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Spring 2011

Texas DOT Projects Call for Productive, Reliable Bobcat Loaders

Chandler Evans, Legends Landscapes

Chandler Evans

An M-Series S630 skid-steer loader has helped Legends Landscape owner Chandler Evans keep up with his landscaping projects for the Texas DOT.

Adapting to the current economic times has helped Chandler Evans sustain his landscaping company, and with five Bobcat® loaders, including an M-Series machine, he's continued to do quite well. Much of what Evans does these days is for the Texas Department of Transportation, and his Bobcat machines make sure he is profitable.

Evans started Legends Landscapes in 2003, with a focus on commercial landscaping for retail stores such as Home Depot, Lowe's and Wal-Mart. It wasn't long before he realized that he needed a Bobcat loader, and he purchased his first, an 873. As his business grew, so did his need for more equipment. Evans traded in the lone 873 for two — a big loader, an A300 all-wheel steer, and a small one, an MT55 mini track loader. Two machines complemented each other well on Evans' landscape installations.

In 2006 Evans had an opportunity to do some projects for the Texas Department of Transportation. In hindsight, it was a blessing because much of the retail landscape work has dried up. He says today about 80 percent of his work is for the Texas DOT, with bigger and longer projects that are challenging and enjoyable.

Upgrade to M-Series loader

To handle the Texas DOT projects, Evans continued adding equipment until he had five Bobcat loaders (T180, MT55, A300, S250 and S300). His most recent purchase was an M-Series S630 skid-steer loader, when he traded in his A300. One of the first differences he noticed was the larger door and the bigger cab (10 percent more space than previous models). That makes it easier to get into and out of, and it's more comfortable to operate once you are in the cab.

"The cab-forward design on my new S630 is particularly useful for my operators and me because we have improved visibility to the attachment and work area in front of us," he says. "The new hydraulic quick coupler design is an improvement, and it's definitely quieter, which is nice because we have an open cab. "The strength and pushing power of the S630 is unbelievable," Evans continues, "and with the over-the-tire tracks that I purchased, keeps me working on days when the ground is soft and wet."

Deluxe instrumentation

One of the most important features of Evans' loaders is the deluxe instrument panel with keyless start, for security purposes and because he can easily determine what is wrong with the machine if an error occurs. "It makes it very easy for us when we see an error code from the machine," he says. "We'll call our mechanic at the Bobcat dealer and he can tell us exactly what it means and what we need to do. I'm not a mechanic and none of my guys are either, so it's nice to have someone to call first rather than loading it on a trailer and hauling it to the dealer to determine if they need assistance."

The lockout feature enables Evans to leave his Bobcat loaders on his jobsites with minimal concern about their security. "I'm never concerned about them getting stolen," he says. "We'll leave them anywhere and not worry about them being gone when we show up the next day. It's a big time saver because we're not hauling our machines with us when we leave at night."

DOT project near San Antonio

In March of 2010, Evans' new S630 played an integral part in completing a $962,000 landscaping and irrigation project for the Texas DOT. Evans and his crew planted nearly 11,000 trees in a landscaped area adjacent to the intersection of Interstates 10 and 410 in San Antonio. The Bobcat loaders were paired with augers to plant the 5-gallon to 45-gallon trees. Additionally, more than 10,000 cubic yards of compost and mulch was placed around the site, and the Bobcat loaders and buckets helped distribute it efficiently.

A drip irrigation system provided the necessary moisture to help sustain the new trees. The Bobcat loaders were again vital to installing the trenches underground by quickly excavating the soil, and later backfilling the material. Loaders helped construct a retaining wall and lifted the stones. Altogether, it took approximately 110 days to complete the landscaping project.