Traveling through downtown Boston one will always see roadwork and excavation. That’s just life there as local commuters have known it for 20 or more years. But along Commonwealth Avenue, thousands of college students walk to class and home each day, not knowing that the busy boulevard will be improved and expanded by a couple of large Doosan excavators recently sold by Bobcat of Boston to McCourt Construction Company.
Bobcat of Boston became a Doosan dealer more than a year ago and it sold its first piece of Doosan equipment, a Doosan 180WV wheeled excavator, to Paul Trubiano, equipment superintendent of McCourt Construction.
Harry Chronister, sales specialist of Bobcat of Boston in North Reading, Mass., has worked for Bobcat of Boston for 15 years.
“McCourt has been a good customer of ours. We picked up the Doosan line and they were the first ones to buy,” said Chronister. “That was the first machine sold.”
“We’re generally a compact dealership,” added Chronister. “What happens is, as your customer grows, we typically lose them to our competitors, because we don’t sell anything bigger. Now, we can offer a customer who needs a bigger loader, or a bigger excavator. [With Doosan], we have something to offer them.”
Trubiano has worked for McCourt Construction since 1979.
“There were four reasons why we bought Doosans,” said Trubiano. “We needed to upgrade a couple of our old wheeled excavators — I believe both were Daewoo. The Doosans had good specs — weight, speed, payload, etc. The Doosan was priced right. And, Bobcat offered excellent, local customer service.”
Trubiano said the machines were bought for McCourt’s Commonwealth Avenue Project — rehabilitation of Commonwealth Avenue, which runs from Kenmore Sq., through Boston University, down toward Boston College — and is being supervised by MassHighway.
“It is for roadway reconstruction. The excavator won’t go to work until the spring,” said Trubiano. “They [Bobcat of Boston] did a super job putting the job together. They’re excellent. Bobcat of Boston did everything I asked them to do.”
“Harry [Chronister] did an excellent job putting the Doosan together for us. They are the new Doosan dealer now and this was the first major equipment purchase we’ve made with them,” added Trubiano.
Matt McCourt, project manager, added, “We have two Doosan wheeled excavators. Both are great for working in urban areas or areas in general where you’ll be moving over asphalt or other finished terrain — concrete, brick, R.A.P., etc. Putting a heavy tracked excavator over these surfaces would tear them up. The Doosans are also excellent on jobs that are somewhat spread out because they’re quite mobile and you can move them from spot to spot relatively quickly.
“Going forward, we expect to use the Doosans most frequently on three types of jobs; urban jobs, repaving, drainage, etc. — such as our current $12 million Commonwealth Ave. rehabilitation; highway jobs like our $42 million Route 128 widening; and, airport jobs — we do a lot of work at Logan.”
Commonwealth Avenue and Route 128 are shaping up to be McCourt’s biggest summer projects. Work has already begun on a major component of MassHighway’s Route 128 highway expansion project, a lane-widening effort that will bring rush hour relief to thousands of Boston area commuters.
Already under way, the $42 million plan will reconstruct a section of Interstate 95/93 (Route 128) along the communities of Randolph, Canton, Westwood, and Dedham — a stretch of highway that brings untold thousands in and out of the Hub City.
As for the thousands of foot commuters who go up and down the length of Commonwealth Avenue each day, through the heart of Boston University, McCourt added, “We just finished a $13 million job in front of BU on Commonwealth Avenue that included installing a bike path, repaving the road, widening sidewalks and making improvements to the green line.
“The Doosan was great working in such tight quarters. We start the second, $12 million phase of Commonwealth Avenue improvements further down toward Boston College. Similar improvements will be made, with even more focus on pedestrian accessibility, and we expect the Doosan to be similarly useful.”
Like many other hopeful contractors in Massachusetts, McCourt hopes to take advantage of billions in federal dollars coming to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
“We feel like we’re in a great position to capitalize on the infrastructure money included in the stimulus package. Transportation infrastructure is our bread and butter so we see lots of work on the horizon in the form of highway, city, street, rail and airport projects,” said McCourt. “We’ve also got some private development work, and we’re pursuing projects in the energy sector.”
McCourt had some advice for other companies trying to get through tough times like these which come about every two decades or so: “Keep things lean. Don’t get too fat when the times are good and you won’t have to lose weight when the going gets tough,” he said. “Spend the downtime improving your physical and human capital. For example, while things are slow, our mechanics have been upgrading our fleet [e.g., adding particulate filters to all of our equipment]. And all our project managers, superintendents and key foreman are in the middle of two weeks of training. Primarily focused on safety and efficiency.”
For more information visit www.bobcatboston.com and www.mccourtconstruction.com. CEG