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Averill Park Septic Service Builds on Family Ties

Fri May 05, 2006 - Northeast Edition
Kate Zanoni



When David Lobdell started his business in 1984, his equipment inventory consisted of only a small dozer, a Kubota tractor backhoe loader and a single axle dump. In those days, the company’s market area consisted primarily of Rensselaer and parts of Columbia and Albany counties in New York.

“My primary interest was in expanding the excavation side of the company,” said Lobdell, “but unfortunately expanding it called for large investments in equipment.”

To accomplish this, Lobdell had to expand his company gradually. In the ’90s, Averill Park Septic Service was able to focus exclusively on the excavation and septic side of the business.

“I really am thankful to my father who helped us through those early growth years by lending equipment to me from out of his company’s inventory,” said Lobdell.

In addition to his equipment, Lobdell has even more to thank his father for. He grew up working for his father, Robert Lobdell, who is the principle of R. Lobdell Contracting Corp. Much of the experience at his father’s company contributed to the success of his own contracting company. “I am very grateful to him for everything,” said David.

Lobdell also prides himself in continuing the family tradition. His wife, Beth, twin sons, Lee and David, and daughter Kassie, all have active roles in Averill Park Septic Service, making the company a true family business.

“We take a lot of pride in the fact that we are a family-owned and operated business,” said Lobdell. “We must be doing something right because all of my family members want to remain active in the business.

“These days, most of our customers come from the private sector, although we do occasionally get involved in commercial work,” said Lobdell. “For instance, we recently completed a job that included extensive excavation and utility work for Albany Memorial Hospital.

“When we work in the private sector, we are able to offer the customer or developer our expertise in doing site work, foundation work, utility installation, and design and installation of the septic system,” he added.

To ensure quality service, Averill Park Septic Service relies on its current equipment inventory, which has grown extensively over the years.

The company’s iron, which Lobdell purchased from Capital Tractor, includes:

• 2006 New Holland D95, 96-hp (71.5 kW) dozer

• 2001 New Holland EC215, 50,000-lb. (22,680 kg) excavator

• 2001 New Holland DC150, 150-hp (112 kW) crawler tractor

• 2006 New Holland EH50, 12,000-lb. (5,443 kg) mini-excavator

• 2005 New Holland LT185 tracked loader

• 1994 Fiat-Hitachi 2.5-yd. (2.3 m) loader

• 2002 Kobelco SR115DZ, 33,000-lb. (14,967 kg) excavator with a blade

• Lobdell’s original 1984 Kubota L2850 tracked backhoe loader.

Other equipment in his fleet includes:

• 1992 Hitachi EX100, 25,000-lb. (11,340 kg) excavator (purchased used)

• 1995 Cat D3 dozer (purchased from Capital Tractor)

• two tandem-axle trucks

• three single-axle trucks

• one single-axle septic pump truck

• one tandem-axle septic pump truck.

According to Lobdell, he buys most of his equipment from Capital Tractor in Greenwich and Latham, NY, because it also is a family-owned and operated business.

“Like most family-owned companies, one of the biggest appeals in dealing with Capital Tractor is that you can deal directly with the owner and other family members,” said Lobdell. “We deal primarily with Jamey Gibson and his son, Dustin. They are accessible just about any time.

“Our relationship with Capital Tractor started in the early 1990s when I drove by the store in Latham and spotted a Hitachi EX100 sitting in [the] used equipment yard that perfectly matched my needs,” said Lobdell. “With that purchase, we developed a relationship with the Gibson family, which led us to purchasing all of our New Holland equipment from Capital Tractor.

“[Through] my years of operating heavy construction equipment, I have concluded that when you purchase equipment from many manufacturers, you are paying extra for the name,” added Lobdell. “That is not the case with New Holland.

“Before making an equipment purchase, we test for breakout force [and] pushing power,” he added. “We have found New Holland equipment to be superior in all categories. Our New Holland machines give us excellent cab comfort, breakout forces, pushing power and cab visibility.”

Beside performance, Lobdell also likes operating a machine with “all the comforts of sitting inside of my office,” he said.

In terms of service, Capital Tractor employs long-term technicians to ensure product familiarity and expertise.

“The service manager, John and road technician, Bruce, at Capital Tractor have been great to us,” said Lobdell. “They really know my machines inside and out. I am very comfortable with Capital Tractor’s service technicians because [they are] long-term employees. It’s great not having to talk to a new person every time I call.

“Last year, we had a piece of equipment go down on a Saturday and before that day was over, Capital Tractor brought us a machine out of their inventory that put us back to work,” said Lobdell.

Lobdell recently purchased a 2005 New Holland LT185 track loader from Capital Tractor.

“We have a sawmill set up in our yard and we sell mulch,” said Lobdell. “[This] machine has shown excellent performance in loading trucks with mulch and moving logs around the yard.

“Out in the field, it has replaced our dozer in many applications,” he added. “It really has great pushing power. We use the New Holland regularly for grading driveways. When installing a leach field, it easily moves across rough terrain to carry stones to the open trenches.

“The loader also works great in wet weather,” said Lobdell. “Most of the soil around here is clay and when clay gets wet, it is nearly impossible to move traditional machines through it. That is not the case with the New Holland LT185.” CEG