Gus Pools found the right balance of maneuverability and power in Bobcat equipment. Read their story below or watch the video to learn how their machines help them take on the tight jobsites of the New York City metro.
Swimming pools are likely not the first thing – or even in the top 100 – that comes to mind when thinking of New York City. However, Gus Pools built their entire business specializing in constructing pools in NYC.
Gus Panteliodis started in the industry working as a swimming pool installer for other companies. In 1972, he launched Gus Pools from his kitchen table. Gus grew the business into one of the premier pool construction companies in the New York City metro area – building more than 40 pools every year. Ten years ago, Pete Panteliodis, along with his brother, Pat, took over the business from their father.
“It meant a lot to take over the company,” Pete says. “It was definitely big shoes to fill. My father is known throughout the Tri-State area. It’s a big thing to step up and try to meet the expectations everybody has.”
Building Pools for Customers First
Gus Pools gives each customer personal attention in terms of quality, design and customer service. Popular services include pool design, installation, renovation, and repairs, as well as seasonal opening and winterizing services.
“I like this industry because I’m going into a backyard that’s not pretty, and when I’m done, it’s like a resort, you know? It gives me a lot of self-satisfaction,” Pete says.
Pete and Pat know firsthand how to solve the unique challenges of building pools in the city – from the strict construction requirements to building in tight spaces.
“This year, we’re working straight through the winter because we are so booked,” says Pete.
Compact Equipment Built for Compact Spaces
While the company’s ownership has transitioned, one thing that’s remained the same is the brand of equipment they use. It’s always been Bobcat – from the early days to today. When Gus started the business in the ’70s, he was contracting out the excavation work. In the 1980s he bought his first machine – a Bobcat 750 skid-steer loader. Pete says his dad accomplished every task possible with that one machine.
The business continued to grow. Because space is at premium in established borough neighborhoods that have been around for centuries, the company needs nimble and efficient equipment. Gus bought a Bobcat compact excavator in the ’90s and continued to upgrade equipment over the years. In the past few years, Pete and Pat added an R-Series E32 compact excavator and a T450 compact track loader to their fleet.
Pete says that the E32 is one of their best purchases, even going as far as calling the Bobcat E32 his foreman’s second wife.
“He loves the E32. It definitely has a lot of power,” Pete says. “It’s compact, and we work in a lot of tight spaces. The digging force is there; reliability is there.”
NYC Pools: Quality Over Price
Pete, a mechanic by trade, evaluates equipment on design quality and ease of maintenance instead of price. The company prides itself on extensively researching each purchase and working on their own equipment.
“Bobcat equipment is easy to work on,” Pete says. “I used another brand’s skid steer on a friend’s jobsite because it was there. I look at stuff from a parts and maintenance point of view, and that’s why I never bought that brand. It was a no-brainer. It later broke down, and he lost that machine for a month because parts were on backorder. It was nuts.”
The parts and service support he’s received over the years keeps Pete loyal to the Bobcat brand. He says that his sales specialist, Jim Badaracco, at Bobcat of Long Island is more than just a sales guy. His service and support keep Gus Pools coming back every time.
“If I need a part or to rent a machine, he does the right thing – not just in price, but overall service,” says Pete. “Everybody’s looking at the almighty dollar, but that’s not everything. When you buy a machine, you’re buying the dealership as well.”
Building a Pool
When building a pool, Pete and Pat first meet with the customers to review the design. Once everyone is comfortable moving forward, the work begins. The crew uses the E32 mini excavator to excavate the jobsite and pile dirt while the T450 compact track loader transports dirt out of the backyard and loads it into dump trucks for removal.
After installing the pool structure, walls and plumbing, the crew uses either the E32 or T450 to backfill, depending on the size of the jobsite. A vinyl steel-wall pool takes Gus Pools about a week to complete, whereas a concrete pool is a month-long job due to more time-intensive installation requirements.
“Even the smaller Bobcat machines, they’re still powerful,” Pete says. “They do what they’ve got to do. That’s why I use them. My biggest thing with the machines is reliability, and that’s what I find with Bobcat machines.”
Visiting NYC Pool Jobsites
Pete sits behind his desk as little as possible. He goes to each and every jobsite to ensure the job is going smoothly. He also checks to make sure that his crew has the right equipment for each specific location.
“Space is tight, and I can’t afford to knock a few bricks off a house,” Pete says. “That’s why we’re in tune with our machines and what works and what doesn’t. We’re not just pushing pencils and making sales – we’re on the site. On every job, Bobcat equipment makes my life easier.”
Time to add an excavator to your fleet? Check out the latest models in our R2-Series lineup.