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Construction Equipment Guide
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Tue October 21, 2008 - Southeast Edition
When Tim and Sam Floyd established Floyd Brothers Construction as a partnership in 1995, they had a simple goal: to become Pensacola’s leading experts in new parking lot construction and paving. To accomplish this goal, they knew they would have to acquire the right equipment to get the job done.
The Floyd brothers attribute their success in the Pensacola region largely to their fleet of six single axle drive Champion C60 compact motorgraders. With their thoroughness and cost-effective spec’ing of equipment to the job site, they said they have turned new parking lot construction into a profitable art form. And like true artists, they take great pride in their work.
“There’s been quite a lot of ongoing commercial development in the Pensacola area and a large demand for parking lots,” Tim said. “We give general contractors a single source for completing the parking lot aspect of jobs. Last year we did over 100 parking lots. Our Champion motorgraders have certainly helped us achieve this kind of success.”
Spec’ing the Champion C60
Floyd Brothers Construction specializes in building parking lots from scratch, including all infrastructure and site work. It’s a full-scale operation that requires the right kind of equipment to get the job done. After experimenting with a variety of graders over the years, including small tandem machines, the Floyd brothers decided on single axle Champion C60 motorgraders.
“Our Champion C60 graders are long enough to give us the required grading on the parking lots we construct. They’re also compact and mobile enough to let our operators maneuver the tight turns they need to make around curbs and islands when they are doing finish grading,” Sam said. “We prefer the single axle because when you twist with one axle versus two you have much less stress on the framework of the machine and it enables the operator to articulate the grader comfortably resulting in smoother grade work. For about 90 percent of the work we do, our operators would rather use the C60 model than the larger graders any day. The C60 single axle model is the perfect fit for our type of work.”
One option that all of their Champion C60 motorgraders come with is diamond tread on their tires, which provides better “cleating” on the sandy subgrades in the Pensacola area. The diamond tread enables the graders to track better and it leaves a smaller footprint than regular tractor tires.
“We’re one of the few regions that use this type of subgrade for grading and it’s a good case of knowing the nature of the job well enough when you’re spec’ing your equipment. The diamond tread works best with our type of application” Tim said.
Win Over Operators
Most of the company’s motorgrader operators are “blue-top operators” with years of experience on graders of all sizes. According to the Floyd brothers, their operators can switch effortlessly between the company’s larger graders and the Champion C60 series models because of the industry standard controls on all Champion graders.
“Some of our grader operators come from other companies where there were only big graders. But once they get into one of our Champion C60 graders, they realize it is a compact grader with a big grader feel,” Tim said.
“Our guys really like the visibility and articulation on the C60 graders,” Sam added. “They get the finish they want faster and easier. As a result, all six of our C60 machines are running every single day. Our larger graders are now mostly used only for large roadwork applications.”
Tim said the C60s are more cost efficient than the firm’s larger graders.
“With their single axles and big tires, the Champion C60 graders really are our workhorses. They just run and run and run and never give us any problems,” he said.
The Floyd brothers bought their first Champion motorgrader in 1995 from Herman McCoy, branch manager of Joe Money Machinery in Pensacola and a long-time fixture in the local heavy equipment business. Thirteen years later, it still works everyday alongside the other machines they have bought since then — the latest being last year. The Floyd brothers credit McCoy with having drawn their attention to the Champion C60 model as the right piece of equipment for their parking lot construction application.
“Herman came to us and said ’Guys, I’m going to put a single axle Champion C60 on demo here and I want you to give it a try. I think you’re going to be pleased with it,’” Sam recalled. “We weren’t sure about it at first, but after the demo, he sold us on it, and we’ve never looked back. Herman’s been great. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge of construction equipment and we’ve developed a lot of respect for him over the past 13 years.”
“Herman has been more than just a sales representative to us,” Tim said. “We have developed a personal relationship with him and we often turn to him for advice on all of our equipment.”
McCoy recalled how his knowledge of the Champion product line and of the parking lot application the Floyd brothers had in mind convinced him that the single axle C60 was their right equipment choice.
“I knew this machine was the right fit for what these boys had in mind in terms of length, blade down pressure, maneuverability and cost,” McCoy said. “It’s a well built compact grader with big grader features and durability.”