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Oldest Maryland Contractor Breaks Ground With JCB

Wed January 19, 2000 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Angelozzi Bros. Inc, one of the area’s oldest and most respected contractors, last year became the first Maryland business to take delivery of a JCB tracked excavator — a move it has not regretted. That’s not to say, however, that they did it without reservations.

Frank and Nick Angelozzi summed up their previous experience with JCB in one word: “None.”

“JCB to me was just a little ’scratcher’ company,” Frank said, referring to the backhoe loader operation that JCB has developed into one of the world’s largest. JCB excavators, on the other hand, were virtually unheard of.

So why would Angelozzi Bros., which has thrived for 87 years by making shrewd, sure-handed business decisions, take something of a risk with a relative newcomer?

In the company’s long history, it has never stopped searching for better ways to do business. Grandfather Frank Angelozzi started his own general contracting operation in 1913. Four decades later, Nicholas Angelozzi & Sons spun off from the original company. Then ’sons’ Frank and Nick, who say they were fortunate to be born into a family business that they enjoy, moved the establishment from Baltimore to its current Owings Mills home in 1973. Primarily involved in utility contracting, Angelozzi Bros. now has more than 40 employees and nearly as many machines in its fleet.

Nick Angelozzi recalled how the business used to be. “In the old days you didn’t have an office,” he said. “Your office was the work site. Today you’ve got to have a base to deal with all of the bureaucracy.”

Equipment has changed, too. Frank Angelozzi reminisced about 1961 when he first ran a hydraulic backhoe and said goodbye to cable forever. “I thought I had died and went to heaven,” he said. “I was digging in hard clay, and went from 45 feet a day to 150 feet a day. But still there were other contractors who laughed at the idea, and I had to beg my father, ’Please buy this machine.’”

Perhaps some of that pioneering spirit drove Frank Angelozzi toward the JCB excavator. More likely, it was the persistence of local JCB dealer L.B. Smith Inc.

“We knew who L.B. Smith was — one of the largest equipment dealers in the U.S. and we knew they would stand behind their product,” he said.

L.B. Smith Salesman Jerry Tucker got a JS330L in Angelozzi’s hands early in 1999, shortly after JCB had introduced its range of tracked excavators to the North American market. The dealer promised competitive pricing, and from there the excavator sold itself.

“We were real satisfied with the way the machine ran,” Angelozzi said. “First of all, my operator says it is the best visibility he’s ever had in his life. Plus the JCB is comfortable to run, has fast cycle times, and gives you good power for its size. The machine has proven itself.”

TheJCB’s JS330L (the ’L’ signifies long undercarriage) has a 163-kilowatt (219 hp) Isuzu engine and an operating weight of 32,255 kilograms (71,111 lbs.). A boom priority hydraulic system can increase operating speed for faster cycle times, while reduced down speed allows greater control. Plus, an in-system pressure booster provides a 10 percent increase for improved bucket and dipper tearout forces.

Even with the excavator’s proven productivity and durability, L.B. Smith has remained in close contact.

“Everything they said they’d do, they’ve done,” Angelozzi said. “They’ve given us excellent back-up and real confidence in the machine. We’ve gone over 1,000 hours and it has not been down a day.”

The whole relationship has left a lasting impression on Angelozzi Bros. “If you’re asking me would I buy another JCB,” Angelozzi said, “the answer is yes.”

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