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Fall 2009

V417 cuts time needed to handle feed ingredients

Telescopic adds new dimension to dairy feeding operation

When Zane Garber relocated and doubled the size of his dairy herd, he set in motion a series of operational changes that made it necessary to consider some new equipment options. The result was improved efficiency in certain aspects of his business.

Garber and his wife, Juanita, own 150 acres in south central Pennsylvania, rent another 400 acres and have a Holstein herd of 300 cows. When they relocated from Fayetteville to Shippensburg — towns about 20 miles apart — they were able to increase herd size and grow more of their own feed. Mixing the daily feed ration, however, became a problem.

Zane Garber

A V417 telescopic tool carrier is just what Zane Garber needed to lift material into his vertical feed mixer. The added reach and lift capacity has saved Garber hours each day.

"We had a vertical feed mixer on the farm where we used to live," Garber says. "We had a raised area so we could load the mixer with our Bobcat® 773 skid-steer loader. At our new farm, with this new higher vertical mixer and without a raised area, dumping in ingredients with the loader was a little more difficult. I was getting burned out and needed to do something."

In looking for a machine that could lift higher and handle a large capacity bucket, Garber visited his local dealer, Bobcat of Shippensburg, where he tried the VersaHandler® telescopic tool carrier (TTC). He selected the V417, a versatile model that has a 4,400-pound maximum lift capacity and a maximum lift height of 17 feet 2 inches.

"The V417 has definitely made my job easier," Garber says. "I'm saving 1½ to 2 hours a day loading ingredients into the mixer. That's significant. The all-wheel steer function of the V417 increases the tire life. I have 800 hours on the machine and the tires look like new."

The Bobcat telescopic easily allows him to reach the 10-foot height requirement for loading the mixer and enables him to better monitor the amount of feedstuffs to get an accurate weight. "With excellent visibility and very sensitive joystick controls, the VersaHandler machine is ideal for handling feed," Garber says.

"I can move a lot of ingredients at one time using the 2-cubic yard light material bucket. The feed-handling portion of our business has improved greatly." He also likes other features of the V417: It's easy to operate with its automotive-style controls; it's easy to service with a side-mounted engine; and the choice of three steering modes provides easy maneuvering in many different situations. Compatibility with Bobcat loader attachments is a big plus, too, he says, because of the standard Bob-Tach™ interface.

"The VersaHandler TTC has been a great addition to our dairy operation," Garber says. "After being around Bobcat loaders all my life, I am not at all surprised by the performance of this Bobcat product."

Visit the V417 page to read more, see photos and check specs for the V417 telescopic tool carrier.