Equipment Partnership Thrives

Sept. 28, 2010


Eric Saunders (left) and Philip Kennedy.
A Caterpillar 345B excavator equipped with a LaBounty shear dismantles the structure at a soap manufacturing plant in Kansa City, Kan.
A Caterpillar 246 skid-steer loader with grapple bucket moves debris on a demolition project in kansa City, Kan.
J&L Management

Location: Macomb, Mich.

Key personnel: Philip Kennedy, principal; Eric Saunders, principal

Specialties: Specialized demolition, management, and consulting contractor

Fleet: Excavators, specialized demolition attachments, and support equipment

Fleet-replacement value: $3.5 million

Employees: Twelve to 30, depending on workloads

Market range: Midwestern United States

In August 2000, Philip Kennedy and Eric Saunders decided the time was right to pool their knowledge and experience and start their own demolition contracting company, J&L Management. Less than four years later, the company has completed several multimillion-dollar projects for prestigious clients and is expanding its operations to the national level.

Billings have more than doubled since the company's first full year of business in 2001. Major projects completed include demolition of a 215,000-square-foot-building in Trotwood, Ohio; total demolition of a Procter & Gamble liquid soap plant in Kansas City, Kan.; and the demolition of more than 100 buildings on a 140-acre International Specialty Chemical Plant site in Linden, N.J.

"We specialize in medium and large commercial and industrial projects," says principal Philip Kennedy. "Safety is always a top priority as we focus on completing every job on time and on budget."

That is accomplished by employing efficient management, supervision and strategic-alliance techniques and by utilizing equipment suited to the company's specialized requirements.

The demolition industry is heavily dependent on equipment. "J&L uses excavators with an extensive array of rotating auxiliary hydraulic attachments, including steel shears, concrete-cracking jaws, multi processors and concrete processors," says Kennedy. "Shears and pulverizers are used for minimal impact, unparalleled production, and structure take down to ensure the greatest control and maximum project safety. Given adequate platform reach for an individual operation, we are able to demolish the most formidable structures safely while eliminating the need for unnecessary exposure associated with high elevation work and applications requiring flame cutting."

J&L fills its equipment needs through conventional ownership and a close working relationship with Caterpillar corporate and Cat dealers. This approach allows the company to control the cost of purchasing equipment while at the same time allowing unlimited access to the latest demolition equipment technology on an as-needed basis, renting or leasing additional equipment.

"Caterpillar supplements J&L Management's equipment fleet from its vast inventory through its worldwide distribution system," says Kennedy. "In addition, the Caterpillar dealer network provides prompt mobilization, maintenance and support that cannot be matched by any demolition contractor's ability to self-perform the same services."

This philosophy of equipment utilization allows both J&L and Caterpillar to specialize in their respective areas of expertise, Kennedy says.

"J&L enjoys the benefit of having the industry's largest, best-maintained fleet of platforms and attachments always readily available to complement our own state-of-the-art fleet," he says. "This not only is cost effective, but actually provides a competitive edge over other contractors."

Company-owned equipment includes eight Caterpillar excavators—one 320L, four 330BLs, two 345BLs, and one 375L—ranging in size from 20 to 75 metric tons. Attachments include mass excavation J-family linkage sticks, mobile straight excavation shears, concrete pulverizers, multi processors, universal processors, grapples and digging buckets. Equipment rented or leased from Caterpillar includes excavators, many of the same attachments, crawler loaders, water tankers and generators.

J&L relies on its own personnel as well as Caterpillar dealers for scheduled maintenance. "The decision to self-perform or outsource depends on our workloads," Kennedy says. "All warranty work, as well as unscheduled maintenance, is outsourced to the local dealer."

J&L replaces equipment on a regular schedule to optimize operating costs and value of equipment and to always have dependable, low-hour equipment on jobsites.

J&L owns one semi-trailer rig for transporting equipment, but contracts most of its hauling. Subcontracting industrial cleaning, asbestos abatement, explosive placement, and mechanical and electrical portions of projects also helps limit investment in equipment.

The company is on track for a healthy 50-percent gain in 2004 and currently is expanding into other industrial and commercial markets, Kennedy says.

"We will maintain our strength and competitiveness by producing the lowest overhead service at the most competitive costs through utilization of intensive management skills; our core base of strategic partners, including specialist contractors, suppliers, and equipment sources; and application of the most advanced technologies in the industry."