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Bobcatalog 2011

Surviving the Great Recession with a Bobcat MT55

A Bobcat mini track loader helps Texas contractor stay in business and expand services

Bill Stocklin

Bill Stocklin

When the Great Recession nearly drove Bill Stocklin out of business, he turned to his Bobcat dealer for help, got just what he needed and weathered the economic storm. By adding a Bobcat® MT55 mini track loader, Stocklin expanded his business services to include landscaping and has kept his revenue stream flowing and his employees busy.

Stocklin has been in business for nearly 20 years, making a name for himself in the construction market in the Austin area and central Texas. Today he's the owner and president of Stocklin Company, specializing in site clearing, cleanup and now landscaping and irrigation installations.

His first Bobcat loader was a 610 that he purchased and rewired after a fire left it badly damaged. Like many others who have started with just one machine, he was an owner operator who took advantage of opportunities to expand his business and he succeeded.

Adding services

The national recession took its toll on the housing market in Texas and on Stocklin's business. One of Stocklin's customers offered him landscaping installations for new homes. Previously, Stocklin and his crews only prepared the yards for the landscape crews to do their part. That's when Stocklin asked his salesman at Bobcat of Austin about a smaller machine to complete the landscaping projects. The salesman recommended a mini track loader and delivered one at a jobsite for Stocklin's crews to try.

"Within 10 minutes, my employees forgot about another machine they had been using and wanted the MT55 because it was more powerful and left less of a footprint," Stocklin says. "They especially liked how easy it was to operate and the superior controls."

Minimal disturbance, more traction

According to Stocklin, a big difference between the Bobcat MT55 and another machine was the ground pressure.

"Even though both were track machines, the Bobcat mini track loader had less ground disturbance," he says. "We work in a lot of mud, and when we're trenching, we need to have good traction. The Bobcat MT55 has the power to keep us working."

His operators install new trees and shrubs as well as irrigation systems with a Bobcat trencher attachment. Additionally, they use the machine to haul gravel back and forth from the street to trenches instead of doing it by manual labor with wheelbarrows and shovels.

In addition to the MT55, Stocklin owns six Bobcat skid-steer loaders and a T190 compact track loader.

"My operators take good care of the equipment and I tell them to treat the equipment like it was their own. So, we have some machines with as many as 8,000 hours on them. We do all of the scheduled maintenance to make sure they're in top shape.

"The support system from my dealer has been phenomenal. The salesman has been a big reason why I keep coming back. He's interested in what I'm working on, what he can do to help my business and wants to be sure that I'm happy with the product."

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.