Construction Equipment North America

King of the Drill

Two New York families built a relationship in construction. The Scobbos have one of the best drill teams around. The Malveses celebrate 100 years of service in 2012. With its unique weight and hydraulics, Volvo is helping both grow their foundation footprint and their profits.

king of the drill

Back in the 1980s, when Frank T. Scobbo was just a high schooler, he pictured himself in the cab of a big tractor at one of his Dad’s construction sites.

His father, Frank J. Scobbo, the well-known
construction man and celebrated Port Washington Police Commissioner, seemed rather proud.

“You want to operate the machine?” he asked his son.

The question was, of course, met with an
enthusiastic, “Yes.”

The young man was thrilled – he would follow in the footsteps of Frank Sr., and his grandparents, Frank Rose and Theresa Scobbo, who founded and managed the family business from 1931 to 1961.

Frank Sr., handed the surprised young man a shovel.

“Learn this machine first.”

Frank Jr., did his very best, for six months straight, and was rewarded (kind of), when he again urged his father to let him behind the wheel of their Ford Tractor.

“You did a great job,” Frank Sr., said. “Now you can learn this machine,” he said, handing his son a sledgehammer.

It was many years before Frank Jr. started running an excavator, but he was on the job, full-time, right after graduation from the New York Institute of Technology at Old Westbury.

While Frank Scobbo Contractors has been helping build and transorm the skyline of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and several cities in Delaware since the early 1990s, it has been with Volvo Construction Equipment that the company has fully developed its expertise in drilling.

Drill Down Menu

As Chief Operating Officer/Vice President, Frank
T. Scobbo manages a fleet of 15 machines for the company’s flourishing Foundation Systems Division. Services include helical pile driving, underpinning, sheeting and shoring, concrete foundations, marine docks and boardwalks, stabilizations and emergency drilling services.

Thanks to the unique capabilities of the Volvo excavator line and the engineering ingenuity of Scobbo’s longtime dealership partner, Malvese Equipment Company, Inc. of Hicksville, NY, Scobbo takes on 10 specialized drilling jobs annually.

While Scobbo relies on the expertise of Malvese Customer Service VP Tony Lauro and Parts & Service expert Al Feliney, who just retired after 25 years, Scobbo’s relationship with Malvese dates to the 1960s.

It was a meeting of two New York men of distinction when Frank J. Scobbo purchased his first Ford tractor from George Malvese. Frank was the wellloved police commissioner, whose heroism included a hurricane evacuation, a hostage rescue, and the hi-jinks of landing a helicopter at a football halftime show. He even published an autobiography.

Not to be outshined, during his early days as a mechanic, George Malvese repaired President Roosevelt’s Cadillac. He also helped build Long Island’s infrastructure – bringing the first tractors,
bulldozers and motor graders to The Island as his business evolved to construction support.

It was the beginning of a long and profitable friendship, carried on today by the two men’s families and thousands of repeat customers.

With Malvese Equipment as trusted backup, the drilling Scobbo Foundation Systems performs creates safe areas for the construction of large office structures.

On this day, at a jobsite in Queens, Scobbo Foreman Tim Mohammed, an 11-year veteran of Scobbo Inc., operates the Volvo EC240C excavator, with the Volvo-exclusive Advanced Control System, delivering maximum engine power to operate the drill attachment.

Contracted by the New York State Dormitory
Association, Scobbo was tasked with drilling and
installing 35 to 39 foot long steel sheeting walls
at the Queens site. The walls provided safe access for the installation of drainage structures at a new, 30,000 sq. ft. LaGuardia Community College building.

“After drilling 40 feet at each hole, we lift the sheets from the ground into a vertical position to be inserted to the holes,” Scobbo said.

“The sheets were vibrated by running down the drill mast – the instantaneous loosening of the soil allows the sheets to be pushed into the ground.”

Serial Drillers

After installing and later removing the 360 feet of sheeting during the four-week job, Scobbo packed up the Volvo, the drill and moved the crew onto the next job – drilling caissons through bedrock, for a 40,000 sq. ft., six-story office building, under the bright lights of Broadway.

