A veteran of Ottawa, Canada’s construction industry, Tim Ullett knows that he can plan, but not control all aspects of his business.
Inclement weather can stop work for days and the region’s large sedimentary rock formations present their own challenges. In Tim’s specialized line of work – building custom, in-ground pools – the steady creep of residential development, with larger homes and tighter lots, can also make work difficult.
What Tim can control is the equipment he and his crew rely on to build some of the most sought-after pools in Eastern Ontario.
“The equipment we run means everything,” said Tim, a lifelong resident of the Ottawa area. “If your equipment isn’t running, if you can’t depend on it to perform, you’ve got big problems.
“We’ve been able to rely on Bobcat equipment and we’ve been successful with it,” he said.
Evolving and growing his business with Bobcat equipment
Fresh out of high school, Tim took to the construction trade, framing houses during Ottawa’s housing boom in the late 1980s. By the early ‘90s, however, Canada’s recession reached Ottawa’s housing market and Tim decided to diversify into landscaping.
With a fleet of Bobcat compact loaders and excavators, Tim oversaw about 20 employees who framed houses and completed landscaping projects throughout the greater Ottawa area.
“Getting into landscaping brought in work,” he said. “Housing slowed and people were just fixing up what they had.”
It didn’t take long before some of the region’s pool builders, impressed with Tim’s work and the versatility of his equipment, began asking for Ullett Construction to handle their excavation needs. Few other construction companies had the compact equipment versatile enough for big jobs on tight worksites, Tim said. By 2000, Ullett Construction’s work shifted exclusively to pool excavation.
“Because I had Bobcat equipment, pool installers were asking me to excavate,” Tim said. “Ever since then we haven’t looked back.
“We’re known in Ottawa for being able to work around small jobsites, for having a light footprint and for being super clean,“ he said.
Ullett Construction buys new equipment from Bobcat of Ottawa Valley about every three years. Tim’s fleet has included E85, E55, 331E, E32 and E20 excavators. He has also purchased several generations of Bobcat compact loaders over the years, including a 553 skid-steer loader and a T190 track loader to move materials to and from dig sites.
“There are a lot of competitors who have asked me to try something else, but all of my compact equipment has always been Bobcat,” Tim said.
By 2007, Ullett Construction was excavating for as many as 300 pools a year.
“Bobcat equipment just kept getting faster and more efficient,” Tim said. “What used to take us 10-to-12 hours to dig a pool was taking us five or six hours.”
Tim then capitalized on an opportunity to again change the direction of his business and reduce some of the stress that comes with managing several crews and jobsites at once.
He downsized to just three employees and today, Ullett Construction is known for excavating and building its own custom, in-ground pools.
Tim updated his Bobcat fleet again last fall with a new T64 loader, an E85 R-Series excavator and an E32 R-Series excavator – all equipped with Bobcat® Machine IQ wireless communications. Ullett Construction also makes its own concrete to build about 40 pools a year.
And his next Bobcat equipment purchase?
“I like the new zero-turn mowers,” Tim said. “I think that’s next.”