On the Job Every Day
Fargo Park District's Toolcat utility work machine
One-of-a-kind Toolcat utility work machines provide efficient, year-round performance for Fargo parks department
The Fargo (N.D.) Park District depends on a trio of Toolcat™ utility work machines to take on the worst of winter. For a city located about 150 miles south of the Canadian border, that means plenty of snow, wind and cold.
Once winter ends, there is no rest for the Toolcat 5600s. To the contrary, these one-of-a-kind machines are on the job every day throughout the spring, summer and fall.
“They are much more than snow machines,” says Terry Gange, operations foreman. “The versatility and efficiency of the 5600s make them ideal for a parks department. That’s why we count on them 365 days a year.”
While the city has a variety of equipment, including five Bobcat® compact track loaders (two T650s and three T250s) and a skid-steer loader, there are many jobs that perfectly fit the versatility of the three Toolcat units.
“Nothing works better for sweeping trails,” Gange says. “The 5600 and the angle broom attachment does a super job on our 90 miles of trails and paths. When we previously swept the trails with tractors, the dust was terrible. Now, working from the enclosed air-conditioned cabs, the operators are really happy. Operator comfort is important because we sweep weekly."
Fargo Park District's Toolcat utility work machine with bucket
The hydraulically driven angle broom can be adjusted by using fingertip controls in the cab of the Toolcat 5600.
In winter the trails are cleaned with either a snowblowerattachment or a snow V-blade. Like the angle broom, the snow V-blade is hydraulically operated. It can be used in five different blade configurations.
The park maintenance staff, with 19 employees, has two of the 5600s; the other utility work machine is operated by the forestry department. Often the units are used at the five municipal golf courses.
Early adopterShortly after Bobcat introduced the Toolcat machine in 2002, the Fargo parks department purchased a 5600 model.
“While it does not have the lift capacity of our loaders, we identified features and uses that would make the utility work machine a very good complement to our other equipment,” Gange says. “Our experience the past eight years has certainly verified that initial evaluation of the Toolcat unit.”
The department has a number of attachments that are interchangeable between the loaders and the 5600s.
“That’s a huge plus,” he says. “We have eight power units that share attachments such as a trencher, landscape rake, stump grinder, angle broom, pallet forks and grapples.”
Flexibility is an important feature of the utility work machine, according to Gange.
“We use the 5600s in a variety of applications and circumstances,” he says. “The past three years we have used them extensively for cleaning up after major floods. The grapple fork is excellent for picking up brush and tree branches and the angle broom does a good job of removing mud from trails along the river.
“Having the right equipment to deal with the flooding — from taking preventive measures (such as delivering sandbags) to cleaning up — has been very important. Our three Toolcat machines have been critical.”
Other advantages of the Toolcat 5600s, according to Gange: “Two people can travel together to the jobsite. Plus, we do not have to trailer the machines, which eliminates time-consuming loading, tie-down and unloading. They just drive on city streets from the shop to the jobsite and are ready to go to work. They are very cost-effective; perfect for city work.”
Comfort is king in Toolcat machines
Toolcat™ utility work machine cabs have some similarities to an automobile. Excellent visibility to the front, sides and back, spacious operating area, easy-to-use controls and an optional climate-controlled cab provide near-perfect operating conditions.