When Arron Silk of Silk Plumbing shows up to a job site on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, it’s important to him that he looks professional from his trucks to his equipment. He recently purchased a new Bobcat E35 R-Series compact excavator to complement his fleet of skid steer loaders and excavators. Arron also has a Bobcat S130 skid steer loader.
Silk Plumbing is one of the Sunshine Coast’s leading plumbers working with project homes and unit developers. Arron’s machines can dig up to two drains a day, working between 40 and 60 hours every week. The nature of the work means access to small blocks can be limited. At the same time, Silk Plumbing has to deal with the varying nature of the Sunshine Coast’s soils, going from sand one day to rock the next.
“I needed a machine with plenty of breakout power while being compact enough to fit into tight spaces,” said Arron. “The Bobcat E35 has true zero-tail swing, which is crucial when you’re operating in such confined areas. When you enter the job site it’s important to know that you’ll be able to operate freely without any overhang.”
Arron’s Bobcat E35 excavator came equipped with a fully-enclosed, air-conditioned cab, standard arm fitted with a factory second auxiliary to run a Calibre Heli-Tilt hitch, and factory-standard AM/FM radio with Parrot Bluetooth connectivity, deluxe panel, and Norm buckets.
The Bobcat E35 is the most fuel efficient of the business’s excavators and, despite having a longer arm than Silk Plumbing’s previous machine, it offers more breakout power. And, the hand controls are a nice touch because the lack of pedals lets Arron store his esky on the floor of the cab. However, Arron’s favourite feature of his new excavator is the quality of the fully-enclosed, air-conditioned cab.
“When you spend a day in other machines you come home pretty fatigued. The enclosed cab really makes a difference; it’s better than being inside a car,” said Arron. “The wind was howling on the Sunshine Coast the other day and there was dust everywhere. I was so happy to be inside the dustless cab. The Bobcat cab is the best I’ve experienced for the hot Queensland climate.”
The other key differentiator for Arron is the outstanding service and support he receives from his local Bobcat dealer, Darren Tucker at Clark Equipment.
“It’s one thing to offer a good, reliable piece of equipment like the Bobcat excavator. But that doesn’t mean much if it’s not backed up by good support. We choose to buy Bobcat equipment because of the excellent experience we’ve had with Darren Tucker,” said Arron.
“Darren answers the phone after hours, goes out of his way to make sure we have the parts we need, and his knowledge about the machines is second to none. Darren’s passion has made our experience with Bobcat machines just that much better.”
As a busy plumbing business, any unplanned downtime is unacceptable for Silk Plumbing. The business needs to know that its equipment provider will keep the machines up and running.
“A third-party hitch failed on the Bobcat E35, which wasn’t our fault and wasn’t the excavator’s fault. But Darren was straight out to the jobsite with a loan excavator so we could keep operating while the problem was being solved,” said Arron. “That kind of service is invaluable. Now that I’ve done the switch, I’ll be with Bobcat equipment for life.”
Silk Plumbing turns its machines over every 2,500 hours, which is every 18 months to two years. It’s important to the business that its equipment looks professional and well-maintained, in keeping with Silk Plumbing’s overall image. Arron intends to add a Bobcat T450 compact track loader and a Bobcat E50 mini excavator to Silk Plumbing’s fleet later this year.