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Week 11 Winners

John Coughlin Coughlin’s Landscaping Worcester, Pa.

Bobcat Unleashed Me
“I have a small landscape company. When I started in 2000 … the first thing I looked for was a Bobcat® machine. I bought a 743B with various attachments. When I bought the machine everybody was laughing because they felt the machine was limited with its size. Well, after my parents bought a new house, the 743B and I installed a pond, a swimming pool and the landscape. Everybody was blown away with how versatile this machine was. I dug footings, excavated the pond, dug holes for plants, hauled in concrete where a truck wouldn’t fit, staged materials, unloaded 44-inch root ball trees off tractor trailers and many other things. This machine saved me over 100 man-hours of labor.

“In 2003, I was looking to add a few guys, so I called my Bobcat rep and asked him about the Bobcat MT52. In about three hours he had one at my jobsite. First, we unloaded trees and plants from the truck, and then we moved in topsoil and compost to create the beds. Next, we dug the holes, planted the trees, moved a couple of boulders into place, and then used it to carry mulch. The machine saved me 23 man-hours off of my estimate.

“In the fall of 2007, I had landed a large commercial snow and ice management contract but did not have enough equipment. I was looking at a new snow plow for my truck but was not certain that was the answer. After buying my 743B and using it in several storms, I learned that trucks with plows take three times longer to plow snow than a skid-steer loader with an angle blade. I contacted my Bobcat rep, told him my scenario, and he brought me the solution — an S300. I knew this machine could fill our needs for snow removal, but what really sold me was that I could use the S300 for our landscaping business when the snow melted. I bought the S300 and lo and behold, it only snowed once this year.

“I still kept the machine running, doing other things. We did a large tree transplant job where we had to lift a 60-inch root ball out of the hole and plant the tree on the other side of property. With a pallet fork, bucket and backhoe attachment, we did it with only two guys in one day. When it did snow, we loaded our trucks with salt and calcium. The machine did not blink an eye. Switching from the bucket to the fork was easy — I just pushed a button. The Power Bob-Tach™ system has eliminated the need for the extra hand-switching attachments, but it has spoiled me … I will never look for anything but a Bobcat machine.”

Jay Roth McCubbin Construction Corp. Davenport, Iowa

Bobcat Unleashed Me
“McCubbin Construction is a diverse company. We handle earthwork and grading, storm and sanitary sewers, water mains and services, water control structures, paving, clearing and wetlands creation. However, our specialty is renovation and new construction on golf courses and athletic fields. Over the years we have rented, leased or owned many Bobcat® models and attachments. At this time we own a 7753 and an A300 all-wheel steer. These models are made even more versatile by the attachments we own: a tiller, angle broom, pallet fork, tree shear, grapple, landscape rake, concrete breaker, snow plow, tree spade and laser-guided grader. Obviously, these machines perform too many specific and unique tasks to list them all here. We also owned a 323 compact excavator that was so desirable it was stolen!

“One of the most unique and creative uses of our Bobcat fleet occurred at the Indian Bluffs Golf Course in Milan, Ill. In September of 2002, we were contracted to renovate 40 sand bunkers on the course. The goal was to remove the existing sand, reshape the land, install new drainage tile and fill the bunkers with six tons of new sand — all of this with minimal disturbance to the course. Any damage to the turf was to be repaired at our expense. We have found that a rubber-tired skid-steer loader gets stuck as soon as you turn inside of a bunker. It also damages turf. Because of that, most renovations of this nature are labor-intensive and we needed a way to load out the material into our flotation-tired dump truck without disturbing the turf.

“Here is the unique solution that our owner, Mike McCubbin, and our project superintendent, Jay Roth, came up with. We put our rubber-tracked T200 with a small bucket inside the bunker. Thanks to its great maneuverability, we were able to accomplish the cleaning and reshaping with very little hand labor. We dumped the spoil directly into an A300 all-wheel steer, which was positioned outside the bunker with our material-handling bucket. After taking several loads from the T200, the A300 then loaded the dump truck, with absolutely no damage to the turf. This process worked so well we purchased the leased A300. We have used this same method many times with great success.”

Michael Leenstra Leenstra Landscapes Lacombe, Alberta, Canada

Bobcat Unleashed Me
“In 2007 I left my job to join my dad’s new company. Leenstra Landscapes works in Lacombe and the surrounding rural area ... When we started up the business, we talked about what equipment would be good to have for landscaping and we decided it would be nice to have a compact excavator. Dad went out and bought a new Bobcat® 430 along with a trailer from Bobcat of Red Deer. He still had an 873; the two machines were really effective on a lot of jobs. I really enjoyed working with the 430 and it was easy for me to get the hang of the controls.

