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Summer 2011

Making a good first impression — the Bobcat 700 frame-size loaders

M-Series Compact Track Loader

M-Series Compact Track Loader

Owning and operating Bobcat loaders is second nature for Iowa concrete contractor.

During 47 years of working in the concrete business, Bud Maas has seen a lot of changes, most notably equipment usage and improvements. Maas is the owner of Bud Maas Concrete in Iowa City, Iowa, where he has successfully overseen his concrete company for nearly four decades. What's his secret? He says it's his Bobcat® compact loaders, attachments and a good relationship with his dealer.

It might be surprising to know that when Maas started working in the concrete industry, much of the work that's done today with Bobcat compact equipment was done by hand with shovels.

"I started doing concrete work in 1964, and we dug every driveway, sidewalk and approach by hand," Maas says.

It wasn't until 1974, when he started his company, that Maas purchased his first Bobcat loader — a 610. "We were able to dig twice as fast after we purchased our 610."

Bud Maas Concrete

Bud Maas Concrete

Since that first machine, Maas has purchased many Bobcat loaders to sustain his company's growth. He says the Bobcat loaders are used in all facets of his concrete flatwork; both residential and commercial.

"We do driveways, parking lots, basement floors, stoops and sidewalks," he says. "As soon as the rough grade is done, we'll take over with our Bobcat equipment."

The longer he owned Bobcat loaders, the more he learned what they were capable of doing.

"We noticed our productivity increasing each time we ordered a new Bobcat loader, and we learned we could do more work with them," Maas says. "For example, we do a lot of tear-out and replacing concrete, and the Bobcat loaders are excellent for that task. We'd load right in the back of our dump truck.

"Then we really saw our productivity rise when we purchased our first compact track loader — the 864 — especially when we were excavating and grading. The compact track loaders are really aggressive, and we get more for our money."

Bud Maas Concrete

M-Series compact track loader, Bud Maas Concrete

Upgrade to M-Series loaders

Maas recently took possession of four M-Series loaders, including three of the new 700 frame-size machines. His new Bobcat lineup includes four vertical-lift-path machines: one T650 compact track loader, two T770 compact track loaders and one S770 skid-steer loader. All were purchased from Bobcat of Iowa City.

Maas immediately noticed some significant differences between his new Bobcat loaders and his older models.

"The new loaders have better visibility from the cab, more lift height and more power than the models we previously owned," he says.

Maas is correct on all points. M-Series loaders feature the cab-forward design for better visibility to the attachment and work area. The 700 frame-size loaders have an additional 3.2 inches of lift height — ideal for truck-loading applications like Maas's concrete business. And lastly, the loaders' hydraulic horsepower also increased by about 16 percent (standard flow) from their predecessors.

Additionally, Maas appreciates the M-Series features like the bigger, pressurized operator's cab; the hydraulic couplers integrated into the loader's lift arm; improved access to the cooling system for quick cleanout; and better access to clean-out areas on the track undercarriage.

Attachments are wise investment
Maas believes in the value of owning and operating Bobcat attachments for his loaders. His attachment lineup includes a hydraulic breaker, construction buckets, combination buckets and a sweeper.

Bud Maas Concrete

M-Series compact track loader, Bud Maas Concrete

"We'll mount the hydraulic breaker to our compact track loader to break up the concrete, and use the skid-steer loader with a combination bucket to load the broken material into our dump truck," he says. "We use our sweeper a lot, because we have to clean up the area after every job. It's a necessity because we don't want mud going into the storm sewers and into the river."

When asked why he has stuck with Bobcat loaders since his first purchase, Maas says, "The first reason is because Bobcat is the first company to manufacture skid-steer loaders, and secondly, other machines don't stand up to what our Bobcat loaders can do. We think Bobcat loaders are by far the better machines. Bobcat loaders have more power to run all day, whereas other machines we've tried won't take it; they get hot and shut down. Our Bobcat loaders just keep going."

In addition to the Bobcat loader's performance, Maas attributes some of his loyalty to his Bobcat dealership.

"I can't say enough good things about Rexco Equipment (Bobcat of Iowa City)," he says. "They're one of the best companies that I've worked with and they've supported me each time I purchased new machines."

Even after 47 years on the job, Maas still appreciates the continued evolution of compact equipment and its benefits to him, his operators and his bottom line.

Steven Jomides, Lawns by Yorkshire

Steven Jomides

Steven Jomides

New M-Series compact track loader makes immediate impact

Each year Steven Jomides, president of Lawns by Yorkshire, evaluates his equipment needs for the coming snow removal season and subsequent landscaping installations. For more than 15 years, Bobcat® loaders have been helping Jomides and his equipment operators do their jobs efficiently. With a new M-Series loader, his operators are doing them more comfortably, too.

Jomides purchased a new T750 compact track loader from Bobcat of North Jersey. It was delivered just in time before the bulk of the 2011 snow fell in January and February — a relatively difficult year for many Northeast residents and businesses. He immediately put the loader to use with his snow removal crews.

"I don't operate the Bobcat loaders that frequently, but I had the opportunity to use the new one during a major snow event this past winter," he says. "You could sit in that machine in a pair of shorts, it was so comfortable. It could be five degrees outside and the wind howling, and I'd have to say it felt like Palm Beach in there."

As Jomides has added to his compact equipment fleet, he's noticed progressive changes in the Bobcat loaders. The M-Series T750 hasn't let him down.

"Bobcat continues to enhance the machines and give operators more advantages," he says. "One of them would be ease of use and minimizing the fatigue that my operators endure when they're in the machines. The new cab design helps my operators see more in front of them and to the side. Bobcat definitely improved the ergonomics of their compact loaders with the placement of the controls and the comfortable seat.

"Visibility is key. It eliminates miscalculations and minimizes the risk of accidentally hitting something. When my operators are working in confined areas, they have the ability to navigate all that much better."

Typically, compact track loaders are not the first machines you think of when you are in the snow removal business. Jomides points out one of the advantages. "Going across turf or a landscaped area that's underneath the snow becomes a lot easier because you're minimizing any damage that you may have with a rubber tire machine," he explains. "My operators prefer the extra sense of stability when they are going up and down ramps on parking garages."

The addition of the T750 from Bobcat of North Jersey makes his current inventory of Bobcat loaders 11, and he's owned in excess of 20 loaders while operating his business. Why does he stick with Bobcat loaders? "We tried the others during the time we've been in business. We keep choosing Bobcat loaders and we haven't strayed. Dealer support is one of the most important things. Bobcat loaders are the model that other companies are trying to duplicate, and in my opinion, they've never been able to really duplicate. Bobcat is the innovator and everyone else copies."

Jomides concludes by saying: "When you give operators more comfort, you're going to get more productivity. With the new cab design and comfort improvements, I expect to get more productivity from my operators. Everyone wants to get into the newest, the latest and greatest Bobcat loader."