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Cat Iron Prove Mettle for Long Island’s PK Metals

Tue May 29, 2007 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

PK Metals, located in Coram, N.Y., calls itself “The Recycling Specialists” and for good reason. The company’s 11-acre scrap yard in Suffolk County, Long Island, not only recycles ferrous and non-ferrous metals but materials from the electronics industry in addition to plastics, demolition debris, cardboard and surplus inventory salvage. It also provides document destruction.

Processing a diversity of materials requires a wide assortment of equipment including trucks, loaders, skid steers, excavators and scrap handling machines most of which are Caterpillars from H.O. Penn Machinery. PK Metals also uses Caterpillar engines to power its truck fleet, generators as well as large shears mounted on scrap machines.

“What really got us involved in purchasing Caterpillar machines is that when we purchased this operation all of the forklifts were Cat forklifts and we had good experience with them,” said Philip Fava, a principal owner of PK Metals.

“Our first purchase from H.O. Penn Machinery was a 1986 Cat 235 excavator, which was used and had been completely reconditioned by them. We knew that we wanted to use factory parts and trained technicians for our equipment, which made them a natural choice because our parts and service would come right from their facility located right here on Long Island. Today, that 1986 Cat 235 excavator is still operating five or six days a week with more than 22,000 hours on it,” said Fava.

Machinery working at a scrap yard needs to be versatile and strong enough to endure the rigors and harsh environments in which it operates for long periods of time. In addition, downtime must be kept to a minimum.

“Our equipment is put through extreme duty and all of it operates six days a week, 12 months out of the year. We have a great service and maintenance program, which we handle right here on site. We use only Caterpillar parts … no aftermarket parts, and I believe that contributes significantly to our machines,” said Richard Smith, also a principal owner of the company.

“Repair response time from H.O. Penn has always been satisfactory and the parts support that they [H.O. Penn] receive from Caterpillar is tremendous. At one time, they had a part sent to us overnight from a Caterpillar facility in Australia. There have been times when we have had critical machines go down and H.O. Penn has gotten a replacement machine to us on the same day,” Smith said.

The staff of H.O. Penn Machinery also has been a great support to PK Metals. Their experience and dedication have been instrumental in solving any problems quickly and efficiently.

“The people at H.O. Penn Machinery really know their stuff. Frank Sibert, their engine service manager, does a great job for us. When you deal with Frank there is no gamesmanship, he just gets down to business. Over the years, we have never had a problem develop that H.O. Penn could not quickly resolve,” said Smith.

In the scrap metal processing area of PK Metals, excavators are particularly important, and as a result, the company recently purchased a Caterpillar 330D L excavator from H.O. Penn. The 330D L is equipped with a high-rise cab, which increases the operator’s visibility and directly relates to improving safety for the company.

The Caterpillar 330D L excavator features a C9 engine with ACERT Technology for improved horsepower and meets the EPA Tier III engine emission regulations for off-road applications. The hydraulics delivers power and control to keep material moving and its booms, sticks and attachments are designed for maximum flexibility, productivity and efficiency on the job. Designed for comfort, the operator station is simple and easy to use enabling the operator to focus on production while simplified service and maintenance features save time and money, according to the manufacturer.

PK Metals was particularly impressed with the 330D L’s expanded size and the comfort of the cab.

“On the sales end currently our account is being serviced by Jim Smith. Jim has a construction background and is able to guide us in the right direction when making purchases. Additionally, Jim has always been there for us after the sale, even when in a bind, delivering parts to us,” Smith explained.

The company that Smith and Fava purchased years ago has grown steadily over the years to where it is today with more than 500 containers, a fleet of 18 trucks, two tractors equipped with lowboy trailers and a host of Caterpillar machinery and approximately 2,000 accounts including private and public corporations as well as government agencies. CEG

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