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Summer 2013

An ace in the hole

Owner-operator does all his work with Bobcat E55 compact excavator and attachments

Ted Spillman

Ted Spillman

Excavator owner-operator Ted Spillman faces jobsite obstacles every day, but he says the biggest challenge is finding something that his Bobcat® E55, purchased from Hugg & Hall Equipment, cannot do.

“This is the only machine I have,” says the owner of Spillman Excavating, Paragould, Ark. “My business is based on completing entire jobs with the excavator. The legendary reliability of Bobcat equipment is important, and so is the unmatched versatility of the E55. You can do a lot with it.”

In order to expand the capabilities of his excavator, Spillman uses these attachments:


His five buckets take on a variety of tasks. The 13-inch trenching bucket excavates for small water lines. The 18- and 24-inch buckets and clamp work in tandem in clearing applications, even taking down oak trees. Spillman uses a 36-inch bucket to load trucks. He can load 12 to 15 cubic yards of gravel or fill material into a truck in minutes. His 36-inch bucket also does an excellent job of smoothing the ground around new construction.

Three-tine grapple

A Bobcat three-tine grapple helps Spillman load brush and chunks of concrete into trucks. It works very well with his clamp.


“Nothing works better for loosening up hard surfaces or taking out stumps than the ripper,” Spillman says. When he needs to excavate in rocky ground, he tears up the area with the ripper to make digging easy for his bucket. He uses the attachment to break up stumps, some as big as 42 inches in diameter.

Performance that keeps improving

Spillman, who has been operating excavators for more than two decades, purchased his first Bobcat model eight years ago. He noticed the improved performance immediately. “The other machine wasn’t giving me any problems, but top production was lacking,” he says. “My wife, Nancy, read about Bobcat excavators in WorkSaver® magazine and she thought they were better made. She was right.”

He replaced his first Bobcat excavator with an M-Series E45, and when he needed additional reach and power, he went back to his dealer, Hugg & Hall Equipment, for an E55.

“My real passion is operating excavators,” Spillman says. “And if I had not changed to Bobcat when I did, I would be behind the times as far as productivity. My work would not be completed as fast and I would not be able to do the variety of jobs that I can do now.”