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Spring 2012

Oil industry’s cleanup man

In the oil fields of Utah’s Uintah Basin, a family-owned business is flourishing with some help from its versatile and nimble Bobcat compact equipment

Kim Lindsay, Lindsay Welding

Kim Lindsay, Lindsay Welding

Kim Lindsay has been called a roustabout during his 30-plus-year career, which often means a jack-of-all-trades. He took over his father’s welding business in 1979 and has since grown to be recognized as one of the premier maintenance and cleanup experts in the oil fields of Utah.

The northeastern corner of the state is a hotbed of oil drilling where hundreds of new wells are in progress. It’s called the Altamont Field and, according to Lindsay, “it’s a big business.” That’s where he comes in. A former welder and current compact equipment owner and operator, Lindsay employs crews to clean and dispose of storage tanks where oil is placed before it’s sent to a refinery. Many of the metal tanks temporarily hold between 300 and 400 barrels of oil, but some can hold as much as 2,000 barrels.

“Most of the tanks that we’re removing today are about 30 years old,” Lindsay says. “We go in to clean up the tank, remove it and put in new dirt. There’s often sludge at the bottom of the tanks, so we scoop that out and take it to an approved landfill.”

The family-owned business includes Lindsay’s wife, Diane. “She’s been with me from the beginning and handles all the paperwork and billing.” Their sons, Daniel and Jacob, also work for the business.

Cleanup experts
In addition to family, Lindsay is supported throughout the cleanup process with a trio of Bobcat® compact machines. It includes T110 and T190 compact track loaders, and the newest addition — a V417 telehandler. “I needed the extra reach of a telehandler,” says Lindsay, “but in a compact size, and that’s where the V417 came into play. Mobility is key … move in quick, do the job and move on to the next one.

“Our Bobcat loaders and V417 are used through the entire process; they’re very important. They move material and assist with the tear-downs, such as loading the debris onto a trailer to be taken for disposal. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t go out with them.”

Kim Lindsay's T110

Kim Lindsay's T110

Improved productivity
Up until 2005, much of the work that Lindsay and his crews did was by hand with shovels. Once he added compact equipment, he saw his productivity take off. “We went from a four-man company to 15 due to the amount of work that we could complete,” says Lindsay, “and I attribute that to compact equipment.”

Lindsay’s first experience with compact equipment wasn’t a Bobcat product. In fact, it was another brand that has since made him sour because of frustrations with the machine’s performance.

“One of our problems was the compact track loader’s undercarriage,” Lindsay says, “because it was not holding up. We work year-round in all situations, including snow, ice, mud, gravel, sand and rocks. We had to replace the tracks every 1,000 hours and it cost us $10,000.”

In early 2011, Lindsay received a copy of WorkSaver® magazine. It was his first exposure to Bobcat products and it spurred a call to his local dealer — Intermountain Bobcat in Salt Lake City. “I was looking through the magazine and I thought, ‘I’m going to give them a call and do a little comparison.’ I said I’d like to demo a machine, and they immediately brought a T190 to me. I ended up buying it. I didn’t even let the salesman load it on his trailer; it stayed here.”

Lindsay’s switch to Bobcat compact track loaders has been a success.

“I’m seeing very little wear on my T190, I just check the oil and grease the machine as needed, and the undercarriage held up well. We clean the undercarriage with a power washer to remove the snow, ice and mud. The T190 is much quieter, too.”

Maintaining his equipment to handle his workload is critical to his success, and Lindsay says Bobcat loaders have a big advantage over other brands when it comes service. “You open the engine compartment and everything that you need is visible: the oil filter, fuel filter and dipstick, they’re all right there,” he says. “With other machines it’s very difficult.”

Lindsay also purchased a smaller loader, the T110, for its compact size to work around the tanks. Again, he was thumbing through WorkSaver and saw the machine. “The width is what caught my eye,” he says. “Smaller is better for what I’m doing. I called my salesman and told him what I needed, and he said he had one in stock. He brought it to me, and just like the T190, I wouldn’t let him leave with it.

“My Bobcat equipment loaders and telehandler are amazing for the type of work we do. We can move mountains. They’re not tiny toys; they’re very big assets to our company.”