Ozark Striping is a road maintenance company that purchased a Toolcat™ 5600 from Bobcat of the Wiregrass in Dothan, Alabama, to assist with a variety of important jobs. One early assignment was transporting special tape used to cover temporary lane changes on roadway projects.
Ozark Striping employee Lee Gross says crews stack rolls of tape on pallets, carried by the 5600, and put additional rolls in the cargo box for delivery to the jobsite. “We let the Toolcat 5600 go down the road and drop off tape to keep up with our crews,” says Gross. “We’ve found it ideal for our operation.” Gross previously relied on a larger, less efficient van to carry the material.
He says that while the company has much larger equipment, the 5600’s compact size and attachment versatility saves time and money. “We can put the Toolcat unit on a trailer and take it to a jobsite to perform some of the smaller projects while our bigger trucks focus on other jobs” he says.
Replacing other machines with a Toolcat 5600 is becoming a regular trend, especially in grounds maintenance applications. John Hellstrom is director of maintenance for Habersham Land Co. in Beaufort, South Carolina, just minutes from Hilton Head Island. After researching equipment options, he found the Toolcat utility work machine was the best fit for his routine responsibilities.
“We were limited by a tractor” says Hellstrom, who exchanged the tractor for a new Toolcat 5600. “I needed the versatility of a machine that had a dump box, the capability of operating numerous attachments and something I could drive on the grass.” Thanks to the all-wheel steer abilities, there is minimal ground disturbance when driving the 5600 across established surfaces.
Attachments add versatility to any operation
Attachments are an important part of the day-to-day operations with the Toolcat 5600. Ozark Striping crews attach a bucket to remove as many as 8,000 to 10,000 lane markers on interstate and highway road projects in Alabama. Once the markers are removed, another machine loads them into the cargo box and then the 5600 transports them to a dumpster.
Controlling dust and debris on road construction projects is an important part of Ozark Striping’s job, according to Gross. By simply mounting a sweeper attachment to the 5600, employees eliminate dust from blowing and reaching nearby water, all while the operator stays comfortable in the climate-controlled cab.
“We have to get debris off the road before we put tape down; it has to be clean so we can apply the tape to the temporary lane markers,” explains Gross. “We can sweep up the dust and debris with our Bobcat sweeper rather than blowing it.”
Larry Angle of Donada, Farms, Carrolltown, Illinois, utilizes a Toolcat 5600 and as many as six different attachments at a developing horse farm in Illinois. The farm will eventually be a permanent home for retired horses. “I like how easily you can change from one attachment to the next,” says Angle. “Even the hydraulic attachments are easy, including our mower and tiller.”
Top-of-the-line suspension system
After previously owning an earlier Toolcat model, Angle says he upgraded to a D-Series version from Bobcat of St. Louis in Fairview Heights, Illinois.
Angle’s 5600 performs daily chores on his farm. It didn’t take long for him to recognize one of the biggest improvements — an upgraded suspension system. “I really like the way the Toolcat machine rides better thanks to the independent suspension,” he says. “It makes a big difference when we are driving on our farm.”
“When we are working on a road project, we are operating in a 12-foot lane,” he says. “It’s not like you are in a field where you have a lot of room to turn around. You can’t turn around as easily because you have traffic right beside you. That’s where the maneuverability of the Toolcat 5600 is important to us; we can make some tight turns.”
Bobcat combined several technologies to give Toolcat 5600 operators unmatched control in uncertain driving conditions. Full-time four-wheel drive provides more traction, torque and power to reduce spinning.
“We have a lot of hills around here and we need the extra power,” says Angle. “We could tell a big difference when we were mowing up hills; this one has more power to climb.”
Angle says he doesn't notice driving in and out of sloppy ground conditions thanks to the four-wheel-drive. “I know it has better traction than our previous model,” he says. “I took the machine out after it rained and the ground was muddy. The guy who was riding with me said, ‘I think this one has better traction than the old one,’ and I agreed.”
When mowing flat surfaces or driving down the road, Angle sometimes employs the cruise control feature for increased productivity and a better balance of power. Attachment performance is further improved with the new horsepower management system, which balances engine rpm to maintain auxiliary hydraulic flow and travel speed.
Comfort becomes second nature
Anyone who’s operated a Toolcat machine will tell you that the optional enclosed cab is a must-have, especially during extreme weather conditions. Whether moving snow in the middle of January with subzero temperatures or mowing in the heat of summer, an enclosed cab with heat and air conditioning goes a long way to keeping operators happy.
Habersham Land Company’s Hellstrom purchased the 5600 with an enclosed cab and a bucket, rotary cutter and grader attachment from Bobcat of Savannah. “We have a lot of open lots that need to be mowed, and the enclosed cab keeps my operators safe from debris, dust and ground hornets.”
Angle’s previous 5600 had an enclosed cab with heat and air conditioning, and it was a necessity with his new model. He says he hires employees in the summer to mow grass with the 5600, and they especially appreciate the enclosed cab with air conditioning. In addition to cooler temperatures, the cab has a second seat for a passenger. “We occasionally have an operator and passenger in the Toolcat unit, maybe once or twice a week, and the enclosed cab also comes in handy to get out of the rain.”