Gorilla (Tech Hydraulics) proudly owned and operated family business since 1931.
On the Level’s Gorilla Hammers King of the Granite Jungle
VOLUME XXII, No. 11, May, 27, 2009
At 46, Jim Bresnick still has a good back and an even better hammer.
He needs both. The one-man operator of On The Level Construction & Excavation Inc., based at 165 Forge Village Road in Groton, Mass., is crushing approximately 15,000 tons (13,608 t) of granite a week at Fletcher Granite, a century-and-a-half-old quarry along acres of hills on Groton Road in Westford, Mass.
Fletcher Granite has hired Bresnick to remove unusable granite, offshoots of the finer stuff that goes to finer building.
“After we process, we have waste. Jim [Bresnick] will take the waste and make crushed stone out of it,” said Dave Psaledas, senior operations manager of Fletcher Granite, of the weekly grind.
On the Level is crushing more than a million tons of material – hammering waste granite into much smaller pieces, and then screening it. Most of the material, Bresnick said, can be used for gravel.
The company then sells the stone; supplying gravel for many projects, such as the large bicycle path being laid out between Chelmsford and Acton, Mass.
This is the end of Bresnick’s third season at Fletcher Granite. He is using a Terex Pegson Jaw 1180, Terex Pegson 1300 and a Powerscreen 6203. He’s also using Cat 980H loaders with scale to measure the granite.
He is renting a rock truck from T-Quip, and using Link-Belt excavators purchased from Chadwick-BaRoss in Chelmsford. Bresnick has purchased more than 13 machines from Chadwick-BaRoss over the past few years.
To break the rock, Bresnick uses two big Gorillas. Gorilla Hammers, that is; a 12,000-lb. (5,443 kg) GHB175 on a Link-Belt LX460 and an 8,000–lb. (3,629 kg) GHB155 on a Link-Belt LX330.
“I love them!” Bresnick said of his Gorillas. “I was shopping for the biggest, baddest hammer they made for the Link-Belt LX460 excavator. I spoke directly to Bob Tedesco (owner of Gorilla Hammers) three or four years ago, and told him, ‘I want the biggest hammer you’ve got.’ It weighs about 10,000 lbs. And the Link-Belt 460 LX weighs about 105,000 lbs.”
After hundreds of thousands of tons of rock, the hammer still keeps on drilling like the day he bought it, he said.
“It’s working great,” added Bresnick. “We’ve got 3,000 hours on it and it hasn’t skipped a beat. Then, we have a LX330 Link-Belt with a 8,500-pound hammer, and that one has over 3,500 hours on it.”
Bresnick chose Gorilla Hammers because — with literally tons of rock at the ready for crushing — he needed tools that would last; something like the one-man operator himself.
“I’ve been in business by myself since I was 18,” said Bresnick. “I’ve been in rock crushing and materials business for six years. We were into sub-grinding, and building and framing houses up to three years ago, when the market dried up, and now we are just doing material portable crushing, hammer rentals and hammer service, rock crushing.”
In addition to working through Fletcher Granite, Bresnick also crushes stone at a quarry located at 39 Jungle Road in Leominster, Mass. — some 7 million tons to crush and sell.
“We process gravel and use them for bicycle paths, structural fill under schools, under parking lots, sell 3/4 stone, 1-1/2 stone. We take concrete here at Westford for recycling,” added Bresnick. “We process through the crushers about 15,000 tons a week. Customers, a good chunk of them, come to pick it up.”
According to the Fletcher Granite Web site — through Dave Psaledas, senior operations manager — the depth of the quarry in Westford seems never to end, having supplied millions of tons of stone for centuries.
About Fletcher Granite
According to fletchergranite.com, the quarry was first discovered when settlers founded the area in the 1600s. The rock used for countless stone walls throughout New England — first discovered hundreds of years ago — are found still to this day, surrounding what were once fields belonging to farmsteads. Water power was harnessed to run the gristmills and saw mills in the late 17th century.
Granite was then in great demand to build the dams that held in the water and to make the grinding wheels that ground the grain.
By the early 1800s, the granite industry in Chelmsford was enhanced by the construction of canals to move goods from this area into Boston. Many buildings in Boston used the impressive Chelmsford Grey granite. Charles Bulfinch, a noted architect of this time, chose Chelmsford granite to build University Hall at Harvard University.
