MARCH 2018 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 27
Bill McCabe pulls profits out of thin air
Floral Park native manufactures coin-operated pumps, vacuums
By TIMOTHY BOLGER
More than 30 years ago, Bill
McCabe noticed that when gas
stations began replacing repair
shops with convenience stores, one
basic service was no longer being
offered: air to fill up tires.
To fill the void in the market, he
partnered with a company that
made compressed air vending
machines he then installed at
service stations and allowed drivers
to pump up their tires with the
drop of a few quarters. Later, he
broke rank with the distributor,
devised his own design for the
equipment and installed thousands
of them across the East Coast,
Texas and California.
“We manufacture them here on
Long Island, install and maintain
them,” says McCabe, the founding
CEO of Service Station Vending
Equipment, Inc. “That was the
genesis of the company. There was
no one offering a compressed air
machine that was compact, 24
hours a day, that was easy to use.”
The 62-year-old Floral Park
resident won’t discuss what his
privately held family business is
worth, but don’t
say it’s worthless.
He’s in the midst
of a lawsuit
against the Town
gas stations to
provide air for
free — although
each costs $2,000 annually to
“People think that air is free,” he
says. “People think it comes out of
the atmosphere and goes into a tire.
It has to be compressed…and a lot of
components have to be serviced.”
His machines don’t just blow air,
they also suck. His coin-operated
car vacuums are
ubiquitous at gas
directly next to the
air pumps — both
encased in concrete.
Drivers who found
their way to one of
his machines either
because the air in the tires were low
or their car needed to be vacuumed
helped McCabe inflate his national
presence, one quarter at a time.
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