Northeast Construction Firm Turns to Caterpillar for Dependable Equipment

TREC Management Systems Inc.Tough Projects Touch Machines

If you want to see the future of marketing a construction company, look no further than TREC Management Systems Inc.’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. They make digging in the dirt look cool while showcasing really great projects. It’s one thing to show a potential customer some before and after photos, but to be able to see the work in progress in real-time. That’s a game-changer.

“The social media side of things has been untapped in the construction industry,” says Kyle Byrne, TREC Management owner. “A lot of what we look at doing with social media is not only expressing what we love to do as land managers and contractors but also portraying a different swing on how you can attract people to the things that you do on a daily basis within a jobsite. I believe my money is better spent on [social media] than mainstream marketing accounts.”

TREC Management is a land management and construction firm based in upstate New York that also works in Vermont and New Hampshire. TREC’s 20-plus experts have backgrounds in forestry, engineering, land planning, architecture and construction and do everything from reforestation and thinning to creating ponds and building homes.

“We’re really looking at how the natural environment on the property is functioning as a whole, such as drainage, water, as well as soils, and essentially putting together a plan for property owners in which they can make an educated decision on what they should or should not do with their property,” Byrne says. “A lot of the things we do involves large-scale planting, trees and vegetation — we only use native materials. We don’t use anything that would not otherwise grow in the area naturally.”

Byrne, a graduate of Syracuse University’s natural resources management program, started TREC Management right out of college seven years ago as a land management and excavation company but has since added an in-house architect to offer a design/build option.

“Our clients put their trust in us to do the right thing, and they like the way we manage things,” Byrne says. “They only have one key point company that they’re dealing with instead of five companies.”

TREC’s client base is largely residential (70 percent) and some commercial (30 percent) like ski resorts and golf courses. The majority of its residential clients have large acreage tracts — upwards of 100 acres to a few thousand.

Kyle Byrne

TREC Management is a land management and construction firm based in upstate New York that also works in Vermont and New Hampshire. It’s the brainchild of Kyle Byrne.

“They like giving back and creating something that otherwise wasn’t there or something that has been destroyed in the past on their properties,” Byrne says of TREC’s large residential clients. “They like recreating it and transforming it back to its natural state. We develop long-term plans for each client in which they can express everything from building projects all the way down to simple tree planting activities to thinning to pond work — anything within the property, whether it’s build or land management, we have it planned out for them sometimes all the way out 100 years.”

TREC Management has been working with one residential client on a project called “the lodge” on its social media accounts. TREC’s largest design/build project at the moment, the lodge has been pieced together bit-by-bit for the last few years. The project came about because of the company’s land management on the property. Behind-the-scenes photos show a tree being positioned as a structural support inside the building, an elaborate fireplace being built and various landscape work (including an organic, green roof) completed with the company’s fleet of machines. Many online comments praise TREC’s beautiful work, but some also have questions about the equipment being used. Caterpillar machines can be seen in-action on TREC’s social media feeds.

“I’ve really found that Caterpillar steps above and beyond,” Byrne says. “Their partnership philosophy in terms of creating a relationship with their clients and really wanting to do the best to achieve your expectations as a client has really made me switch over primarily to the Caterpillar brand. They just have phenomenal service, they are always looking to innovative and they’re interested in hearing feedback from the people running the equipment on the ground. That’s important to me as a business owner. If I have a piece of equipment that isn’t exactly what I need, for them to listen to us and then come back with a better-designed piece of equipment that makes me more money, that’s priceless in my mind.”

In addition to Caterpillar equipment, TREC Management uses Komatsu and Bobcat machines — everything from compact track loaders all the way up to 50-ton excavators and feller bunchers. Because of TREC’s wide range of services and aim to be a one-stop shop, there is an impressive fleet always ready to go. Before purchasing a new forestry machine or attachment for a smaller piece of equipment, Byrne says it’s important to be able to test everything out. He says Caterpillar has been really great about making that happen.

“One of the things that really caught my eye about Cat is that when they asked me to go down as a competitive equipment buyer to check out their products,” Byrne says. “They expressed — not insulting any other competitive brand — that [I] make the decision. They allowed numerous people to test the equipment and see side-by-side what they really do. I think that’s something for the whole market that is super important — with compact equipment to go out and feel what’s right for you.”

TREC uses almost every skid steer or compact track loader attachment under the sun, but its most used include grading buckets, grapples, stump grinders and stump shears. Byrne says the team is also a fan of Bandit chippers. Again, with such a large number of services offered, having as many different machines and attachments available at a moment’s notice is important to TREC. Byrne says when purchasing equipment, the support behind the product is equally as important as price.

“I don’t look purely at the bottom dollar cost on that one single piece of iron,” he says. “I look at the big picture, what’s being offered to me as a company as a whole, not only from the purchasing side but the service and the maintenance side. It’s super crucial; it’s the whole package. I think it’s something that is pennywise and pound foolish to buy into a company that may not be able to offer the support element that otherwise a large professional company like Caterpillar can offer.”

Maintenance support can be priceless in times of immediate need.

“I’m a firm believer in having a product that not only makes my employees more efficient but also has as little downtime as possible,” Byrne says.

Downtime doesn’t seem to be something TREC Management ever has. New projects are a focal point on the company’s social media accounts each week. See what the crew is up to today on Facebook (/trecmanagementsystems), Twitter (@TrecManagement) and Instagram (trecmanagement).

Keith Gribbins is associate publisher of Compact Equipment, based in Brecksville, Ohio.