Tools of the Trade

Aug. 1, 2010
To provide excellent service, a successful HVAC contractor needs reliable tools and equipment.

Tools of the Trade offers a look at the tools, equipment, and services these contractors use to help them run their businesses.

Hughes Environmental Engineering, Inc. Montvale, NJ

Hughes Environmental Engineering, Inc. is the Contracting Business 2010 Commercial Refrigeration Contractor of the Year. Brian Hughes, left, vice president, sales; Frank Hughes, president; and Bill Glynn, executive vice president, lead the fine team at Hughes Environmental Engineering, Inc. Hughes is distinguished by precision refrigeration system designs, the highest standards of professionalism and training, and a profound commitment to customers. Electric Products — founded in 1935 in Jersey City by Frank W. Hughes and Richard Hughes — was the forerunner to Hughes Environmental Engineering. During the 1930s and early 1940s, the business gradually moved into air conditioning and refrigeration sales and service. Today, the company manages a vast number of commercial low temperature refrigeration service contracts.

For their story, read Champions of Specialty Refrigeration

Number and type of trucks/vans: 45 Ford E250 vans; 1 Ford 250 pick up.
Test instruments technicians carry: GE electronic leak detector; Bacharach; Amprobe; standard and R-410A gauges; Megohmeter;
Tools provided to technicians: Nitrogen tank; B- tank; Turbo Torch kit; vacuum pump; extension ladder; step ladder; recovery machine and tanks; Sawzall; Hilti.
Preferred field communications method: Verizon wireless carrier, Motorola cell phones.
Preferred ladders: Werner.

Preferred business management software: Perfectware Solutions.
Preferred load calculation software: Hughes in-house proprietary.
Preferred fleet track software:
Preferred fax machines: Pitney-Bowes.
Preferred sales management software: Perfectware Solutions and ACT.
Preferred computers/printers: Dell; HP.
Preferred photocopiers: Canon.
Uniform supplier: Rent from Cintas.

Preferred heating equipment brands:
Reznor; Sterling; Weil-McLain.
Preferred cooling equipment brands: Luxaire; Lennox; Carrier; Trane; McQuay.
Preferred accessory brands: Sporlan; Emerson; White-Rodgers; Copeland.
Preferred Indoor Air Quality equipment: Atmos Air Solutions.  
Technicians currently certified and type of certification: 45 certified EPA Universal; UA Star.
Preferred distributors: ABCO Refrigeration; United Refrigeration; Grainger.