In the extremely competitive business of asphalt paving, where bids of several hundred thousand dollars can be won or lost by less than a thousand dollars, something as common as end-of-the-day cleanup can make a huge difference.
For Christ Brothers Asphalt Inc., Lebanon, Ill., a large assortment of compact equipment, including a Bobcat M-Series S850 skid-steer loader and attachments, gives them a competitive advantage.
“We bid every job knowing we will have the Bobcat S850 equipment working at the site,” said Aaron Christ, a project superintendent for the company started 28 years ago by his uncle, Mark Christ, and father, John Christ. “We know it will help us make or save money.”
The Christ Brothers’ equipment lineup is diverse, including compact track loaders, skid-steer loaders and a compact excavator. In addition, the company operates several attachments:
- Angle brooms;
- Dozer blades;
- Hydraulic breakers;
- Root grapples;
- Soil conditioners;
- Sweepers; and
- Wheel saws.
All of the company’s loaders are equipped with high-flow auxiliary hydraulics because the company wants maximum production from every attachment and loader.
Originally the company focused on commercial work, but when that slowed down the past few years, Christ Brothers had the expertise and equipment to transition to government projects. Today 85% to 95% of its jobs come from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“Typically we will bring a loader, bucket, planer and an angle broom or sweeper,” he said. “We have this equipment available where we start to work on the side of the road throughout the day and where we end for the day. That’s because this equipment combination saves us an unbelievable amount of time. For example, if our paver operator dumps a little too much asphalt, say a 2-ton pile, we can clean it up in five minutes with the S850 and our other Bobcat machines. Without it, two guys with shovels would be piling up the overtime hours.”
Another example: “When milling a road, there will be asphalt left between the concrete curbs on each side,” Christ said. “The best way to clean it up is for two loaders with angle brooms to windrow it to the middle and use the sweeper attachment to pick it up. We can keep the cleanup crew close to the milling crew, because the equipment can work just as fast as our bigger machines. R&B