Last week, Burquip, which serves the truck equipment market from 235 Adams Street in Bedford Hills, New York honored Felix Curro for twenty years of faithful service. “He started at the bottom and worked his way up to general manager,” says his employer Ross Burbank. Although at 41, he’s far from retirement and with the way people move around these days, Mr. Burbank felt the reason for a celebration could be summed up with the words, “Just because.”
They took him out to dinner at Eduardo’s in Mt. Kisco and give him a roloex with speeches and good feeling all around. Mr. Curro learned of Burquip from a friend twenty years ago after talking automotive classes at Westlake High School and Westchester Community College. He began his career painting trucks, moved onto welding and installing equipment before becoming the shop foremen.
At 25, he moved fast enough along to have people under him who were already in their 50’s and 60’s. “Here they are listening to me and I’m just a young kid,” says Mr. Curro of his quick rise in a family owned business being led in the 4th generation by Mr. Burbank.
And the mileage the relationship has accumulated over the years can be measured in more than in just a number. “He’s here everyday, he’s here if he’s sick,” says Mr. Burbank, and years later their families go on vacation together to muscle car shows as self described “car nuts.”
Back in Bedford Hills, the aspect of the job Mr. Curro seems to enjoy the most is servicing the vehicles that are operated by handicapped drivers. Occasionally, a van’s lift system will malfunction leaving the driver unable to get him or herself out of their vehicle. “If you’re in a bind,” he says, “you just come down, we’ll take care of you right away.”
No appointment necessary, as he says, “I just enjoy this kind of work,” short of the long commute from his wife and 10 year old son up in Dutchess County. He stays on the job from there with an antique car of his own to maintain and has made lots of friends through the years with all the municipality workers that Burbank calls its customers.
In addition, Burquip gives customers the capacity to upgrade their vehicles to fit whatever all-purpose needs that might be necessary. A rack body can increase a trucks payload, while a whole new dump body might cover the growing business of a local landscaper.
To keep equipment off route 35 and safely at bay in the back, a new lift gate fits the bill and a tool box secured to a recreational pickup can act to organize the weekend warrior as his or her tools will always remain clean and dry. For the winter, back pain can become a thing of Christmas past with the installation of a snow plow and lawsuits will only belong to neighbors who haven’t had a salt and sand spreader installed to the back of their pickup by the steady hands of Mr. Curro and friends.
And if the standard upgrades don’t fit the needs of your specialized business applications, Burquip’s miscellaneous section on their website can lift your vehicle to where it has to be. Burquip also features an online Tag Sale Showroom for a large selection of used or discontinued items at bargain prices.
Although little probably remains of their original inventory as Burquip opened as Burbank Garage back in the 1920’s by Mr. Burbank’s great-grandfather. Back then they sold and repaired trucks and branched out in into cars with American Motors Corporation in the 1940’s, while keeping close ties to the trucking industry with an International Harvester affiliation. By the 1980’s, they changed names and dropped out of the dealership in favor of providing truck equipment to retailers, municipalities, schools and utility companies.
Now in the 21st century, the dynasty will someday continue in the name of Mr. Burbank’s son who is already on hand as the 5th generation of Burbank’s, but maybe longevity comes out of making sure the family is an extended one. Reaching out into Mr. Curro’s family with their kind gesture is nothing new to the Burbanks. Several years ago, after 50 years of employment by one Sam Panishi, (which stretched back to great-grandfather) Burquip’s anniversary celebration included a car.
Not odd to Mr. Burbank in an age where twenty years gets you maybe a pen in a large corporation, he say, but for now Burquip will just keep on trucking. “We’ve been in town forever and we’re probably going to stay in town forever,” he says.
Rich Monetti interview of Ross Burbank and Felix Curro