Chelmsford Granite, purportedly from a site close to where the present day Fletcher Quarry is situated, also was used to build the famous Quincy Market. The columns for Quincy Market were hauled to a landing in Chelmsford by 22 yokes of oxen. They were then loaded onto a barge and sent in to Boston. The oxen and ultimately the canal were replaced after 1895 when the railroad reached the town.
The granite business was well established in the Chelmsford area by the 1880s as it sits on a significant vein or lobe of granite called the “Chelmsford Range.” At this time, while clearing wood from family-owned land, 18-year-old Herbert Ellery Fletcher found an outcrop of granite that was most suitable for granite quarrying.
He went into partnership with Abram Brown, who was then 70 years old. In establishing his quarry, he was following a long tradition of granite production in the Chelmsford and Westford area.
Fletcher went into business by himself in 1881 when his partnership with Brown was dissolved. He joined briefly with his brother Henry in a partnership that lasted from 1903 to 1908. After this partnership dissolved, he incorporated the company in Maine as the H.E. Fletcher Company. The company was incorporated in Massachusetts in 1924.
Fletcher also operated a construction business until 1915, invested in other granite companies and a slate company. When his two sons, Harold and Ralph, returned home from World War I, he turned the operations of the company over to them to pursue his great love of solving engineering problems.
Fletcher lived to see a third generation of Fletchers running the company in 1956. Stone from the quarry was used to build his magnificent home in 1912 near the quarry, now occupied by the engineering, estimating and marketing offices at Fletcher Granite.
What started as a typical small New England quarry operation steadily grew to become what it is today, a large producer of Granite curbing and a major supplier of dimension stone and quarry blocks in the United States. From the introduction of the pneumatic drills into the quarry in 1903 through the succeeding decades the company has prided itself with being on the leading edge of quarrying and production technology. In the late 1920s, the company introduced the use of the core drill in the quarry, which allowed it to greatly increase the amount of stone extracted in the quarry.
In the late 1940s, the company developed a ten-wire silicon carbide saw that produced the curb slabs directly in the quarry ledge. This again greatly improved the amount of stone available for curb production thereby making granite curbing more affordable and competitive with concrete.
In the 1950s, the company worked with Linde Corporation to develop an oxygen burner used to burn the channels in the quarry wall. Later the company worked with Browning Engineering in developing the air burner that replaced the oxygen burner to a large extent.
During the 1960s and ’70s, the company bought the first hydraulic curb splitter made by Park Tool Company. Later, Fletcher worked with Park Industries in developing a splitter for radius curb. During this time, the company also developed a joint saw to cut the joints on both straight and radius.
During the 1990s, the company reentered the dimension stone business from which it had exited briefly in the late 1980s. To increase production in the dimension stone quarries Fletcher Granite worked with NED-JET to develop and test the water-jet, a machine that used high-pressure water to cut the stone from the ledge.
Fletcher continued to improve the efficiency of curb production by developing a machine to cut the slots in inlets and most recently a splitter that will cut small radius curb down to 2 ft. This machine also will cut corner curb.
The tradition of innovation continues today. Fletcher is testing the use of diamond wire in the quarry to cut channels and as a replacement for its ten-wire silicon carbide saw.
About Gorilla Hammers
Gorilla Hammers has a rental fleet of excavators equipped with hydraulic hammers and has built strong national sales spearheaded by its Gorilla hammers — a division of Tech Hydraulics Inc.
Globally, the company has sold hammers and parts throughout the entire Western Hemisphere and recently began trading with Western Europe and Africa. According to Bob Tedesco, owner of Gorilla hammers, the company has taken great pains to ensure that its customers receive the best service and technical expertise the industry has to offer.
Its service facility’s employees alone possess more than 60 years of hydraulic experience. of various makes.
“No short cuts,” is its business philosophy, which has led to Tech Hydraulics’s Gorilla divisionto doubling its annual sales over the past four years alone.
IDA Universal Cover Story
“No short cuts.” This is the mantra that has catapulted Tech Hydraulics’s attachment division, Gorilla Hammers, from a vision to a major contender in the hydraulic hammer and attachment market.
“My father started the family business in the 1940s by repairing gas pumps and other petroleum delivery equipment. My big brother took over at the age of seventeen when my father passed away suddenly. He expanded products and services to offer hydraulic and pneumatic sales and repairs to the automotive, industrial and mobile equipment markets. When my brother Joe left in 1979 to pursue a career in auctioneering, we incorporated as Tech Hydraulics and continued to expand product lines and services in response to the demand of our customers.”
