J.H. Reid General Contractor


Aug 29, 2007

This South Plainfield contractor was founded on standards for high-quality work

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At J.H. Reid General Contractor of South Plainfield, N.J., taking pride in a job well done begins at the top.

“People know that if we get a job, it’s going to be done right,” said J.H. Reid General Contractor founder Jim Reid. “We pride ourselves on that. It’s our personal guarantee that we’re going to do a job and give the customer exactly what he wants.”

That approach has helped establish J.H. Reid General Contractor as a topnotch heavy highway contractor specializing in roadwork and bridge construction. Most of the company’s jobs are public projects, primarily for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, New York/New Jersey Port Authority, New Jersey Transit and various other local and county government entities. J.H. Reid also has a history building pump stations and still does work for water companies as well as power utility companies.

In addition to its roadwork, J.H. Reid General Contractor has a recycling arm of the company called J.H. Reid On-Site Recycling, which is operated by Thomas J. Reid. It is a wood-recycling facility that takes in timber, grinds it up and then sells approximately 150,000 yards of wood mulch per year. J.H. Reid On-Site Recycling can also provide its customers with jobsite grinding.

Getting started

J.H. Reid General Contractor was founded in 1958 by Jim Reid and Ken Lindstrom, who served as Vice President. The company was incorporated in 1963. There were about 10 employees at that time and most of the projects consisted of pump stations and small bridgework. Reid served as a field supervisor in those early days, while Lindstrom worked as the chief engineer. Lindstrom retired several years ago.

Today, Jim’s son Eric H. Reid serves as President of J.H. Reid and oversees a company of about 140 employees. Eric has been involved in the construction business since the age of 12. He ran the first asphalt roller the company purchased from Binder Machinery in 1978. In 1988, he went on to graduate with honors from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., with a degree in Business Administration and Economics. The day after his graduation, he began his first full day of employment at J.H. Reid and, throughout the years, has assisted his father in building the company that it is today.

Other integral leaders with J.H. Reid include Executive Vice President John Leslie, who has been with the company since 1969, and Vice President Kevin Brennan. In addition, Peter Alley serves as Chief Engineer, and Alex Grebel, Dominic Salsa, Greg Borovskis and Jaimin Patel are Project Engineers. Don Campbell is Project Superintendent and oversees labor and equipment on the jobsites.

Major projects

It is a team with plenty of experience working on multimillion-dollar projects. Among the many jobs completed by J.H. Reid is the replacement of the Mantoloking Drawbridge in Brick and Mantoloking, N.J., with a new double-leaf bascule drawbridge. The new 49-foot-wide bridge has two 12-foot lanes, two 8-foot bicycle-compatible shoulders and a 6-foot-wide sidewalk that runs along the south side of the bridge. A reinforced concrete roadbed sits atop the steel beams that connect the piers.

In June 2007, J.H. Reid is expected to complete work on the Magnolia Street bridge over Route 1 & Route 9 in Elizabeth. That project involves removing the existing bridge and building a new, two-lane bridge, plus putting in retaining walls and utilities.

The company also expects to wrap up a project upgrading the exit and entrance ramps of Route 78 in Newark in June. That job, which began in the fall of 2005, involves widening the ramps and redoing the surrounding roads leading up to them. Noise walls and a new retaining wall are also a part of the project.

One of the current jobs is the construction of a new train station for New Jersey Transit in Wayne, N.J. It is a combination train and bus, park-and-ride operation that also involves a large parking lot and drainage. Overall, it is a $16 million project for J.H. Reid.

J.H. Reid General Contractor usually has about five to eight projects going at any one time, some of which could last as long as three years and cost up to $50 million.

The right equipment

J.H. Reid General Contractor depends on a fleet of 70 to 80 earthmoving machines and cranes, many of which the company has acquired through Binder Machinery Company with the help of Sales Representative Harry Rice. The relationship between Reid and Binder began in 1970 and has been excellent since. In 1984, Reid considered upgrading its fleet of heavy equipment. At that time, Binder President Bob Binder said, “If you want it delivered tomorrow, we can do it.” Bob Binder and Binder Machinery have always supported contractors and owners of equipment and Reid knows the service is there when they need it.

J.H. Reid has bought numerous Komatsu excavators throughout the years, ranging in size from a PC228, PC270, several PC400s, and PC650s to a PC1000. Other Komatsu equipment includes WA350, WA450, WA500 and WA600 wheel loaders; D21, D65 and D68 dozers; and a GD625 motor grader. In addition, Binder Machinery has provided the company with a fleet of Ingersoll Rand rollers and Blaw-Knox pavers.

J.H. Reid made one of its largest purchases from Binder Machinery a couple of years ago: a 476,000-pound Kobelco CK2500 crane. But, some of the smaller pieces of Komatsu equipment, such as the zero-tail-swing excavators, have become more and more popular on many J.H. Reid jobsites.

“With the work that we are bidding today, we are often more apt to use smaller machines than we were in the past,” said Eric H. Reid. “Years ago, we might be building a new road in an open area. Today, we are working in traffic, therefore we are looking for a PC228.

“When one of our machines is in need of attention, Binder Machinery is quick to respond.” Eric further stated, “The Binder team will do whatever they can to assist if there is ever a problem. That is the way it has always been.”

Leading by example

Quality work has been a trademark of J.H. Reid General Contractors from day one. Those who work for Reid say that is a standard the Reids have established through their personal involvement in the business and why they choose their employees with care. For more than four decades, those chosen employees have helped establish a reputation for high standards. Futhermore, Reid has planned an office expansion to allow for the continued growth of the company.

J.H. Reid General Contractor prides itself not only with the professionalism of its employees, but also the satisfaction of its customers and the high quality of its work.