Caterpillar Inc. Industry Representative Zel Grinnell and Work Tool Representative Pat Cavanaugh, along with Cleveland Brothers General Sales Representative Brian Hoffman presented Penn State University with a 242 skid steer.
Accepting the donation from Caterpillar was Kenton Dutrow, supervisor of maintenance and equipment, who oversees Penn State University’s (PSU) landscape, construction and snow removal responsibilities. On hand with Dutrow was PSU Public Affairs Coordinator Paul Ruskin. Dutrow had been renting Cat skid steers during winter for the past couple of years to clear snow from campus streets and walkways.
Caterpillar has donated a skid steer every year for the past two years. This is the first time the Harrisburg district office has donated the machine, and the recipient this year is a well deserved maintenance crew in Happy Valley.
Dutrow does all of the machine purchasing based on budget and on the opinion of his operators who have already experienced less leg and foot fatigue with the 242.
Some machines are hand- and foot-operated and can wear down a worker who sometimes plows snow for 15 to 16 hours, which occasionally happen at Penn State. Joystick controls, similar to that of the Cat skid steer have kept Dutrow’s crew less fatigued and more efficient. Efficiency is a major concern when the crew has to keep more than 23 mi. of sidewalks clear for students and visitors.
The second point Dutrow mentioned was visibility. When working at a university filled with students and visitors, safety is a major concern for the grounds crew. High visibility cabs offer a clear view for the operators, decreasing the risk of danger to both student and worker.
Another issue gaining momentum with Penn State students is the push toward becoming a more environmentally-friendly university. Dutrow responded by looking into low emissions vehicles for his fleet. Caterpillar is looking in the same direction. The Cat skid steer meets all Tier 2 emissions requirements.
Dutrow was quick to mention the final factor in his exploration into Caterpillar skid steers. His relationship with Cleveland Brothers Equipment Company would not be what it is today had it not been for Sales Representative Brian Hoffman.
“Brian is not pushy like some of the other guys that come in here,” said Dutrow.