If you’re driving down Route 9W at the Bethlehem, Coeymans border, you’ll come across a business with a long history of growth and success. Finke Equipment, a dealer and authorized service agent for major construction equipment brands, has approximately 30 full-time employees and an impressive enterprise that spans beyond just selling, renting, and repairing heavy machinery. Let’s take a look at how this family-owned business got started and grew into the powerhouse it is today.
A HUMBLE BEGINNING
The story of Finke Equipment started in 1977 when John Finke and his father, Bob, began repairing jack hammers for an area construction company. They also sold Homelite equipment out of the back of a pickup truck. With just the two of them working out of the basement of their house, the company had a far lower profile than it does today.
TAKING CALCULATED RISKS
Despite their humble beginnings, John and Bob had a vision for their business. In 1985, they built a cement block building on the east side of Route 9W at the Bethlehem, Coeymans border. There, they continued to repair small engines, small pieces of construction equipment, and deal Homelite products. They also purchased some well-used heavy machines to rent to contractors, tentatively entering the construction equipment business.
The pivotal moment for Finke Equipment came in 1988 when they took a calculated risk and built a larger building on the west side of Route 9W, where their repair shop and offices are located today. That original building has been expanded twice, and the business is still growing. In fact, they are currently constructing a new facility that will have over 25,000 square feet of shop space, including a full fabrication shop, a 20’X60’ paint booth, and indoor wash bay. It’s an exciting time for Finke Equipment as they look to emphasize efficiency and customer service even more.
SERVING CUSTOMERS WITH STABILITY
Throughout the years, many equipment lines that Finke started have remained a core part of their operation. “With most of our lines, we’ve tried to maintain stability,” John Finke said. “If we changed lines, it’s because a manufacturer went out of business. Contractors like stability. They don’t like to see you changing brands. They like to go to the guy they bought it from to purchase their parts.”
Today, Finke Equipment is a dealer and authorized service agent for recognized construction equipment brands such as Kobelco, Bobcat, Brokk, NiteHawk, and Wacker Neuson. But their services extend beyond selling, renting, and repairing heavy machinery. They also sell, rent, and service chainsaws, generators, plate compactors, jack hammers, and pumps by industry leaders Stihl, Honda, and Wacker.
It’s impressive to see how far Finke Equipment has come since its humble beginnings in a basement repair shop. Their story is a testament to the power of taking calculated risks, working hard, and learning from mistakes. As they look towards the future, we can only imagine what great things lie ahead for this family-owned business.