When an especially old piece of Cat® equipment comes into the Stowers Machinery shop, one man in particular is often called on to help. Freddy Bersaglia, celebrating 45 years with Stowers this year, relishes the times his expertise is needed.
“We still get old equipment and I get calls every now and then, like how to set the racks,” Bersaglia said. “I like calls like that.”
His wealth of knowledge grew over the years, starting in 1970 with his first position at Stowers working on used equipment. Bersaglia had been working at an auto body shop in Kentucky, where he’s from, when his sister told him he should apply where she worked, at Stowers Machinery. He got the job and has never looked back.
“She just said it was a good place to work. I’ve been blessed, not having to look for another job,” he said.
As he took on different jobs, it wasn’t long before he settled into the one job that he’s held for the majority of his time at Stowers. Bersaglia repairs machine components including fuel systems, engine components, hydraulic control valves and more.
“Looking back, all the equipment was simple. Now, everything is electronic. It’s got diodes and solenoids to change gears, instead of mechanical links,” Bersaglia said.
Despite the changing equipment, he keeps an old Cat parts manual near his station – not just for sentimental reasons, but to aid in repairing any older machine that might come through the shop. Bersaglia said that his memories of both customers and coworkers are bittersweet, as he’s lost a few to the passing years. He enjoys the camaraderie he has with his current coworkers, and also praises the evolution of Stowers over the past few decades.
“The company seems to keep getting better. It was a really good place to start with, and it seems like it’s just got better and it’s run by really good people. Wes Stowers has been great for the company,” Bersaglia said.
One thing that he said has not changed over time is the Stowers’ approach to customer service. Bersaglia takes pride in his role in providing quality service to customers.
“Whatever the customer wants, we manage to get it done. I’ve had people from North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia come and ask for me. And that feels good,” he said. “If a customer comes through those doors, I will help them any way I can.”