Giants make lemonade

The question on this page last year was, Are we entering a recession? We know the answer to that. Nevertheless, the nation's largest mechanical contractors are making the best of the economic conditions in which they have to work. As one Giant noted, plain vanilla work is way down, but anything that requires some skill, such as labs and hospitals, is still viable. Another noted that only two out of

The question on this page last year was, “Are we entering a recession?” We know the answer to that. Nevertheless, the nation's largest mechanical contractors are making the best of the economic conditions in which they have to work.

As one Giant noted, plain vanilla work is way down, but anything that requires some skill, such as labs and hospitals, is still viable. Another noted that only two out of its seven markets are down — hotels and gaming and commercial and office space. All the other markets are holding steady or even increasing.

The Giants also plan to make the most of energy and water conservation work and any Federal stimulus dollars that will fund it, although they don't expect to perform it until 2010.

The Giants also benefit from certain barriers to entry, such as LEED accreditations, BIM capabilities and more conservative bonding ratios.

See our Book of Giants

Most profitable Giants

Most of the Giants decline to answer the net profit question and those who do are often not the largest. Here are the nation's most profitable large mechanical contractors and the top managers who produce the best bottom line results.

RANK COMPANY/LOCATION TOP EXECUTIVE NET PROFIT
109 J. A. Croson LLC, Sorrento, Fla. James A. Croson, chairman 16.27%
62 W.G. Tomko Inc., Finleyville, Pa. William G. Tomko III, president 13.00%
33 Coastal Mechanical Services Group, Melbourne, Fla. H.W. “Skip” Hauser, chairman 11.90%
102 Century Mechanical Contractors Inc., Ft. Worth, Texas Rodney Campbell, president 11.00%
99 Delcard Assocs. Inc. - Mechanical Contrs., New Castle, Del. Rick Treml, president/CEO 10.50%
36 Titan Contracting & Leasing/The Horn Cos., Owensboro, Ky. Michael Horn, president 10.00%
40 Environmental Air Systems Inc., Greensboro, N.C. William H. Bullock, Executive V/P 8.00%
78 BCH Mechanical Inc., Largo Fla. Daryl W. Blume, president 7.50%
94 R.W. Warner Inc., Frederick, Md. Frederick L. Niehoff, executive VP/CFO 7.00%
117 DiGesare Mechanical Inc., Schenectady, N.Y. David DiGesare, president 6.00%
Source: CONTRACTOR magazine Book of Giants survey