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Fall 2009

Stephen Lagneaux, E35 Customer

E35 customer feedback

Following in his father's footsteps, Stephen Lagneaux embarked on a construction career in the late '90s. Growing residential and commercial markets in central and southern Louisiana made for plentiful work for the new owner-operator. A Bobcat® compact excavator has been Lagneaux's primary mode of digging for foundation work for more than 10 years.

Lagneaux relies on a Bobcat compact excavator to dig footings for new residential and commercial projects, and a Bobcat S205 skid-steer loader for final grading. He says his work has remained steady, even though the national economy is going through a prolonged recession. "There's still a lot of new housing going on in Lafayette," he says. "It's slowed down a little, but we still stay pretty busy."

Stephen Lagneaux

Stephen Lagneaux owns and operates his own company, specializing in excavating and grading projects for homebuilders in central Louisiana.

When it was time to trade in his Bobcat 430 compact excavator for a new one, a salesman from Duhon Machinery of Lafayette recommended the new M-Series E35. "I was a little scared at first, because it is a smaller, lighter machine, and I was told it had more power," he says. Once Lagneaux got into the operator's seat and did a demo, he quickly changed his perception. "It's got a lot of power, digging-wise."

The Zero Tail Swing (ZTS) design of the E35 appealed to Lagneaux. "I have to get into tight areas a lot of times; either between houses or in a five- or six-foot opening, and then swing the house to dig," he says. "The extra overhang on other models gets in the way and you can't swing it to position yourself to dig where you need."

Like Mark Wanke, Lagneaux noticed the new auto-idle feature almost immediately. "After you stop for a few seconds to talk to someone on the phone, the engine idles down, and as soon as you operate a control, it idles back up and you take off," he says. "In general, the machine is a lot quieter compared to my previous 430."

In addition to the auto-idle feature, Lagneaux says other operator comforts stood out, like the additional foot and leg room, adjustable armrests and operator seat. "With the boom swing control on the joystick, that's one less pedal," he says. "It frees up more foot room on the floor. There's more leg room, less noise and a more comfortable seat. At the end of an eight-hour day, those make a big difference."

Simple attachment changes

Changing buckets is a common practice for Lagneaux. He often needs to switch between multiple buckets on the same site. To save time and simplify the process, he added the optional Hydraulic X-Change™ attachment mounting system to his E35. "Sometimes the exterior footings are 18 inches, and then we have some 4-by-4-foot post pads, so we'll put on the big bucket to dig it faster," he explains. "It's a whole lot easier with the Hydraulic X-Change option."

Brand loyalty

A number of other manufacturers have tried to sway Lagneaux away from Bobcat. He hasn't strayed from Duhon Machinery. "Bobcat is the first machine I bought and I've liked them ever since," he says. "I've never had any problems, they're comfortable, the power is great and they're easy to maneuver.

QuickLook: Bobcat E35

  • Horsepower: 33.3 hp (24,8 kW)
  • Operating weight: 7468 lb. (3387 kg)
  • Dig depth: 10 ft. 3 in. (3,1 m)
  • Reach at ground level: 17 ft. 2 in. (5,2 m)
  • Dump height: 11 ft. (3,3 m)
  • Width (blade): 70 in. (1750 mm)
  • Travel speeds (low and high): 1.6 mph (2,6 km/hr) and 2.9 mph (4,7 km/hr)