There are numerous daily grounds projects to manage at the Wauseon Union Cemetery, and a compact, agile and comfortable vehicle was exactly what Scott Stiriz, grounds superintendent, needed to keep the property a peaceful, comfortable place to visit.
When the grounds maintenance department purchased a Bobcat® 3400 utility vehicle (UTV), Stiriz realized the vehicle could help him complete cemetery maintenance projects more efficiently than he had done in years past.
“We transport tree limbs and water in containers for the flowers and headstones. It just makes things so much easier when I can get in the Bobcat 3400 and go.”
A Better Solution
As the Wauseon Union Cemetery superintendent for 30 years, Stiriz has always relied on trucks, compact tractors and mowers; however, six months ago he decided to try something new — a Bobcat utility vehicle.
“Prior to the utility vehicle, I was driving my pickup truck,” he says. “It was just not convenient for me to use the truck because I was having to park in the road and blocking people who were visiting the graves. I couldn’t get in between the gravestones, so I had to do a lot of hauling back and forth.”
Now, he is driving the Bobcat utility vehicle as his primary transportation machine because of its fuel efficiency, agility and tight turning radius on the cemetery’s 28-acre lot, located approximately 40 miles west of Toledo.
“When we are getting ready to pour the foundation for the monuments, it is great knowing we have a vehicle that can get to each plot,” he says. “The vehicle maneuvers very well in tight spots, helping me get to all the foundations so we can place the stones.
“The machine can go up to 30 miles per hour, so we can cross the lot fairly quickly,” he says. “It’s nice having a machine that can quickly get you to where you need to be.”
Routine Maintenance Made Easy
Projects such as tree cleanup previously took Stiriz up to 60 hours; however, with the use of his utility vehicle, he has cut the time in half.
“The weather can be a nightmare, especially when we have windstorms,” he says. “With 300 trees on the property, it creates a lot of cleanup the next day. Using the utility vehicle, I can get to each tree and pick up the branches rather than having to haul the branches back to my truck.”
Each year Stiriz has a small landscaping project, which typically takes him two weeks. With the Bobcat UTV, Stiriz says the projects have become more manageable using its large cargo box.
“I am able to haul 10 to 15 trees and get them across the cemetery in no time,” he says. “I can easily see where I am going and can place other tools with me in the box. I have everything I need with me so that helps save me time.”
Wet weather also puts a damper on maintaining gravestones, making it difficult to drive a pickup truck.
“During spring, I wasn’t able to drive my truck onto the site because of the wet and muddy conditions,” he says. “The truck would basically sink and would ruin the grass. With the 3400, I don’t get stuck, and I don’t ruin any of the grass.”
Ready To Work Whenever It’s Needed
When Stiriz needs to dig graves, it doesn’t matter what the weather brings. Although he doesn’t use the UTV for digging, he does rely on the vehicle to transport tools in the cargo box. So when the cemetery purchased the Bobcat UTV, he wanted to make sure he would be covered.
“We have a canopy for the utility vehicle, which is great to have,” he says. “It came in handy this morning since I was in a tight spot at the cemetery and had to wait until the funeral was over so I could start shoveling the dirt back into the ground. It was 42 degrees and raining so without the canopy on the UTV, I would have gotten wet.”
The 3400’s tilt steering and ergonomic controls also provide optimal comfort.
“I’m a bigger guy, so I really enjoy that I can tilt the steering wheel up and still have plenty of room to maneuver,” he says. “Even with two bucket seats, there is plenty of room for tools in between a passenger and myself.” Stiriz says.
The utility vehicle is also useful for additional winter projects at the cemetery. “I’m very pleased with how the vehicle has handled all the projects that I’ve completed out here so far,” he says. “I’m really excited to use the machine throughout the rest of the year.”