The Adamo Group started in 1964 when John T. Adamo Sr. tore down a dilapidated house in Detroit, Michigan with a Cat® 977 track loader. He grew his business from one man, one truck, and one Cat machine working in one city to 100 employees and 90 Cat machines doing large-scale demolition projects across the United States and Canada—all to make way for progress.
“My dad set a high bar for integrity, safety, and hard work,” says Richard Adamo, John’s son and current company owner.
Some of the high-profile demolition projects Adamo and his crew have taken on over the years include the former American Axle Detroit manufacturing complex, the former AEP Muskingum River Power Plant, and the 15-story Lafayette Building located in the heart of Downtown Detroit—structures that had served their useful purpose.
One project Adamo Group is currently working on involves the removal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) as well as asbestos containing materials (ACM).
“The majority of our projects include the proper handling and disposal of regulated and hazardous materials such as PCBs and ACMs,” says Richard. “The laws and regulations concerning the handling of these materials are continually changing and vary by state, which means we need to constantly reevaluate and readdress our remediation processes.”
The goal of each demolition job is to recycle as much material as possible. In a given year, Adamo Group reclaims more than 250,000 tons of steel, concrete, wood, and other recyclable materials.
Why Cat Machines?
Since the beginning, Cat equipment has been helping the Adamo Group perform work safely—a critical requirement of the demolition industry.
“With today’s equipment, we can work with surgical accuracy and keep away from the hazards,” says Richard. “Thirty years ago we’d have laborers with torches precutting iron before our machines could go to work. Now a single machine can do the work of 10 laborers thanks to advancements in technology and tools.”
One of those tools that stand out is the Cat MP40 multiprocessor.
“We estimate projects based on how many square feet we can take down in a work day,” says Richard. “A project we are currently working requires removing 40,000 square feet per day. That’s why we bring in a lot of big iron like the 374. With a MP40 out front, the job is easier, safer, and more productive because we can cut, separate, and lift material without manual intervention. Work tools and hydraulic innovations have changed the industry for the better.”
Adamo Group’s fleet is 98 percent Cat equipment, mostly excavators. Models include the 385C, 374D, 349E, 345D, 336E, 329E, 328D, 316E, and the 312E. The company also uses specialty excavators like the 385CL UHD and APEX70 with Cat attachments.
“We use 320s for residential areas that require power, productivity, and versatility,” says Richard. “We use compact radius excavators to work in tight and compact applications. In fact, we were the first company in Michigan to use a compact radius excavator, the 328D L, for demolition.”
Adamo Group also uses many other Cat machines. Cat 950 wheel loaders handle bulk material with demolition grapple buckets, and Cat skid steers and track loaders help with the cleanup.
Dealer Makes a Difference
Adamo Group keeps its fleet productive with the strong support of Cat dealer Michigan Cat.
“We have a certified Cat field technician on site 24/7 to help keep Adamo’s fleet in top working order,” says Greg Schneider of Michigan Cat. “I have worked for other brands and dealers, and they say they have the same level of service as Caterpillar and Cat dealers, but they don’t.”
Adamo Group actively manages its fleet utilizing Cat Connect, a technology solution that includes Product Link.
“We use Product Link to track maintenance and troubleshoot problems,” says Al Penrod, Adamo Group fleet manager. “It’s easy for me to call Michigan Cat from my desk and tell them what’s wrong with a machine in a different state.”
A Bright, Yellow Future
The need for demolishing and remediating old structures will continue to grow, and Adamo Group—and big, yellow Cat equipment—will be a part of it.
“My goal is to see the company continue to grow and prosper for another 50 years,” says Richard.