Hopes Run High for $20M Phenix City Development

Chas. Lobosco & Son Puts Komatsus Up to Bat for Mets

Wed June 27, 2007 - Northeast Edition
CEG



Chas. Lobosco & Son Inc. is unique in the realm of rental companies.

For the past 40 years, the company’s main focus has been on renting only excavating equipment to contractors in the New York City area, including Urban Foundation-Engineering LLC.

Lobosco has had a working relationship with Urban Foundation for 35 to 40 years. The contractor is currently working on the new Mets Stadium, Citi Field, which is scheduled to open in 2009. The company rents most of its equipment from Lobosco.

Urban Foundation is responsible for the foundation and underpinning work at the stadium. The company has numerous excavators on rent from Lobosco for the project including a Komatsu PC200 with a long stick and various other Komatsu machines.

“The relationship that we have with Urban Foundation-Engineering makes me particularly proud,” said Lisa Lobosco Silvestri, vice president of the rental company. “Over the course of a 40-year relationship, our two companies have grown together. Today, they are one of our largest customers. We have gone out of our way to treat them right and over the years, they have done the same with us.”

In 1941, Charles T. Lobosco founded Chas. Lobosco & Son Inc. At that time, the company was involved in the demolition business. Over the years, however, the company’s focus changed as well as the ownership when Charles’ son, Joseph, took over the reins and then again when Joseph’s son, Charles F., took over. Today, Joseph’s granddaughter, Lisa Lobosco Silvestri, runs the company founded by her grandfather.

Chas. Lobosco & Son purchased its first Komatsu excavator in 1994 from Chris Thompson, sales representative of Edward Ehrbar Inc.

“When we purchased our machine, Komatsu had a very unique power boost option, which could give an additional eight to 12 horsepower on demand. I guess that is what originally caught our attention. Since then, it is the product’s reliability that has kept us coming back,” explained Silvestri.

“We rent many hammers with the excavators, and many of our customers use the machines for foundation and excavation work. In 13 years of use, we have not had a Komatsu under these conditions develop a cracked boom or any structural failure,” Silvestri said.

Currently Lobosco has more than 25 pieces of equipment in its rental fleet. Typically, equipment stays in the fleet for nine years or 12,000 hours.

“My dad [Joseph T. Lobosco] and brother [Charles F. Lobosco] formed a relationship with Edward Ehrbar Inc. and Chris Thompson in 1994. Over the years, the business relationship has turned into a strong friendship. Because of the way they have treated us, we show Ehrbar a tremendous amount of loyalty,” she said.

“Obviously, with more than 40 years in the equipment business, from time to time problems arise. The Ahern family [owners of Edward Ehrbar Inc.] has always been very fair with us. We really feel that we get personalized service from them. When necessary, Chris Thompson has delivered parts to us personally. That is why 90 percent of our rental fleet is Komatsu,” explained Silvestri.

In addition to the excavators, Lobosco’s fleet includes some backhoes and lowboy trailers for delivering the equipment to the job sites of its customers. The company also is available to move equipment for New York City contractors and equipment dealers.

“We try to set ourselves apart in the New York City rental business with our service,” Silvestri said. “We pride ourselves on quick response and reliability. When our customers develop a problem, we need to be there immediately. We know how much we depend on the reliability of our suppliers; we need to provide just as much support and reliability to ours.

“We are so focused on customer service that any time, day or night, when a customer needs us, we are available. If the office is closed, the calls are forwarded to my cell phone,” Silvestri said.

Lobosco takes care of all service on its own equipment, even while it is on an extended rental. This is done on the customer’s job site. As a result of showing this focus on service over the years, 90 percent of the time Lobosco does business with the same core group of customers.

“As national chains of rental houses have moved into the New York City area, we have been able to maintain our customer base. The chains not only rent equipment, but also pumps, tampers, concrete mixers, you name it. We focus on renting excavating equipment. That is our only focus and that is why we do it well,” she said. CEG