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Summer 2005

Top Performance at Recycling Plant

David Gudakunst

David Gudakunst

Hour after hour, day after day—a pair of Bobcat® skidsteer loaders working at the Midwest Elastomers, Inc., plant in Wapakoneta, Ohio, just keep going. And that’s just the way David Gudakunst likes it.

He’s the material logistics manager for the 26-year-old company that provides custom grinding services that turn rubber and plastic materials into fine mesh powders and granules. Among the final uses: Surfaces for playgrounds and sports venues.

“This is among the toughest of all work environments for a skid-steer loader,” he says, as his S300 machines continuously haul scrap rubber from the yard to the granulating machines. “Before we purchased our first Bobcat machines—two 963s—we tried other brands. They just couldn’t hold up to the workload.”

When Gudakunst was evaluating different brands of skid-steer loaders he discovered the advantages of the Bobcat machines. “The S300s are built for severe-duty applications. They are very durable and rugged with strong lift arms. They hold up well. We don’t have the problem of frequent hydraulic hose breaks like we did with another brand of loader. In our situation, these Bobcat units are the best.”

Gudakunst says part of the severe-duty environment is multiple operators. “We have six to eight regular operators and another six to eight standby operators,” he notes. “It can be tough on a machine to have this many people rotating in and out of the driver’s seat. Different skill levels and operating styles can be hard on a loader. That’s not a problem for our S300s.”

All operators at Midwest Elastomers participate in the Bobcat skid-steer loader training program.

“Veteran and inexperienced operators take the course annually,” says Gudakunst. “Our new people keep asking when they can take it. The Bobcat training courses are first-class.”

Regular preventive maintenance is handled by Bobcat of Lima. Due to the dusty work conditions, operators clean radiators each shift, and check fluids at the same time. “Our maintenance program goes a long way toward keeping the machines running,” says Gudakunst.

With the S300s working 16 hours a day, Gudakunst knows there is little margin for error. “We can’t afford breakdowns,” he says. “Our Bobcat loaders
handle the abuse real well. For our application, I don’t think there is any other skid-steer loader worth buying.”

Check out the powerful S300 at your local Bobcat dealer.

Read more about Bobcat training courses at