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ROC Equipment

By Barb Feldman

According to Becho company lore, Lou Lucido started his specialty contracting company in 1979 with $300 and a pick-up truck. When the company was sold in 2011, it had grown to a multimillion-dollar foundation drilling business specializing in drilled shaft installation, shoring, underpinning, dewatering and blasting.

In the 1990s, while still running Becho, Lou Lucido began looking for a manufacturer who could build the equipment he wanted to use for Becho’s foundation projects. The search took Lucido all over the world, and in 1999 he began working with South Korea’s BUMA to design and manufacture equipment for his own company. In 2007, Lucido formed ROC Equipment to sell the equipment he and BUMA developed together. Today, ROC is the sole North American distributor of BUMA’s equipment, which is also sold worldwide. The company sells new and used heavy construction and specialty foundation drilling equipment such as casing oscillators, rotators, drill rigs and cranes. It has offices in Salt Lake City, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada, with six full-time employees and eight or more part-time consultants available for specific projects.

“As well as selling [this equipment,] we’re pioneering in the whole market of renting and leasing these units, particularly when it comes to rotators, oscillators, casings and the miscellaneous tooling that goes with those applications,” said Vanessa Lucido, Lou’s daughter.

Vanessa became CEO and owner of ROC Equipment in 2012, after Lou Lucido tragically passed away as the result of an accident at the age of 59.

 

A hands-on approach

“Even before ROC was established, since 1999, we were helping BUMA with the designs and helping them bring those forward,” said Vanessa. “My first trip to BUMA was with my father when I was 13. Now, I’m working directly with them.”

Vanessa travels to South Korea at least once a year to check out new designs and new technologies.

“We’re very hands-on with our manufacturer – we helped design the oscillators, rotators and a lot of the miscellaneous tooling,” she said.

Two years ago, ROC sent over engineers and drillers to help BUMA design and develop a rotator to compete in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

“We’ve definitely taken it above any of the competition in the market,” said Vanessa. The rotator features innovative touch-screen controls, faster rotation speed and higher torque.

“We’re very hands-on with our manufacturer – we helped design the oscillators, rotators and a lot of the miscellaneous tooling.”
– Vanessa Lucido, CEO and Owner, ROC Equipment

ROC: Rotators, oscillators, cranes

“Our name started out as ‘ROC Drilling’ to differentiate it from ‘rock,’ which appeared in the names of a lot of our competitors,” said Vanessa. “It actually has worked out nicely, because it can also stand for ‘rotators, oscillators and cranes’ (ROC), three of the main items we sell.”

Compared to traditional drilling methods, using oscillators and rotators “increases verticality, productivity and stability, while minimizing ground vibrations, noise disturbances, concrete overruns and anomalies,” she said. The oscillation method of drilling addresses the problems presented by silty soil, high water tables, pressurized utility lines and close proximity to pre-existing structures, and the machines’ ability to power through underground obstructions can save a project time.

“Using the cased shaft method averts or diminishes complications resulting from obstructions, hard rock, caving, artesian pressures, voids and so on,” said Vanessa.

Powerful, hydraulically driven oscillators and rotators are used to oscillate or spin steel casings into the ground. This temporary or permanent casing is equipped with cutting teeth that can core through old pilings, riprap and other obstructions. The soil inside the casing is excavated using a special grab deployed by a crane or by a rotary drill with tooling, always maintaining a soil plug inside the casing to avoid penetration of water or soils. Once excavated to tip, the casing can be removed while concrete is poured using a tremie pipe system.

Plans for Canada

In addition to its equipment capabilities, ROC also consults on foundation projects and anomaly repair and mitigation, and has visited Canada multiple times to work with contractors using their equipment to make sure their customers are fully trained and capable.

For example, Pomerleau worked with oscillators on the Gracefield MTQ Structure in Quebec that crosses the Gatineau River. It was the contractor’s first time working with the new equipment.

“We were up on the project a few times, consulting and helping them figure out the new technology,” said Vanessa. ROC Equipment has also worked with various contractors and equipment companies in both Eastern and Western Canada. Due to the increased demand in these areas for the specialized equipment ROC provides, ROC has considered opening a Canadian office as well.

A lasting legacy

“Over his 33-year career in the foundation drilling industry, Lou brushed shoulders with hundreds of drillers and drilling contractors throughout the U.S. and Canada,” said Vanessa. “Through ROC, I have tried to keep his memory alive.”

Lou Lucido’s memory is ingrained into all aspects of his family’s company, including ROC Equipment’s own slogan.

“BUMA always used the slogan, ‘Built on Trust,’” said Vanessa. “I’d been working with them since 2002 and it has been a great partnership. When my father passed, I told them I wanted to keep working with them, and to continue my father’s legacy.”

ROC Equipment’s official slogan became an amalgamation of those thoughts: “Continuing the legacy. Built on trust.” 

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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.