After almost a decade of operating compact excavators — either belonging to a former employer or rented — Rocky Wisley’s young company had enough business to purchase its own machine in 2012.
“I had plenty of experience operating five or six excavator brands,” he says, “but when I had to put my own name on the contract, it was time to thoroughly evaluate the many options. No settling for second best — I needed to make certain I had the right machine for my applications.”
Wisley owns Serenity Hardscapes in Arlington, Tennessee, a company that specializes in gunite pool and hardscape design and build services. His company does natural stone work, patios and arbors, retaining walls, pavers, drainage systems, water features, decks and landscaping.
After outlining his needs and applications to dealers representing some of the leading brands in the Memphis area, Wisley arranged for a series of demonstrations of comparable machines. Once he decided on the size of excavator that best fit his business, including jobsite requirements and transportation weight, he compared the final three on his list using these six measures.
1. Breakout power
“Is there sufficient power for all my jobs — excavating, trenching, material handling and placement? What about usable power to continuously respond to loads?”
“When extending the boom to place a boulder, would I be able to maintain the lift or would it drop off too soon? Was there enough counterbalance to maintain the load at full extension?”
“If my excavator can’t get in and out of tight spots, my jobsite options are limited and so is my business.”
“How well-built is the machine? What about the size of the boom and arm, and the strength of the components? Does the machine look like it could take a beating and keep working?”
“I want a cab that is easy to enter and exit, spacious, quiet and user-friendly. Who wants to sit in an uncomfortable cab all day?”
6. Attachment options
“The more available attachments for my excavator, the better the chance for more work. I didn’t want to put a limit on what I could do with my machine.”
Wisley determined that only one machine ranked best in all categories most important to him: the Bobcat® E42 from Williams Equipment in Memphis.
“Once I tried them all, my decision was easy,” Wisley says. “Operating the Bobcat excavator was like driving a luxury automobile. And the overall strength of the E42 was unmatched. It clearly stood out in side-by-side comparisons. There was no way the other machines could do what the Bobcat excavator could.”