Money well spent
Bobcat compact track loaders and attachments are a smart investment for a successful North Carolina contractor
Chris Brooks of Brooks Hauling, Grading and Landscaping, LLC
When it comes to his history with Bobcat® loaders, Chris Brooks has a memory bank full of information, including when he purchased his 11 machines and how much they cost. He’s also calculated that the two skid-steer loaders and nine compact track loaders have generated millions of dollars of gross income for him by delivering reliable performance and outstanding production.
“For me, the profit always began the day each new machine arrived,” says the owner of Brooks Hauling, Grading and Landscaping, LLC, Pinebluff, N.C. “The loaders, along with a number of Bobcat attachments, have allowed me to take on work I never imagined and to grow my business. With the exception of a little dip in 2008 and 2010, business has been strong. The money that I’ve spent on Bobcat loaders has produced a very good return on my investment.”
Brooks specializes in both commercial and residential landscaping, excavating and grading. He’s been in business for 25 years but until 2000 he relied almost exclusively on manual labor using shovels and wheelbarrows. That’s when he became one of the first in his area, about 80 miles south of Raleigh, to purchase a skid-steer loader to improve his productivity.
“It was obvious that, without the right equipment, I was limited as to what I could do and that growth would be difficult,” he says. “A person might be able to shovel 20,000 pounds of soil in a day, whereas a machine could handle 2 million pounds. My Bobcat loader changed everything for me.”
“A person might be able to shovel 20,000 pounds of soil in a day, whereas a machine could handle 2 million pounds. My Bobcat loader changed everything for me,” says Brooks.
Transitioning from manual labor to equipment increased Brooks’ company offerings. He is able to take on larger projects with his Bobcat loaders and attachments, including the following tasks:
- • Clearing lots
- • Backfilling and grading
- • Removing trees
- • Tearing down/demolishing dilapidated structures
- • Building roads
Transition to tracks
Initially, a pair of Bobcat skid-steer loaders served him well, he says, but by 2004 all of the lots on flat ground in his area were gone, which necessitated working in hilly areas.
“At times, the wet, muddy conditions made it difficult to be productive,” he says. “A loader that isn’t moving material isn’t making money. When new home construction moved onto hilly locations, I switched to Bobcat compact track loaders. Production significantly improved when I used my T300, especially when I could take advantage of the excellent pushing power the machine delivered. Since then, I have purchased eight additional Bobcat compact track loaders. They all have been well worth the money.”
Currently, Brooks operates two 92-horsepower T770 compact track loaders purchased from Southland Rental and Supply Co., Fayetteville, N.C. M-Series features of these two units, such as the larger cab, better all-around visibility and increased power and strength, have helped Brooks work productively for up to 14 hours a day.
“The work environment of the M-Series machines takes a lot of stress off the operator,” he says. “I use the loaders for a variety of jobs — from building demolition to installing irrigation systems — so that my company has gained a reputation as a place where one call gets it all.”
Brooks’ Bobcat attachments:
- • Bucket
- • Dozer blade
- • Industrial grapple
- • Pallet fork
- • Sweeper
- • Trencher
Thanks to the Bob-Tach® attachment mounting system, Brooks can quickly and easily swap out different Bobcat attachments to maximize the versatility of his loaders.
“When I combined this group of attachments with my compact track loaders, I was able to expand the business and take on jobs where others would have to use multiple machines to do the work,” he says. “I just take a loader and the appropriate attachment. I‘d be lost without this equipment.”