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Fall 2007

Bobcat Excavators Best for Utility Work

By the time Donald Fox started his own utility construction company seven years ago, he already knew the costly pitfalls of sub-standard equipment and the income-producing benefits of superior machines.

Donald Fox

Reliable Bobcat equipment helps Donald Fox succeed.

As a result, he hit the ground running — and digging — with a Bobcat® compact excavator. He added a Bobcat skid-steer loader from Bobcat of Houston and, when the business grew, he purchased another excavator.

Fox owns D.R. Fox Construction, The Woodlands, Texas, a company that installs and repairs water and sewer lines and storm sewers.

After initially working in water and sewer plants, he joined a utility installation and repair firm. That’s where he observed the impact of equipment on a business.

“When I started at the company, we had another brand of excavator,” he recalls. “Whenever it broke down, we had problems getting parts that fit properly. That caused more breakdowns and more idle time. It was a real headache. Finally, the machine just wore out.

“I’d seen a Bobcat excavator working at a nearby shopping mall and convinced the owner [of my company] to try one. I knew that parts availability would not be a problem. Plus, compared to the previous excavator, the Bobcat unit was better built and much faster.”

Bobcat 331E Compact Excavator

A Bobcat compact excavator equipped with the extendable arm helps Donald Fox complete jobs faster.

Eventually Fox purchased part of that company and made sure the Bobcat excavator was included. Today, half of his utility business is new commercial and residential installations and half is emergency repairs. He works for municipal utility districts (MUD) and cities, private owners and builders.

“During the day we do new construction,” Fox says. “A lot of the utilities are underground so we can’t use bigger equipment for the installs. Our Bobcat 331E excavators are ideal for this type of work — easy to maneuver, comfortable to operate and fast cycle times. That allows us to accomplish more work in less time than with other machines.”

Excavators Keep Working

Many days, Fox and his 10 employees operate the excavators for 12 to 14 hours. “That’s not a problem for the Bobcat machines,” he says. “Other excavators I am familiar with frequently overheat after a few hours of tough digging. Our Bobcat excavators just keep going.”

That’s even more important for the emergency services Fox provides. “The MUD and city crews work regular daytime hours Monday through Friday,” says Fox. “The rest of the time — evenings, weekends, holidays — we’re on call. It’s not unusual for us to be working three or four nights a week fixing broken water and sewer lines. These utility districts and cities depend on us to take care of their customers.”

Fox, who has been in the utility business for almost 25 years, values the good service provided by his dealer and the dependability of his Bobcat equipment. “I wouldn’t want to do this type of work without the Bobcat machines."