Case Studies

Garden State Engine & Equipment Co. Inc.

Raising the bar in heavy lifting sales, service and satisfaction

After nearly 40 years in the material handling and heavy lifting business, Garden State Engine & Equipment Co. Inc. (GSE&E) has become a trusted name throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. Based in Somerville, N.J., the company specializes in telescoping cranes, knuckle boom cranes, truck-mounted forklifts, trolley boom block unloaders, aerial work platforms and lifting devices mounted onto commercial vehicles.

GSE&E represents 28 of the top-notch manufacturers in the industry, from National Crane to Elliot Equipment, Cormach, Merlo, Venturo, Steelmaster and many more. “We’ve been working with some of the same manufacturers for more than 28 years,” reveals Paul Baldasarre, president and CEO of GSE&E. “We’ve been in business with them for so long that GSE&E is no longer dealing with the same people, but second-generation children of the same family.”

In addition to offering new and used equipment backed by trusted manufacturers, GSE&E offers a full range of rental units, equipment servicing, 24-hour roadside service and operator safety training programs to fully assist customers in their material handling needs.

Rapid expansion

GSE&E began nearly 40 years ago when Baldasarre got out of the military and joined forces with his partner and friend Frank Spalluto in July 1977. “I was in the service where I received a lot of training in hydraulics, welding and diesel-engine mechanics,” recalls Baldasarre. “We started out with two trucks going to repair lifting equipment, including cranes, forklifts, etc. Eventually, we were busy enough that we wanted our own building, so Frank and I rented a one-bay shop and a year later, we had outgrown it completely.”

The young company continued to experience rapid growth and the partners built GSE&E’s first four-bay building in South Plainfield, N.J., years later. “After eight years, we had outgrown that building and we constructed the Somerville location and we have been occupying for the last 26 years,” says Baldasarre.

Today, GSE&E has branches in New Jersey, Long Island, N.Y., and Allentown, Pa. “We started representing domestic manufactured cranes and booms, but have expanded into importing foreign manufactured cranes, as well,” explains Baldasarre. “Most of our business is based on delivering and installing material handling equipment for lifting Sheetrock, brick and block, precast and so on. Our rental fleet had also grown very large and parts and service now make up about 60 percent of the business.”

Custom construction and reliable service

GSE&E has evolved from selling and repairing heavy-lifting units into delivering a customized product in-house. “We now build our own bodies,” notes Baldasarre. “Forklifts and cinderblock unloaders require different custom bodies for the applications, and we perform a weight distribution and stability analysis on every crane we sell. We know exactly how much weight will be on the front and rear axle and the unit’s loading cycle.”

“We self-perform everything,” adds Baldasarre. “GSE&E is a full-service shop at all locations, and there’s nothing we sub out, except for necessary components from the manufacturer.”

In addition to expert installation and custom-built components, the company also has the service and parts department to support all products. “GSE&E has mobile technicians offering 24-hour emergency roadside service,” says Baldasarre. “We can fix, weld and repair anything out on the road; that’s what sets us apart from everyone else in this industry.”

Baldasarre says GSE&E is also growing in terms of new, innovative products. “We’re always looking for new product lines and add-ons,” he mentions. “GSE&E now has exclusive wallboard cranes that will lift a full draft of wallboard to heights of 10-story buildings, and that has really sparked our sales.”

The company also boasts a new dimension in the rental arena with telehandlers or telescopic lifts. “This is more of a scissor-type lift,” details Baldasarre. “It’s self-propelled with rubber tracks so it’s ideal for washing windows or going into churches and other narrow spaces without damaging the tile, granite, marble etc. These lifts can go up to 60 to 80 feet.”

A custom designed, computerized weight distribution and stability calculation program – based on the customer’s truck specifications – and the crane chosen by the customer to be installed onto that truck chassis, will be evaluated to make certain that the completed truck and crane will perform safely and meet all federal and state regulations.

GSE&E has found one of the best ways to gain exposure for these new products and more is to join the annual Atlantic Builders Convention (ABC) as a longstanding member of the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA). “We have attended ABC for 10 years,” shares Baldasarre. “It’s always a very successful show for us because our equipment gets valuable exposure.”

“The people who attend ABC are loyal people that remember us and how we went above and beyond to help them select which type of equipment is right for their job,” adds Baldasarre. “We don’t just say this is what you need because that’s all we have; we have several different types of equipment for every application, depending on the customer’s requirements.”

GSE&E has maintained a trusted reputation and stayed afloat during the recession by focusing on individual customers. “Through 2008 and on we lost about 60 percent of our sales, but we have recovered all of that and then some,” reveals Baldasarre. “That’s because we focus on our customers’ needs. After every piece of equipment is sold or repaired, we send out a satisfaction report. We ask them what can we add to our services and what would make their experience better.”

Baldasarre understands that continuous success means constant improvement; after all that’s how he built Garden State Engine & Equipment Co. Inc. from a small shop into one of the leading providers of sales, rentals, service and satisfaction in the heavy lifting equipment business.

Published on: September 25, 2014

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