Caissons are a deep foundation support used in the construction of new buildings. Scobbo drills shafts for the building foundation and then inserts deep foundation supports made of reinforced steel and concrete. The caisson shafts can be up to 150 feet deep – Scobbo says the Volvo and drill attachment go there all the way, with ease.
For many years, Scobbo used a PRO-DIG V125K and a Pengo drill, operated first by a Caterpillar excavator and, later, the Volvo EC210 excavator. Jobs included to underpinning a 150-year-old schoolhouse in Bedford, NY, helical pile drilling at several of New York City’s historical landmarks, and many other unique application projects.

Scobbo’s largest and longest uninterrupted job with the Volvo EC210, from 2004 to 2006, included installing nearly 12,000 piles at the Liberty View Towers in Jersey City, New Jersey.

For today’s jobs, Volvo and REV Drill are a perfect match for Scobbo.

“Volvo is not only versatile; it’s critical to our success and it makes us different from any other drilling operation in the country,” said Scobbo.

Foreman Tim Mohammed said, “We have really
increased productivity and decreased downtime.  Malvese helped put together what   we needed, the right hydraulic pumps, the right drill attachment, the modifications to the Volvo machine.”

After 80 years in business, Scobbo Contractors has seen everything; now there is only one excavator brand for drilling – Volvo.

The 24-ton EC240C is just like a Scobbo employee – the best man for the job.

Frank T. Scobbo explained, “We got our first Volvo excavator in 2004. It turns out that Volvo is one of the only manufacturers that has the options of multiple pumps to run the movements on hydraulic attachments. In 2009, Malvese had the Volvo EC240 that we needed, in stock and ready for us.

“We would not have been able to use another brand of equipment so readily, have the horsepower, performance and financial benefits that Malvese and Volvo provided.

“The machine provides the weight, hydraulic capacity, and track stability we need to get the job done. It keeps running at full capacity because it gives the operator all the information on hydraulic oil flow so the attachment isn’t overloaded or burned out. You can’t afford to damage a $150,000 hydraulic attachment.”

Scobbo added, “We also like the Volvo because it’s easier to operate and the fuel consumption, compared to other types of machines, is much more efficient. The noise level is lower which is better for the operator and the crew at the site.”

Worth its Weight in Gain

Over the years, as the demand for bigger and more intricate drilling and piling jobs increased, so did Scobbo’s need for a newer drill. When Scobbo upgraded to the REV Drill 34HDx, they also needed a heavier excavator with more horsepower.

While the economy of 2008-9 was a concern, Malvese and Volvo Financial Services made it work.

“The purchase of the Volvo EC240C was not in the Scobbo Foundation Systems’ budget and Tony Lauro was very much aware of that,” Scobbo said.

“It was only through the creative and efficient
financing offered from Volvo Financial, and the great return rate on our Volvo EC210, that we were able to move into the Volvo EC240C without a major financial expenditure. We are grateful to Malvese and Volvo for working with us on this, and over the years.”

Paul Vautrin, the District Finance Manager for Volvo Financial Services, said he understood the importance of this agreement.

“We put together a lease structure to match Frank’s needs,” Vautrin said. “We’re here to support our dealers and our customers with financing that will work for them.”

REV Drill President Ed Amos said operators praise the Volvo EC240C’s ease of use with bi-directional foot pedals for operating the drill. “Also, switch out time is minimized – it only takes 30 to 40 minutes to remove the drill and replace it with the Volvo bucket.”

Experts Auger

In addition to Tim Mohammed’s machine repair expertise, Scobbo also relies on Malvese’s 24/7 service.

“Malvese people know their stuff. George Seeley, their parts man, has been there 15 years. He knows you and doesn’t have to search through a book for the answers we need. Those guys are priceless,” Scobbo said.

With the right excavator and drill, and an exceptional relationship between dealer, client, and financier, Scobbo will continue to provide exemplary service to its variety of customers.

“We perform with more efficiency, quality, and at lower cost to our many satisfied customers,” Scobbo said.

“That’s the tradition my grandparents and the Malveses began; one that we are proud to carry on today.”

Nearing its own 85th birthday as a corporation, Volvo wouldn’t have it any other way.