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Summer 2013

A bid that’s too high means no work

Parking lot maintenance firm has the right Bobcat compact equipment to compete in a tough marketplace

Gene Williams, West Tennessee Construction Services

Gene Williams, West Tennessee Construction Services

When as little as $50 can make a difference between winning and losing a bid to repair a 20,000-square-foot asphalt parking lot for a major retailer, you need to pay close attention to all the details — from how you remove the existing surface to efficiently cleaning up the jobsite. No factor is too small to be overlooked.

For West Tennessee Construction Services, a leader in parking lot maintenance in Jackson, Tenn., a high-production Bobcat® equipment combination — skid-steer and all-wheel steer loaders, 40-inch planers and sweeper attachments — helps the company win its share of work in this highly competitive business.

“Some firms still use backhoe loaders, as we did up until about eight years ago,” says Gene Williams, project manager. “I believe we now have an economic and efficiency advantage since we switched to Bobcat equipment.”

Full-service parking lot repairs

T770 with hydraulic breaker

T770 with hydraulic breaker

West Tennessee Construction Services provides a full line of paving and pavement maintenance services for the parking lots of some of the nation’s largest retailers. Along with asphalt and concrete repair, the company also does seal coating, striping and signs, crack sealing and overlay.

“We usually have four or five jobs going on at one time throughout Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi,” Williams says. “It is not unusual for our crews to be out two or three weeks at a time.”

At least two of the crews will pull up to a parking lot repair job with an S850 skid-steer loader, an A300 all-wheel steer loader, a 40-inch planer and a sweeper. If concrete is involved, a hydraulic breaker will be included.

“It took us a while to figure out the perfect equipment combination, but the machines we are now operating produce outstanding results,” Williams says. “We use the S850s with high-flow hydraulics and planer attachments to mill the asphalt. They do a great job of holding a straight line. The A300s, equipped with sweeper attachments, follow cleaning up and loading the millings into dump trucks. We used to have a couple of workers sweeping with push brooms. The all-wheel steer loaders allowed us to reduce each crew by two people because we don’t need as many employees sweeping excess millings. Tires on those machines last longer than tires on other equipment.”

More precise milling

High-flow planer attachment

High-flow planer attachment

Managing costs is something his customers want, too. “They may be large firms, but they want suppliers that provide good service at good prices,” Williams says.

For example, sometimes they have a 4-inch asphalt parking lot where only the top two inches have to be milled. “We previously used backhoes that caused us to dig out the entire four inches at a significantly higher cost to the customer. Now we can mill it down two inches, which is all it really needs, saving the customer a lot of money.”

Another advantage is hauling away the milled asphalt. Instead of delivering big chunks, West Tennessee Construction Services produces milled product. “Sometimes we even get paid for the old asphalt,” Williams says.

The legendary durability of Bobcat products is built into every bid the company submits.

Sweeper attachment

Sweeper attachment

“We figure our Bobcat equipment is going to work 15 hours a day, seven days a week,” Williams notes. “They just keep doing the job. We’ve used the same planers for eight years. Knowing there are top-rated Bobcat dealers to provide service and parts, wherever our projects take us, is a big plus.”

Another advantage: the size of the equipment. Williams points out that his crews are constantly dealing with parking lots full of customers’ cars. “With a backhoe, you need to close off a much bigger area than you do with the smaller Bobcat machines,” he says. “Backhoes cause more damage just moving around parking lots, too.”

The forward-design cab of the M-Series S850s and larger glass area provide greatly enhanced all-around visibility. “That’s extremely important when you are milling and trying to hold a straight line,” Williams says.

Overall, he says, the Bobcat products his company relies on have helped make business better for West Tennessee Construction Services. “Efficiency is improved, and when that occurs, the economics will turn out better, too,” he concludes.