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Employee spotlight

Nick Ackerman and High-Wheel Bikes

Growing up in England, EDCO technical department team member Nick Ackerman was familiar with high-wheel bikes and their large front wheel paired with a significantly smaller back wheel, but he never thought he would own one.

That changed in 2005 (well after his family moved to the United States) when he walked by a bike shop’s front window and saw a high-wheel bike — which is technically called a “penny-farthing,” named after old British coins (the larger penny and smaller farthing). Ackerman asked the store owner if he could test drive the bike, and took to the bike almost naturally because of prior experience riding a unicycle when he was young.

But at that time, the store didn’t want to sell that high-wheel bike. In 2010, as he longed for a penny-farthing, Ackerman sold his motorcycle to and made the purchase, which comes with a much-larger pricetag than a standard bike. Since then, he’s been positioned atop his approximately four-foot front wheel for competitions and leisure rides. His only regret is that he didn’t start earlier.

“I took to it like a fish to water. I enjoyed it a lot because you’re way high up and everybody wants to see you.” Ackerman said. “It’s like being a rock star. You get more pictures taken of you in one hour than you did the whole rest of your life.”

Two years after buying his bike, a penny-farthing race began in nearby downtown Frederick. The race is one of only a handful in the whole world, and has taken place each year since 2012 aside from a one-year hiatus in 2019 before it is set to return in 2020.

The event consists of a 0.4-mile loop that participants ride for a set amount of time while their number of laps are tracked to determine a winner. As the number of participants has grown over the years, qualifying races have been added to compile the field for the finals later in the day.

Even among the dozens of riders, Ackerman sticks out. He equipped his bike with custom wooden handlebars he made, and wears an old-time outfit complete with plus-four pants (which extend just past the knee), a long-sleeve shirt with an old-style collar and vest, and an old helmet.

Nick standing with his Penny-Farthing bike

“My favorite part is just is just the crowd factor of everybody being so interested in what you're doing,” Ackerman said. “A horn sounds and then everybody pours it on, and that's a goosebump moment.”

Ackerman has participated in the event each year except for one, when he let his best friend ride his penny-farthing — which prompted him to buy a bike of his own.

According to Ackerman, the biggest obstacle to getting accustomed to the bike is stopping. Bikes can be fitted with handbrakes, but traditionally bikes don’t have brakes. Instead, the user has to have a plan — which involves lowering your speed and quickly getting off the bike to stop.

Another variation from a typical bike is the fact that the penny-farthings don’t coast, so the operator is constantly pedaling while the bike is in motion. And when you pedal, the bike is pulling toward the direction of the pedal used, so the user is constantly working the handlebars to counteract that and ride straight.

Outside of the race, Ackerman occasionally takes his penny-farthing out for leisure rides on paved trails, the C&O canal or with other riders in group settings.

Evolution of the EDCO Logo

ORIGINAL EDCO LOGO (1959):

Original EDCO Logo

60 years ago, the newly founded Equipment Development Company’s dual-disc grinder was on the brink of changing the rental industry and giving customers a machine to meet the pressing need of resurfacing large areas of concrete. After the new division of Rental Tools & Equipment in Silver Spring, Maryland, was born in 1959, a logo was created to differentiate the two and display on the dual-disc grinder and the wave of other new machines that followed shortly after. The gears of the EDCO logo derived from Rental Tools & Equipmen

EDCO RENTAL-TOUGH LOGO (1984):

EDCO Rental-Tough Logo

In 1984, as EDCO celebrated the 25th anniversary of the company, we decided to highlight the durability of our machines that withstand the rigors of many rental jobs with little maintenance or replacements. The “Rental-Tough” slogan was implemented on literature and incorporated onto the logo 1984. That “Rental-Tough” phrase is still used at EDCO today, as machines still proudly display that standard on a decal.