In the late 1990s, Bob saw an emerging trend in the construction industry as a strong growth opportunity that would take advantage of the company’s hydraulic expertise. Bob explains,
“An increasingly dense population and far more stringent controls since 9/11 had dealt a severe blow to the blasting industry. At this time, New England was experiencing rapid development of residential and commercial real estate. These factors combined with the area’s geologically rocky makeup rendered the hydraulic hammer an essential tool in the construction industry.
We repaired them for years but demand really began to build around the year 2000. Our problem was that if units were un-repairable, we had to refer sales to other outlets.”
In response, Bob decided to launch a new division of the company. Called “Gorilla Hammers”, it would be dedicated solely to providing superior hydraulic hammers as well as the parts and service to support all makes and models.
This new venture would require retraining employees, acquiring new service and technical tools, securing new vendors and stocking a much more expensive product.
With all there was to do with just sales and marketing for the new venture, Bob needed logistical and operational support.
He called upon his nephew, Joseph Tedesco, to fill the role. “Joe had impressed me from childhood with his personal discipline, optimism and ability to learn anything quickly. His broad educational background and diverse work history made him a natural choice for such an undertaking.”
A short four years after Joe was brought on as a partner, Bob’s vision for Gorilla Hammers has grown by leaps and bounds. Joe explains, “In our infancy, we were buying from middle merchants, stocking only the essential products and struggling to make a name for ourselves locally.
Gorilla Hammers now purchases primarily from manufacturers in Germany, Italy and Korea and stocks a two million dollar inventory of hydraulic breaker tools and parts for all makes and models. We also added a rental fleet of excavators equipped with hydraulic hammers and built strong national sales spearheaded by our website. Globally, we have sold hammers and parts throughout the entire Western Hemisphere and recently began trading with Western Europe and Africa.
Most recently we have introduced our own “Gorilla Hydraulic Breaker” line of hydraulic hammers. These breakers have been utilized in our rental fleet for over five years and for each one sold, we stock a complete inventory of wear components to minimize customers’ downtime. Our direct involvement with the manufacturer allows us to control the product better, match prices with any legitimate competitor and offer an attractive package our dealers can profit from.”
In addition to strong marketing and aggressive vendor sourcing, Gorilla Hammers has taken great pains to ensure that its customers receive the best service and technical expertise the industry has to offer.
Its service facility’s employees alone possess over sixty years of hydraulic experience. Each hydraulic hammer they rebuild is run on a state-of-the-art test stand. In addition to their ability to finance large hammer repairs, Gorilla Hammers also offers a large stock of rebuilt and guaranteed “0 hour” hydraulic hammers of various makes and models for sale.
Gorilla Hammers’ rental fleet rarely supplies operators for its hammer-equipped excavators. Hence, their hammers must operate in the most abusive and neglectful environment available. This provides for the most rigorous field testing available for all of Gorilla Hammers’ products. Additionally, it allows them to see the pitfalls of hydraulic breaker usage through the eyes of a site contractor.
Finally, any employee entrusted with selling their hydraulic breakers is required to spend time in the field and service facility and is able to walk a customer through basic hydraulic hammer maintenance and troubleshooting as well as installation.
Bob is quick to point out the key element distinguishing Gorilla Hammers from its competitors:
“Most hydraulic hammer outlets sell the hammer as an afterthought to their primary product, be it a backhoe, mini or excavator. To our company, the hydraulic hammer or breaker is our marquis product and we treat it accordingly.”
“We will not take any shortcuts in providing hydraulic hammers, parts or service. We will decline any sale where we feel our hammer or part will not perform reliably and safely in the customer’s application. We pledge to provide the customer with a superior hydraulic hammer, the parts and service to support all makes and models and the technical knowledge and expertise required to achieve the longest service life possible.”
This mantra has led to Tech Hydraulics’ Gorilla Division doubling its annual sales over the last four years alone. We hope their passion for their product and refusal to compromise leads to continued success.
Construction Journal Magazine
Built on Tech Hydraulics 29 years of hydraulic experience, the Gorilla division was formed to cater to the needs of the booming hydraulic hammer market.
Gorilla’s warehouse boasts over a million dollar inventory of heavy demolition tools to fit every hammer in the marketplace. The Gorilla division offers a rebuilding service and wear parts to fit all makes and model of hydraulic breakers.
