Steve Stark, co-owner of Arrow Striping and Manufacturing Inc. in Billings, Mont., knew just what machine he would use when his company was recently hired to help with a major road reconstruction project involving the Shiloh Road interchange.
Since last year, Stark and his 40 seasonal employees have been relying on a Toolcat 5600 utility work machine from Bobcat Co. to complete several of their job tasks. And for this project, they continued to stick with what worked.
Stark has been striping roads for nearly 20 years. He worked for another company before starting Arrow Striping and Manufacturing with his wife and another business partner in 1993. In the summer the company specializes in striping highways, and then in the winter Stark and his employees turn their attention to building striping equipment.
Prior to purchasing the Toolcat 5600, Stark and his crews used a skid-steer loader with an angle broom attachment to clean up the resulting debris from planing road stripes. But the skid-steer loader was not always conducive when working on Montana's chip-sealed roadways.
"Sometimes when we would make sharp turns on the chip-sealed roads with the skid-steer loader, it would tear the seals off of the road," he said.
With the all-wheel steering on the utility work machine, Stark does not have to worry about tearing off chip seals or leaving tire marks when sweeping. Stark said another feature that attracted him to the Toolcat 5600 was its hydrostatic drive system with cruise control. The hydrostatic drive system, which includes high axle torque, simple shifting and excellent speed control, also makes it easy for Bright color markers 72 Stark's employees to learn how to drive the machine. The enclosed cab with air conditioning is another feature on the Toolcat 5600 that his employees appreciate, especially in the summer.
Once crews have removed the road striping, Stark said, they attach either an angle broom or sweeper attachment to the utility work machine to perform clean-up. They use the angle broom if the debris can be swept off into a ditch along the side of the roadway. The angle broom features a high-torque motor for heavy material and an adjustable broom. In cases where there is a curb they use a sweeper attachment. Its nylon bristles deposit dirt and debris into a container that can be dumped when full.
In addition to the angle broom and sweeper attachment, Stark also owns several buckets and a set of pallet forks that he uses with the utility work machine. These are just a few of the more than 25 attachments approved for the Toolcat 5600 to increase its versatility. That versatility is one of the main reasons, Stark said, he decided to purchase the machine. Not only can his crews use it for clean-up on jobsites, but they also can use it to quickly transport people around jobsites and unload, haul and tow tools and materials.
"We purchased the Toolcat 5600 because it had some options that we wanted and it was more versatile for our applications."