New 3450 utility vehicle is cemetery superintendentís first choice
Grounds maintenance crews keep the Bobcat UTV busy each day; ready for snow removal, too
Getting the most out of equipment is especially important for a private nonprofit organization. That's exactly the reason why Bob Longhi selected a new Bobcatģ 3450 utility vehicle for grounds maintenance tasks at the Hillside Cemetery in Torrington, Conn.
Longhi is the superintendent at Hillside Cemetery with 30 years of experience. He's seen a lot of equipment in his tenure, but this was the first Bobcat piece of compact equipment for the cemetery. The new 3450, purchased from Bobcat of Connecticut in East Hartford, Conn., replaced two older machines.
The cemetery is about 103 years old and consists of 108 acres; 55 of which are developed. According to Longhi, the cemetery has 12,000 gravesites and averages about 100 burials a year, including during the winter.
Longhi and his employees are responsible for clearing snow from the cemetery parking lots and sidewalks, including another 500 to 600 feet of sidewalks on a nearby property, which is why he purchased a snow blade attachment for use with the 3450 and its RapidLinkô attachment system.
"I'm already thinking of buying the bucket," he says. "After having the 3450 for awhile, we've learned how handy the bucket would be."
"Compared to our previous equipment, the 3450 is a world of difference. It's very comfortable; like you're sitting in a car. The independent suspension is unbelievable. It sure beats driving our three-wheel vehicles with solid axles. I selected the model with the diesel engine and I like the torque it provides. I'm very satisfied with it."
The utility vehicle rarely sits idle. Longhi jokes that his employees fight over who gets to drive it. The cargo box has been particularly useful. The grounds maintenance staff drives it to transport their equipment, like string trimmers, shovels and tools. They use it when picking up debris from containers and along the sidewalks and roads.
"One day we were cutting brush and throwing it in the cargo box," he says. "It was a rough spot where we normally have to get a dump truck, which requires laying down plywood so as not to disturb the ground. The utility vehicle didn't leave a mark. We were in and out."
Prior to making his purchase, Longhi researched other utility vehicle manufacturers. He regularly reads trade magazines, checks manufacturers' websites and speaks to other members of the Connecticut Cemetery Association.
"A former employee of mine works at Yale University in New Haven, and they use Bobcat utility vehicles on the campus and hospital," he says. "He said they were unbelievable, and I agree."
Another reason for the Bobcat purchase ó the employees at the local Bobcat dealership. "The staff at Bobcat of Connecticut is very professional, accommodating and can perform the service we need."
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