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Buxton Contractor Capitalizes On Hot Southern Maine Residential Market

Wed February 09, 2022 - Northeast Edition #4

Chris Small, president of Maine Commercial Contracting Services.
Chris Small, president of Maine Commercial Contracting Services.
Chris Small, president of Maine Commercial Contracting Services. JCB 2TS-7T tracked Teleskid maneuvers material for a road base. JCB Teleskid loads an asphalt hopper during the construction of new residential driveway An example of lift capacity of the JCB Teleskid. The tracked Teleskid is used to create final grade before paving. The JCB 437 loader not only moves mountains of dirt, but is a key part of Maine Commercial Contracting Services’ snow removal fleet. The JCB JS160 excavator has proven to be reliable even under the stress of Maine’s extreme digging and temperature conditions.

Maine Commercial Contracting Services, owned by Chris Small and headquartered in Buxton, Maine, is a full-service excavating and paving construction firm that tackles a wide variety of projects, including commercial roadways, driveways, site work excavation, parking lot construction and paving, retaining walls, asphalt milling and snow removal.

The company serves southeastern Maine, including York County, Portland and the surrounding area and has a substantial fleet of excavating, hauling, road building and paving equipment.

"Maine Commercial Contracting Services is a relatively new business, but our team is made up of tradesmen who have been involved in the industry for decades, some of us over 20 years," said Small, president and founder. "So, we bring a lot of experience to the table."

The residential market in southeastern Maine has been particularly strong over the past few years, with a lot of high-end property development, and the company's average customer is homeowners looking to make major property improvements and general contractors.

"We provide the excavating and site work for as they prepare for new home builds," Small said. "We are fully equipped to do commercial work, but the residential market has been what has kept us busy lately. One of the reasons we do so well in this market is our size and our personalized service and attention to detail with the owner of the property. We are big enough to handle significant sized projects and small enough to give the customer personalized attention that lets him know he is dealing with a company that wants to get the project done right."

Over the course of the past few years, Maine Commercial Contracting has made several investments in JCB machines purchased from Alta Equipment, including a JCB JS160 excavator, a 17-ton class machine; a JCB 3TS-8W Teleskid; a JCB T2S-7T Teleskid, a machine much like the JCB 3TS-8W, but smaller and on tracks; and a JCB 437 183 hp 3.5-yd. loader.

"The purchase of the two JCB Teleskid machines has been a real game changer," Small said. "The telescoping boom adds so much diversity above and beyond what a skid steer with a fixed bucket can offer.

"One of the areas where it really shines is loading and unloading our larger dump trucks," he added. "Without the Teleskid, we would have to have a loader on the site to load the trucks. We have the two different machines, the 3TS-8W for larger projects where confined space is not an issue and the T2S-7T tracked machine is ideal for working in tight quarters as well as conditions where you need the tracks to better navigate versus the wheeled machine."

As is the case with all companies in the construction trades, safety is a big concern for Small and his crew.

"It is very important to us that everybody goes home safe and sound every night," he said. "We really appreciate the people who work for us and want to ensure that everybody is protected at all times.

"Unlike traditional skid steers, the JCB Teleskids feature a side-door entry, meaning your operators do not have to climb across a bucket and boom every time they enter or leave the machine. They enter through a side door just like you would with a loader or an excavator. It's safer and so much more convenient. Once you're inside the cab, it is extremely comfortable and designed to give the operator maximum visibility. You can see just about everywhere with virtually no blind spots. It is a dramatic improvement over traditional skid steers."

Another key piece to the Maine Commercial Contracting fleet is its recently purchased JCB 437 183 hp 3.5-yd. loader.

So far, it has met or exceeded all of Small's expectations.

"The JCB 437 is an awesome machine," he said. "It moves a lot of dirt really quickly for us, and in the winter, it is a key snow removal machine. Its versatility has made it a profit center for our fleet. The power is unmatched, the cab is spacious and comfortable, our operators have given us feedback that the visibility is fantastic, the cameras inside the cab have really improved safety, and when maneuvering the traction is there when you need it. It's a very stable machine."

Small also is a big fan of the JCB JS160 excavator, a 17-ton machine with a maximum dig depth of 20-ft. 7-in.

"We use this excavator a lot, particularly on smaller residential projects. It's also ideal for foundation work," he said. "For a machine in its weight category, the power and breakout force are impressive. The JS 160 has also proven to be reliable. We have some very cold winter mornings here in Maine and we have had zero issues with cold weather starts. Just like our other JCB machines, the cab design is exceptional. Lots of room, ideally situated safety cameras, great operator comfort."

Quality products are only part of the formula that keeps contractors happy with a supplier. Service after the sale also is critically important.

"One of the reasons that we keep buying JCB products is the service that we get from our dealer, Alta Equipment," said Small. "They have been right on top of every concern or problem that we have had, and they answer our questions very quickly. They know that we need them to repair equipment immediately and so far, they have met the mark.

"Everyone is aware that in today's climate, parts can be a challenge, and yet so far we have had no parts issues whatsoever," he added. "Our sales rep, Toby Reynolds, has been fantastic to work with. He is great at navigating the sale process and, most importantly, he is always there for us after the sale.

"The bottom line in our business is that up time matters. We cannot afford to have equipment down and coincidentally Alta Equipment's motto is Up Time Matters. So far, they have lived up to their slogan." CEG

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