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Spring 2009

Utility vehicles lower operating costs at university

Significant difference in fuel use leads to utility vehicles replacing pickup trucks

Mark Pogirski

Mark Pogirski has been instrumental in helping Cedarville University save fuel by switching from pickup trucks to Bobcat utility vehicles.

Just as universities transform students into highly skilled professionals, utility vehicles are improving the way college maintenance departments operate. At Cedarville University, a Baptist college in Cedarville, Ohio, utility vehicles are reducing operating costs while helping the maintenance department work more efficiently on a changing campus environment.

The maintenance department at Cedarville University has crews that perform various tasks, including painting, woodworking, flooring and maintaining locks. With 3,000 students and 400 acres, there's a large area to cover and a lot to do to keep the university running. The maintenance department has one Bobcat® 2200 and three 2100 utility vehicles to move crews around the campus. All of Cedarville University's utility vehicles are gas powered.

Improved access

Cedarville University has been transitioning to a "walking" campus. As the college has grown, new buildings are easier for maintenance staff to access by sidewalk than by a street or parking lot. That means the vans and pickup trucks used by the maintenance department needed to be replaced with vehicles that were lighter, but could still perform the same function. After investigating equipment options, the university decided to purchase the Bobcat utility vehicles.

"The utility vehicle is better because we can drive up to the door of a building on a sidewalk and take our tools in and get to work," says Mark Pogirski, supervisor of auto equipment at Cedarville University. "With trucks, we would have to park in a nearby lot and carry tools to the building."

Saving money on fuel

The greatest benefit to using utility vehicles is the amount of money the university saves on fuel expenses. The maintenance staff studied the fuel use of a 2100 utility vehicle and a pickup truck over a six-month period. Over the six months, the 2100 used only as much fuel as the truck did in one month, providing a significant reduction in operating costs. "We eliminated two full-size vans and two pickup trucks with the use of the utility vehicles," Pogirski says.

Not only did the university save on fuel costs by switching over to utility vehicles, but other costs related to owning vans and trucks were eliminated as well. While utility vehicles still need to be insured, the cost to do so is lower than a van or truck.

For these reasons, utility vehicles are becoming as commonplace as backpack-carrying students on college campuses around the country.

Go online to read more about the advantages of Bobcat utility vehicles. Visit the utility vehicle page for more information.