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Bobcat knows each project has its own hiccups, but we want to make sure we are helping you and keeping you as well informed as possible. Our Bobcat team is dedicated to making your projects and goals easier. Personal stories and great job stories give great reassurance as to why we know that Bobcat can handle your next big endeavor. Take some time and read why.

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Eastland Construction: Saves Time and Money with Bobcat® Equipment

Bobcat Blog Post

Eastland Construction, Inc. is a family owned and operated business located in Middle Tennessee, building custom and speculative homes in Wilson, Davidson, and Sumner counties.  They build homes that you and your family will be proud to own. Bobby Eastland, Jr., serves as president and has over 14 years’ experience in the construction industry.  Bobby Eastland, Sr., and Bryan Eastland serve as Project Managers. With 45 years of combined experience in both commercial and residential building, you can count on their meticulous craftsmanship to construct every project with integrity and a commitment to excellence. They ensure the quality workmanship that has become the company trademark.

“We own five Bobcats, all track machines.  They range from the T300 down to the newest one we just bought, which is the T550.  I have always been a Bobcat® person, have owned at least one for the last 25 years’,” says Bobby Eastland, Sr.

 

What is your need for multiple equipment?

 

“For me, my crew may work 3 or 4 hours here, then have to move somewhere else or something else comes up.  Rather than me being around to haul our Bobcat®, it makes it easier to have one on each job site.  And logistically it makes sense, because our job sites are all over the Nashville area.  It’s a real good investment, because it cuts way down on man hours.  The Bobcat® machines pay for themselves.  If we pay $900 to $1000 a month, we easily make that up in saved labor hours.”
For more information about Eastland Construction, visit their website
www.eastlandconstruction.com

Shamrock Concrete: Any Job, Any Size

Bobcat Blog Post

Shamrock Concrete is family owned and operated business. The core group of guys have a combined total of over 100 years experience.  Their commitment to hard work, quality, customer satisfaction, and a passion for what they do has made them one of St. Louis's Best Choice for all your concrete needs!!
"We at Shamrock Concrete have now purchased 3 Bobcat track machines from Jeff Cochran at Bobcat of O'Fallon, MO.  Jeff is extremely helpful and knowledgeable about what were needing. Bobcat track machines have helped us grow our business every year, in a down economy. We are able to start and finish most of our projects in one day with the help of our track machines.
We have a T110 for little jobs and to get behind houses. We have a T140 for general duties and we have a T750 for tear outs and heavy work loads.  We plan to buy a T190 in the future to complete our fleet. We use the tooth buckets daily and breakers daily. We also sometimes use our forks and smooth buckets when needed.  For snow plowing we have a plow attachment and we also use our smooth buckets.
The warranty service on the machines is very nice also. When we do experience a problem Rob the mechanic at Bobcat, gets our machine in and out fast. Bobcat also  gives us a free loaner machine.
How could a guy go wrong with that.
We are very pleased with our equipment from Bobcat and will be a life long customer!"
Ryan Litchfield Shamrock Concrete LLC Project Manager www.shamrockconcretellc.com

More cows and larger facilities demand extra skid-steer loaders

Bobcat Blog Post

An Illinois dairy farm adds dependable Bobcat skid-steer loaders as herd size increases. Attachments enable farmers to complete much of their own construction and maintenance projects.

 

From a new beginning in 1992 and for the following 20 years, the Varel Dairy of Bartelso, Ill., has slowly and steadily increased the size of its Holstein dairy herd. More cows resulted in new, larger facilities, more employees and, to make everyone’s work go faster and easier, more skid-steer loaders as well.

 

"As we have been growing we have been adding loaders,” says Eric Varel, who operates the farm with his brothers Jason and Jesse. “Whenever we find a need for another machine, and it works out financially, we buy one.”

 

Today the dairy has four Bobcat® loaders — a new S850, a pair of S250s and an older 873, all purchased from Bobcat of St. Louis in Fairview Heights, Ill.
“We could probably get by with one less machine,” says Varel, “but then we would have a situation where two employees need to use the same loader at the same time. One has to wait. We would rather have an additional machine so work flows smoothly and people are not standing around waiting. Having an extra loader makes us more efficient.” 

 

At one time the brothers had a single loader and believed it could have been sufficient if the machine was operated 24 hours a day. That is, if the chores could have been spaced out over the entire day.

