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Fall 2012

Concrete busters

Often difficult, dirty and demanding, construction applications require durable Bobcat compact excavators, loaders and attachments for a Maryland concrete and masonry specialist.

Maryland contractor Bernardo Rene Flores takes a bite out of concrete with his Bobcat E50 excavators, Bobcat compact loaders and attachments.

Maryland contractor Bernardo Rene Flores takes a bite out of concrete with his Bobcat E50 excavators, Bobcat compact loaders and attachments.

Construction is a way of life for Bernardo Rene Flores. He’s spent much of his adult life working in concrete removal, and excavating and grading, and today he and his wife are the owners of B & R Concrete and Masonry, Fort Washington, Md., with four pieces of Bobcat® compact equipment and attachments.

Although much of his previous work involved residential concrete, his growing niche in the construction market surrounding the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area is road repairs, specifically breaking concrete and trenching with two Bobcat excavators.

A history with Bobcat loaders

Flores’s first experience with Bobcat equipment was a 743 skid-steer loader, a popular model in its day, followed by a 763. He put thousands of hard-earned hours on those loaders before purchasing an S250 and T190. His use for each loader depends on the ground conditions: rubber tires for roadways, rubber tracks for established surfaces like grass or paving blocks, or for final grading tasks.

Eventually, to complement his Bobcat loaders, Flores purchased a 331 compact excavator, replacing a backhoe attachment. He has since upgraded to a newer and bigger M-Series E50 excavator, followed by a second E50 in 2011 — both purchased from Metro Bobcat Sales.

“The E50 is a good size, with lots of power to break concrete and dig trenches, yet it’s small enough to fit on a 14-foot trailer,” Flores says. “I use it to lift and place steel covers (plates). Each plate weighs about 3,200 pounds. I use the excavator and a chain to lift and place the plates to cover the holes where I’ve dug. The controls of the E50 make it easy for me to place the plates. It’s very smooth.

“If I have hard work to do, like breaking concrete or lifting heavy objects, I prefer to have a durable Bobcat machine,” he says. “I trust my Bobcat machines.”

More power, dig depth and reach

When Flores upgraded from his 3-metric-ton 331 to the 5-metric-ton E50, he benefited from a boost in digging forces, dig depth and reach. With an 11.6-foot dig depth and 19.5-foot reach (at ground level), there’s minimal repositioning of the excavator when Flores is digging.

“My newer mini excavator can reach more and has better flexibility than some larger pieces of equipment, and it’s a better fit for the type of work that I do,” he says.

Speaking of size, the minimal-tail-swing E50 suits Flores just right, especially when he is working on roadways or next to existing structures or buildings. “I feel comfortable setting my E50 next to a building when I’m digging,” he says. The E50 has just 0.6 inches of tail swing overhang, making it a popular choice over traditional tractor loader backhoes.

M-Series excavator benefits

Among the many benefits of M-Series excavators that Flores appreciates are the fingertip boom swing control, auto idle and comfortable cab, with good visibility. On many projects, Flores demolishes concrete with a hydraulic breaker, and then lifts and loads the concrete with the Bobcat bucket and clamp. He can easily rotate the excavator boom with the fingertip controls instead of a foot pedal. He loads the material directly into a truck or into the bucket of his Bobcat skid-steer loader.

The auto-idle feature lowers the engine RPM when idle for about four seconds and makes it possible for Flores to have better conversations with his employees. “Auto idle is convenient because it saves on fuel, which makes them even more efficient than larger equipment,” he says.

Breaking concrete can take its toll on the machine and the operator, which is why Flores appreciates the newer cab on his M-Series excavators. Flores says the machine is easy to get into and exit, has more room in the cab and he has good visibility to all sides of the machine. “It doesn’t vibrate much, and the joystick controls are easy to operate,” he says.

Having dependable and durable Bobcat equipment, backed by a full-service dealer, ensures Flores is ready to take on any construction project. “It’s important to have a good dealership and salesman, because when I need to rent or purchase a machine, they have it in stock,” Flores says. “And they always return my calls.”