Where the deer and the antelope play …
A Toolcat 5600 is home on the range
Ranch manager Tom Cartwright says the Toolcat 5600 stays busy 12 months of the year, thanks to its versatility.
At Wolf Creek Ranch, business executives escape from the hustle of everyday life to a sanctuary of pristine nature, wildlife and beauty that only Mother Nature can offer. The 14,000-acre ranch is situated next to the Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges near Woodland, Utah, and features stunning scenery.
Nestled among the wildlife at the ranch is a versatile Toolcat™ 5600 utility work machine. Ranch manager Tom Cartwright is responsible for the grounds maintenance, particularly trails and snow removal, which combined is a year-round occupation. He says the Toolcat machine plays an important role in maintaining the ranch.
“We have 60 miles of double-track trails,” Cartwright says, “and in winter we groom about 30 miles of that for snowmobiling. In summer, all 60 miles are open to residents for horseback riding, walking, hiking, riding all-terrain vehicles or mountain biking.”
Having a Toolcat 5600 and Bobcat® attachments onsite — purchased from Intermountain Bobcat in Salt Lake City — has been imperative for Cartwright and his employees. He says the support from the dealership has exceeded his expectations, and oftentimes his salesman will bring parts that he needs to maintain the Toolcat 5600.
“We use this machine, No. 1, to maintain trails and also cut trails,” he says. “We connect the Toolcat machine with the flail cutter attachment in areas where we don’t have a lot of trees. We can go through the sage and grasses and the attachment puts material back on the surface of the trail. We’ve found that it is a green manner of trail maintenance because it doesn’t tear up the ground like a dozer blade and we don’t open everything up to soil erosion.”
In addition to mowing vegetation, Cartwright has a soil conditioner for use with the Toolcat 5600, and it is part of his trail maintenance program.
“We put the soil conditioner on the front of the Toolcat 5600 to push down the high centers on some of the trails,” he says. “It will turn the trail flat again, and it gives us about two years of surface to ride on.
“One of the goals in presenting the Toolcat 5600 and attachment to the Board of Trustees was that if I bought a piece of machinery for the ranch, that I would work very hard to make sure it had a full year of use, that it wasn’t just a one season machine, that we didn’t use it for winter and let it sit. We’ve found ways to use the machine through the year, and the Toolcat 5600 definitely performs well in that aspect.”
A Toolcat 5600 with flail cutter mows grass on a trail at Wolf Creek Ranch.
“The cargo box was a big selling point for us,” Cartwright says, “because we can load our tools that we need to do trail maintenance and go out for the day. In the winter, we carry a shovel and set of tow chains in the cargo box. That way the operator doesn't need to keep coming back to the shop to gather tools.
“Sometimes we’ll send two guys out, one guy will use a chainsaw and cut down dead trees along the path, while the other guy will be mowing with the Toolcat machine. The guys often spend up to eight hours in the machine and they remark how comfortable it is. The heat is fantastic in winter, and the same for the air conditioning in summer.”
Battling the snowWolf Creek Ranch is situated between 6,000 and 9,000 feet of elevation. It regularly receives between 400 and 500 inches of snow, according to Cartwright. Come September the Toolcat 5600 is ready for snow removal, with a Bobcat snowblower attachment to throw the snow instead of plowing or pushing it.
“We have about 35 to 40 driveways that we take care of, selling snow removal service to the owners,” he says.