Contractor Finds Site Prep Solution With JCB 86C Compact Excavator

Being located in a glacier deposit area makes it nearly impossible to dig without hitting ledge.

Tue May 17, 2016 - Northeast Edition
Jennifer Stiansen

Larry Kresge Excavating and Trucking uses its new JCB 86C.
Larry Kresge Excavating and Trucking uses its new JCB 86C.

Larry Kresge is a self-proclaimed entrepreneur. Fifty years ago, he started working for himself and never looked back, eventually founding Larry Kresge Excavating and Trucking, a highly respected local company in White Haven, Pa.

“White Haven is a great place to call home,” said Kresge, “But it's not the easiest of places to run an excavating business.”

Being located in a glacier deposit area makes it nearly impossible to dig without hitting ledge. The ground conditions, a shortened work season due to changing weather conditions and a relatively small population density makes it necessary for the company to invest in the most powerful, reliable equipment on the market that still allows the company to operate efficiently at a competitive price point.

“I've been a long-time customer of a competing heavy equipment brand,” said Kresge. “When it came time to trade in my compact excavator, I began to research competitive brands because the trade in value of my excavator for a comparable model didn't command what I felt it was worth.”

Kresge's son-in-law and employee Chris Stang agreed.

“We work our equipment hard, but we don't abuse it, so at the end of the day we anticipate a strong residual value.”

Kresge reached out to JCB's call center and requested that his local dealer contact him. Shortly thereafter, Stacie Prest of Stephenson JCB near Wilkes-Barre, Pa., connected with Kresge, setting up an appointment to review his equipment needs. Prest later demoed and quoted a 67C compact excavator, a model that Kresge liked, but found a bit small for his average job size. Prest went back to the drawing board, demoing and quoting a JCB 86C.

“After about an hour in the machine, the customer called me and said we had nailed it,” said Prest. “He placed the order that day and anxiously awaited the compact excavator's arrival.”

“The machine just knocked my socks off right from the start,” said Kresge. “There's not another machine I've ever operated in this weight class that can out dig my new 86C. It offers an incredible amount of power and its H-frame undercarriage with steel tracks are a necessity in our area, offering better traction on areas rugged terrain.”

JCB engineered the 86C body exclusively with pressed steel and no plastic, so it's strong and easy to repair. The fully welded boom and arm are made of high-tensile-strength steel with internal baffle plates for long life. Its four-plate arm design provides added structural strength for heavy digging operations, while its heavy-duty boom cylinder guard provides excellent protection throughout operation. An angled dozer blade comes standard to speed up trench back-filling.

However, quality and productivity were not the only attributes Kresge liked about the 86C. His son-in-law Chris appreciated the machine for its incredibly spacious cab, which offers plenty of storage, a phone tray, stowage nets and cup holder. A radio, 12V phone charger, powerful heater with window de-mister, fully adjustable suspension seat and a high-performance air conditioning and heating system completed the package.

“We work long hours from hot summer days to frigid winter nights removing snow, so comfort is a big part of the equation when it comes to selecting our equipment,” said Stang.

The 86C has the best stability in its size class due to its large track frame width and low center of gravity. It also offers excellent front visibility courtesy of a 70/30 front screen split. What's more, there's a clear view of the front right track for easy, safe trench digging and maneuvering, a big part of the work Kresge completes as a general contractor.

Kresge took delivery of the 86C on his most recent project, site preparation for a new pole-barn-style clubhouse and outdoor patio area set to open this fall at Jack Frost National Golf Course overlooking the scenic Pocono Mountains in White Haven, Pa. The site preparation process includes digging the foundation then building a retaining wall with excavated rock. Kresge will then prep and compact the 300-ton stone base prior to the start of construction work. He will then dig septic lines and a 200-ft. curtain drain around the building's perimeter to house electrical cables and divert storm water down a hill, across a fairway and into an onsite retention pond.

As the construction and landscape seasons kick off in White Haven, Kresge couldn't be more excited about his new JCB 86Z excavator or his newly forged relationship with Stephenson JCB.

“My customer experience throughout the buying cycle has been exceptional,” said Kresge. “Having a local dealer who believes in and supports the product in the way we've experienced thus far, combined with the power and performance the machine itself delivers gives us confidence we've made the best compact excavator purchase for our business.”

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