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Early Spring HOWA 2011

Why one machine is better than three

Pennsylvania acreage owners downsize equipment to one Toolcat utility work machine

If you've ever questioned what the word "versatility" means and how it applies to compact equipment, Toolcat™ utility work machines define it. Susan Gumpher's experience with her Toolcat 5600 on her Pennsylvania acreage is a perfect example.

A Toolcat 5600 suits homeowner Susan Gumpher perfectly

A Toolcat 5600 suits homeowner Susan Gumpher perfectly.

Susan and her husband, David, live on 4 acres that include their home, the office for Gumpher Electrical Contracting — which they've owned and operated for 30 years — and their many perfectly manicured landscapes with numerous annuals and perennials. Landscaping is something Susan has fashioned into a serious hobby, complete with her own garden planting shed.

Replacing three machines with one

The Gumphers previously owned three pieces of equipment to manage their property, particularly in the winter for snow removal and in the spring for delivering mulch to the many plant beds on the property. Last year the couple opted to replace their three machines with one Toolcat 5600 and attachments from their local Bobcat dealer, Best Line Equipment. The reason for such a change was that they could get more productivity out of one machine with multiple attachments than they could with three machines, and the new 5600 is much more comfortable than the previous equipment, according to Susan.

"The Toolcat machine has a lot more power than the equipment we previously owned, and the 5600 is easier to maneuver, especially in the all-wheel steer mode," she says.

The Gumpher's Toolcat utility work machine is usually in one of three places: at the Gumpher acreage, helping Susan move mulch, haul dirt or carry water to her flower beds or transport materials in the cargo box; on an electrical jobsite where it complements other construction equipment; or on a hunting expedition with David.

"My husband will remove the front-mounted attachment and take it on hunting trips," Susan says. "With the cab, heat and radio, he can sit in the woods, and when someone is ready, they'll call him and use it to transport the deer in the cargo box."

Homeowner Susan Gumpher enjoys operating the machine to maintain her many gardens, distributing mulch on the property and clearing snow

Homeowner Susan Gumpher enjoys operating the machine to maintain her many gardens, distributing mulch on the property and clearing snow.

Attachments = Productivity

Beyond two buckets, the Gumphers purchased multiple Bobcat® attachments, including a snowblower, snow blade, pallet forks and an auger. When the machine is on an electrical jobsite, they've rented a trencher attachment and a grapple from their Bobcat dealer.

Around the acreage, it's easy for Susan to change attachments, and if they're non-hydraulic attachments, like switching between buckets, she can do so from inside the comfortable Toolcat cab without even stepping outside. Their 5600 includes the optional Power Bob-Tach™ attachment mounting system, which allows her to push a button, raise the Bob-Tach levers, disengage one bucket, drive up to another bucket, engage it, activate the Bob-Tach levers again, and she's connected to the next attachment. It's as simple as that. Add up attachment changes every day, week and month, and pretty soon you're saving a lot of time and energy.

When asked how it compares to other equipment she's operated in the past, Susan says it's considerably more comfortable and easier to operate. "The ride is much smoother, and with the all-wheel steering, I can maneuver into spots a lot easier, back into them, rather than going forward and back until I get to my desired place," she explains.

To put it nicely, Gumpher's prior equipment wasn't attachment-friendly. They had attachment options, but they were a "pain." "With our other equipment, you had to struggle with chains and clip-on things," she says. "It was difficult to get something on. The Bobcat® attachments are much, much easier. And the visibility at night, with the lights on, is great." Another plus for those early mornings or late nights moving snow.

Lending a helping hand (or attachment)

In addition to clearing out their own driveway, the Gumphers help their neighbors with snow removal, which Susan says will be a lot easier this winter with their Toolcat 5600 and front-mounted snow removal attachments.

Once inside the 5600's enclosed cab, it's easy not to want to get out. "Our Toolcat 5600 has a superior heating and air conditioning system," Susan says. "I have much more control with this system, as far as the fan speed, and it cools or heats much quicker, too."

When Susan and David Gumpher wanted to work more efficiently on their acreage, the couple quickly learned how one Toolcat machine could replace three machines they already owned. Work doesn't seem quite as difficult, thanks to their 5600 and attachments.