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Summer 2009

Toolcat 5600 Is 'Most Important Piece of Equipment'

Grounds maintenance crew reaps benefits of one-of-a-kind machine

For the past three years the grounds maintenance department at Methodist Health System in Omaha, Neb., has been operating more efficiently, thanks to a Toolcat™ 5600 utility work machine and Bobcat® attachments.

Grounds team leader Rick Lienemann is responsible for all of the grounds maintenance for Methodist Health System, including Methodist Hospital, Methodist corporate facilities and all of the Methodist clinics in the Omaha area, totaling nearly 80 acres of property.

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Rick Lienamann

An easy sell

Lienemann says it was easy for him to persuade the hospital administration to purchase the one-of-a-kind machine.

"I had one of the vice presidents ride with me in the cab, showed him the all-wheel steering feature and explained how much easier the 5600 could make our work, especially in the winter for snow removal," he says. "It took me less than 30 minutes to convince them that this is what we needed."

Grounds maintenance employees operate the machine daily. They get an early start, collecting garbage in the morning, sweeping parking lots and sidewalks with the angle broom attachment, and hauling tools and supplies in the 5600's cargo bed.

Precise maneuverability

"We prefer the Toolcat machine to a pickup truck because it's much more versatile and consumes less fuel, and we can get to worksites easier with the machine's compact size. We easily get around tight corners." Lienemann says.

A bucket attachment on the front hauls trash, two employees sit in the enclosed cab (with heat and air conditioning), while the cargo bed carries trash bags, brooms or rakes.

"If I need to dispatch employees to clean up something, instead of driving a pickup and the Toolcat 5600, they'll ride together," he says.

Toolcat 5600

Cleaning parking garages, sidewalks and driveways with a Toolcat 5600 utility work machine and angle broom attachment takes less time than with other equipment.

Minimal disturbance

An added benefit of the 5600 versus a pickup truck is the all-wheel steering and turf tires for minimal ground disturbance. "We rented a grapple attachment from Bobcat of Omaha last summer to clean up storm debris," Lienemann says. "We were able to drive on the grass, pick up the debris and carry it to the Dumpsters without damaging the turf.

"The Toolcat 5600 is the most popular machine that my employees operate. I could not do my work at Methodist Health Systems without the Toolcat 5600 — it's the most important piece of equipment that we own. It's a perfect fit for a grounds maintenance department."

Lienemann says a new women's hospital with 150 beds is scheduled to open in 2010, and he is planning to buy a second Toolcat machine from Bobcat of Omaha. He expects to outfit the machine with the SP12 salt and sand spreader to disperse sand from the cargo bed, while the operator sweeps snow with an angle broom attachment on the front. He's also buying a grapple attachment because he says there's enough demand for it for cleanup projects. In all, Bobcat offers more than 40 approved attachments for the 5600.

Grounds maintenance professionals like Rick Lienemann are reaping the benefits of Toolcat machines daily, as they replace less effective vehicles — such as pickups — in equipment fleets.

Visit the Toolcat page to continue reading about the Toolcat 5600, view photos and watch videos.