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Fall 2011

A Landscaping Trifecta — Two Bobcat Loaders and an Excavator

Jeff Barker

Jeff Barker, owner of J. Barker Landscaping.

Landscape professional employs efficient Bobcat equipment trio to work in high-traffic metropolitan area.

A full-service landscaper can certainly find plenty of uses for his compact equipment — a Bobcat® skid-steer loader, compact track loader and excavator. Jeff Barker knows the value of this trio and on a recent project brought them together in order to work faster and more efficiently in one of the busiest areas of downtown Cleveland.

J. Barker Landscaping had the job of replacing 40 trees along Euclid Avenue, adjacent to the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic (a 140-acre site with more than 40 buildings).

“One of the challenges was working in a very heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic area,” Barker says. “So we developed a process using our three Bobcat machines — an S650 skid-steer loader, a T110 compact track loader and a 334 excavator, purchased from Bobcat of Cleveland — that worked out extremely well.”

After cutting down the dead trees to about a 3- or 4-foot stump, Barker’s team used the excavator, which was positioned in the street, to remove the root balls and place them into a dump truck. Then the excavator moved on to the next stump.

Meanwhile, the S650 unloaded the new maple and tulip trees off a flatbed trailer and transported them to the installation area. There the T110, with the tree fork attachment, drove along the sidewalk and placed the trees into the recently vacated holes.

J. Barker Landscaping

Barker’s T110 compact track loader and S650 skid-steer loader team up to transport landscaping supplies with a tree fork attachment and bucket, respectively.

“We didn’t have much room to maneuver around, so the three Bobcat machines were pivotal to completing this project,” Barker says. “The importance of visibility offered by this equipment cannot be understated. The cab-forward design and excellent visibility of the S650 was especially helpful in unloading and carrying the new trees. The T110 allowed us to perfectly position the trees. Credit also goes to the tree fork attachment, a great tool for lifting, lowering and transporting all kinds of materials.”

Landscaping arsenal

In addition to the tree fork, J. Barker Landscaping owns several other Bobcat attachments, including a snow blade, snow pusher, trencher, landscape rake, tiller, buckets and pallet forks. All are valuable because the company, located in the Cleveland suburb of Bedford, is a 37-year-old full service landscape design/build and maintenance firm serving residential and commercial clients in northeast Ohio.

Residential services range from simple lawn installations and maintenance to complete outdoor living space design and construction, including lighting and sprinkler systems. The commercial end of the business includes providing full-service landscaping care throughout the year along with construction and demolition. High-profile clients include the Cleveland Clinic and Sherwin Williams.

Same old story: Check around; stay with Bobcat equipment

While Jeff Barker has owned Bobcat® products for more than 25 years, he has given his employees the opportunity to look at other equipment from time to time.

“We want to make sure we’re not missing out on something better,” he says. “However, they always come back with the recommendation to keep buying Bobcat equipment.

“What they like: ease of operation, versatility, the comfortable, quiet cab with heat and air conditioning and excellent visibility. Every time I buy a new Bobcat machine, all of the operators want to use it because they know it will have improvements over the previous generation. Bobcat equipment keeps getting better and better.”