One in a million
Lenny Seales, L&K Equipment
Lenny Seales, L&K Equipment
“Bobcat Lenny” is well known in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area for his expertise with final grading with a Bobcat® loader and a bucket. Seales works almost exclusively with Stiles Construction Company, which is a prominent residential and commercial real estate developer based in Fort Lauderdale. For the past 14 years, Seales has made his living grading dirt, doing so with a dependable Bobcat loader. His only business partner is his wife, Karen, who he says helps keep up with the important paperwork.
Through the years, Seales has updated his Bobcat loader while retaining his older machines, which he says will last a lifetime if taken care of properly.
While equipment has come a long way from the M610 to today’s M-Series T650 compact track loader, one thing that hasn’t changed is the reliability, ease of maintenance and versatility of Bobcat compact equipment.
“As far as durability, Bobcat loaders are really tough,” he says, “and I love how Bobcat designed the machine. Everything is so easy to get access to, to maintain the machine, and I can do much of it myself.”
“I’ve been working with Bobcat loaders all of my life,” he says. “Today I do nothing but final grading and cleanup until the project is finished. I’ll be the first one in and the last one to leave the project, for big commercial buildings.”
Seales' T650 compact track loader and E42 excavator
There have been competitive dealers who have tried to persuade Seales to stray from his dedication to Bobcat loaders, but Seales has stayed true to his loyalty to Bobcat and his local dealer, Bobcat of Palm Beach. The reason, Seales feels like Bobcat makes the best machine for his type of work.
“I’ve always been with Bobcat loaders. I was raised with them: first on the farm, then in landscaping and now in construction. I’ve never needed another machine other than a Bobcat loader for final grading. There’s not a better-built machine today than what Bobcat has built with the T650. It gives me a good grade, is fast and has a lot of power.
“As far as my dealer, that’s my team. They’re professional, and they have great service and outstanding mechanics. They’re there to help you out of a problem and fix your machine, if needed; they’re there for you and that’s what is key.”
Building in south Florida
A rebound in commercial building in south Florida means Seales is busy on multiple projects. During a project in spring of 2013, Seales operated his Bobcat T650 to help complete a $50 million renewal and expansion at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. He was contracted to excavate, grade and load trucks to haul away excess dirt.
A vertical-lift-path configuration on the T650 gave Seales the extra lift height and reach he needed. It has a dump height of 8 feet for loading dirt into a dump truck.
“The T650 can load a truck so fast you wouldn’t believe it,” he says. “The reach is very good and I can see when I’m loading material in the middle of the truck (bed). It takes me between six and 10 minutes to load a truck with the T650. I averaged between 150 and 180 yards of dirt a day at the performing arts construction site.”
M-Series loaders from Bobcat have a cab-forward design that puts operators closer to the work area and improves all-around visibility.
“That’s one of the best features on the machine, as far as you can see,” Seales says. “I can see the corner of the bucket when I’m grading, and I have good visibility all the way around the machine, so I know what’s behind me.”
There’s no sign of Seales slowing down. “I’m in my Bobcat loader every day; have been since the first day I got one,” he says. “My T650 is the ultimate grading machine.”
Lenny’s Bobcat lineup
Lenny Seales' T650 loader with bucket
M610:First loader purchased by Seales in the 1970s
- • One of the first Bobcat loaders with the rollover protective structure (ROPS)
743:Purchased in 1988 and still running today; Seales says it has the original engine and hydraulic system, which he maintains
- • Bobcat Company introduced its seat bar secondary restraint system in the 743
763:“Still running very well,” Seales says
- • Produced between 1994 and 2003, the 763 radius-lift-path loader was a mainstay on farms, construction sites and landscaping installations
T190:Purchased in 2006, was Seales’ first compact track loader; “It’s a very strong machine,” he says.
- • First Bobcat compact track loader with a vertical-lift-path configuration
T650:Newest machine. Seales says it’s the “ultimate grading machine”
- • Part of the new M-Series loader family, new cab-forward design for improved visibility
Tips for long-term success
Lenny Seales survived the recent recession and shares some of his advice for business owners who operate Bobcat® compact equipment.
- Always build and keep good business relationships with all builders and customers
- Have a sincere willingness to work hard
- Take the good with the bad
- Learn from every project that you do, from the beginning of site development to the end, no matter how big or small