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Adam Eidemiller Company Evolves Through Relationship With Gradall

From its start, this contractor was primarily a heavy highway contractor, but the business changed to become a major coal producer when highway construction work declined.

Mon June 30, 2014 - Northeast Edition
J.H. Grant

The company Adam Eidemiller founded in 1925, which was located in Greensburg, Pa., became a successful earth moving and highway contracting firm, which was incorporated in 1947. The name of that company is Adam Eidemiller Inc.

From its start, this contractor was primarily a heavy highway contractor, but the business changed to become a major coal producer when highway construction work declined due to the completion of the Interstate Highway System in the 1970’s. Through its purchase of quarries for building materials, the company also acquired a few coal mines.

The company had the fleet of earth moving machinery to unearth and mine open veins of coal. In that fleet of equipment, the company has owned many Gradall excavators for various construction projects and for the use of removing clean coal from open strip mines.

According to Lou Battistella, president of the company and grandson of Adam, "our first Gradall was a 2460 mounted on a Duplex Model L commercial chassis truck. It was traded for three newer 2460’s, which were upgraded with the release of the G-600’s, of which we owned four. We purchased a G-1000 in the early 1960’s. By the mid-1970’s the Eidemiller Gradall fleet consisted of four G-600’s, three G-880’s [one with remote control], and three G-1000’s, all truck mounted."

There were small contractors in the region of Greensburg during the 1940’s that benefited from their subcontract work for Eidemiller. These companies over the years became successful contractors and owners of Gradall equipment. They were Bruno Ferrari, the owner of Latrobe Construction and John Slate Sr. of the Slate Construction Company. Both were Latrobe-based construction companies located 8 mi. east of Greensburg.

The Gradall distributor that sold and serviced most of the Gradalls in the Eidemiller fleet and other contractors in western Pennsylvania was the Highway Equipment Company of Zelienople, Pa. The two men who founded this company in 1933 were Daniel L. (Lee) Reynolds Sr. and J. F. (Doc.) Docherty. Highway, with its three branch locations, has been the Gradall distributor of western Pennsylvania since 1961. Today Thomas H. Reynolds, third generation, is president of the company and his father Daniel L. Reynolds is the chairman.

"One of the first pieces of equipment mastered in my early days with the company was a Gradall, which I enjoyed operating. I still want to dump the excavator bucket with my one foot and swing with the other. It just became second nature," said Battistella.

Today the Adam Eidemiller Company is still in business, mainly as a commercial real estate holdings company. It remains active in site and utility work and it maintains a workforce for the operation and maintenance of its commercial holdings. The company is headed by Battistella — a third generation Eidemiller; the site and utility work is conducted by his son, Brandon — a fourth generation Eidemiller.

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