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Summer 2009

Overcoming a Short Season

Bobcat compact track loaders help landscaper extend the working season

Whether you're growing crops or playing baseball, the climate in North Dakota generally means a short season. For landscapers, the same is true, unless, like Valley Landscaping, you have a fleet of Bobcat® compact track loaders.

"It's unbelievable how compact track loaders changed our business," says Bryan Wendt, who owns Valley Landscaping with his brother Craig and partner Barry Davidson. "They have made us at least 40 percent more efficient." And, in most years, on the job earlier in the spring and later in the fall.

Valley Landscaping T180

A pair of Bobcat compact track loaders keep Valley Landscaping crews working when they would otherwise sit idle.

"This is an unforgiving business," Bryan says. "We have to make our money in six months. If we have a wet spring or fall, we have to scramble. If we did not have our compact track loaders it would be tough to survive in a really wet year."

Today, Valley Landscaping owns five Bobcat compact track loaders — a T180 and four T250s — and an S250 skid-steer loader purchased from Bobcat of Fargo. The company's versatility is enhanced by several Bobcat attachments — a landplane, box blade, pallet fork, angle broom, auger, tree spade and buckets.

"Machine of the future"

Craig started the firm in 1996 and for several years used different brands of skid-steer loaders. About the time Bryan joined on full-time, Bobcat introduced the compact track loader.

"As soon as we tested it, we knew it was the machine of the future for landscapers," Bryan says. "When your work season is limited, you have to look for an advantage. Track loaders provided that advantage for us."

Like his brother, Craig credits a lot of their success to the switch to compact track loaders. "The efficiency of this equipment enabled us to take on more projects and add more people, to really expand our company," Craig says. "It enabled our business to take off."

Valley Landscaping

From left to right: Barry Davidson, Bryan Wendt and Craig Wendt.

In addition to extending the work season, the compact track loaders allow Valley Landscaping crews to stay productive in wet conditions when other equipment is stopped, and provide better traction due to the heavier machine weight, notes Craig. Operators also benefit from better flotation because the machine's weight is distributed over the tracks for a bigger footprint.

"Before we had track loaders we spent a lot of time waiting for the ground to dry, or worse, repairing surfaces," he says. "For example, we would be building a backyard patio and after multiple trips around the side of the house, we had to fix the ruts we left in the grass. Now we can get in and out much faster, and move on to the next job."

When you're working with a short season and your business depends on getting work done on time and to the customer's specifications, Bobcat compact track loaders are the ideal machines.

Visit the compact track loader page to read more about the advantages of Bobcat compact track loaders.