Kevin Jensen is one smart contractor. He’s a member of NUCA, and his company, Jensen Underground Utilities, Inc., holds a number of different contractor licenses, including fire sprinkler and fire protection as well as underground utilities and excavating.
Jensen started his Naples, Fla.-based company in 1988 to take advantage of the booming market in southern Florida. Through the years he’s honed his expertise at growing when the times are good, and dodging the economic impacts of hurricanes and economic roller coasters when things get tough. “You just really have to watch your numbers,” says Jensen. “I could see back in 2005 that things were going to start slowing down. We had a lot of work that carried us through most of 2008, but when we could, we slowly decreased our manpower. In 2010, we’ve started building our crew numbers back up to meet the new work.”
It also helps that he’s always bought dependable equipment, and it’s paid off in many ways.
“We currently have four Hitachi excavators and have been a loyal Hitachi customer for many years. We’ve found Hitachi is high quality and durable, and holds its resale value. During these challenging times we rely on our equipment.” Obviously they chose well. Boasting 49 machines, Jensen does not require “on-the-road mechanics.”
Jensen Underground works on large residential developments, private-sector projects, and any number of small jobs. All are equally vital and important. “Whether it’s a $500 job or a $5-million project, we’ve taken every call and responded,” states Jensen. “People remember that. We get a lot of loyalty work, and that pays off when things get tough.”
Jensen believes in giving back to the community. They frequently participate in church projects, kids’ programs, and other charities.
With the slow economy, Jensen looked for more municipal work and other jobs in surrounding areas. “We have recently begun performing more municipal work and increased our client base by working outside our geographical location of southwest Florida.
Having the right team and equipment like Hitachi offers a comfort level for our clients and management team, allowing us to respond to any type of project that is offered.”
The company typically bids on water main extensions and drainage systems. They usually buy new when it comes to smaller equipment and look for a demo or previously rented machines for larger pieces.
When it comes to dealer support, Jensen knows exactly who he wants — Nortrax Southeast. “I want to buy dependable equipment. And I want to deal with people who are going to treat me right. Just be honest with me, that’s my policy. When my sales rep from Nortrax Southeast brings me a number, I know the negotiation is already done. I know that I’m being taken care of now, and I know he will follow through and take care of me in the future. I’ve found what I like, and that’s where I’m staying. Why go elsewhere?”
This story was reprinted with permission from Hitachi’s Breakout Magazine, fourth issue 2010.
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