the company’s phenomenal growth is due to asset management.
“We have continually capitalized our assets,” he said. “Instead of lining our own pockets, we have put all our profits back into the company to fund future assets. That’s how we’ve taken this to the next level.”
One of the company’s specialties is the surgical demolition of skyscrapers.
For several years, the business has used Cat hydraulic excavators from Foley Inc. of Piscataway, N.J., as its high-rise demolition machines. Previously limited to six- and seven-story buildings, Nacirema has taken demolition to the next level. This past winter, it retrofitted a Cat 385C hydraulic excavator with a telescopic boom to build what it billed as the “world’s highest demolition machine.” Fully extended, the boom reaches nearly 150 ft. (45.7 m), or the equivalent of 15 stories.
Oregon’s Jewell Manufacturing engineered the retrofit and when the ultra-high demolition machine isn’t razing buildings, it can be used as a traditional hydraulic excavator. To reach those heights, the high-pressure hydraulic system was retrofitted for maximum extension. A high-pressure water system for dust and fire suppression was engineered into the retrofit. Two cameras are located on the boom to assist the operator with maneuvering the hydraulic hammer.
It’s a futuristic solution to demolition in tight, crowded urban spaces. As Carucci pointed out, “It’s a quicker, safer solution to demolition than the traditional wrecking ball and reduces the physical manpower needed for high-rise demolition.” In all, Nacirema anticipates putting anywhere from 300 to 1,000 hours on the machine, annually.
“We bought that machine so it brings us opportunity,” said Novello. “It’s a way of selling ourselves. It shows the industry that we’re real players.”
The Company We Keep
Since its start 10 years ago, Nacirema (which is “American” spelled backwards) has chosen quality clientele and quality vendors. “We believe that a company is only as good as the company it keeps,” said Cherchio. “We employ only the highest level of licensed trained professionals.”
The same could be said for its enormous equipment and truck fleet. A Foley Inc. customer from the start, Nacirema has consulted with specialists at Foley for the correct equipment purchasing decisions, such as unique project solutions like the ultra-high lift machine. And every truck in its Kenworth fleet is equipped with a Cat engine.
“Our attention to detail is evident not only in the excellent condition of our equipment, but also continues through to the service we provide to our customers,” said Cherchio.
It is this attention to detail that can make Nacirema a demanding customer, and according to Novello, Foley Inc. has always met their lofty expectations. “Service is always top-notch,” he said, adding that Warren Gonzalez, equipment consultant of Foley Inc., has been the company’s trusted advisor.
“One great advantage to purchasing Caterpillar equipment [from Foley Inc.],” said Joe Bolowski, vice president of operations, “is that you’ll have any part you need within 24 hours or less and a Foley field service technician onsite for any major needs. Foley keeps us going.”
(Reprinted with permission from PayDirt, Spring 2008.)