Fleet Expands With Market

By Jeff Griffin, Contributing Editor | September 28, 2010


Louis Cavaliere (left) and Dominick (DJ) Cavaliere
Louis Cavaliere (left) and Dominick (DJ) Cavaliere

Cavaliere's milling equipment removes deteriorated pavement to precise thicknesses to prepare streets and highways for resurfacing. Pictured is a Wirtgen W2100 on a job in Darien, Conn.

A W1900 mill on a project in Greenwich, Conn.,resurfaces a street following installation of a natural gas line under the street.









Cavaliere Industries

Location: Stamford, Conn.

Key personnel: Dominick Cavaliere Sr., president; Louis Cavaliere, VP; Dominick Cavaliere Jr., treasurer

Specialties: Milling, road reconstruction, excavation, site development

Fleet: Asphalt milling equipment, excavators, backhoe-loaders, skid-steer loaders, support equipment including dump trucks and water tankers

Fleet-replacement value: $4.8 million

Employees: 15 during peak months

Market range: New England







When Cavaliere Industries moved into a spacious new facility earlier this year, it was a milestone for this successful contractor. Its growth over the past 5 years into a full-service asphalt milling company spurred the need for larger quarters, which includes more office and storage space, a three-bay garage, and a large equipment yard.

Established as an excavation contractor by Dominick Cavaliere Sr., the company expanded into utility construction, then progressed into pavement milling. It now performs all three types of projects.

"We purchased our first milling machine for our own jobs, and then began to take on small milling jobs as fill-in work," says Dominick (DJ) Cavaliere Jr., one of the company's principals. "We progressed from a one-machine operation into a full-service milling company serving paving contractors, municipalities, government agencies, real-estate developers, and individual property owners."

The company's milling machines remove deteriorated pavement to precise thicknesses so roadways may be resurfaced. DJ and his brother, Louis Cavaliere, coordinate the operation of excavation work and their seven milling machines that have the ability to remove pavement from a scratch coat up to 12 inches in a single pass.

"Projects range from milling residential streets for cities to interstate highway jobs for large paving companies," says DJ. "We also are able to mill a tapered cut to tie in new asphalt to existing asphalt—also called transitions—mill bridge decks, trim around structures, and cut rumble strips with our smaller machines."

Cavaliere's milling fleet includes two W2100 mills, one W2000, one 1900 DC, a W1000, and two W500 models—all from Wirtgen America. For excavation and utility work, the company operates John Deere 790 and 595D excavators, Deere 410 and 310 backhoe-loaders, and one Bobcat 973 and two Bobcat 873 skid-steers.

"The excavation segment of our business ranges from small drainage jobs to installing 60-inch-diameter concrete pipe," says DJ.

Support equipment includes three water tanker trucks, five dump trucks, three lowboy trailers for transporting large equipment, and pickups and trailers of various sizes. Cavaliere Industries owns its equipment and maintains it with its own service personnel.

"Preventive maintenance is our best tool for keeping equipment in good condition," says DJ. "When a unit is in the shop for scheduled service and service manager Bill Ackerson sees a worn belt, cut hose, or leaking fitting, he will replace it. We don't have time to bring a machine back a week later because we tried to make a part last a little longer."

Parts always are replaced with OEM products. Ackerson is responsible for keeping maintenance records and scheduling routine service.

"Take care of your equipment, and it will take care of you," DJ says. "When equipment looks presentable and performs a job with no downtime, customers are impressed and satisfied." DJ has no set schedule for replacing equipment. He says that when repairs begin to cost more than owning a new model, it's time to take a machine out of service.

DJ says the key to his company's success and growth is performing quality work that exceeds expectations of his customers. "We have experienced and dedicated employees who take pride in their work," he says. "We are a small company and can treat each customer as if they are our only customer. As long as we maintain these values and consistency in our work ethic, we believe demand for our services will continue."