Bobcat Equipment Brings Dirt-Digging Dream into Reality

Published on February 23, 2023

Starting your own business is not for the faint of heart. But ask Joe Fanning how he’s holding up five years into starting Fanning Construction and he’ll tell you he’s living out his dream. “These jobs aren’t just another paycheck to me,” Joe explains. “I enjoy doing these jobs, so I pay attention to the details. It’s good-quality work because I give it my best.” Learn what Joe has planned for the future and how he’ll get there with Bobcat equipment.  

Starting your own business is not for the faint of heart. But ask Joe Fanning how he’s holding up five years into starting Fanning Construction and he’ll tell you he’s living out his dream. 

“Growing up, I was always outside playing in the dirt,” Joe says. “I’d make my own course and race go-karts and dirt bikes. Now, I can still work with ‘big toys’ and get paid for getting dirty.”  

Fanning Construction is based out of Joe’s garage in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and specializes in small residential projects — the likes of which vary depending on the season. Joe will take on practically any odd job that comes his way, including installing a lot of gravel driveways in the summer and helping with snow removal in the winter. After a rough storm, he’ll even get a call from the local Applebee’s to clear its parking lot.  

“These jobs aren’t just another paycheck to me,” Joe explains. “I enjoy doing these jobs, so I pay attention to the details. It’s good-quality work because I give it my best.” 

Trying Before Buying

Joe started Fanning Construction in 2017 by taking on carpentry, roofing and siding jobs. “But those types of projects aren’t my passion,” he says, “and I wanted to get more jobs that I could handle on my own with the right equipment.” So, Joe set his sights on finding the right machinery for his budding business.  

Joe was brand agnostic at the start of his search, but he quickly realized other equipment wasn’t meeting his requirements. Either they didn’t meet his quality standards, didn’t fit within his budget, or the other dealers were located too far away. The clincher was a rent-to-own deal he made with his Bobcat® dealer.  

Joe rented pieces of equipment based on how many jobs he booked, and soon was reserving machines for weeks at a time. Then, his Bobcat dealer let him know he could rent machines by the month and pay off any difference if he decided to purchase. “I thought it suited me perfectly since I was starting basically from nothing,” says Joe. “I rented the machine and never went back.”

A Dependable Duo 

Joe’s Bobcat fleet consists of an E32 compact excavator and a T595 compact track loader. He rents a variety of official Bobcat attachments — including a hydraulic breaker, soil conditioner, pallet forks, and a ripper — from his dealer depending on the jobs he has lined up. “With the attachments, the equipment is pretty versatile. These two machines can do plenty,” says Joe, even though he daydreams about adding more Bobcat equipment as his business grows. He has his eye on an E88 compact excavator down the line.  

Although Joe wasn’t specifically looking for Bobcat machines at first, he now considers himself a convert. “When I’m in my Bobcat excavator, I feel almost as one with the machine. They’re comfortable and easy to operate,” he says. “I don’t care for the ergonomics of other brands’ machines.”  

Joe notes that as he becomes a more skilled operator, he moves quicker and more efficiently. “It’s simple work but it’s fun.”

I strongly believe these machines can help me build my future and make an honest living. 

Joe Fanning

Owner / Fanning Construction

From the Backyard to the Big Leagues 

With a work ethic that won’t quit, Joe sees a bright future for Fanning Construction. He’s focused on expanding his business and building his own shop. “I’d like to hire a few guys,” he adds, “but I have a ways to go, yet.” 

Joe knows that growing his fleet of machines will require a significant investment, especially as a small business owner. “These machines are a pretty penny, but I strongly believe that they can help me build my future and make an honest living,” he says. “Hopefully, I can remain this happy for the rest of my career.”  

“Starting your own business is hard but it’s doable. Especially if you’re able to work with an equipment dealer like I did,” Joe says. “I’m still just starting out, but hopefully my experience can be motivation for the next guy who wants to branch out on his own.”  

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