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Sterling Equipment, Expanding Its Influence on Land, at Sea

Thu July 15, 2010 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams


Sterling Equipment’s jack up barge.
Sterling Equipment’s jack up barge.
Sterling Equipment’s jack up barge. The Quincy yard has ample pier space, water depths to 30 feet, 300-ton (272 t) crane service and easy access to metropolitan Boston. The Quincy yard’s full-service mechanic shop. Sterling Equipment’s team hard at work drilling holes in Boston Harbor. Sterling Equipment rescues Chatham Coast Guard building from demolition. The building is now part of Sterling’s yard in Quincy.

It began with just four barges at a hub dock and is now a fleet. Its very name reflects its reputation.

It is helping with the worst manmade disaster in this nation’s history, expanding services into the Caribbean and South America and there may be no limit to its efforts on the seas, regionally or internationally.

Sterling Equipment of Quincy, Mass., began simply in East Boston as a marine equipment rental and construction company.

Founded by Jay Cashman in 1995, it fills and transports heavy iron jobs on land and sea as a division of Jay Cashman Inc., which has always been a regional leader in the marine construction industry.

Originally, marine and other construction equipment was purchased and deployed for company use only. But the leaders of Sterling realized that there was a lucrative business in the rental of heavy marine equipment.

“At the start, we had four barges available for rent, and a business plan to purchase pieces of equipment at the rate of 10 per year — growing the fleet to what it is now, more than 100 pieces of equipment,” said Sterling President Robert DeCrescenzo, known throughout the company, and region, as “Bobby D.”

Cleaning up the Gulf

At this writing, Sterling is in the process of mobilizing equipment and manpower to assist in the cleanup of the catastrophic, ongoing BP oil spill in the Gulf.

“We are providing barges outfitted with concrete pumps, which are enhanced by specialized Dobe pump equipment,” said DeCrescenzo. “The equipment will reach out over 100-foot areas, and suck up the oil floating on the surface.

“The oil and contaminated water will then be transferred to a tanker barge for treatment or disposal,” he added.

Other current projects, according to DeCrescenzo, include “leasing two of our largest dump scows to Camargo Correa, a multi-million dollar company in Brazil. These dump scows can hold more than 4,000 cubic yards of material. The project is expected to last for a year.”

“And, our equipment and some employees are assisting the company in the deepening of the Port of Sao Luis. We look forward to embarking on future projects internationally, in Brazil and elsewhere,” he added.

’Masters of the Extraordinary’

There is no end to the type of projects that Sterling has tackled.

“We did a project that involved the heavy lift (mobilization) of huge gas generators (turbines) — 250 tons each — that were delivered by rail to the Charlestown (Mass.) navy dock where they were picked (by crane) by Sterling Equipment and moved to Raytheon,” said DeCrescenzo.

“We moved the old Coast Guard base — from land to a barge — and transported the building itself here to our yard in Quincy,” he added. “We off-loaded and transported the jacking system for the dismantling of the Goliath crane that was located here in the old Naval Shipyard,” said DeCrescenzo.

“We assisted Horizon with plowing and support of a pipeline job — providing service at both ends with tie-ins, Beverly to Weymouth, Massachusetts, quite a haul,” he added.

Having played a key role in many of the area’s other most prominent large-scale, in-water and water’s edge construction projects, including Boston’s Deer Island Treatment Facility and the Central Artery Tunnel, Sterling’s team stands out as “masters of the extraordinary.”

For pile driving, waterfront property rehabilitation, shoreline facilities, bulkhead and pier projects, soil stabilization jobs, beach and shoreline work and much more, Sterling can tow the line.

In addition to the facility in Quincy, at the old Naval Shipyard, Sterling also has a full service/rental repair yard located in Staten Island, N.Y.

Different Kind of fleet

Sterling provides unique equipment for specialty jobs and diverse projects throughout New England and the rest of the U.S.

“We have specialized in marine equipment for over 20 years. Continuing with our tradition of excellence, we fill the changing needs of our customers by updating and expanding our heavy civil and marine rental divisions. We provide cranes, excavators and buckets through our Heavy Division and barges, dredges, scows and tugs from our Marine Division,” added DeCrescenzo. “Not only is our equipment in top-notch condition, but it is provided at reasonable rates and from various locations up and down the Eastern Seaboard.”

Sterling’s Marine Division boasts barges from 90 to 300 ft. (27.4 to 91.4 m), both inland classed and ABS classed, tugs from 250 to 2,200 hp (186 to 1,640 kW) and scows from 1,500 to 4,000 yds. (1,371 to 3,658 m). Its Heavy Division includes cranes and heavy lifts from 65 to 350 ton (59 to 318 t) and a full line of excavators.

The Quincy yard has ample pier space, water depths to 30 ft. (9 m), 300 ton (272 t) crane service and easy access to metropolitan Boston. It is also home to a full service mechanic shop — staffed by highly qualified mechanics to meet all heavy equipment needs and repairs.

The East Boston location has a head wall 250 ft. (76.2 m) long, water to accommodate barges and most tugs, 300-ton crane service and easy access to metropolitan Boston.

The Staten Island location also has a head wall 250 ft. long, water to accommodate barges and most tugs, 300-ton crane service and provides easy access to all New York areas, and the Hudson River and New Jersey ports.

The yards are manned by mechanics, welders, fitters and operators and managed by marine personnel. The company is capable of assembling equipment of all sizes, and walking onto barges at all of its facilities.

Sterling rents fork trucks and cranes in its yards on land and on the sea and offers man lifts, welding services, Bobcats loaders and trucking.

Filling a Niche

DeCrescenzo recognizes that Sterling’s speciality is unique, but sees the potential for growth as ongoing. “Yes, the marine equipment/construction industry is a special niche, requiring expertise and experience. But, as the world looks to its oceans for more resources, our business must expand to meet the needs of the demand.”

Currently, Sterling employs approximately 15 people on staff for the rental division and daily operations. However, that number can increase significantly depending upon ongoing projects, domestically, as well as internationally.

Water Offers Unique Challenges

DeCrescenzo has been with the company since its inception, and is one of the primary reasons for its growth and success. General manager Mark Quinn joined Sterling in 1999 and has provided leadership for more than 10 years.

Along the way, Sterling purchased Coen Marine Co. in New York, incorporating them into the existing business.

“Our company’s success has been established through a team effort,” said DeCrescenzo. “All employees work to the best of their ability to provide excellent service to the customer and to promote Sterling on all levels.”

Precision and attention to detail are common threads in every Sterling Equipment job, but when the focus is on marine construction, the power and unpredictable nature of the sea also dictates an experienced, specialized approach. Winds, tides and the corrosiveness of salt water, all have an impact on construction specifications so specialized equipment and experienced personnel are a must.

The equipment fleet is owned and operated by Sterling. This fleet includes the largest inventory of marine support equipment on the east coast, with each piece carefully maintained and with the constant updating and expansion of the fleet, the equipment is among the most technologically advanced available.

“Our mission and philosophy at Sterling Equipment is simple,” said DeCrescenzo. “We strive to provide the best equipment and the best possible service on every project for every company.”

For more information, call 1-888-MRBARGE or visit www.sterlingequipment.com. CEG