Customers Prefer New Compact Tractors
Rental center profits by switch to Bobcat brand
As an owner of Bobcat® skid-steer loaders for 10 years, Chris Ippolito has been impressed with the performance and durability of the machines. The willingness of the company to stand behind its products and honor its warranties has also been important to him.
Chris Ippolito (right) shakes Bingham Equipment employee Shaun Spilsbury's hand after the delivery of four new Bobcat compact tractors at San Tan Rentals.
At the same time the Bobcat loaders were delivering superior results for the owner of San Tan Rentals, Queen Creek, Ariz., another brand of equipment was delivering results not nearly as rewarding.
"The previous brand of compact tractor I owned had Ippolito. "At times I had to wait a couple of weeks for repairs to be completed. Equipment sitting in the dealer's shop doesn't do me any good. Plus, the manufacturer blamed the breakdowns on customer abuse, and quit honoring the warranties."
Four new Bobcat tractors
As a result, Ippolito began looking to replace his green-colored compact tractors. His decade-long good experience with Bobcat loaders played a big role in his decision to purchase four Bobcat units — a CT235, two CT440s and a CT445 — from Bingham Equipment, the local Bobcat dealer.
"The vast majority of my customers like the Bobcat tractors better than the other brand," he says. "They say Bobcat has a nicer machine and the controls are easier to operate. They also like the three different size options I offer. The use rate for the tractors is good even though the economy has substantially reduced my overall business. Each tractor has been renting for an average of at least 10 hours a week."
Ippolito, a former citrus grower, decided to open his rental center when the homebuilding boom exploded around him on the southeast side of Phoenix. During the time he has been in business, the population of his area increased from 5,000 to an estimated 25,000 today. Many homeowners have single-acre lots or bigger. There are several properties with horses, arenas and pastures.
"These days a typical compact tractor rental is for one day, usually on the weekend," Ippolito says. "Homeowners use the machines for grading and cleaning up, as well as for other chores. I have a front-end loader for each machine, a backhoe attachment for the CT445 and other implements and attachments such as a tiller, rotary cutter and disc harrow. These items are popular and help rent the tractors."
Ippolito expects the Bobcat compact tractor line to do well at his store. "They are well-built machines, with hood and fenders made of metal instead of plastic," he says. "With good dealer support and a longer warranty than some other brands, I have high expectations for these tractors."
NEW: Front-auxiliary hydraulics
Select Bobcat attachments may now be used on Bobcat CT335, CT440, CT445 and CT450 tractors with a new front-auxiliary hydraulic option. It includes hoses and couplers to the front of the tractor loader to enable the use of hydraulically operated attachments. Those include augers, hydraulic pallet fork, spreader, standard-duty snow blades, Tilt-Tatch™ and utility grapple.