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Fall 2010

Treading Lightly

Ohio contractor uses Bobcat System at cemeteries that don't own equipment

Jim Lock

Jim Lock

Bobcat® equipment has created thousands of businesses for owner-operators, each with their own niche. For Jim Lock, that niche is opening graves. Lock operates Jim Lock Excavation in Dayton, Ohio, and works for 14 cemeteries in the area.

Most of these cemeteries open fewer than four graves a week. (The industry term is "open," not "dig.") Some of the cemeteries don't have a full-time staff member, and hire Lock because the low number of graves opened every week makes it hard for the cemetery to own equipment. Lock uses the Bobcat System when opening the graves. He uses his 430 excavator to open the grave and places the spoil in the bucket of his T320 compact track loader, which hauls it away.

The 430 excavator has Zero House Swing, which helps Lock work in the narrow confines of the grave rows. "I work in some cemeteries that have only 8 feet between rows. With the Zero House Swing, I don't have to worry about turning and hitting a headstone," Lock says.

Roller Suspension system

Lock learned of the T320 and the Roller Suspension™ system from Bobcat of Dayton, his local dealer. The system increases operator comfort and minimizes maintenance through durable, all-steel components. The system provides greater operator comfort by minimizing vibration at the ground. The rollers are suspended by high-strength steel leaf springs to reduce vibration, and Lock has noticed the difference.

"One of my biggest problems was transporting heavy loads of dirt on blacktop and the vibration. I drive a lot of miles up and down the roadways in cemeteries, and this new system rides much smoother," he says.

Minimal damage

The rubber tracks on Lock's Bobcat equipment are essential. Graves are opened year-round, and Lock says in the wet spring the tracks don't damage cemetery grounds. Wet or not, rubber tracks don't create ruts in the ground. "Each cemetery is responsible for repairing ground disturbances, so they appreciate that I use tracked machines," Lock says.

In addition to opening graves, the versatility of his Bobcat equipment allows Lock to excavate for water, sewer, gas and electrical utilities. However, his work for the cemeteries occupies most of Lock's business. His Bobcat equipment is small enough to work in the tight spaces he encounters and has features that make the hours he spends in his machines comfortable.

For more information on Bobcat compact excavators and compact track loaders, visit the compact track loader page.

Bobcat System advantages

From working inside established buildings, to renovating an existing landscape, there are many examples of work environments where spoil from an excavation needs to be removed from the jobsite.

The easiest way to remove the spoil is to load directly into a truck. However, when that isn't practical, the Bobcat System is a great solution. The excavator dumps directly into the loader bucket to haul away the spoil. A Bobcat compact excavator and loader working together keeps a jobsite clean and working efficiently.

Bobcat Company reserves the right to make changes in engineering, design, and specifications; add improvements; or discontinue manufacturing at any time without notice or obligation.