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Spring 2012

Bobcat System takes remodeling and addition projects head-on

A Bobcat compact excavator and compact track loader work in tandem to finish projects more efficiently than manual labor and hand tools

Kevin O’Shea, owner of a Bobcat E35.

Kevin O’Shea, owner of a Bobcat E35.

Combining a Bobcat® compact track loader with a compact excavator — commonly known as the Bobcat System — took a remodeling company’s business to new heights.

Often working in confined areas, the benefits of compact equipment helped two business partners work more efficiently. Kevin O’Shea and Eric Brubaker started O’Shea and Brubaker, Inc., nearly 17 years ago. They specialize in home remodeling and additions. As the scope of their projects grew, the owners realized the need for equipment to replace manual labor.

Their first machine was a small tractor loader backhoe. It didn’t last long because it lacked power, according to O’Shea. That led O’Shea and Brubaker to purchase a Bobcat T140 compact track loader.

“We selected the T140 because of its narrow width, to get in-between homes and around landscape beds, driveways and sheds,” O’Shea says. “We’re always maneuvering and the T140 is easy to operate. It’s very user-friendly and there’s minimal damage to lawns.”

A dynamic duo
As projects became more demanding, O’Shea and Brubaker evaluated their equipment needs again. They went back to their Bobcat dealer — Bobcat of Susquehanna — to purchase an E35 excavator. Their Bobcat duo combined to form a powerful Bobcat System, a popular alternative to tractor loader backhoes.

“The versatility of the compact track loader and excavator keeps us going; one’s digging and one’s loading,” O’Shea says.

While the compact track loader carries material to the site, the excavator keeps working.

“We are tearing out materials before we start building,” he says, “and with the clamp we can load debris to be hauled away. One guy busts up concrete with the excavator and a breaker, versus two or three guys using a jackhammer.”

Additionally, the E35’s tight configuration is particularly helpful.

“We can turn the excavator’s boom and start digging to the right or left, without changing the machine’s position,” O’Shea says. “When ripping out shrubs or removing concrete in hard-to-reach places, we had to reposition the old backhoe all the time.”

Long arm = more dig depth, added reach
A long-arm option for the E35 provides needed dig depth or reach — another foot over the standard configuration.

“The long-arm option is very helpful to us when we’re excavating for sewer lines, or when we’re doing an addition and we need to get down to the basement level,” O’Shea says. “The E35 is small enough to fit where we need it, yet it’s powerful.”

Grading with an angle blade

Angle blade for Bobcat excavators

Angle blade option

O’Shea and Brubaker purchased their Bobcat E35 excavator with the angle blade option. According to O’Shea, Palmyra, Pa., it has been beneficial to finish much of the grading. “Because we’re in tight areas, and as we’re unloading fill dirt, we’ll start shaping it right away with the excavator’s angle blade,” O’Shea says. “We’ll even use it for some rough grading. It’s been great because it goes in both directions.”