EDCO GEAR AND GLOBE LOGO (1993):

EDCO Gear and Globe Logo

While the Rental-Tough component of the logo was removed from the logo in 1993, our machines never compromised quality and the ability to withstand the rigors of the tough rental jobs. This 1993 edition of the logo maintained the gears of the original logo, but added a globe through the larger gear. The globe represented that our company was worldwide, which was a common marketing emphasis among businesses in that era.

CURRENT EDCO LOGO (1999):

In 2000, for the first time in the company’s history, a logo without gears appeared. What’s remained consistent on the logo over the past 60 years has been the font of “EDCO.” The new logo at the turn of the century simplified the design of our logo, but was clean-cut to continue to use going forward, as it’s still our company’s logo and represents what we are as a manufacturer. The logo isn’t flashy or over-the-top, but it gets the job done and that’s what our machines have done for the past 60 years.

Using EDCOEd to Train Our Customers

At Equipment Development Company- EDCO, one of our core beliefs is training-- along with quality and safety, technology and American manufacturing. Our training initiatives are designed to help our customers be successful with our equipment.

EDCOEd was introduced in early 2017 and operates on our fundamental basis that lasting success and rental profitability training creates lasting success and rental profitability with EDCO products.

This free, 24-hour training option includes six certification tracks, each focusing on EDCO’s major product groupings:

  • MagnaTrap Grinders
  • Crete-Plane Systems
  • Crete-Crush™
  • EDCO Vacuum Systems
  • Tile Removal
  • Sawing Equipment

Each concentration track has sections regarding products’ maintenance, the importance and achievement of dust suppression, and information on profitably renting the equipment. Every section that comprises the concentration tracks contains videos and questions that the user must answer correctly to ultimately become certified for that grouping.

The MagnaTrap track reviews many important factors of our new-era concrete grinding surface preparation equipment and tooling that is specifically designed to withstand the rigorous rental industry. EDCOEd users review the stripping, grinding and removing applications that the versatile MagnaTrap grinders and tooling are capable of achieving.

In the Crete-Plane Systems track, EDCOEd users are given an overview of our concrete planers (also known as scarifiers) that are designed to level, remove, clean, and texture surfaces. Registered EDCOEd users are also trained to properly load the drum with accessories. In this grouping is the rental industry’s most profitable product, the 8” Walk-Behind Crete-Planer (model CPM8), which is commonly used for removing sidewalk trip hazards.

The Crete Crush™ concentration track focuses on EDCO’s Crete-Crushers (also known as scabblers). These air-powered machines are used for bulk removal applications such as recapping, demolishing concrete curbs, and ceramic tile removal.

While each concentration track covers dust suppression, the EDCO Vacuum Systems concentration track gives an overview of using EDCO’s line of vacuums. A video comparison of our vacuum systems versus common shop vacs clearly exemplifies why using EDCO’s vacuum systems is the best option. OSHA’s silica dust standards are also explained to EDCOEd users in this track.

The electric-powered Tile Shark and the air-powered chisel scalers are covered in the Tile Removal track. During this track, users are shown the common applications and proper usage for both the Tile Shark and chisel scaler, which are both used to remove floor coverings and surfaces, including: vinyl, linoleum, carpeting, rubber flooring, and ceramic.

The final track of EDCO’s professional training platform familiarizes the user with our expansive line of professional sawing equipment. The walk-behind, self-propelled, and table saws in this grouping are used for short-run and long-run applications, and cutting a variety of materials including concrete, asphalt, and stone.

Upon completion of each EDCOEd track, customers are emailed a certificate to signify their newfound proficiency with our products and accessories.

The benefits of EDCOEd are already spreading around the country as rental stores that have carried EDCO products for decades are using our training platform to equip their employees with the knowledge to provide information to customers, answer questions, maintain the machines and profitably rent out the equipment and tooling.

Problem solving with edco

The Problem: Preparing cracks in concrete surfaces for repair

The Solution: 8” Crack Repair Saw

When cracks form in concrete surfaces, you’re faced with two options: replace the floor completely or simply repair that crack with the material. The ladder option is, of course, the quicker and more cost-effective method.

