Jason Green is used to covering ground. It’s not unusual for him to drive well over 100 miles into any of six counties on any given day. His company, Consolidated Water Services of Centralia, Illinois, works with more than 20 water utility customers serving more than 10,000 citizens. Someone has to keep the water flowing, and in this part of Illinois, that someone is Jason, his equipment and his 10 employees.
“Every day we’re digging somewhere, doing a water leak, a new tap or a new water line,” Jason says.
Keeping up can be a struggle, but Jason and his crew are up to the challenge. Jason has upgraded his equipment fleet and tripled the size of his family business since taking it over 10 years ago.
Modernizing a family equipment fleet
When Jason took over his father Jim Green’s business, he took stock of its equipment fleet. They were typically using a tractor loader backhoe for their digs, which he knew was less efficient than an excavator. He had other concerns as well.
“We used to have a lot of outdated equipment that Dad had,” Jason says. “It’s just not ideal to have stuff out there that’s not working properly.”
When he saw the increased efficiency of the new equipment and the business it helped him win, he decided to put a priority on keeping his fleet up to date.
One of his purchases was a Bobcat T595 compact track loader, which he uses for clearing light brush before digs and grading the worksite. Jason knew a track machine would extend his work season.
“You can work on muddy ground without getting stuck,” he says. And if you’re in brush and trees, you won’t poke a hole in the tire because you don’t have tires.”
He also replaced a 10-ton excavator with a compact excavator after finding that transporting the larger machine was taking a toll on his trucks.
“It’s 20,000 pounds, and we were tearing up transmissions and axles, just pulling it all over the place,” Jason says.
With the help of Doug Jansen, a sales representative who works at the Fairview Heights, Illinois, location of Bobcat of St. Louis, Jason decided to purchase a new Bobcat compact excavator – the R-Series E35.
“Having a lighter machine has helped out a lot with being more efficient and covering more area,” Jason says.
The powerful hydraulics, reduced tail swing and low maintenance of the R-Series E35 have also impressed Jason.
“It’s very quiet, very smooth. It has the [zero tail swing] cab; it keeps guys safe,” Jason says. “You don’t have to worry about over-swing and getting somebody hurt.”
Long arm makes trenching easier
The E35 mini excavator is outfitted with a long-arm option. The extended reach and dig depth means less repositioning, making the job completion faster and more comfortable, but some days Jason’s crews need every inch of his E35’s reach to just get the job done.
“There’s days where water lines are only supposed to be 4 feet deep,” Jason says. “Then you get out there, and [the E35 is] on a bank or something. You end up needing 10 feet of reach. The long arm has that capability. Sometimes, you have to reach across the ditch. If it’s too muddy, you have to sit out on the road and dig instead of getting in the yard and tearing it up.”
On those more complicated days, Jason appreciates the performance of his E35. It’s been a valuable tool in his efforts to expand his family’s business.
Now, he’s thinking of new equipment attachments he’d like to get for his E35 and how they could improve his business. He has his eyes on a plate compactor, so he can tamp the ground before he leaves a jobsite.
“I’d like to start tamping these yards before [my crews] even leave, so they’d look nice,” Jason says. “Because when you got a big pile of dirt there for several weeks, they kind of grumble about that.”
With a business that has tripled in 10 years, he can’t be hearing too many grumbles. But this sort of smart investment is what has made Consolidated Water Services the success that it is today.
Want more examples of Bobcat excavators at work? Read how A&D Excavation Services uses its R-Series E35 mini excavator with an extendable-arm option to site prep for high-end coastal and waterfront homes in Florida.