Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Each month, Contracting Business picks a leading contractor and takes a look at the products, tools, and services that he or she has chosen to help make their company successful. James River Air Conditioning
Richmond, VA

Since 1967, James River Air Conditioning Company has been providing Richmond and central Virginia home owners and businesses with excellent service, comprehensive maintenance, and construction services in a variety of fields. Hugh Joyce, president (right), has been in the family HVACR service business since 1980. He started as an installation helper, then worked in service, sales, and management. James River’s residential division specializes in home efficiency and home comfort systems. The commercial division specializes in commercial comfort systems and building automation systems. Hugh Joyce is a past member of the board of directors of Air Conditioning Contractor of America (ACCA) national, and a past-president of the Central Virginia ACCA. Additional affiliations include Plumbing, Heating,Cooling Contractors (PHCC), Associated General Contractors (AGC), and American Builders & Contractors (ABC).


  • Type of trucks/vans: Approx. 15 Ford F150s, 5 Isuzu NPR box vans, 10 Ford Transit Connect vans, 70 Ford E-150s/E250s.
  • Inventory on trucks/vans: This depends on the type of technician. Supplies are minimized as needed to maximize fuel economy.
  • Tools provided to technicians: Vacuum pumps, G5 recovery machines, oxygen/acetylene kits.
  • Test instruments technicians carry: Fluke meters, Dwyer magnehelic gauges.
  • Preferred field communications method: Verizon cell phones.
  • Brand of ladders: Louisville, Werner.


  • Preferred business management software: Team Management Systems.
  • Preferred business software package: Team Management Systems.
  • Preferred fleet tracking software: Team Management Systems.
  • Preferred load calculation software: Elite RHVAC, Wrightsoft.
  • Preferred sales management software: Zoho, Opactive.
  • Preferred computer/printer equipment: Dell, HP, Acer.
  • Preferred photocopier/fax equipment: Xerox.
  • Business connection to Internet via: Comcast business Internet.
  • Preferred uniform supplier: Rent from Coyne Textile.
  • Credit cards accepted: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, VISA.


  • Preferred HVAC heating equipment brand: James River Select, Lennox, Comfortmaker, Westinghouse.
  • Preferred cooling equipment brands: James River Select, Lennox, Comfortmaker, Westinghouse.
  • Preferred accessory equipment brands: Honeywell, General Aire.
  • Preferred Indoor Air Quality equipment: Honeywell, Atmosair, Aprilaire.
  • Preferred zoning equipment: Honeywell.
  • Preferred distributors: N.B. Handy, R.E. Michel, Lennox, Baker Supply.
  • Technician certification: Nearly all technicians are EPA- certified. Many are R-410A certified and NATE certified, and have a Journeyman’s or Master’s license.
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