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Charles Friedman Excavating, Inc.

Growing up into Excavating: Charles Friedman Excavating, Inc.

As a kid in a rural community, Charles Friedman grew up working on the family farm until he went to work nights in a local paper mill in 1985. “Within six months, I knew without a doubt that I was not going to have a career in the paper industry,” said Friedman. “I didn’t like the confinement.”

To save himself from this type of work and get back outdoors, he purchased a John Deere 450C Dozer and operated equipment on various projects during the day while working nights at the mill. Sleep was in short supply. “After one year of this crazy schedule, I quit my night job and devoted my full energy to pushing my business forward,” Friedman explained. Thus, Charles Friedman Excavating, Inc., was born in Hudson Falls, New York.

“My brother, Bob, came along side me after six months and that was the real beginning of my business,” he said. Friedman’s brother worked with him until his untimely passing two years ago. “Although, I am one of nine kids, I was closest to Bob because we always worked together as young kids on our aunt and uncle’s farm in Fort Ann, New York,” Friedman recalled. “That was where I learned to operate equipment.”

Fast forward 30 years and the company has expanded from two to 33 full-time employees. While Friedman has owned and operated many types of equipment through the years, he said approximately 95 percent has been John Deere. His company currently owns six John Deere dozers, two John Deere backhoes, one motor grader, one loader, and eight excavators. “I love the fact that John Deere equipment is made in the United States and customer service keeps me returning to their equipment,” Friedman said. “Nortrax is close to our base of operations. Their customer service department has been staffed by employees who are down-to-earth and will go the extra mile,” he explained. “Down time is something they understand and they work hard to keep us operational. This is especially critical in a seasonal business.”

Successful businesses have to constantly adapt to fluctuating conditions. And part of this adaptation is Friedman’s belief that no job is too big or too small. “We look at each job on an individual basis to determine what is in the best interest of the customer and the business,” he said. “Diversity has been our strength in the past and I would think that it will be the same going into the future.” From digging small test holes for perk tests to excavating for large commercial manure pits, to housing developments, Charles Friedman Excavating has the equipment and experience to compete for those projects.

“My business is located about 50 miles north of Albany, New York,” Friedman said. “Our location allows us to really have the best of both worlds in terms of excavation. The Glens Falls area is large enough to support commercial projects, but we also have a fair amount of rural work as well. That diversity and experience keeps us well rounded and flexible in the business community.”

Even with business rapidly increasing, Friedman keeps his eye on the future; he recently hired and began training his daughter and her husband into the business. “Training up the next generation to tackle the demands of the business gives us the energy to move forward, hopefully for years to come,” he said. “And gives me more time to go fishing!”

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