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Quality Grows From Single ’Tonka’ to Fleet of New Hollands

Mon June 13, 2005 - Northeast Edition
Kate Zanoni

When William Hammersmith founded his business, Quality Construction, his friends mocked his small excavator by referring to it as a “Tonka.”

Twenty-one years ago, before his son, Tony, and his wife, Lisa, joined the firm, Hammersmith started out humbly with just one employee — himself. Then, he focused on local utility work.

Those days are gone. In early May, Hammersmith finished a 220- by 80- by 22 ft. (67.1 by 24.4 by 6.71 m) pond with the help of a fleet of New Holland construction equipment, which he purchased from Capital Tractor in Greenwich, NY.

Hammersmith said that his New Holland EH130 33,000-lb. (14,968.5 kg) excavator is a considerable improvement over the excavators he and his family previously owned, especially since its operation is “astoundingly simple.”

“My son Tony got only about 10 hours of seat time and had all operations of the machine down pat,” said Hammersmith.

Furthermore, Hammersmith said that the excavator makes the most money for his company in comparison with all his other equipment.

The Hammersmiths operate the excavator between 600 and 700 hours each year and have attached a hydraulic thumb to use in landclearing jobs as they feed their Vermeer chipper.

Initially, Hammersmith was skeptical of the excavator’s stability because it is a zero tail-swing machine, but quickly realized that it operates very smoothly and has an extraordinarily strong power source.

“Within no time, I realized I would never go back to a conventional machine; I never have to look back to see what’s behind me, and this feature has really minimized wear and tear on the machine,” he said.

The New Holland LB75B backhoe is one of the more versatile tools in the Quality Construction fleet. Since the Hammersmiths have their own gravel bank and screening plant for production needs and consequently have limited amount of production, the flexibility of the New Holland backhoe is difficult to surpass.

According to Hammersmith, this backhoe has pilot controls that are easy to manage. He added that its easy-to-use controls make it possible for any one of the three Quality Construction employees to operate any machine in the fleet.

For instance, the Hammersmiths are able to use the New Holland backhoe exclusively for septic jobs because it takes care of any construction needs for that particular site.

Another staple in the Hammersmith’s fleet is the New Holland DC100 dozer, which has been in Quality Construction’s collection of equipment for approximately four years.

One of the first qualities that attracted the Hammersmiths to do business with Capital Tractor was the ease with which Jamey Gibson, Capital Tractor’s president, was able to compile financing packages through New Holland Credit.

Lisa Hammersmith appreciates New Holland iron, too, particularly the dozer because of its stability and speed.

“With 100 hp, it is very quick,” she said.

In contrast, the Hammersmiths selected the New Holland LW90 1.75 yd. (1.6 m) wheel loader because its small size made transporting the machine easier. Since it is extremely flexible and can be loaded easily onto the back of a small lowboy, this wheel loader has been invaluable for Quality Construction.

When the Hammersmiths originally purchased equipment, they endured the difficult task of shopping around for every piece. However, the service they received from Jamey Gibson and Capital Tractor eliminated that step.

Capital Tractor’s service and financing options led the Hammersmiths to choose Capital Tractor as their choice dealer.

In particular, the Hammersmiths commend Capital Tractor’s “exceptional service and quick delivery,” and particularly the work of John Mattison, service department manager of Capital.

“He [Mattison] has been awesome to deal with,” Hammersmith said. “He is able to answer any questions we have, and he is the person who makes sure all our machine servicing is convenient, efficient and quick. Parts never seem to be a problem and are nearly always delivered to the job site the same day they are ordered … He is a major asset to Capital Tractor.”

He added that he had recently purchased an old Fiat 1998 FD 175 dozer and Capital Tractor was able to quickly find the parts for that machine.

With the help of Capital Tractor and New Holland, the Hammersmiths have been able to transform Quality Construction’s equipment from an old rusty “Tonka” into a fleet of suitable construction vehicles.

About Quality Construction

Today, Hammersmith continues to run Quality Construction with his wife and son. Together, the company primarily works on residential construction in Rennselaer County, NY, which is 40 miles east of Albany.

Hammersmith and his family are the sole operators and only employees of the company. Although Quality Construction occasionally works in subdivisions, the family tends to shy away from commercial work as a rule.

Last summer, the trio finished an eight-lot subdivision, but their favorite type of work is pond construction. In addition, Quality Construction installs approximately 30 residential septic systems each year. CEG Staff

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