Gorilla’s rental fleet features New England’s #1 hammer, Rockblaster, available from 1,000 to 10,000 ft. lbs. of impact force. Gorilla’s attachment service plumbs machines for hammers, thumbs, grapples, compactors, shears and pulverizers.
Tech Hydraulics Expands
Larger facility, staff, product lines and services mark operations as 25th anniversary nears.
Tech Hydraulics, known to contractors, public works officials and industrial customers for its design, manufacture and servicing of hydraulic components, has forged dramatic changes in its operations in recent years to accommodate demand and marketplace conditions.
As the company approaches its 25th anniversary, founder Robert “Bobby T” Tedesco reflected on some of the transformations that have taken place since he established Tech Hydraulics in Quincy, Mass., in 1979.
“We had six employees working in a 5,000-square-foot facility in Quincy, and we simply outgrew it because of increasing business volume,” he said. “We moved to this 15,000-square-foot shop and headquarters in Randolph about four years ago, and since then have doubled our staff to meet the needs of customers. We’ve also acquired some new lines – notably, RockBlaster hammers, Gorilla tool bits and Hyundai construction equipment.”
The company president has also taken on a new partner, nephew Joseph “Joe” Tedesco III, who is an attorney.
“It’s been exciting to join the team here at Tech Hydraulics,” Joe said. “This is a great time to be part of a growing company with skilled people and top-notch products and services.”
RockBlaster products are being marketed under the newly established Gorilla division of Tech hydraulics. Manufactured in Italy with a North American office in New York, RockBlaster products include the RB series of hammers with energy outputs ranging from 225 to 10,000 foot-pounds. Tech Hydraulics is the exclusive New England distributor for RockBlaster, which also produces RB Pile Compactors and RB Quick Couplers.
In addition to selling and servicing RockBlaster products, the Gorilla Division repairs and services hydraulic hammers made by more than a dozen manufacturers including Allied, Atlas Capco, Indeco, BTI, Kent, NPK, Okada, Rammer, Rockram, Tramac, and others. As part of its new products, the Randolph firm distributes Gorilla U.S.-made replacement demolition bits to fit any hammer.
While Tech Hydraulics has been repairing hammers of all types for the past decade, its recent venture into selling hammers arose from the realization that they were passing up revenues.
“We had all these customers bringing in hammers for repairs,” said Bobby. “but when a customer decided to stop spending money on an old hammer and buy a new one, we had no hammer to sell him. Each time this happened, it was a lost opportunity for us to make a sale. I finally decided to start looking for a line of hammers that I’d feel comfortable selling.”
“After months of searching for and investigating many different types of hammers, we looked into the RockBlaster line. We found RockBlaster to be a rugged, reliable, high-quality product, easy to service and readily available. The manufacturer has a huge warehouse inventory of whole hammers and parts and the ability to ship immediately.”
“If one of our customers had an emergency and needed a hammer or a part on his jobsite tomorrow morning, we could call RockBlaster this afternoon and their representative, Rick Tegtmeier, would make sure the product was on the jobsite the next morning. That kind of service is priceless.”
Another new venture for Tech Hydraulics was taking on the Hyundai line:
“We worked out an agreement with Baker Tractor Corp. of Swansea, Mass.” said Bobby. “Under the agreement, we are a satellite for Baker to sell and service Hyundai construction equipment in the Metropolitan Boston area. We carry the full line of both wheel loaders and excavators.”
The Gorilla Division and Hyundai dealership often compliment each other. For example, a contractor requiring a hydraulic hammer for a site full of boulders can rent not only the RockBlaster hammer, but the appropriately sized Hyundai excavator to wield the tool as well.
Although sales and services provided by the Gorilla Division and Hyundai dealership are increasing rapidly, the mainstay of Tech Hydraulics’ business is still the design, manufacturer and repair of cylinders, pumps, motors, valves, and other hydraulics-based equipment and machines. In connection with this, the company has sophisticated testing and analytical instruments and a completely outfitted machine shop for manufacturing cylinder, rod and barrel components to meet any OEM specifications.
Another important service is the design and installation of hydraulic kits for construction equipment attachments. These include custom-built systems to hydraulically power breakers, compactors, thumbs, shears and crushers.
“For nearly 25 years, we’ve been offering customers our unique hydraulic design, manufacturing and repair services,” Bobby T said. “Now we can offer them high-quality construction equipment and tool lines as well – all from one source.”
“As the industry changes we’ll continue to look for and develop new products and services to remain competitive and meet he needs of these customers.”