“Things just don’t work that way,” Varel says. “Once we added a second machine, it quickly became busy all the time. So we purchased a third one in order to keep our operation productively moving forward. We added the fourth Bobcat loader so we would have one available when we needed it."

 

“We previously cleaned out our straw-packed barn with a tractor. It took about a week. A neighbor with a Bobcat loader and bucket came and did the job in about a day. That’s when we decided to purchase our first Bobcat machine.”

 

TWO DECADES OF FARMING

 

The dairy was started by their grandfather Bill and passed on to their father Jim. In 1985 – 1986, the family took the government buyout under the Food Security Act of 1985 and terminated milk production.

 

"We raised steer for six years,” Varel recalls. “It wasn’t very profitable so we went back into dairy farming in 1992. We started with 200 cows, after milking 60 when we left the business. The larger herd size required a new milking parlor and four new barns. This was a large project to undertake at the time. The first couple of years were tough, but we survived and kept growing, eventually reaching 600 cows and adding another barn.”

 

They currently milk 950 cows three times a day in their 6-year-old double-24 parallel parlor. The cows are housed in seven barns. The brothers, who purchased the farm from their parents in 2005, also raise corn for silage on 550 acres. The rest of the feed is purchased.

 

In addition to typical dairy farm chores — moving feed and cleaning barns — the brothers continue to find projects that fit their Bobcat loaders and attachments that include an angle broom, pallet forks, heavy material and snow buckets, hydraulic breaker, a backhoe and an auger.

 

“We do a lot of the building ourselves,” Varel says. “Our loaders have been very instrumental in our construction projects. With all the plumbing running through and between our barns, the backhoe has been a big help whenever we have to fix a leak. There is always work for the loaders.”

 

Visit www.MyWorkSaver.com/M-Series to learn more about Bobcat M-Series loaders and their many industry-leading features.

An uncommon pair is the right combination for success

Bobcat Blog Post

 

Versatile Bobcat equipment performs well in two distinctly different applications — asphalt paving and landscape installations

On any day in summer, in and around the Illinois towns across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, it’s not unusual to see three dozen trucks belonging to Kirk Sonnenberg on the road heading to asphalt paving and sealing jobs, delivering landscaping materials and taking crews to build retaining walls and water features. 

 

At many of the jobsites, and at the retail stores he owns, you’re also likely to find a Bobcat® machine.

 

 

“We use them in every phase of our business,” says the owner of Sonnenberg Paving and Landscaping, headquartered in Bellville, Ill. “We do a variety of projects and of all the equipment we own, nothing is more versatile than our Bobcat machines. It’s easy to transition them from a paving job to a landscape installation site — and to anywhere else we need them.”

 

 

Sonnenberg, a long-time customer of the Bobcat of St. Louis store in Fairview Heights, Ill., owns four skid-steer loaders, three compact track loaders, an excavator and a utility vehicle. His attachments include a 40-inch planer, several sweepers and a variety of buckets.

 

 

ASPHALT PAVING
Since 1983, Sonnenberg has been one of the major asphalt paving firms working in the commercial market on the east side of the St. Louis metro area. The work has included new construction or overlay of existing asphalt surfaces for parking lots for businesses, churches and schools, along with municipal roadways. The company also does seal coating for commercial and residential customers.

 

 

Two years ago, Sonnenberg applied two coats of sealer over 50 parking areas at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, totaling more than 6.8 million square feet.

 

“We bring a Bobcat loader to every asphalt job we do,” Sonnenberg says. “Most often it’s one of the S220s, which does an excellent job of grading where bigger equipment doesn’t fit. And because there is always a little mess with asphalt, we use the sweeper attachment every day. Without the loader and sweeper it would take forever to clean up.”

 

 

If either of the two Sonnenberg paving crews is doing any milling, they take two loaders — a skid-steer loader and one of their high-flow compact track loaders.

 

 

“The Bobcat planer does an excellent job of milling in areas where we have to connect asphalt to concrete,” he says. “The compact track loaders have plenty of power to run the planer attachment, and the low ground pressure allows them to float over the ground.”

 

LANDSCAPING: SUPPLY & INSTALLATIONS
After being in the asphalt paving business for a decade, Sonnenberg opened a landscaping material and supply store in 1993, followed shortly by an installation division.

