Whatever the Color, Cat® Equipment Shines for Brooklyn Excavation & Foundation Company

One of Dino Tomassetti Jr.’s earliest memories of Cat® equipment isn’t yellow—it’s green.

“I think we may have had the first Cat 245 in the city,” says the CEO of the Brooklyn, New York-based Laquila Group, a family business now in its second generation of leadership. “It was painted green because we’re a company with an Italian heritage and all our trucks were green. We called it ‘The Green Monster.’”

More than 30 years later, Tomassetti Jr. still sees plenty of Cat equipment on the job, although now it’s painted yellow. The Laquila Group performs excavation and foundation work for building construction projects throughout New York City’s five boroughs. The company’s been involved in many high-profile projects—One World Trade Center, Barclays Center and Goldman Sachs Global Headquarters, to name a few—and relies on a fleet of Cat excavators, dozers and loaders to get the work done.

“Performance and reliability—those are the driving forces that keep us at the top of our game and ahead of the competition,” Tomassetti Jr. says. “That’s what Cat equipment delivers.”

Cat Excavators go above & beyond

On one of the Laquila Group’s current projects, a multi-family and commercial development site in Flushing, Queens, Cat excavators are busy removing 130,000 cubic yards of dirt and pouring 10,000 cubic yards of concrete. In this tight, urban environment, space for equipment is at a premium, so the company has found a unique way to complete the concrete work.

“We’re using the bucket from our Cat 385 Excavator to dump the concrete into forms,” Tomassetti Jr. says. “Having a machine with this kind of capability allows us to innovate and come up with better ways to do the job.”

It’s not the first time Cat excavators have gone above and beyond the call of duty for the Laquila Group. Tomassetti Jr. recalls another project that required the removal of 400,000 tons of soil in a very short timeframe. The company purchased a Cat 365 Excavator for the job and put the 385 to work on the site as well.

“Using those excavators, we were able to haul out well over 100 trailer loads of soil a day—in fact, our record was 180 loads in a single day,” he says. “We were only able to accomplish that because of good equipment.”

Service & availability set Caterpillar apart

When he needs good equipment fast, Tomassetti Jr. turns to local Cat dealer H.O. Penn.

“They have a good rental fleet,” he says. “Sometimes, we need something quickly, and I can pick up the phone and generally get a machine on the job the next day. A lot of our equipment purchases have actually started out as rentals.”

The Laquila Group has its own staff of mechanics who handle most service and repairs, but the company does call on H.O. Penn for more complicated repair work—and relies on the dealer to get parts quickly.

“What separates Cat from the competition is the service and the availability of parts,” Tomassetti Jr. says. “They’re very easy to get even for some of our older machines. We know the key to keeping our fleet going is to repair issues as they come up.”

The company’s also beginning to take advantage of the technology found on board Cat machines, utilizing service-due reminders and setting up alerts for issues like low oil or fuel pressure in an effort to keep uptime as high as possible.

“Labor is expensive in New York,” Tomassetti Jr. says. “When we have downtime, that’s a challenge. I can see the value in these new technologies.”

On this multi-family and commercial development site in Flushing, Queens, the Laquila Group’s Cat® excavators are busy removing 130,000 cubic yards of dirt and pouring 10,000 cubic yards of concrete.

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