Compact track loaders help Iowa contractor keep jobs on schedule

May 02, 2019
Bobcat compact track loaders in Iowa for Paco Construction

Growing up in Del Rio, Texas, Gustavo Villarreal did not dream of owning a construction business one day. He simply knew he wanted more from his future.

“I started as a migrant worker,” said Villarreal, who spent summers picking cucumbers and asparagus alongside his parents and siblings. At 18 years old, a friend told Villarreal about a Migrant Action Program that would help him enroll in trade school to become an auto mechanic. The program brought him to Des Moines, Iowa, and after completing trade school, he found work as a laborer with a local asphalt company. Though he did not know it at the time, this chain of events would chart a new course and eventually land him in business for himself.

Villarreal spent more than 25 years mastering the asphalt and paving trade before starting Paco Construction LLC in 2004. The Iowa-based company employs 12 full-time crew members and nearly as many pieces of compact equipment and attachments.

Villarreal, who owns two Bobcat skid-steer loaders, a compact excavator and four attachments, uses Bobcat equipment exclusively. Some notable machines in his lineup include three T870 compact track loaders. Paco Construction bought its first T870 compact track loader in 2013, another in 2015 and added the newest model earlier this year. The multiple machines accommodate a busy job schedule that often requires Paco Construction crews to work at different locations simultaneously.

The large capacity of the T870s combined with its ground flotation keeps jobs on schedule, especially when doing trail work—a Paco Construction specialty. “When the ground is real soft, you can’t back up the truck to the paver because it sinks. I dump the material about one-quarter of a mile from the trail and use a T870 to load the paver,” Villareal said. The two-speed travel makes quick work of loading, and Villarreal estimates the shortened hauling time has shaved days off some project schedules.

Not only does the bucket transport asphalt, concrete and gravel with ease, but several attachments add versatility. A planer attachment grinds old asphalt while various broom attachments prep sites before laying asphalt. The pallet fork attachment shows off the T870’s lifting capacity by transporting and positioning retaining wall blocks and landscape boulders.

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