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Early Spring HOWA 2010

Utility Work Machine Fits Veterinarian's Rural Lifestyle

Operating the Toolcat 5600 is the perfect way to relax after a day of treating dogs and cats

Dr. Larry Berryman is back on the farm, and he couldn't be more pleased. For the small-animal veterinarian, the farm is 90 acres of wildflowers, grass, trees and cropland located 20 miles south of Omaha, Neb., along the Platte River.

"The farm allows me to get away from the clinic and enjoy my hobby, which is basically puttering around the farm," he says. "It's what I like to do for relaxation, and it's cheaper than a psychiatrist."

Toolcat 5600

Dr. Larry Berryman utilizes his Toolcat 5600 utility work machine with the utility fork and grapple attachment to lift hard-to-handle materials on his property in Nebraska.

Dr. Berryman was born and raised on a farm near North Platte, in western Nebraska. He received his veterinary degree from Colorado State University in 1971, and two years later he moved to Omaha. Today he owns Harvey Oaks Animal Hospital and Eye Clinic, a practice that includes four other veterinarians. Dr. Berryman has 38 years of experience in the diagnosis, surgery and treatment of eye disorders in dogs and cats.

Return to rural living

After more than three decades of living in a city, he decided it was time to return to a rural setting. "I was tired of city life, and buying property in the country had always been my goal," he says. "Nine years ago we found what we were looking for."

What Dr. Berryman and his wife, Marilyn, found was a parcel of land he described as "wild." That made improving the property their focus right from the start. "We knew there was a lot of work here, but that was part of the reason for purchasing this place — it gave me something to do when I'm not at work," he says.

Initially Dr. Berryman used a 20-horsepower tractor with a front-end loader and a utility vehicle to help shape up the farm. After some time, in order to do more work and do it faster, easier and more comfortably (especially when plowing snow), he began to look at options for larger equipment. His research eventually took him to the Bobcat website.

Dr. Larry Berryman

After a long day at his veterinarian clinic in Omaha, Dr. Larry Berryman finds stress relief in his Toolcat 5600.

Unique discovery

"That's where I discovered a one-of-a-kind machine — the Toolcat™ 5600 utility work machine," he recalls. "As soon as I saw it, I knew this was the perfect fit for my situation. There were plenty of easy-to-hook-up attachments available, a tough and durable hydraulic cargo box and a comfortable, enclosed cab. Before I knew about the 5600, I looked at other equipment, but nothing else even comes close to it in versatility."

As soon as Bobcat of Omaha delivered his Toolcat 5600, Dr. Berryman got rid of his utility vehicle. "There was no comparison between these two machines," he says. "For example, the dumping ability of the hydraulic cargo box on the Toolcat unit is much better than the electric dump box on the utility vehicle."

He still has the 20-horsepower tractor, but doesn't use it much anymore. "The 59-horsepower 5600 spoiled me," he says. "Now I have my second Toolcat work machine and it's even better than the first one. It's a heavier-duty machine with additional power. The extra horsepower makes a huge difference when I'm mowing."

Dr. Berryman uses the 5600 two or three times a week, depending on the season. He mows the area around the wildflowers in the summer and uses the utility fork with grapple for picking up objects, such as fallen branches and trees. "Both attachments are very handy," he says.

Dr. Berryman needs to get to his clinic for scheduled appointments, regardless of the weather conditions. "I used to plow snow with my tractor," he recalls. "I was often wet and cold. I figured there must be a better way, and that's what led me to the Toolcat machine.

"I regularly plow with the snow blade attachment — it works very well. At times I use the bucket to handle snow. Either way, I can really move a lot of snow quickly and, equally important, do it in comfort. I enjoy helping my neighbors get plowed out as well. They really appreciate that."

Attention getter

When asked what he likes best about the Toolcat 5600, Dr. Berryman says: "Where do I start?"

  • Maneuverability. "It is incredible. I can get in a very limited-access situation and always get out of it because the machine turns so quickly and has such a close turning radius."
  • Comfort. "The cab is great. I'm spoiled by having heat when plowing snow in the winter and air-conditioning when mowing in the summer. The adjustable seat is very comfortable. I can work for hours and not get beat up like I did on some other equipment."
  • Visibility. "It's nice to be able to see what I am doing at all times. With the front-mounted mower I can see a potential obstacle as I approach it and quickly go around. Plus, I can always make certain the mower is running properly. The same is true in the winter when I'm plowing snow. I can see everything going on in front of me and avoid possible obstacles."
  • Attachment versatility. "In addition to the attachments I own, the ability to rent dozens of others makes the 5600 really valuable. For example, I rented an auger and planted 50 trees; that saved an enormous amount of time. The Power Bob-Tach™ feature minimizes the time to switch attachments. I can be mowing and come upon a downed tree and easily and quickly remove the mower and attach the utility fork with grapple to move the tree and then go back to mowing. I really like the Power Bob-Tach system in the winter when I go from using the snow blade to the bucket and back again, and stay warm the entire time."

In addition to being a time- and work-saving machine, the 5600 is a real attention-getter.

"Whenever I drive it to get fuel at the local gas station, people will stare and start asking questions and making comments," Dr. Berryman says. "Typically they will ask — ‘Where did you get it? How does it work? What are all the things on it?' — and even ‘Can I get inside?' I let them get in, but tell them not to push any buttons.

"When I am out working, people slow down on the road and watch to see what I am doing. I like to show it off."

Passersby can expect to see more of Dr. Berryman and his 5600 in the future.

"This is my retirement location," he says. "I have no desire to go anywhere else. I look forward to coming home, starting up the 5600 and doing some work. It's the perfect machine for my lifestyle; there just isn't anything better."

Visit the Toolcat utility work machine page to find specs, pictures and video clips.