The Famous Charlie Vecchio!

Born February 29, 1952, in Queens, New York, the Grandson of William A. Vecchio Sr. and the son of William A. Vecchio Jr., both being members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 138, Charlie Vecchio also being an Operating Engineer in Local 15 in New York City. The story is told that when Charlie was born he had a road grader in his hand, and all Charlie wanted to do was play with his road grader.

Charlie's 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!

Charlie's 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.

When Charlie was in the second grade, he already knew what he wanted and where he was going. Charlie's goals were always in front of him.

On 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.

Charlie, 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.

In 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!

In 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.

Charlie 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!

Charlie 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.

When 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!

Well, 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!

Arizona Industries, Inc.
P.O. Box 553 North Bellmore, New York 11710
Office: 866 741 2593, 24 Hr Service: 800 926 2459