Grandfather and Dad would always take Charlie to work. He loved
to play with all the heavy road equipment. In 1955 Charlie's
family moved to Elmont, Long Island, New York where his Grandfather,
Dad and Uncle Joe had a construction yard. Charlie loved to
go to the yard after school and on Saturdays. By about age of
9 or 10, Charlie was running his Dad's road grader by himself
- a 1947 Austin-Weston 4-wheel grader, one of the hardest graders
to learn on!
Uncle Joseph Guarino, also a member of Local 15, was also one
of the best Grader Operators on the East Coast. Uncle Joe taught
Charlie all his little tricks on what would make him one of
the best. Charlie would always go off to different job sites
to watch other operators who were the best, so he could learn
what made them great operators.
Charlie was in the second grade, he already knew what he wanted
and where he was going. Charlie's goals were always in front
December 31, 1969, Charlie's Dad passed away. Charlie being
a Senior in High School knew that his Dad was very proud of
him, and knew that Charlie was on his was to becoming one of
the best - or even the best! Only time would tell.
having "the Eye of the Tiger", would continue his training under
his Uncle Joe Guarino who was also his Dad's business partner
when he was in business with him.
February 1970, Charlie, being then 17 years old, went out and
bought his first grader. Charlie would go to school one week
and work his grader the other week. Charlie would also go to
school WITH his grader on occasion. THe Principal couldn't wait
for Charlie to graduate!
1971, Charlie left his marker - "The Kid with the Grader". Charlie's
business grew each year. He worked in Long Island, New York
City, Florida, and Nevada. He also taught in Arizona for a short
time. Charlie was now teaching other junior operators at Local
138, Long Island.
loves to redesign Graders, so he look a 1960 Austin-Weston Grader,
cut the cab off, and built his own design. He put in a 1974
(new at that time) hydraulic control from a 14G Caterpillar
Grader, built a Rear Ripper from scratch, and extended the Grader
by 20". He also put in an automatic transmission, and built
all his electric controls in the ceiling in lock-away panels.
This machine looked like a Space Shuttle!
also designed a new Moldboard (blade) which he named in memory
of his little son, Johnny
Vecchio. It has 2 hydraulic wings, one on each side, to
control the wind rows, and can grade up to 25% plus more a day.
Charlie holds the patent for this blade in the U.S.A., Canada,
and 6 European countries.
Charlie was working for a company in the Bronx, Yonkers Construction,
the Supervisor, named Jack, said watching Charlie reminded him
of the story of Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. All Jack
could see was a yellow streak going back and forth! At the end
of the day, the job was done - right to a 1/4 inch grade!
as time goes on, we'll have to update you on the Arizona Kid,
the fastest blade in the West - or is it the fastest blade in
the World? Time will tell!