June 12, 2015

Working the Lines

This man of action learned his father's business from the ground up, and he's pushing it forward with a new 470G LC Excavator

Pulling up to a jobsite cloaked with the steady hum of construction equipment, we take a quick scan of the action. Amidst loaders muscling, workers hustling, and excavators digging deep, we aren't having any luck finding our contract. Sensing our confusion, a worker waves us over, "Looking for Victor?" We nod. Then with a cupped hand aimed into the trench, he yells, "Hey, Vic, your friends are here!"

Getting His Hands Dirty

Hands-on work in the trenches is nothing new to the owner of Vernon, Connecticut-based VMS Construction Co. – putting in long hours is how Victor Serrambana Jr. says he got to where he is today. "Working for my father, I learned this business from the ground up. During my summers off from school I was a laborer or truck driver, running my own machines and jobsites. Then my dad made sure I got a college education to become a civil engineer." Which undoubtedly comes with its benefits in this industry, but is no substitute for learning at the School of Hard Knocks. "All of this helps me carry on what he started, but a lot of what we do is still the way Dad did it. We take a lot of pride in providing the same high level of quality work."

When it comes to quality work on sewage and drainage projects, Serrambana's outfit is one of the best in the area. "Getting a lot of water contracts with municipalities, we needed equipment that could work efficiently and productively in tight urban environments, and John Deere had just what we were looking for," Serrambana explains. "Around 2000, we made the switch to their equipment because of the perfect combination of power and agility. Now we're seeing a resurgence of deeper line work, and Deere remains our go-to fleet."

The Right Fit

For its previous deep-trench project, VMS rented a 470G LC Excavator for five months. The difference it made was as sure as a day is long, so when similar work appeared on the horizon, purchasing the machine was a no-brainer. "Our current job has over 5,000 feet of new sewers, and more than 1,600 of that is over 20-feet deep. The 470 definitely fits the bill," says Serrambana. "It's hands-down a faster machine for this trenching excavation – and even less fuel than its predecessors. We run it 40 hours a week and have yet to have any maintenance or downtime issues. I'm looking for it to be our bread-and-butter machine for the next 15 years."

Tried and True

In operation since 1982, the VMS team has undoubtedly acquired some foresight, and Serrambana is confident Deere will have his back moving forward. "We still run John Deere equipment from 1978 – now that's dependability. But even the greatest piece of equipment out there isn't worth much without the right dealership to back it up. We've received nothing but excellent service, parts, and support from our John Deere salesman, Greg Hurlburt at W.I. Clark."