Only Bobcat equipment will do
A small army of tough and versatile Bobcat tool carriers and attachments has helped a Georgia landscaping company thrive in an industry that was hit hard during the Great Recession. Bobcat is the one and only brand of compact equipment for Jeremy Myers.
Jeremy Myers, owner of MMG
What drives a person to arrive at the office at 4:30 a.m.? For one up-and-coming professional it is a passion for landscaping, being his own boss and operating Bobcat® compact equipment and attachments.
Jeremy Myers is just 30 years old, yet he’s the owner of MMG (Metro Maintenance Group) in Lilburn, Ga., just outside of the Atlanta metropolitan area. He also owns five Bobcat machines plus more than a half-dozen Bobcat attachments, and has nine full-time employees. “One of the biggest secrets to our success has been having great people to work with and having great equipment,” Myers says.
Myers gets an early start each day to prepare his three crews for their commercial and residential site preparation projects.
“I get in early to do a lot of bookkeeping and planning,” he says. Although he’s the owner, he’s also a project manager and is heavily involved in the day-to-day activities of his business and clients. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. “I change the oil in my machines and I’ll use a shovel if need be. What I really enjoy is being in a machine and planting trees, sometimes doing things that my employees don’t want to do … the challenging parts.”
MMG crew at work
Myers has established his company as a reliable and competent provider of landscape installation projects, partnering with landscape architects on high-end landscaping projects. They hire Myers and his crews to carry out sophisticated landscape renovations or installations, some for as much as $500,000.
“We do light demolition, install underground drainage and plant really large trees, to name a few of our services,” Myers says. “We’re a trusted source for landscape architects and designers. Whatever they come up with, however crazy it is, we figure out a way to do it.”
An equipment “addiction”
As a young man in his 20s, Myers realized how much he enjoyed being around and operating equipment. “I previously sold equipment for a little while, but I learned that what I really like doing is buying equipment,” he says. “So I had to start this business and feed my addiction.”
Myers’ addiction to equipment and a solid relationship with the local dealer led him to purchase Bobcat machines and attachments. His first loader was a T180 compact track loader that he bought six years ago from the local Bobcat dealer in Atlanta. “One of the reasons that I selected the Bobcat brand was the dealer’s customer service. It’s exceptional,” he says. “They’ve been ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ and helped me out, even when I’ve been two-and-a-half hours away from the dealership. I called them on a Tuesday, and Wednesday morning, the mechanic was there to fix the machine. That’s exceptional.
MMG employees use an E50 excavator and a compact track loader to remove a stubborn tree stump on the site of a landscaping project.
“The T180 was something that I could afford when I first started. I liked it because it was so versatile and it was narrow enough to get into homeowner backyards. Also, it had low impact of only 5 pounds per square inch of ground pressure. I could drive it across a homeowner’s yard and not tear it up.”
As Myers’ business took off, so did his equipment purchases. He’s done remarkably well, even during the Great Recession. Myers says his revenue doubled almost every year, which he attributes to relationships with landscape architects who have given him the opportunity to bid on many jobs. To keep up with the work, he added equipment. Today he has T190 and T300 compact track loaders, an MT55 mini track loader and 323 and M-Series E50 compact excavators.
“The E50 has good visibility, more power, and I like the fact that I can operate the boom with my left thumb, moving it back and forth,” Myers says. “The foot pedals are more user-friendly, and it’s close to a zero tail swing; there’s minimal overhang when it turns around.”
Another big hit with Myers is the auto-idle feature. “Auto idle is exceptional, especially with fuel prices being through the roof,” he says. “It keeps the noise down, too. When one of my guys stops for a second to talk to someone, he doesn’t need to turn it off or lower the engine throttle. The E50 allows us to dig up stumps and dig footings in a timely manner. It’s compact yet it digs extremely deep, and it’s got a ton of power. We purchased it with the hydraulic clamp, and that allows us to load debris directly into a truck.”
MMG employees use an MT55 mini track loader to move rocks.
While the E50 is at work, Myers’ compact track loaders and mini track loaders are transporting material between the jobsite and the street. “The MT55 is a great machine, replacing wheelbarrows,” he says. “It keeps my employees from slowing down and moving material such as broken concrete back and forth by hand. The versatility of the MT55 is unmatched. It goes around corners where other machines can’t. We have auger attachments that we use with the MT55 to plant trees.”
Attachments for specialty work
In addition to buckets, pallet forks and augers, Myers purchased a clamp, grapple, soil conditioner, plate compactor, Tilt-Tatch™ attachment and most recently an HB980 hydraulic breaker that he bought from Bobcat of Atlanta.
“The Tilt-Tatch attachment helps us do really intricate French drain systems,” he says. “The operator can tilt the bucket 15 degrees while he drives the loader straight. That’s extremely helpful because it speeds up the process of excavating and laying our pipe in the bottom, creating a little gulley. Without it, we’d have to do a lot of handwork and digging, and it minimizes how much soil we need to excavate.”
A Bobcat HB980 hydraulic breaker allows Myers and his crews to quickly break concrete when renovating a landscape. “We demolish swimming pools and walls with the hydraulic breaker and the E50,” he says, “and it’s compatible with our T190, too.” His crews use the Bobcat grapple attachment to lift, carry and dump the concrete into a truck for disposal.
His Bobcat soil conditioner attachment is also a labor- and time-saving tool. “It does the work of 20 men, and in a matter of minutes,” he says. “It pulverizes the soil and allows us to lay sod almost immediately, or for sowing in seeds. It tills everything so we can plant almost immediately. Homeowners love it because it prepares the soil well and allows the grass to grow faster, so the roots can easily get down to good soil and thrive.”
With all of this equipment, a steady stream of projects and watching landscapes transform into masterpieces, it’s no wonder Myers has a passion for his work.