Hambrick Hammers Inc. lights 16 candles

By Posted on Jul 16 2018 | By

Family owned firm rockin’ along at bone rattling pace 

Curtis and Michele Hambrick were high school sweethearts and after the 31 years of marriage the love still shows. So does the hard work that has made this Marshall small business a unique success.

The company specializes in demolition of rock and concrete. And less you think it might be hard to conjure a viable business that simply breaks rock, think again.

Curtis Hambrick toiled in the construction industry for years before the idea struck him that the demand for rock and concrete removal held economic potential. And why?

Northern Virginia and the Piedmont region is a mother lode of subsurface rock. Combine that fact with the explosive growth in home and commercial construction, highways and pipeline trenches and the recipe for success was as clear as a mountain brook.

Nonetheless, it takes courage to create, fund and execute a new small business. The average life span of a small business is eight and a half years; 555,000 close their doors annually. This firm, however, is generating over a million dollars of business a year.

Michele Hambrick shared her thoughts on how that success was achieved and her pride in what her husband and her have built. Curtis Hambrick, 56, was not available for comment because he leaves the house at 4 a.m. five to six days a week and returns around 7 p.m.

“We run the business out of our home. But Curtis leased a shop on a nearby farm 10 years ago for the maintenance and repair of the machines,” she said. Repair work is so significant the company has its own mechanic.

The arsenal of heavy-duty tractors, backhoes and trucks totals 14 pieces valued at several million dollars. “The machines range in cost from $150,000 to over $300,000 each,” said Hambrick.

The workhorse and frontline agitator of peaceful rock is called a hoe-ram. Picture your one-man jack hammer plugging away at a piece of asphalt. Now put that jack hammer on steroids and attach it to the arm of a large backhoe and you’ve got the picture of what is brought to bear on recalcitrant rock and concrete.

And where is all this rock? Everywhere. But the company’s fortunes are centered on Northern Virginia and especially Loudoun County, where work on data centers, pipeline trenches and commercial and home construction thrive.

The company has six full-time workers who are all experts on the heavy-duty equipment. The Hambricks have known three of the men for decades. Suffice it to say loyalty is a reigning character trait among the small and highly experienced workforce.

While large rock removal jobs are the company’s forte, no job is too small to get their attention. “We have broken rock for individual homeowners putting in a swimming pool and for farmers seeking removal of rock and boulders in their pastures. The Orange County Hounds even used us to remove rock from their fields,” Hambrick said.

A particularly unique application was RdV Vineyards in Delaplane who needed some rock removed from their property. We’ll drink to the success of that job.

The firm is also licensed in West Virginia where Richmond American homebuilders is building subdivisions. Home construction firms may think site preparations will be a breeze until they stumbled upon the hard stuff. Lucky for them Hambrick Hammers is on their speed dial.

While the Hambricks were building their business, they were also raising two sons, Kurt and Carson. Kurt, 27, is newly married and living in Richmond and does not work for the firm.

Carson, 24, works full-time for his parents. “Carson is doing a good job and is well-liked by all the men. When we go out of town he handles everything.

“It’s hard to find young labor today. They don’t want to do this type of work,” Hambrick said. Perhaps prying cell phones out of their hands might help.

Asked why Michele Hambrick wanted to tell their story she said, “I wanted to get some recognition for Curtis. He works so hard. He’s good a man and tries to be good to his employees. All of them have their own service trucks and he gives them a lot of freedom to get the work done.”

If all of this sounds like a family making a solid contribution to their community, it’s the reason you might find them humming Billy Idol’s 1987 hit ‘Sweet Sixteen’ as they head off to work.


Published in the July 11, 2018 edition of the Fauquier Times.


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