(L-R) are: Erik Gutt, Ransome CAT; Nick Bucciarelli, Joseph Bucciarelli Sr. and Joseph Bucciarelli Jr., all of Edison Quarry; and Marty Lindmeier, Ransome CAT.
Edison Quarry Inc. is a company steeped in the traditions of dedication to hard work and family.
“My granddad [Camillo Bucciarelli] started our quarry in 1929,” said current owner Joseph Bucciarelli Jr. “My dad [Joseph Bucciarelli Sr.] came to the little town of Edison when he was 4 years old. My granddad originally came from Italy and worked in the coal mines, and then my grandmother got him out of there and they moved to West Philadelphia. Then by word of mouth, someone told him about this little hole in the ground up here in Doylestown Township, and he came up to Doylestown on an old trolley car in 1929. That was the height of the depression, when the stock market crashed and the banks folded and my granddad came up and bought this little plot of land and started this business. It’s pretty remarkable when you stop to think about it.”
Bucciarelli noted that Camillo started on a small scale, doing many things by hand.
“The neighbors called him a rock sculptor, because he broke stuff with a sledge hammer,” he said. “He sold building stone to build homes and traded rocks to farmers and would come home with food and a side of beef. Like my dad said, growing up they never had any money, but they always ate well.”
Joseph Sr. grew up into the business and formed a partnership with his brother James after World War II, starting the quarry production of crushed stone. When James passed away in 1970 at the age of 49, Joseph Jr. had just graduated from high school, and went in to work for his father.
“I’m the third generation, and I’ve been active since 1970,” he said. “I took over the day-to-day operations in the early 90s, and my dad has retired. My son [Nick] came on board here two years ago — he’s the fourth generation. He’s a business major from Penn State, so he’s with us now. He did an internship with Johnson & Johnson, and he drove an hour to work every day and was working in a cubicle, and I think he realized that he didn’t want to just be a number.”
Bucciarelli noted that Edison Quarry is a small company compared to others in the industry.
“Most quarries produce a lot of tonnage of stone, and we’re more like the corner grocery store,” he explained. “We have a great location, and we’re set up more for quality product and convenience — fast service.”
In addition, the quarry acquired a clean fill permit about five years ago, helping them to weather the downsides of the economy, the most recent of which started in 2007.
“Basically, everything prior to that was all crushed stone sales for new construction — new housing,” Bucciarelli said. “When that market turned, we were able to keep things rolling with the clean fill business. The clean fill business was geared toward the infrastructure — when they would rip a building down, we would get concrete and block, broken asphalt, fill dirt…all sorts of things that come under the clean fill parameters. So what we’re doing right now is anything that we can recrush and put back on the market we do, and then fill dirt and things like that. We’re starting to fill in the actual quarry, which is part of reclamation — it won’t be used anymore.”
Bucciarelli noted that he has been a customer of Ransome CAT since the late 70s or early 80s when he bought a used machine from them. He also bought a certified rebuilt Cat from them in the early 90s, and their first brand new Cat 980G in 2003.
“In [November 2013], we bought this brand new 2013 972K, and this helps supplement our business,” Bucciarelli said. “You can’t beat the new machine in what it offers you in warranty and stability and just all-around…it was 10 years since we bought the last one and it was time. In our business, the loader is used for a lot of things — we load customer’s trucks, we prime our crushing plant with the material that has to be crushed, and then in the clean fill business, you have material coming in and out all of the time, and the loader is the kingpin — it’s processing everything. Everything that comes in and goes out, the loader handles.”
Marty Lindmeier, Ransome’s heavy equipment sales representative, explained that the Cat 972K wheel loader has an operating weight of 57,770 lbs. (26,204 kg), and is equipped with a performance bucket with 6 cu. yd. (4.6 cu m) capacity.
“It is fuel efficient, and the operator environment provides exceptional visibility, comfort, and productivity, resulting in a more efficient operator,” he said. “Load sensing hydraulics produce flow and pressure on demand for implement system-enhancing productivity and fuel efficiency.”
The sale came about through the changing needs of Edison Quarry, as far as amount of tonnage and taking in clean fill as they start to fill the quarry back in and start the reclamation process.
“They were also asking if their equipment fleet servicing the quarry should change as their business changed,” Lindmeier said. “We worked together to find a solution that would serve them going into the future.”
Bucciarelli has been very pleased with the purchase.
“There are a lot of different makes out there and a lot of products, but I’ve always been very, very happy with the Cat products and what they offer and how they work for me,” he said. “Ransome always stands behind its product, and they treat me really well, even though I’m just the small guy on the block. There’s a personal touch. You know the service people by name, and when the mechanics come out, you get to know them, and you feel as though you’re not just a number — you’re like part of the family. They also back up their product with parts.”
Ransome CAT also is a family-owned and operated business, now in its fourth generation. Wayne Bromley is the chairman, and his daughter Kristin Bromley Fitzgerald serves as president.
Headquartered in Bensalem, Pa., Ransome CAT was founded as Giles and Ransome Inc. in 1916 by Arthur Giles and Percy Ransome. It became a Caterpillar dealer in 1931, and currently has approximately 450 to 600 employees at any given time. Its territory covers southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.
“Ransome has been doing business with Edison Quarry and the Bucciarelli family for 40 years,” Lindmeier said. “Ransome has been working with Edison Quarry to meet their equipment needs to help make their business more profitable. We provides quality Caterpillar equipment to meet or exceed the job demands and provide unmatched service capabilities and a parts system second to none. Ransome and Caterpillar minimize downtime for the owners of Edison Quarry and provide the lowest operating cost per hour of any manufacturer of construction equipment.”
Lindmeier has been with Ransome for 28 years, working in several different facets of the organization. He started in service management, then worked in the parts department, all of their branches of the construction division, and product support sales, and currently serves as heavy construction sales representative for major accounts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Bucciarelli noted that he has no plans for other purchases in the near future. He traded in a few older pieces when he bought the new loader, working towards downsizing, but improving at the same time. He plans to continue to dedicate his time to Edison Quarry.
“I don’t think you ever retire from this business,” he explained. “My dad’s 88 years old, and he still pops in and out once in awhile, and there’s just a lot of heritage. It’s just not something that you ever really walk away from. I mean I’m very happy that I have my son on board, and that alleviates a lot of my day in and day out responsibility of being there all the time, but you still have the responsibility of the end result. With reclamation, you just don’t walk away from a piece of property like that. You have to make sure it’s done with the state laws and local laws.”
As for the future of the company, Bucciarelli wants to continue with the clean fill area of the business, and also continue his grandfather’s legacy.
“It’s going to take a considerable amount of time to fill it in,” he explained. “There’s no real time limit you can put on that. My long term vision would probably be to turn the place into a park — put it back in my granddad’s name and call it the Camillo Bucciarelli Township Park or something of that sort.”