“The new excavator was almost immediately put into service, and the Zero House Swing (ZHS) feature was a huge advantage. We got a job installing new weeping tile along the foundation of an older house, and the 430 made working right next to the house look easy. On another job later that summer, we built a large two-level deck right next to a huge tree that provided shade for a large part of a yard. Because of its compact design, the 430 was perfect for site preparation beneath the limbs of the large tree, a job that would have been a lot of work by hand ... We found that using the machines in tandem is very efficient for a number of different jobs. One of our other jobs was hauling away a row of tangled up bushes. The 430 dug out the several stumps with ease, and the hydraulic clamp worked well for loading the otherwise awkward stumps onto the truck.

“We did a fairly long list of jobs that first year. It is amazing when we look back at the work we accomplished with two compact machines. I am looking forward to investing in the company in the future and I hope that I will have many more enjoyable years operating Bobcat equipment. My wife and I had a son on February 16, 2008 named Ethan who we are very proud of. I am already looking forward to teaching him to drive our Bobcat machines someday! Since I was young I have been able to work doing something I truly enjoy and I know that I will continue to use Bobcat machines in the future. Even though I am only 25, I have spent a lot of hours running many different models of Bobcat machines and I still get excited when I get in a cab.

“I can definitely say that over the years Bobcat has helped me to work better, smarter and faster. With a large selection of well-designed machines and huge array of attachments, Bobcat allows contractors like us to have access to an endless variety of work. The machines allow us to work at most jobs with no additional hired labor while still finishing on or ahead of schedule. Could there be a better work saver than that?”

Dennis Goecke II Tipp City, Ohio

Bobcat Unleashed Me
“In 2001 I met my wife Carmony, and was introduced to her wonderful family and community. Her grandfather and father bought their first Bobcat® machine in the late 1980s, a 742. It was used to keep up their farm on a daily basis. I didn't know much about farming at the time, but I learned that to be successful, you had to work hard and have good equipment to help with everyday tasks. It was the winter of 2002 when my father-in-law Joe needed help to clean his stockyard. He told me to take the Bobcat machine while he used the spreader. I got in the rugged machine without hesitation. From then on I was always looking for an excuse to get in that 742 and it's still the same today.

“My wife and I just moved out to a farm … every weekend, we’re out working with horses, fixing fence and clearing brush. That is why I love having my 1992 Bobcat 743B. If it wasn't for this machine, I would go crazy. With little time to keep up on maintenance, my 743B allows me to do most of the work by myself. I don't have 12 kids like the farming families of yesterday, so Bobcat equipment is a necessity for me and my family.

“I have a round bale fork, forks, tooth bucket and smooth bucket attachment to take care of most jobs. In February, I had to set a 16-foot gate and a 9-foot, 8-inch post by myself to keep the horses from getting out. With my Bobcat 743B, I was able to carry the post and gate to my far west pasture with no effort at all. Even after hand-digging a 3.5-foot post hole, I was able to install the new gate in just over an hour.

“Other jobs I’ve used my 743B for include cleaning out stalls for the horses, plowing 10 inches of snow off the driveway, hauling fuel oil from my barn to the house, and clearing brush. This machine has been used to spread hundreds of tons of stone and dirt, break up concrete driveways and carry fresh concrete to jobs that could not be reached by truck. This machine has been doing that kind of work for most of its life, but it still doesn't leak a drop of oil. It has great power, is easy to maintain, and has great fuel efficiency.

“I hope in time to be able to add an auger to my arsenal. Bobcat machines have served my wife’s family since the 1980s in farming and will continue to serve our family as long as they keep making machines. Thanks, Bobcat!”

Nick Klein Klein Skid Steer Service Henry, Ill.

Bobcat Unleashed Me
“Since I began operating equipment, I have operated all makes, models and types. I started my business in 2005 as more of a hobby. I have a passion about moving dirt and making everything look like a golf course when I’m finished. I gave up my Harley-Davidson and some other toys to get my business started, but it has been worth it. I work second shift, so I get to run my business all day before I go to work. Someday I would like to take my business to a full-time status and Bobcat equipment has been helping me with that! When I ran my buddy’s Bobcat® 763, I was impressed. At the time I owned a competitor-branded machine, which would stall out when trying to back out of the swimming pool excavation that I was working on. I was not satisfied with how slowly I was completing the job. I became totally fed up with the productivity that I was getting out of my machine and purchased a 2005 Bobcat T190 with a 709 backhoe attachment. When I need to go up a hill or back out of an excavation site, I don't have to worry about it — my machine will handle it!

“After I purchased the 709 attachment I didn't use it as much as I planned, so I traded it in for a used 1991 Bobcat X231 compact excavator. This has made my work much easier and faster. Whenever I need an attachment, I always turn to Bobcat equipment for a quality rental that I know has been properly serviced and ready to go to work for me. Bobcat replacement parts are reliable and priced reasonably, which works better for me. Whenever I need parts, oil, filters, rentals or advice, I turn to my local dealer, Bobcat of Peoria. I take a lot of flak for owning and running Bobcat equipment and even lost a few jobs, because I work for ‘Big Yellow’ in Peoria, Ill. Some people don't like it, but I am not ashamed to tell anyone that I run Bobcat equipment — it helps me unleash my potential to do better work faster and smarter! Thanks, Bobcat!”