But repairing an existing crack isn’t as simple as pouring material such as epoxy into the crack. First, the crack must be prepared. It’s important to rid the crack of any chipped or loose material to create a distinguishable opening to work in.

Some people use chisels to knock away unwanted material in a crack. But those chisels are far less ideal and productive than EDCO’s 8” Crack Repair Saw. A chisel simply won’t target and dislodge all of the excess concrete within the crack like the Crack Repair Saw can.

With caster wheels, the saw follows the often-complex patterns of cracks as the operator pulls the machine. The saw also has a depth control knob and engage/disengage lever to allow exact cutting.

There’s also optional features such as a straight-cutting kit for straight cracks and a wire wheel to clean out the material. Loose material left in the crack can also be cleaned out with an EDCO vacuum to fully prepare the opening for the material.

Different cracks require different solutions, but it should never be filling it with more concrete. Instead, use concrete-repair mixes such as epoxy compounds or mortar mixes. Typically, the epoxy is used for narrow cracks, about ⅛” in width. Mortar mixes are often used for larger openings in concrete.

EDCO 8″ Crack Repair Saw

Machine Highlights:

  • The maximum depth of cut is 1″
  • Caster wheels allow the operator to follow any random crack pattern
  • Combination depth control knob and engage/disengage lever allow exact depth cutting
  • Standard with dual 3″ vac ports for dry cutting
  • Optional straight cutting wheel kit for straight cuts or joint cleaning using an 8″ wire wheel

Ideal For:

  • Crack repair specialists
  • Concrete contractors
  • Restoration and repairs contractors

Our home - Frederick, md

DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CULTIVATES CITY’S BUSINESS CLIMATE

While the city of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development doesn’t directly create jobs, it commits time into making Frederick an attractive destination for new businesses and to making it an area where existing businesses can prosper.

“Our role is trying to make Frederick a great place for businesses to want to invest in,” Economic Development Director Richard Griffin said. “We’re creating the playing field, but it’s the private sectors that are making the investment and creating the jobs.”

Currently, over 3,500 businesses operate within Frederick’s city limits. While the target industries of Frederick include advanced technology, bioscience, professional services and tourism and film, the city plays host to a wide variety of business types and sizes.

Small businesses and large businesses alike are afforded the opportunity to begin and thrive in Frederick with the department’s commitment to providing the necessary land, utilities, and workforce. The workforce, which derives from the city and its vast surrounding areas, is a versatile population well-trained to succeed in a number of different industries that require unique skills and specializations.

“The business cycle is very fast,” Griffin said. “A business that has an idea, they’re not going to wait for five years while you build what they need. They need the space and people in the short-term, so we have to be nimble and provide to them on a real-time basis.”

A key area to the city’s business climate is the hub of commerce, culture, entertainment, and government that exists in Downtown Frederick. Revitalization efforts in the area have exceeded millions of dollars as the city focuses on keeping downtown a relevant area, rather than focusing all of its efforts on the periphery and relegating the center of the city to lesser importance.

While a strong emphasis has been placed on the city’s downtown area, the department strives to balance its efforts in every area of Frederick. With each area serving different roles for the community, including health corridors, transportation, retail and ethnic options, economic development ensures all of these components come together for the sum of the parts.

“The city as a whole is 22 square miles and we’re incredibly proud of every square inch of Frederick,” Griffin said.

Since Griffin became involved with economic development, he has seen the city of Frederick grow by well over 20,000 people and over 700 businesses. As the area continues to grow, the department is focused on attracting quality businesses who will sustain success with long-term commitments to Frederick.

“Economic development is really about the people and something they value highly, which is their job. Providing people with the dignity of work is a beautiful thing,” Griffin said. “Building a Frederick that is diverse and has jobs at all levels is what motivates us.”