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Fall 2009

Toolcat 5600: A Fixture on College Campus

Utility work machine proves its worth in variety of ways

Commencement brought a Toolcat 5600 to the campus of Emory University for the first time. Since then the utility work machine has "graduated" to handling other jobs around the 600-acre campus in northeast Atlanta.

"Since this is a college environment, we try to use the smallest machine that will do the job most efficiently," says Robert N. Williams, roads and hardscapes supervisor. "Oftentimes, that's the Toolcat 5600."

Toolcat 5600

Emory University buildings and grounds professionals keep their Toolcat 5600 busy on the 600-acre campus, while operators stay cool in the enclosed, air-conditioned cab.

Emory University has almost 13,000 students, 12,000 university faculty and staff and another 11,000 employees at Emory Healthcare, a well-known medical facility.

One of the major events on campus is commencement on the Monday after Mother's Day. Held in the "Quad," the symbolic center of campus, the ceremony requires 14,000 folding chairs. The rented chairs are delivered to nearby sidewalks and paved areas and unloaded onto pallets. A few days before graduation they have to be moved across grass to the Quad.

"Previously we used forklifts to bring the pallets of chairs in and to remove them after graduation," says Roland Milam, MRO (Maintenance Repair Order) commodity manager. "Every year the turf would be damaged, sometimes at a cost of several thousand dollars for repairs."

5600 eliminates turf damage

Six years ago, after a sales call from Perimeter Bobcat, the university rented a Toolcat 5600 with turf tires and the pallet fork attachment. "It handled the pallets with ease and was very easy to maneuver across the grass without doing damage," Milam says. "We rented it for two more years and then, as our grounds and hardscape people saw how valuable the utility work machine could be in their operation, we decided to purchase the unit. We couldn't justify it solely for graduation, but we determined there were plenty of other uses around campus."

Indeed there are. Williams says his roads and hardscape group uses the Toolcat 5600 regularly for a variety of jobs moving materials around campus, setting up for special events, fixing sidewalks and streets, installing and repairing signs and using the spreader attachment to distribute chemicals after an ice storm.

"It's so versatile that we find new uses for the Toolcat 5600 all the time," he says. "We can do a lot of work without worrying about turf damage. The crew really likes it, especially the air-conditioned cab. Plus, it's easy to operate for people with various skill levels."

As with so many other owners, the staff at Emory University first became interested in the Toolcat 5600 to solve one problem and then discovered dozens of other uses for the versatile utility work machine.

"It proves its worth every day," Milam says. "I give it two thumbs up," Williams adds.

Visit the Toolcat utility work machine page to learn more about the benefits of Toolcat machines for buildings and grounds professionals.