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J.A.L. Excavating Goes Green With Help From Pine Bush

A Komatsu excavator is ready to work in a wetlands area – after one major adjustment.

Tue March 26, 2013 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

“Go Green” is a familiar mantra these days, both in the construction industry and in everyday life. Some companies are putting off the costly switch as long as possible. Others, like J.A.L. Excavating, are embracing the new technology.

J.A.L.’s fleet, which consists of Komatsu equipment, recently expanded with the addition of a Komatsu PC138US/LC, the newest generation of Komatsu excavators that is Tier IV compliant.

Key to the decision to purchase the PC138US/LC is the amount of work J.A.L. is doing in environmentally sensitive areas, and the mandates by New York State that work be done with Tier IV compliant machines.

When working in wetlands, if a machine spills any amount of hydraulic fluid or oil in the site the contractor must pay to have it professionally cleaned up. The fluids that move through the hydraulic system of J.A.L.’s new Komatsu contain no petroleum products whatsoever; it consists entirely of biodegradable oils (vegetable oil).

To accomplish this, J.A.L.’s supplier, Pine Bush Equipment, had to drain all of the hydraulic fluids in the machine, clean the lines to ensure that no residues were left, and replace the petroleum-based fluids with the biodegradable oils. This process is not currently offered by the Komatsu factory, but it is widely thought that over time the demand for this process will be large enough that it will eventually be offered.

Years in the Making

J.A.L. Excavating Inc. is a New York State Women Business Enterprise (WBE), owned by Marianne DeVenuto, who runs the company with the assistance of her husband, Mike, and their two sons, Joseph and Andrew. Marianne and Mike both came from third-generation construction companies and their respective grandfathers, in their day, worked with each other long ago.

J.A.L. was founded in 1985 to work with the homeowners and developers working on site work projects, foundation work and installing septic systems. Today J.A.L’s primary customers are Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc. and Con Edison; a subsidiary of J.A.L. Excavating focuses on residential paving.

J.A.L’s original purchases were Case machines that it purchased at Pine Bush Equipment from representative Ken Boniface. At that time, Pine Bush Equipment was a Case distributor; it has since become a Komatsu and Kubota distributor.

“Our first deal with Pine Bush Equipment was signed in our kitchen. A lot has changed since then. Our business has grown enough that deals are no longer signed at the kitchen table,” said Marianne DeVenuto.

“We have a 28 year relationship with Pine Bush Equipment and good working relationships are important to us. The attention to our business that has been given to us by the Boniface family has been extraordinary. It started with Karie Boniface’s father, Ken, and was followed by Karie, who really understands our needs and the best construction equipment options to fill our needs. As a woman in the construction industry it is not every day that I have the opportunity to work with another woman.

“It’s not just Ken and Karie; the entire Boniface family creates an atmosphere that suits our needs. Karie’s cousin, Mark Hufcut, is a tremendous asset to the company. Whenever we are trying to troubleshoot a machine problem Mark takes our needs seriously and works closely with us until the issue is resolved.”

About the PC138

The new series Komatsu PC138 is a 32,000-lb. (14,515 kg) excavator and it is the first Tier IV compliant excavator that Komatsu has produced in that size category. The excavator was specifically equipped with rubber pads and a back blade, which best suits the type of utility work digging that J.A.L. is engaged in. The excavator also is equipped with a third valve for the addition of future attachments.

“I am very impressed with the warranty that comes with my Komatsu machine; a two-year, 2,000-hour warranty that includes all of the service on our machine, right down to the filters,” said DeVenuto.

“This will be our first experience with Komatsu’s Komtrax system. This satellite system has some amazing features. It allows us to track the fuel consumption of our various operators, monitoring things like the amount of idle time. It allows all of our machines to have security passwords to protect them against theft and if the machine is stolen it allows us to immediately locate the machine using GPS technology and, if necessary, shut the machine down. Use of the machine is closely monitored and service alerts are sent to us and Pine Bush Equipment whenever service is necessary.”

For more information on J.A.L. Excavating, visit

For more information on Pine Bush Equipment, visit

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