The entire machine and 70-ft. stick configuration came in from the U.K. fully assembled, ready for final modifications.
Florida Pond Cleaning (FPC), a division of Brownie's Septic and Plumbing of Orlando, Fla., recently took delivery of a special order JCB JS370 hydraulic excavator with JCB factory built 70-foot-long stick. The machine/long stick combination is the first of its kind in North America to make its way from the United Kingdom.
It was a big day for a big delivery and theoffice staff came out to get their photo with the machine.
Marc Barhonovich, president of Brownie's/Florida Pond Cleaning, said that it was actually Mike Menzone, supervisor/equipment operator of the pond division, that actually steered the company toward this machine purchase. Menzone had developed a relationship with the local JCB dealer and a group from FPC traveled to Savannah, Ga., and took a tour of the manufacturing plant and the North American headquarters of JCB and discussed their need for extreme reach capabilities in an excavator.
The next step of the process had Menzone traveling with Sam Wagstaff of JCB North America, and Kristian Mahrt and Chris Cantiello, of MacKinnon JCB, to Manchester, England to the JCB factory and then on to actually demonstrate two 70-foot-long stick machines just like the one purchased. Menzone said he was happy with the total performance, safety aspects, smooth operation and the speed. After which the group went to the factory where this machine was actually built and took in a lot of information.
"We met with product specialists and operated both a one-year old machine and 4-year old machine in the same configuration. The older machine operated just as well as the new machine. It swung just as well as the new machine, had the same operational speed, and I knew from there, this long stick JS370 was going to have longevity and virtually sealed the deal for me," said Menzone.
The JCB JS370 hydraulic excavator
Menzone brought the experience and information from the U.K. back to ownership and all agreed that it was the machine to purchase. Being the first with a 70-foot boom purchased in North America, company CEO Reggie Berthiaume said, "there's always a concern being the first to buy. We continue to try to make a mark in this industry and to separate ourselves from the competitors, we see this as giving us a one-up on the competition and to help us to do better work and be better prepared for some of the job tasks we encounter."
Barhonovich agreed and said, "I think it comes right down to the fact that we believe in JCB. So even though this one is the first of its kind in North America, we're confident that JCB and our JCB dealer will stand behind their machine."
The machine, which had been special ordered with the 70-foot-long stick from the factory in the U.K., came fully assembled to the Port of Savannah, Ga. It was then delivered to MacKinnon JCB in Orlando, where a Groeneveld twin auto lube system, as well as a Geith hydraulic quick coupler, were installed. The machine was delivered complete with three various Geith bucket sizes and a Steelwrist grapple, all of which were ordered from the dealer to make the machine as versatile as possible.
Brownie's/FPC is very familiar with JCB products as the company already owns a JCB Teleskid and JZ141 excavator. For long reach capabilities, the company had traditionally rented machines with 60-foot sticks and this purchase means it went to a larger stick size and from being a renter to a buyer.
A big part of the purchase stemmed from the fact that the FPC crews always seemed to be about 10 ft. short of excavator stick when digging canals.
The first bucket of material being moved on the yard at Brownie's in Orlaando.
"This machine will alleviate this issue and will reduce the excessive ‘picks' on pond digging," Menzone said. "With other machines I would actually have to build a pad or platform to get just a bit more reach. With this machine I'll already have the reach needed and will pay off in production."
The main use of this machine is clearing and removing sediment and vegetation from ponds and canals, debris removal, hurricane clean up and shoring up banks. Having a longer reach machine means less impact of the area of operation.
"For a machine of this size and complexity, we will rely completely on the dealership for maintenance," Barhonovich said.
"There are lots of canals where there is only access on one side and the other side might have zero easement because of placed rip-rap or trees," Menzone said. "This machine will prove invaluable for working in this scenario more efficiently."
Ownership said that they already have contracts with Orange County, the city of Orlando and other commercial accounts which will benefit from this machine. FPC will be able to clean waterways much more efficiently and quicker than before and as with any contract work, "time is money."
(L-R) are Brownie's owners Reggie Berthiaume and Marc Barhonovich; Kristian Mahrt, MacKinnon JCB, Orlando, Fla.; Randy Tinley and Sam Wagstaff, JCB North America, Savannah, Ga.
"The whole experience from start to finish was great" said Menzone. "The guys from JCB and MacKinnon JCB are lifetime friends and family now."
Brownie's branched out and developed the pond division more than 3 years ago. This stemmed from research and identifying a need for being more environmentally friendly towards upkeep and vegetation removal from waterways and retention ponds.
"Other companies spray for weeds and call it cleaning the ponds," Barhonovich said. "We actually cut and remove weeds and growth from ponds and canals, as well as removal of the sediment for transforming back to their original form, shape, design and purpose. We're chemical free, we clean ponds not just spray and kill weeds. Spraying and killing weeds eventually leaves layer upon layer of sediment in the bottom of a pond or retention area, not to mention chemicals in the water for fish and wildlife.
"Making it completely organic. A philosophy we've had since starting our business." CEG