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Volvo Pulls W.D. Excavation Through Rocky Job Sites

Thu May 06, 2004 - Northeast Edition

William Dubray won’t find himself or his company caught between a rock and a hard place as long he has his Volvo excavators.

Dubray founded W.D. Excavation and Contracting Inc. with his father, William, in 1978. The Croton-on-Hudson, NY-based firm does mostly residential excavation.

W.D. Excavation and Contracting is currently working in Peekskill on a 200 unit residential housing project. In all, 110,000 yds. (100,584 m) of dirt will be excavated from a extremely rocky job site. As a result, all excavated rock will be crushed and recycled on site, and that material will be used in other phases of construction.

The job started in September 2003 and is scheduled for completion in the spring 2005. A local firm, Rock Poppers, is handling the drilling and blasting, but W.D. Excavation is responsible for all of the on-site excavation, roadwork, infrastructure, and sewer and water, which will involve 3,000 ft. (914 m) of water main, 4,500 ft. (1,372 m) of sewer, 4,000 ft. (1,219 m) of drainage, and 5,000 ft. (1,524 m) of roadway.

“The biggest challenge we’ve had on this site is the severe slope to the terrain and the very rocky conditions,” said Dubray. “To complete on time, we knew that we would have to work through the winter, and wouldn’t you know it, we’ve had one of the most severe winters in recent history. At times we’ve had to deal with as much as 42 inches of frost. We’ve kept blasting, brought in lots of hammers, and we’ve stayed on schedule.”

Staying on schedule and hard work is the hallmark of the W.D.’s success, according to Dubray. “We put a lot of pride in our work, and most of our jobs come from word of mouth. This project is being done by Ginsberg Development. They used us for Chapel Hill Estates, which was about 160 townhouses; they were pleased enough with our work that they hired us here in Peekskill.”

Another element to W.D.’s success is its long-standing relationship with John Apple and George Risley, both of Westchester Tractor, based in Goldens Bridge, NY.

“They [Westchester Tractor] have always provided us with a tremendous and reliable product whose quality we can rely on,” began Dubray. “I would call John Apple a good friend of mine and we always give them the first look when it comes time to purchase iron. We’ve been very impressed with the Volvo excavators that we have purchased over the past few years. They are priced right, they offer tremendous operator comfort … the creature comforts inside the cab are tremendous and overall the machines are very reliable. On top of that, Westchester Tractor has always given us superb service.”

Dubray’s son, Adam, who has been operating excavators since he was five years old, likes working in and under the hood of the Volvo EC290BLC.

“I do a lot of the maintenance on our machines and the Volvos are very accessible. I don’t have to work my way around a lot of other items just to change a filter. The Volvo is the smoothest operating machine I have ever experienced. It’s not stick-heavy,” said Adam, who added that the company first began purchasing Samsung excavators from Westchester Tractor back in 1995. Then, when Volvo purchased Samsung, W.D. converted its entire fleet to Volvos.

Robert Dubray, vice president of W.D. Excavation and Contracting Inc., oversees utility installations and is most impressed with the comfort level in Volvo cabs.

“We spoke to their engineers a few years ago at ConExpo and told them that we were very happy with the machines, but felt that the cabs were too cramped. Apparently, they were listening because with today’s models, I have never sat in a more comfortable cab.”

W.D. also has purchased several New Holland loaders from Westchester Tractor. “We liked the first one enough that we purchased a second one. New Holland has always been a good name for us. The first machines we ever purchased from Westchester Tractor were New Holland loader backhoes.”

W.D. Excavation and Contracting Inc. has approximately $3 million of construction equipment, and its inventory includes two New Holland 675E loader backhoes, two New Holland LW190B wheel loaders, one Samsung SE210LC excavator, one Volvo EC140LC excavator, one Volvo EC240BLC excavator, one Volvo EC290BLC excavator, one Volvo EC160BLC excavator and one Volvo EC55 excavator.