After replacing their old compact tractor, Joe and Jodi D’Amico found that a new Bobcat CT2040 delivers superior turning capabilities and comfort. Read their story below or watch the video to learn how their compact tractor is helping them take on the work of their acreage and horse stables business.
Horses are at the top of the animal kingdom in Jodi D’Amico’s eyes.
“I try to be around every animal possible; I used to even work as a zookeeper,” Jodi says. “But I’ve always loved horses. My parents are both from right outside New York City. They thought I was crazy when I was a kid and was like, ‘I want a horse, I want a horse, I want a horse.’”
As a 13-year-old, Jodi worked a part-time job so she could afford to board that horse. Today, she and her husband, Joe, own and operate D’Amico Stables and Earthworks, launched in 2009, where they board seven horses belonging to like-minded horse enthusiasts, in addition to four horses of their own.
“It’s a very therapeutic job,” she says. “Before, I hated leaving my daughter every day to work in a hospital. It was torture being indoors, so I started the stables as a way to be with my kids, work outside and enjoy my job.”
Finding the right acreage
Jodi feeds, cares for and trains the horses while also maintaining the five-acre property and stables she and Joe built. Joe also assists with the property maintenance.
“The problem I noticed when I moved to Florida was trying to find an area where horses have a large turnout space,” Jodi says. “A lot of show horses in the area don’t get a lot of turnout or they get small dirt turnout. So we built this place around nice, big grass fields for the horses and really nice trails.”
With five acres of ground to cover and a husband who is often away for periods of time serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Jodi was relying on a malfunctioning 1970s-era tractor to help her keep on top of the property’s needs and care for the horses. Then, Joe surprised her with a new Bobcat CT2040 compact tractor for Christmas.
“I had a really old tractor that finally broke,” Jodi says. “I was trying to make it work for the longest time. It was smoking, so he got me this new tractor. I can’t do my job without it. I need it every day.”
Selecting the best compact tractor for the work
Joe had previously purchased a Bobcat E63 compact excavator from Bobcat of Palm Beach for his part-time earthworks business after a friend recommended the equipment brand and dealership.
“When I bought the excavator, the dealership was kind of like a family; they know you,” Joe says. “My sales specialist, Scott, texted me every now and again to see how I was doing and if I needed anything. I knew Bobcat was coming out with tractors. Even though they’re sort of new to compact tractors, when Bobcat makes stuff, it’s reliable. As long as you do the normal maintenance, I think a Bobcat tractor could last me forever.”
Joe decided that the CT2040 compact tractor model was the perfect size for their property. He chose a manual shift transmission for its extra torque and 40-hp engine.
“It’s not too small but not crazy big,” Joe says. “We have to go in and out of [horse] jumps, so I wanted the ‘biggest’ smallest one I could find.”
Improving efficiency with a Bobcat compact tractor
Since bringing the CT2040 home, Jodi says her stables work has improved dramatically in comfort and efficiency.
“I use it every day to grade our riding ring, and it’s much easier because the turning radius on it is really great,” Jodi says. “The first time I turned, I couldn’t believe that it practically did a 360. It’s really comfortable, doesn’t leave big divots with the tires, and the bucket goes up and down smoothly.”
A tight turning radius is key for Jodi’s work. Her previous tractor wasn’t able to clear some of the jumps and couldn’t get into corners. With riders visiting the stables every day, keeping the ground level is very important to keeping customers safe and satisfied. The CT2040 offers an inside turning radius of 8 feet.
“I was making big messes because I couldn’t turn tightly,” Jodi says. “This tractor turns on a dime. You need to do circles in the ring in order to keep the ground nice and level and at a certain consistency of packing. You can’t have the horses landing on a bump or a hole because they can injure themselves. I don’t have to worry about that now.”
Jodi also uses the compact tractor for scraping the riding paddocks, aerating and seeding fields, grading pens, and moving shavings and landscaping materials. When hurricane season rolls around, Jodi and Joe move sandbags into place with the tractor to reduce flooding during torrential downpours. Their previous tractor’s bucket wasn’t strong enough to handle much of this work, so Jodi relied on a wheelbarrow and her own stamina for tasks around the acreage. The work took its toll.
“I spent many nights with heating pads and in the bath because my back would be so bad,” Jodi says. “Even when I used the old tractor, my back would hurt because it would bounce so much.”
Taking care of 11 horses is tough work, but now that her new tractor reduces the physical impact with its 3-point lift capacity of over 1,600 pounds, she can devote more of her energy to the parts of the business she loves.
“Sitting on my old tractor and getting beat up wasn’t very fun,” Jodi says. “I don’t have that problem anymore with this one. I can focus more on the horses and the one-on-one, personalized care with the owners. We try to make it like a little family here.”
Ready to make your property dreams come true? Feel right at home doing the toughest work on your land with a Bobcat compact tractor.