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Spring 2013

Making farm work easier and more enjoyable

Ricky Black raises Black Angus cattle and helps maintain his farm with a Toolcat 5600.

Ricky Black raises Black Angus cattle and helps maintain his farm with a Toolcat 5600.

A Toolcat 5600 utility work machine and attachments are kept busy handling a wide range of chores for a Tennessee beef cattle and 4,200-acre crop farmer

Ricky Black has lived his entire life on the crop and beef cattle farm that he operates near Median, Tenn., so it is only natural he likes to be involved in everything that’s going on around the place.

So how does this hands-on owner stay involved and accomplish another of his goals, making farm life easier? His secret, which isn’t much of a secret to anyone driving past his farm, is a Toolcat 5600 utility work machine, manufactured by Bobcat Company in Gwinner, N.D.

“My Toolcat 5600 is the first piece of equipment I use in the morning and the last thing I operate at night, and it gets a whole lot of use in between as well,” he says. “The possibilities of what you can do with it are unlimited.”

Monitoring the herd

Black operates the Toolcat 5600, with a fully enclosed and climate-controlled cab, about 20 times a day, often using it to examine fences and haul feed. Since the Black Angus herd is kept outside he has to check on them often.

“I can get next to the cattle without worrying about getting kicked, or getting wet when it’s raining,” Black says. “I ride out to look at them as soon as I get up in the morning and again just before I go to bed. It also comes in handy when selling meat directly to the public. I give customers a ride in the Toolcat machine so they can pick out the steer they want — that is really popular because people want to see what they are buying.”

A versatile machine

Black mows his property with the front-mounted mower attachment and Toolcat 5600.

Black mows his property with the front-mounted mower attachment and Toolcat 5600.

He’s operated the 5600 for jobs ranging from picking up tree limbs and putting them in the cargo box to installing 13 fence posts in 15 minutes, using the Bobcat® auger to dig aggressively into hard, dry ground. The value of the Toolcat 5600 is evident by the other equipment it replaced, such as the tractor he previously used to feed the cattle and the riding mower that cut grass and pasture.

“My wife Linda was sold on the utility work machine when she discovered how easy is was to mow around the house with the Bobcat mower,” Black says. “She also cuts the pasture three times a year. It’s fast, the enclosed cab is a great work environment and changing attachments is simple.”

Black purchased his Toolcat 5600 from Williams Equipment in Jackson, Tenn., a dealer, he says, that is at the top of his list. “With all the farm equipment we own, I’ve had a chance to work with plenty of dealers, and Williams Equipment stands out as the best.”

When Black first looked at the Toolcat 5600 he thought it was a cool machine, but didn’t think there was much he could do with it. “I was wrong,” he says. “For my farming operation, I couldn’t ask for anything better. I don’t want to go back to the old way of doing things. If you don’t have one you don’t know what you are missing. It spoiled me.”