Travcon’s Sold on New Holland

Mon October 06, 2003 - Northeast Edition

Joseph Travaglini taught his sons the value of hard work and the importance of reliable equipment.

Brothers James, Lawrence and Michael Travaglini worked with their father doing site and utility projects until Joseph died in 1979. It was then that the brothers founded their own company, Travcon Inc., in Valley Cottage, NY.

In the early years of the company, the brothers primarily focused on site excavation and sewer work. Over the past several years, however, they’ve expanded into utility work.

Travcon now specializes in doing site work (individual lots and subdivision work) in Rockland County and utility work for the Orange and Rockland utility company, primarily doing underground electric, cable and gas main replacement. Right now, the company is working on an electric rebuild in Suffern, NY, and a two-lot subdivision in Valley Cottage for Helmke Development. The largest project Travcon has ever undertaken was an eight-lot subdivision in Stony Point, NY.

James, Lawrence and Michael are the owner/operators of the company; they have no other employees except for a few college interns who work for them during the summertime.

Travcon’s equipment inventory includes two single-axle dump trucks, two New Holland LB75B backhoes and two skid steers, which includes one New Holland LX865. On an as-needed basis, the company will rent equipment from Westchester Tractor, based in Goldens Bridge, NY.

Since Travcon’s inception in 1983, the brothers have dealt exclusively with Westchester Tractor and New Holland products. And the relationship with New Holland goes back many years. Joseph Travaglini was a loyal Ford (now known as New Holland) man. His first loader backhoe was a Ford 4500, which was purchased in the late ’70s. The first backhoe loader that the Travaglini brothers purchased when they formed Travcon was a Ford 555-A. Since then they have purchased eight more.

Why has James Travaglini been so loyal to Ford/New Holland products?

“When Dad owned the company, he always felt that the Ford machines were more powerful and gave us stronger lift capacity,” began James. “Since the New Holland machines took over from Ford they seem to have improved. They changed the hydraulics and now we are seeing faster cycling time. As a result, I’m not willing to break my ties with New Holland and Westchester Tractor, which has always serviced our company above and beyond what I would expect.

“Westchester Tractor has been great; we really like them and have never had any problems. We’ve shopped around for price and we’ve been offered better deals, but we just can’t bring ourselves to walk away from the service that Westchester Tractor offers. If we need anything they come and take care of it that day. When it comes time to trade our machines in we feel like we get good value,” he said.

Travcon trades in its New Holland machines approximately every 2,000 hours. Its latest purchase from Westchester Tractor was a new New Holland LB75B with four-wheel drive, cab and an extendahoe.

James was particularly impressed with the increase in power. “This was the first backhoe we purchased with an extendahoe, which we have found to be a real time saver,” he said.

And James said that his company has been using New Holland skid steers for approximately 15 years and they find them to be excellent for utility work. “They’re great to use around highways when you need to keep lanes open. We’re currently on our second New Holland skid steer. And, again we find it to be more powerful, built beefier and more stable than our previous purchase,” he said.

So with all the company’s equipment needs filled by a trusted manufacturer and dealership, what challenge do the brothers experience on a regular basis? The answer is the same as it is for all family businesses — family dynamics. James explained the novel approach that he and his brothers use to iron out all their differences:

“Our father was a very diverse man and was determined to provide for his family in one way or another. Not only did he operate the construction company, but he also ran his tavern, The Last Chance Saloon,” he said.

“My two brothers and I are integral parts of the operation of this company and we work very well together,” said James. “But when we have our days, we still have and run Dad’s tavern. More often than not, if we have any issues, we work them out there.”