CalContractor - Profiling The California Contractor!
Sean Riviera grew up in the construction business.His father, Joe, was a successful contractor who owned his own construction company.During the summers Sean would work for his father.It was Joe who taught Sean how to handle and operate heavy equipment.While Sean enjoyed working in the construction industry, when he first got out of school he decided to take a different path.It turned out to be a twenty-year detour.Sean went to work for the Los Angeles Times, where he worked himself up from the rank and file of the transportation department.When the newspaper was sold Sean became yet another casualty of corporate downsizing.The paper's new owners simply phased out the department Sean worked in. "I really liked my job and working at the Times; they were a great company to work for," said Sean."Being laid off made me take a long hard look at what I was going to do." Sean
stood at a crossroads, but not for long.After reviewing his
decided to resurrect his
father's construction company.The contracting firm had been closed down since Joe's untimely death in 1994."I had closed down J.R. Construction after my father died but the company was still in existence," Sean
explained."When I received my severance check from the Times
, I went out and bought a tractor."In 2000 Sean founded SJR Bobcat Service Excavation and brought the company in as a division of JR Construction.
At first Sean worked alone."For the first couple of years it was just me and my Bobcat
," said Sean
."All the money I made on a job, I would put back into the company.I bought another Bobcat and as more money came in I purchased more equipment."
One of the first major contracts Sean
received was for Teledyne in Playa Del Rey.SJR Bobcat Service
dug electrical trenches and located fiber optic lines for the communications company.Another early key project Sean
worked on was for Raytheon
...(Above) Sean Riviera, Owner/Operator, SJR Bobcat Service Excavation Co. Sean Riviera
states, "Now I am in charge of my future, and I look forward to the challenges the next job brings!"
"When you are digging something like a pool with an infinite edge, you are right up against a cliff," said Sean
."If you don't know how to operate the equipment just right, the tractor and everything else will end up going right over that cliff."Sean has more than proven to be a highly skilled operator when it comes to having a fine touch on a tractor and excavator.
Whether the job calls for trenching next to an operating electrical line or dealing with digging duties on a sheer cliff, Sean
is able to step up to the plate and handle the project ably.Over the last three years Sean
has won Best All Round Operator at Bobcat Inc.'s
Rodeo.Most think of a rodeo as a competition where it pits a rider attempting to stay on a wild horse or bull, an extreme sport of the old school.Like its western counterpart, the Bobcat Rodeo puts the operator through an extreme test of their capabilities in the operation of heavy equipment.Contestants must handle such tests as picking up a golf ball with a spoon attached to their tractor.This sounds easy, but in reality is on par with trying out for the Yankees using a sledgehammer instead of a bat.Another obvious example of Sean's operational skill came last December when he
was working on a project for Caltrans at the Interstate 5, 10 and 60 interchange.At the time Sean
was grading a slope when he
discovered a suspicious looking object.He
scooped up the object and moved his
tractor away from the freeway.Due to the severe nature of the incident Sean
is legally restrained from giving specific details of the event.The police were called in and all the major thoroughfares in the area were closed to motorists.After a complete inspection of the pipe shaped object and area, the object Sean
had scooped up was indeed extremely dangerous.
Whether it is a rodeo testing his
extreme skills or operating a tractor under the extreme location logistics of working on a thirty-degree slope, Sean
loves the challenge his
job offers him."Having the security of working for a company like the Los Angeles Times
was nice, but I really like the fact that I'm self-employed and basically in charge of my own future," Sean
said."I get calls from other contractors for jobs that they won't do.There are a number of people in this business who say, ,if Sean
won't do it, it can't be done.' I enjoy the challenge that a seemingly impossible job offers."In addition to the extreme challenges in excavating, Sean
also enjoys the fact that over the years his
skills and his
company have built up a trust with his
customers."Knowing that the people I am working for trust me to handle the job for them means a lot to me," said Sean