From the Spring 2009 Worksaver

Landscapers add revenue through diversification

Company expands services through value-added maintenance assignments

Mike Boyd

MJB co-owner Mike Boyd says versatile Bobcat equipment is helping keep him busy during the slow economy.

Having the right equipment at a time when the number of major landscaping projects has slowed down has worked to the advantage of MJB Services.

“With our mini track loader, we are able to do jobs we previously declined to bid on because they were so labor-intensive,” says Kathy Krubert, who owns the Elkhorn, Wis., company with Mike Boyd. “We’re spending our resources on equipment instead of additional employees. The Bobcat® MT55 makes us more versatile and adaptable to a wide range of projects.”

In addition to landscape design, installation and maintenance, MJB Services builds decks, installs driveways, builds waterscapes, constructs terraces and walkways down to lakes, and does snow removal, salting and sanding.

Many of the customers are owners of lake properties in southern Wisconsin, particularly on Lauderdale Lake and Whitewater Lake. “We started working with some of these clients 20 years ago,” Boyd says. “Most began by having us mow lawns or plow snow. That often evolved into landscaping and other work. Now we have become caretakers when many of the vacation homeowners are gone. That’s worked out well, especially at a time when many big jobs have disappeared or are on hold.”

Kathy Krubert

The MT55 is the perfect machine for Kathy Krubert when she’s transporting landscape materials across established surfaces.

“In this economy you have to be able to offer several services,” Krubert adds. “Our versatility is paying off.”

The MT55 — purchased from Bobcat of Janesville — has versatility written all over it. “It easily paid for itself by bringing in business and doing many different jobs,” Krubert says. “Any of our 10 employees can operate the machine. The MT55 is one of the best investments we ever made.”

Boyd is a believer in purchasing the top brand in each category of equipment. “You buy an off-brand and you risk having it break down every other day,” he says. “Quality equipment pays for itself. That’s certainly true of the Bobcat products we’ve owned for the past 15 years. We couldn’t do without our MT55.”

Learn more about the benefits of Bobcat mini track loaders on the mini track loader page.

Attachments boost efficiency

The versatility of the MT55 is enhanced by the attachments that MJB Services owns: stump grinder, soil conditioner, hydraulic breaker, auger, pallet fork and buckets (the company also has a landscape rake that is used with an 843 skid-steer loader).

“The attachments have enabled us to get work completed much more efficiently,” Krubert says. “They have saved us time and labor and reduced the cost to our customers. Work gets done much faster; on some jobs we have reduced our time by 25 to 50 percent.”

Loader is right machine for year-round work

Bulldozer sits idle while S250 stays busy

Brian Ayre still uses his 90-horsepower bulldozer at times. He uses his S250 skid-steer loader all the time.

During the nine years he’s been in business, the owner of Ayre Excavating, Clinton, Wis., has upgraded his Bobcat® equipment inventory — from a 742 to a 773 to his first S250 — while using his dozer less and less. Now with a new, loaded-with-options S250, he has a machine that best fits his year-round needs, especially site prep and snow removal.

Brian AyreGrabbing and carrying odd-shaped objects, like this log, is no problem for Brian Ayre and his S250 skid-steer loader. He prefers the Bobcat loader to a bulldozer for most jobs because of its attachment options.

“I prefer the S250 because it’s so much more versatile and cost-effective than my dozer,” he says. Ayre does site prep work for new buildings — he recently completed one for a fire department and another for a school district — which often involves a variety of assignments, including removing topsoil, digging footings, installing parking lots and building water retention areas.

Unlimited abilities
“That’s why I need equipment that can handle different phases of a project,” he says. “With my Bobcat loader and attachments — auger, trencher, pallet fork, hydraulic breaker and mower — I can do a variety of work. With the dozer I’m limited.”

Economically, the Bobcat loader makes more sense, too. “It costs a lot less to operate the S250,” he says. “By not using the dozer, I don’t have to spend money on expensive undercarriage parts, steel rollers, or pins and bushings. By using the loader I avoid those costs.”

Options drive productivity
His newest S250, purchased from Bobcat of Janesville, has an enclosed, heated cab with radio, along with ride control, two-speed transmission and Power Bob-Tach™ attachment mounting system. He enjoys the benefits of these options all year, but especially during the snow season. “Ride control is really great when working on uneven ground,” Ayre says. “I’ve reduced bucket spillage, have a more comfortable ride and I’m less fatigued at the end of the day.”

The two-speed function allows him to travel up to 12 mph simply by activating a rocker switch on the steering handle. “It’s real handy when plowing snow.”

So, too, is the Power Bob-Tach system as he switches from snow blade to light material bucket to spreader (salt and sand). “Changing non-hydraulic attachments without leaving the cab, especially in winter, is great,” Ayre says.

From snow removal to excavating, and plenty of other jobs as well, Ayre relies on his S250. “It’s just the right equipment for what I do.” Click here to see more uses for Bobcat skid-steer loaders and attachments.

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