Trane New York / New Jersey

Trane Culture » Our History


James Trane was a Norwegian immigrant who opened a plumbing shop in 1885 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  James was, besides being a steamfitter and plumber, an inventor.  He designed the first low-pressure steam heating system which he called the Trane vapor heating system. In 1913, James and his son Reuben incorporated The Trane Company. The product line expanded even further in 1925 with the development of the convector radiator.

         In 1931, the Trane Company developed its first air conditioning unit called the Trane unit cooler and, in 1938, its first centrifugal refrigeration machine called the Turbovac. During World War II, the Trane Company developed a new-type aircraft intercooler.  This key device was lighter and more efficient that the units already being built and as a result, the more efficient and lighter weight heat exchanger enabled allied war planes to fly much higher and faster than ever before. This basic heat exchanger design as developed by Trane was used on the Lunar Rover of the Apollo 15 mission.

         In 1982, The Trane Company acquired the central air conditioning department of General Electric. This broadened Trane's residential and light commercial product lines and allowed Trane an even greater foray into the broad HVAC commercial and residential market.

In 1984, The Trane Company was acquired by American Standard Inc., and today is a fixture in the American Standard returned as a publicly held corporation in 1995 (NYSE: ASD). In addition to manufacturing air conditioning equipment, American Standard is one of the world’s leading suppliers of plumbing products under the American Standard“, Ideal Standard“, Standard“, Porcher“, Armitage Shanks“, and Dolomite“ names, and WABCO“ commercial and utility vehicle braking and control systems. Trane further advanced compressor technology in 1987 with the introduction of the Trane 3-D scroll compressor and the Series "R" water chiller that featured a helical-rotor compressor design.

         Through the years, Trane has kept its focus on excellence and innovation. Through its dedication to it customers and continual development of its products, companies in the world-wide HVAC market today. Globally, Trane currently has 250 sales and service distribution offices located in 192 different countries in the world. Trane is poised to meet the world's HVAC needs for both now and the future. We here in the New York area, welcome you to call us for any questions you may have.  We have the sales, service and support to meet all of your current and future needs.

Trane New York, Field District Office

         Trane has had a New York Office since the 1920’s. Even then Trane Sales Engineers were calling on contractors, specifying engineers and owners. Very early landmark Trane Air Conditioning installations included the Administration Building for the then recently completed Tri-Boro Bridge and restaurants at Vincent Astor’s Hotel St. Regis. Trane sales engineer William Hopkins personally convinced Vincent Astor to use Trane for his new hotel.

         The Trane Sales News of October 1936 featured the New York Office which at that time was managed by Lawrence Brady and William Bilyeu, known in Trane circles as the “Busy B’s”. Even then, New York was the highest volume Trane office. Their territory included Northern New Jersey, New York City, the length of Long Island and neighboring Connecticut.

         Thomas Kelly became the District manager in 1961. Tom graduated from New York University after serving with the Air Force as a B-17 navigator during WW II. After college he was tapped by the Boston Celtics basketball team and won a starting berth. At that time the New York office was company owned. Tom expanded the Trane operation by adding a Service Department with Jim Dorris as the first Service Manager. He also started a Parts Department the same year. In 1968 the Trane office became a Franchise, similar to all other Trane offices at the time.

         The 60's and 70's were exciting growth years for Trane. Many of the Trane salesmen who led the office during those exciting decades now have offices of their own: Dick Hunton in Houston, Texas; Don Druyanoff in San Francisco; Ron Gerster in Buffalo and Don Damuth in Norfolk Virginia. It was also during those years that the reach of Trane New York became global.

There were many significant sales firsts for the New York office during those years:
  • The first sale of a Two Stage Absorption machine
  • The first sale of a vertical high rise fan coil system at North Shore Towers in Queens.
  • The domination of the apartment house market with our single shell low-pressure absorption machine.
  • The sale of all of the HVAC equipment for the Moscow World Trade Center in Russia.
  • The sale of equipment for the Saudi Hawk Missile sites in Saudi Arabia.
  • The sale of 60,000 fan coil units for Co-op City
  • The sale of 12,000 tons of single stage absorption units to Rochdale Village.
  • The sale of a Centravac chiller to air condition the Statue of Liberty during it's renovation.

         Trane New York grew rapidly during those years and moved frequently. The office was at 801 2nd Avenue in the early 60's and then moved to 60 East 42nd Street, 333 Seventh Avenue, 1 Penn Plaza and finally to our present location.

         Tom Kelly retired in 1993 and was replaced as District Manager by Bernie Halterbeck who had managed the San Diego, California office. Trane New York also became a Company owned operation in that year. Bernie was a New York native who graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology. Bernie moved Trane New York from 333 Seventh Avenue to the top of One Penn Plaza, with a view of all of New York.

         Dave Fruetel became the District Manager for Trane Orlando, and in 1996 became District Manager in New York City. Trane New York had always had separate facilities for the Service and Sales operations. In 1999, Dave consolidated and moved Trane New York to our current location at 45-18 Court Square, Long Island City. In 1999, Trane New York opened its Westchester facility at 3 Westchester Plaza, Elmsford, New York. In 2002, the Long Island offices were consolidated to a free standing office at 225 Oser Avenue, Hauppauge, New York. These moves finally bring all Trane New York Divisions under the same roof and enables us to work together as one organization, as we continue our leadership role in New York City. Dave retired in 2005.

         Rich Halley became District Manager for Trane New York/New Jersey in 2005. Rich was previously Area Manager of our Parsippany, New Jersey office, before taking over the responsibility of District Manager. Rich brings over 20 years of experience in Management. In April, 2006 our Westchester Facility moved to 11 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford, New York. The Facility is larger than our previous location and now is able to house Parts, Building Automation, Energy Services and soon our Service Division.

In 2009, Rich Halley decided to step down as District Manager and become the General Manager of our Long Island office to help grow and expand that market.

Steve Wey is now the District General Manager for IR Climate Solutions in the New York / New Jersey region. Steve has over 30 years experience in developing and providng solutions to climate and energy issues. In 1979, he began his career as a Sales Engineer in the Trane Baltimore office. Steve became District Manager of Trane Pittsburgh in 1995. In 2009, Steve became the District Manager of Trane NY/NJ.

Trane equipment and systems air-condition many landmark buildings and facilities in the New York Metropolitan area such as:

  • Statue of Liberty
  • Columbia University
  • New York University
  • Four Times Square Office Building … the first “Green” building in NYC
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Riverside Church
  • USTA, National Tennis Center
  • Computer Associates, Islandia, Long Island
  • Mt Sinai Hospital, NYC
  • ... and many others.

         Today, Trane New York is the largest full service air conditioning firm in the New York area with divisions for New Equipment Sales, Existing Building Services, Building Automation Services, Parts, New Building Automation Installations and Existing Building Turn Key Comfort Solutions.

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