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Hughes Brothers Construction

Hughes Brothers Construction Succeeds With Nortrax
  Hughes Brothers Construction, Inc., based in Wildwood, Florida, is a family company founded in the depths of the recession in 2011. The hard work of brothers Chad and Justin Hughes, combined with a boost from Nortrax and John Deere, has paid off and helped the company to thrive.

  “Deere was there from the start, and has met the demand for our growth,” Justin said. “Our Nortrax salesman has the same no quit attitude we have and never stops working for us... Deere runs deep. It started back in my father’s company and followed over to ours. They keep us going with good equipment, great service, and the right financing to meet our needs. The loaders outperform all others, and the uptime on the excavators is second to none. Nothing is as precise or as productive as the 672GP Motor Graders and the 410E ADTs. They’ve really made a believer out of me. We’re proud of our relationship with John Deere and Nortrax. They’ve never told us no and took a chance on us when the economy was still shaky. We credit them with a great deal of our success.”

  Chad said that his father was in the underground business, and the brothers originally worked for him. “When the market turned down, we had a good amount of public work on the books, so we were able to weather the downtime, and after that, he was just ready to retire,” he said. “That’s when Justin and I went into business as Hughes Brothers, which was about three years ago.”

  Justin reported that they started Hughes Brothers in November of 2011, breaking ground on the first job in May of 2012. “I was in the field along with five other guys, and my brother was in the office,” he said. “We had no idea if we would make it. We just didn’t want to work for someone else. We did 15 million in sales in 2013, and are looking to top that by a good bit in 2014 while self-performing more work than last year and subbing out less.” Chad said that when they initially went into business, they focused on dollar stores and gas stations — whatever they could make a living doing.

  “Being blessed and fortunate like we are, we made it to where we’re at, so it’s been good,” he said. “When we first went into business, John Deere stepped up, gave us whatever we needed, and worked with us as far as maintenance and everything goes. That’s probably our main reason that we’re 85 percent John Deere equipment.”

  Currently, the company owns more than 20 pieces of newer John Deere equipment. “Nortrax never restricted us with a credit limit,” Chad said. “If we wanted it, we got it from them. Some of the other dealerships were kind of leery of jumping on board with us when we first got started, so Nortrax has really stepped up. Back in my father’s company, he was a big Deere customer before he retired and that relationship with our salesman and Nortrax kind of followed suit over here. Everything we buy has the three-year, 5,000 hour powertrain warranty, and then John Deere gives us the option to extend that warranty,” Chad said. “Pretty much 90 percent of our John Deere equipment is still under that warranty.”

  According to Chad, the bulk of their work consists of subdivision jobs right now. The structure of the company is based on Chad doing all the estimating, office work and handling all the finances while Justin runs all the field operations. “It’s really a good deal because with Justin running the field and me running the inside part, I have a role, and Justin has a role, and we really don’t step on each other’s toes,” Chad said. “Everything flows and everything works well.” Hughes Brothers has about 54 employees at this time. “We’ve got apartment complexes and we do commercial, but probably 85 percent of our workload right now is subdivision work,” he said. “We’ve done DOT work, we do offsite utilities and we’re capable of bonding highway work, but right now we’re focusing on the private sector more than anything.”

  This article was previously published in CEG on Jan. 7, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

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