Mana Construction Helps NYC Reach 1M Tree Goal
After cutting a hole in the sidewalk and excavating materials, the balled trees are placed into position by Mana Construction’s Gehl skid steers.
(L-R) are Danny Diieso supervisor of Mana Construction; Mark Feldman, president of Mana Construction; Natale Cardino, vice president of Mana Construction; and Gary Wade, president of All Island Equipment.
Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, has set out an initiative to plant one million trees in New York City over the next 10 years and Mana Construction won the bid to plant 5,600 of them.
To complete the job, Mana expanded its fleet of equipment with some purchases from All Island Equipment. The purchases included two Gehl 7810 skid steers, two Gehl 6640 skid steers, one Gehl V270 skid steer and one Gehl 7600 skid steer.
Mana also bought four Hudson and four Interstate trailers and two Sullivan-Palatek compressors.
“We specifically purchased the Gehl model 7810 because it has the highest boom reach in its class and allows us to load our dumps from the skid steers,” said Natale Cardino, Mana Construction Group vice president. “It has a one-foot higher reach than any other skid steer in its class. We purchased the Gehl model V270 because it works primarily with a vertical lift instead of a radial lift. It basically allows us to pull up directly next to the truck, lift the load, and dump it in rather than starting out away from the truck, lifting the load, then pulling the machine over to drop the load. This saves us a lot of time, particularly when working in tight places.”
“The machines are basically brand new, and thus far they have operated virtually trouble free,” Cardino continued. “Our laborers on the job site are from Local Union 175 and these operators are very impressed with the machines. All of the machines are equipped with hydraulic pilot controls and have cabs equipped with air and heating.
From an operators standpoint we have been very pleased with the responsiveness of the machines and the creature comforts they provide. We checked out most of the other machines on the market and Gehl seemed to be the only company that could give us the reach height that we were looking for. All Island Equipment is our local Gehl dealer and Gary Wade, the owner, and his brother Daryl, the service manager, have done a great job leading us through the process of purchasing the machines and then training us in the operations of the machines.”
This project, which started in early February, focuses Mana’s attention on tree planting primarily in Queens and the Bronx. This phase of the project is estimated to be completed in late May. The nearly 6,000 trees range in height from 15 to 20 ft. and represent a large variety of trees from cherry to oak.
Mana’s job involves excavating a hole in the sidewalk, planting the tree and finishing the area with topsoil.
“This really is a pretty straightforward job that has not presented a lot of curve balls. Certainly in Queens there has been a fair share of traffic issues, but nothing that our flaggers couldn’t handle,” Cardino said.
The tree planting program is a part of a Green effort, which also includes the expansion and beautification of existing New York City parks and the creation of additional interior parks. The authority for the project is the New York City Parks Department. This is Mana Construction’s first project with the New York City Parks Department.
Mana Construction Group
Mana Construction Group was founded by Natale Cardino and Mark Feldman in April 2009. Cardino oversees the equipment and construction aspects of the company’s day to day operation, while Feldman, the company’s president, handles the company’s business and personnel affairs.
Cardino has more than a decade of experience as a site supervisor. Much of his experience has been in government construction work such as state projects, park authority projects and municipal construction. Feldman’s background came from running the financials of a large pre-paid cellular phone company; he also owned the company.
In 2009, the two decided to combine their diverse backgrounds and form Mana Construction Group Ltd., which will focus solely on government construction work for agencies like New York State DOT and the Parks Department.
In addition to the equipment purchased from All Island Equipment, Mana Construction also owns two Volvo roll-off trucks, four dump trucks, five pickup trucks, and has approximately 30 employees.
For more information, visit www.allislandequipment.com or www.manaconstruction.com.