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Spring 2009

Coping with an economic downturn

New England landscaper depends on Bobcat equipment for sustained growth

S175 loaders

Bobcat A team of Bobcat S175 skid-steer loaders works together to clear snow from a parking ramp in downtown Hartford, Conn.

It's easy for Ed Quinn to take pride in his landscaping company's accomplishments; all he has to do is drive around southern New England. E.A. Quinn Landscaping, Glastonbury, Conn., has provided an ever-expanding number of services for the past two decades.

From the beginning, Bobcat equipment has played an important role in helping build Quinn's company, and today it's keeping his crews busy during the recession. Quinn started in landscaping as a junior at Glastonbury High School in 1984. As the company grew, he quickly discovered the value of a Bobcat loader.

"At first I did not have the money or amount of work to purchase a loader, so I hired my neighbor Maurice Bourbeau to do all my loader projects for a couple of years," Quinn says. "Then, I purchased the first of the many Bobcat machines I've owned. They have been a great investment, very reliable and the Bobcat of Connecticut dealership in East Hartford has provided excellent service.

"Bobcat machines are the most reliable we have," he says. "There's not a job we cannot do with our Bobcat loaders, excavator and attachments. They provide the flexibility we need to work in a wide range of applications."

Here are just a few examples of how the company is using its four Bobcat skid-steer loaders, a 331 compact excavator and several attachments.

Sports facilities

Quinn's Bobcat loaders and excavator have been on the field for projects at several sports venues. The company constructed a multi-level, tiered mezzanine at the New Britain Rock Cats minor league baseball stadium and a 9-foot backstop at Howell-Cheney Technical High School in Manchester. "That job was tailor-made for our excavator, with its 16-foot reach," Quinn says. "We used the 331 to place the concrete blocks that formed the backstop."

T190 and 331

E.A. Quinn Landscaping employees complete a tough project with a Bobcat System approach a T190 compact track loader and a 331 compact excavator.

Yale University library

Recently Quinn Landscaping played an important role in the major renovation of the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Conn. The library, which was given to Yale University 30 years ago, includes multiple buildings on a 2-acre site. The emphasis of the project, including the landscaping portion, was "recycle" and "green."

The Quinn crew constructed walkways of recycled bluestone, replanted dozens of trees and shrubs, hydroseeded the grounds and installed a rain garden to accept rain water runoff.

"Our 331 excavator did an excellent job of placing 4-foot by 5-foot, 3-inch-thick bluestone slabs that weighed about 1,500 pounds each," Quinn says.

Government buildings

The Quinn skid-steer loaders are parked in downtown Hartford during the winter, ready to help keep the government operating when snow begins to fall. The company has snow removal contracts for the state capitol, the department of motor vehicles, the state legislative office building, the state police facility (where the loaders are stored), the old state capitol, the post office's bulk mail center and two parks.

"In addition to our four loaders, we also have contract operators and their Bobcat machines ready to go," says Steve Virgadaula, who supervises the downtown snow removal efforts. "We need to have snow cleared from the sidewalks, parking lots and parking garages by 7 a.m. If it keeps snowing we keep our equipment on-site. Using two-way radios we move our machines around as needed."

Continued growth

The large variety of services, along with much greater emphasis recently on residential and commercial maintenance, has enabled Quinn to increase business by 50 percent in the last year. "Our proactive approach to the economic slowdown, which we saw coming a couple of years ago, has really paid off," he says.

To learn more about Bobcat equipment for landscapers, visit the landscaping page.

Two special deliveries 42 years ago

On November 11, 1966, Maurice Bourbeau went to the hospital to visit his wife and newborn son. She asked: "What did you do today?" His response: "I bought a Bobcat loader."

Bourbeau, who was doing concrete flatwork at the time, was one of the first to purchase a Bobcat loader in New England. "Business was good and I figured it was time to stop doing all our work by hand," he says.

He had seen a Bobcat M440 the first "Bobcat" branded loader on the market at a fair, and later visited a construction site in Hartford where a farm tractor and a Bobcat M500 were grading a ball field side-by-side. "The M500 was outperforming the tractor so I decided to buy one in order to make my life easier," Bourbeau says.

Bourbeau used the M500 almost every day for more than three decades in his flatwork business. For most of that time he also operated an M600, which he still has today.

"I had started to retire when Ed Quinn moved in next to me," says Bourbeau, who is now 78 years old and still lives in Glastonbury, Conn. "He was starting his business and hired me do his loader work. He saw what could be accomplished with a Bobcat loader and eventually purchased his own machine. Those Bobcat loaders have worked out well for him. They are fantastic products."