Rubber-Tracked Paver Proves Invaluable to Upstate NY Firm

Fri July 16, 2004 - Northeast Edition

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” has a ring of truth to it in the case of John Matuszak and the founding of his business, Matuszak Blacktopping located in Arcade, NY.

More than twenty-two years ago, a friend of Matuszak’s sold his home and was clearing out some “old junk” from his yard and sold Matuszak a very old pull box paver. In his spare time, Matuszak completely rebuilt the paver and started doing some small paving jobs on nights and weekends. After one year, he had enough success to start a full time paving business.

Matuszak purchased his first LeeBoy paver in the late 1990s from Monroe Tractor located in Buffalo, NY, and has been buying his LeeBoys from them ever since. Most recently, Matuszak purchased a LeeBoy 8515 rubber-tracked paver with help from John Dancy, his representative at Monroe Tractor. This is LeeBoy’s first rubber-tracked paver manufactured in addition to being the first delivered in upstate New York.

“John really understands the LeeBoy product and he knows paving,” Matuszak said. “And just as important, he is very easy to get along with.”

After using the LeeBoy 8515, Matuszak said he is impressed with its “silent package,” that allows the LeeBoy to operate very quietly during paving operations. With the silent pack, Matuszak is able to use a radio for constant communication with his employees.

Matuszak also said that he likes the rubber-tracked system on the 8515. It gives him much better traction while paving. In addition, it acts as a shock absorber giving the paver a much better ride, particularly when loading and unloading the paver or transporting it across open ground.

The new LeeBoy 8515 also features a rounder hopper, which he believes makes cleanup of the machine a lot easier and produces less waste because asphalt does not get hung up in the corners of the hopper.

The unit’s hydraulic extendable screed also allows Matuszak to extend or retract the screed from the operator’s position. This is particularly convenient when making turns.

In addition, the paver operates with a steering wheel instead of control sticks, which Matuszak said makes for a very smooth, effortless operation. There is no jumping so that the paver operates like a car, not a dozer.

In addition to the LeeBoy’s features, a good relationship with the manufacturer’s representative is another reason he relies on them.

“We also have had an excellent relationship with Scott Goff, the factory representative with LeeBoy. He is very accessible to us and understands that the customers are the people that are using the product out in the field day in and day out,” Matuszak said.

It is Matuszak’s practice with equipment that he uses with any regularity to trade it every two or three years. He believes that by doing this, he eliminates most possibilities of any major failures. Matuszak also believes that within this time frame the machine still has approximately 50 percent of its value.

“Their resale value holds better than any other small- or mid-sized paver on the market. LeeBoy controls more than 50 percent of the market share and that really helps with the resale value.”

Keeping a new fleet is very important to Matuszak, which goes back to a lesson he learned 15 years ago before purchasing LeeBoys. He was using an old paver that suffered a major breakdown while in the middle of a significant job.

“We had five truckloads of asphalt that had been purchased and was on site. We couldn’t get the paver up and running. We had to ’eat’ the five truckloads, which cost me about $5,000 in wasted material. Ever since then, we keep a young fleet.”

In addition to the LeeBoy 8515 paver, Matuszak’s fleet inventory includes a LeeBoy grader; a Hamm roller; a Bomag roller; a Dynapac 10-ton roller; a dozer; and a highlift, much of which was purchased from Monroe Tractor.

The reason Matuszak stays with Monroe Tractor is, “Monroe Tractor gives me excellent service. If we give them a call, we are confident that they are on their way and have the parts in inventory to get us back up and running. If they don’t have the parts, they have them the next day,” he explained.

Matuszak Blacktopping has grown substantially over the years and now does paving work in a 50-mi. radius of Arcade, NY, an area that includes parts or all of Cattaraugus, Wyoming, Erie, Livingston and Genesee counties. Its paving season in western New York runs from about April 1 to Nov. 1, and in winter, the company is busy with maintenance and some snowplowing

The paving company that started out with an old, rebuilt paver now includes a fleet of equipment, several employees, which includes Matuszak’s sons, Billy and Brian, and a very busy paving season.