Abele Tractor & Equipment Co., Inc.
Based in Albany, NY, since 1875, Abele Tractor & Equipment Co., Inc. is a family owned and operated company that specializes in sales, service, parts, rentals & leasing for construction, demolition, excavation, contractor, commercial, turf maintenance and residential equipment. We are committed to providing the equipment you want with the support you need.
Abele Tractor & Equipment Company, Inc. is a 140 year old company. It is currently in its fifth generation of family ownership and operation. Its core business is sales, renting/leasing and servicing of construction equipment. The company also sells and services equipment for grounds maintenance for both commercial and consumer type customers. Abele Tractor is the dealer for fifty plus major manufacturers of equipment.
The company traces its roots back to the 1870s when German emigrant Nickolas Miller opened a blacksmith shop a mile north of the livestock yards at West Albany on Everett Road. He had eight children, four sons and four daughters. The youngest of the sons, William, served as an apprentice at the New York Central Railroad shops situated nearby. Eventually, with his two brothers John and Frank, they opened their own business at the same location as their father. John ran a blacksmith shop, Frank
opened a wheelwright shop, and William ran the machine shop. The fourth son, Charles, was a judge who sometimes held court on the second floor of William's machine shop. The brothers were an entrepreneurial and ambitious family, and had an impact on the Albany area more then they could have possibly envisioned.
The community recognized William for his exceptional skills as a machinist. He built one of the first steam-powered cars in the Albany area. In the early days of West Albany's fire department, he built the first two pieces of fire apparatus that the company used. William, and his wife Emma, had a daughter, Thelma, who would play a key factor in what would be a major transition of the company during the twentieth century. In December of 1940 she married Kenneth Abele from New Rochelle, New York. Kenneth was hired by William as an apprentice in 1940, and would become part of the third generation of the business started by Thelma's grandfather. In 1943, William retired, and Ken and Thelma took over business operations. During WWII the company had a priority rating issued by the government to buy structural steel and fuel. This made the company one of the few places in Albany that could meet the demands for repairs and maintenance of equipment because, at the time, new machinery was virtually impossible to obtain.
After the war the nature of the business changed from predominately repairing to selling and servicing construction and consumer outdoor power equipment. More land was acquired, new buildings built, and in 1959, the business incorporated as Abele Tractor & Equipment Co., Inc. Ken and Thelma set the precedents for the company, hiring a staff of knowledgeable mechanics and working with private and state contractors. This set the stage that would see Abele taking part in the development of the major state building projects in the Albany area in the 1960-1970s, including the state university, state office campus complex, Empire State Plaza, the network of arterial highways that surround the city and the New York State Thruway. Abele was one of the first companies to start the business of renting and leasing construction equipment.