by Keith Loria
WM Biers, Inc., based in Albany, NY, is known throughout upstate New York for its outstanding landscaping supplies and services, though the company was founded on a mission to recycle wood waste materials such as pallets, manufactured wood waste, log length pulp wood and wood chippings from tree services.
“The company was established in the late ’80s as a trucking and excavation business and in 1989, owner William (Billy) Biers moved operations from his home site to its current facility located in the Port of Albany,” explained Dan Doherty, operations manager for the company. “It was at this time that he discovered a demand for landscaping, specifically mulch in garden beds.”
So, WM Biers purchased its first tub grinder — a W.H.O. Manufacturing grinder — the most well-built of its time.
“The company had developed a great relationship with W.H.O. and became the local dealer for their tub grinders,” Doherty says. “WM Biers still obtains the dealership for W.H.O. and to this day they are manufacturing a very affordable, well-built grinder.”
As the demand grew and grew for mulch and other landscape supplies, the industry as a whole began to grow, with more places selling and starting to manufacture mulch. It was at this point that Biers decided to change the company’s approach and start going after the grinding potion of the business.
“We shifted some focus to selling equipment to some of these companies which were getting into the industry,” Doherty said. “We started to take on other lines of equipment to meet the needs of our customers — which were predominantly tree service companies — so we became dealers for chipper manufacturers, stump grinder manufacturers and forestry attachment companies.”
In addition to W.H.O. Manufacturing, the brands the company works with include Duratech Industries, which Doherty says offers extremely well-built wood chipping and grinding equipment, with some of the most technological and safety oriented features around, separating them from some of the competition; Dymax, which he says brings some of the most well-built forestry and railroad attachments out there; and Davco Manufacturing, mowers capable of cutting up to 8-inch diameter trees and shedding them into small shreds.
“These brands are the main focus of WM Biers, but we do offer many more,” Doherty said. “We also deal a lot in used equipment and equipment rentals, selling good quality, in-demand equipment to end users all over the Northeast. We also rent all types of equipment to local contractors and other entities in need of equipment.”
In the early turn of the century, the wood waste grinding and mulch facility was booming and the company needed to do something to increase its wood supply.
“We purchased a Dymax Tree Shear for our excavator and we started to clear land for local developers and contractors,” Doherty says. “This began to grow and we began to supply this division with more equipment and man power. In conjunction with the land clearing, we also started offering our grinding services to local contractors and municipal organizations, which really took off well.”
With many new developments going up in the area, it increased stone sales by huge numbers, which led WM Biers to its next quest.
“In the early 2000s, we found ourselves selling a large quantity of crushed stone and we thought if we could obtain our own source for this product, we could reduce vendor costs and increase profitability, so we did just that,” Doherty says. “In the mid 2000s, we hurdled our way through all the different processes and opened up our crushed stone division — crushing and manufacturing our own crushed stone products. This is a small quarry was intended for only our trucks to pull from, but it has been an ever-growing part of WM Biers.”
Around 2012, the company received approval to build and operate a C&D Transfer Station, located on another parcel it leased at the Port of Albany.
“We started building this facility mid-2012, and were making pretty good headway, but then faced some local distractions with building codes and departments and needed to stop work for a while,” Doherty says. “After a few small battles, we finally got the green light to continue and in late 2016 we completed the Transfer Station and opened for business.”
Although challenging to get approved, the facility — known as C.D. Man, LLC — has been the most rapidly growing business WM Biers has opened.
Additionally, the company’s stone quarry produces large quantities of crushed high-grade silt/ sand stone products such as Crusher Run #3 stone and gabion stone.
WM Biers created WM Biers, Inc. Land Clearing and Forestry Division shortly after the landscaping supplies division had become established. The new division specializes in land clearing and vegetation management using only top-of-the-line equipment.
Today, along with its sister companies, C.D. Man LLC and BBC Aggregate; WM Biers provides numerous options for recycling in Upstate New York and the Capital Region.
BBC Aggregate is a permitted site for the dumping of waste aggregate products such as concrete, asphalt (blacktop), brick, block, dirt, stone and other aggregate products, while CD Mann consists of three railroad accessible lots for long-term lease as well as loading and unloading assistance of many different products and materials.
“Wm Biers and all the affiliate divisions and companies formed are always seeking out new ways to expand and diversify our companies,” Doherty said. “We are currently working on and seeking tenants for new warehousing opportunities on a 70-acre parcel located in the growing industrial region of Coeymans, NY. With the Port of Coeymans and Coeymans Industrial Park growing every day, we’re looking for long-term build to suit tenants for warehousing, laydown, stockpiling, or other facilities.”