Foundation equipment supplier Equipment Corporation of America (ECA) today is honoring Pete Schell, a former long-time employee who dedicated 38 years to the company. Mr. Schell passed away June 28, 2020.
In a release, the company says Schell helped “transition the company into the sophisticated, century-old global operation it is today” and had “earned a rightful place as a member of the family.”
“Pete was instrumental in getting ECA started in the foundation drilling business, starting a dealer relationship with Krupp in the mid-1980s, followed by Hütte and Klemm,” says CEO Roy Kern. “This early foray into small-diameter drilling gave us a big head start on many of our competitors, and to this day, foundation drilling is our biggest market.”
Schell was working in the shop with Hercules Machinery in Sterling, Virginia, a family-owned pile driving equipment business, in the 1970s. His reputation in the market with local contractors brought him to the attention of then-ECA President Ben Dutton. With Shell joining the team, Dutton deployed him in an effort to expand ECA’s footprint in the region.
ECA opened its fledgling Washington branch in the late 1970s with Schell at the helm. In fact, he worked from home in the early days. ECA Washington focused primarily on pile hammers at the time, but Schell helped fuel the company’s much greater aspirations.
In the release, ECA says Schell’s “exceptional mechanical aptitude earned him respect with many foundation contractors and drove ECA Washington’s expansion.” The company says Schell, whose starting salary with ECA in 1976 was $23,000, went on to contribute more than $7 million in profits over his career — during a time when $1 million was a substantial sum for ECA.
ECA has supplied foundation construction equipment in the eastern United States and eastern Canada for more than a century. The company is exclusive distributor for Bauer drills, Klemm anchor and micropile drills, RTG piling Rigs, Bauer MAT slurry handling systems, HPSI vibratory pile hammers, Word International drill attachments, Dawson construction products, ALLU ground improvement equipment, Pile Master air hammers, and Digga dangle drills. ECA offers sales, rentals, service, and parts from nine facilities throughout the eastern U.S. and eastern Canadian provinces. Visit ecanet.com for more information.