 

 

Today the company operates landscaping supply stores in Bellville and Columbia, Ill., both managed by Sonnenberg’s brother Ray. Each 6-acre property is stocked with thousands of tons of bulk rock and hundreds of pallets of block, brick and pavers. The inventory also includes boulders, decorative rocks, flagstone, mulch and dirt, pond products and water garden supplies.

 

 

The landscaping installation crews rely on two compact track loaders and the compact excavator. With a focus on residential installations, the company does a lot of tearing out and construction of new retaining walls and outdoor living spaces. Moving materials, digging and grading and placing boulders, block and pavers keep the Bobcat machines busy and demonstrate their value.

 

 

“I have always believed that Bobcat equipment is ahead of the competition,” Sonnenberg says. “Bobcat innovation is the best in the business. I think we have benefited significantly from each new generation of Bobcat machines. For example, the cab-forward design of the M-Series T750 provides much better visibility when grading. Being able to see the bucket better has been a big help. I expect Bobcat to continue making products that help us to be even more productive.”

 

 

Visit www.MyWorkSaver.com/M-Series to learn more about the new T750 and other Bobcat M-Series compact track and skid-steer loaders.

Samron Midwest overcomes cold, wet conditions to drive new football stadium over the goal line

Bobcat Blog Post

Cold, wet weather conditions are often the norm for college football teams that play late in the season in the upper Midwest. But they presented special challenges for an Illinois concrete contractor involved in constructing a new football stadium at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale this past winter.

 

“The weather was a problem last winter, even down here in southern Illinois,” said Jeromy Fricke, general manager of operations for Samron Midwest Contracting, Inc. Samron, based in Murphysboro, Ill., is located about an hour north of the state’s southern tip.                        

 

“We’ve had to thaw the ground before every pour,” Fricke said, “Then we used electric concrete blankets powered by a 100-kilowatt generator to cure the concrete. We had to keep it warm for seven days.”

 

Samron handled all concrete work at the new stadium as well as extensive renovations to the existing SIU Arena just to the west. Work at the stadium included all foundations and footings, structural concrete for the new bleachers and all sidewalks and steps, totaling around 100,000 square feet in all. Total value of the concrete work was about $4.1 million.

 

Work began on the new 13,900-seat Saluki Stadium in March, 2009. The new stadium will replace McAndrew Stadium, a 17,000-seat facility built in 1938. McAndrew, one of the largest and oldest structures on the Southern Illinois campus, is the second oldest stadium in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The new stadium will be located just south of the old, and McAndrew will continue to be used by the Southern Illinois men’s and women’s outdoor track teams.

 

“The ground had to be dry 24 inches below the surface before we could pour concrete,” Fricke explained. “We used the electric blankets to accomplish this, and depending on the depth of the frost, we could dry an area within 48 hours.

 

“The concrete was delivered at a temperature of about 60 degrees. Then we had to keep it warm for a week while it cured. It was a continuous process. Our biggest challenge was staying ahead of the crew installing the bleachers.”

 

And then there was the mud. Because of the soft ground conditions, Fricke said Samron used concrete pumps to deliver most of the concrete.

 

“We own one pump truck ourselves and use another one owned by a sub-contractor,” he said.

 

Mud also presented a problem when excavating for footings and foundations. The solution was a new Bobcat® M-Series E80 excavator paired with two T320 compact track loaders.

 

“We used to use a backhoe loader to dig all our footings and spacers,” Fricke said. “But with the backhoe, we had to dig with the back bucket and haul the dirt off with the front bucket. We spent half a day hauling off the spoil. Now with the excavator working in tandem with one of our loaders, we can move the dirt as we dig. That’s the most efficient way to do this kind of work.”

 

Not to mention, Fricke said, that the track machines operate easily in poor surface conditions and don’t tear up the ground. “The tracks keep us from disrupting the sub-grade,” he said. “With tracks we get in, do a cleaner job and don’t have to come back to fix things.”

 

At the arena, Samron’s crew will add special touches, dyeing and polishing the concrete on the concourse area using a dark blue and charcoal theme. “All of my guys are qualified to do decorative concrete including colored and textured concrete,” Fricke said. “This won’t be a gray concrete job.”

 

A grand opening ceremony was held at Saluki Stadium on August 24th before a crowd of 2,000 Southern Illinois University fans. The Salukis played their first game in the new facility versus Quincy on September 2nd. Likewise, the refurbished SIU Arena is scheduled to be finished on September 24th.