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.

St. Cloud, MN

SCR — formerly St. Cloud Refrigeration, St. Cloud, MN — is a leading Midwest provider of commercial refrigeration services. Don Fitch founded the company in 1957. Mike Fitch (right), a son of founder Don Fitch, now leads SCR, with Pat Welty (left), his partner since 1985. HVAC service was added in early 80s, followed by a sheet metal shop. As refrigeration in the region expanded, SCR expanded with it. SCR's approximately 1,000 commercial refrigeration customers include supermarkets, cold storage facilities, beer warehouses, convenience stores, liquor stores, and food service businesses. In addition to ultra-modern refrigeration systems, SCR provides custom millwork and cabinetry, custom stainless steel, LED light retrofits, fixtures and shelving, insulated building panels, HVAC, and building automation. To read the SCR story online, visit


  • Type of trucks/vans: 10 Chevy 1-ton HVAC pickups, 50 Chevy three-quarter-ton service vans, 14 Chevy extended 1-ton construction vans.
  • Inventory on trucks/vans: $9,500 average per van.
  • Tools provided to technicians: All tools except hand tools. Supplied tools include Milwaukee cordless tools and Presto-Lite oxy-acetylene torch sets.
  • Test instruments technicians carry: Appion G5 refrigerant recovery, Mars H10G and Tek-Mate leak detectors, Ritchie vacuum pumps, hoses, and gauges, Fluke 116 electrical meter, Cooper SH66 temperature meter, TIF micron gauge, Dwyer manometer, TIF digital refrigerant scale.
  • Preferred field communications method: AT&T, Verizon wireless, Verizon air cards, Fujitsu Life Book laptops.
  • Preferred ladders: Bauer.


  • Preferred business management software: Maxwell.
  • Preferred business software: Maxwell, MaxService for in-truck laptops.
  • Preferred load calculation software: Heatcraft for refrigeration, Trane for HVAC.
  • Preferred fleet tracking software: WexOnline by Wright Express.
  • Preferred sales management software: Internal Excel spreadsheets.
  • Preferred computer/printer equipment: HP.
  • Preferred photocopier equipment and fax: Sharp.
  • Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, American Express.


  • Preferred HVAC heating equipment brand: Trane.
  • Preferred cooling equipment brand: Trane.
  • Preferred supermarket equipment brand: Hill PHOENIX.
  • Technician certification: 75 technicians have EPA refrigeration universal certification, 50 have North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification, and 60 are Power Limited technicians.
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