Michael Lavigne has more than two decades of experience working in the underground construction industry. For the last seven years, he’s been in business for himself as the owner of Lavigne Plumbing and Heating.
Lavigne has 22 employees and is based in Pearl River, La., where his company completes underground projects for residential and commercial developers. After renting Bobcat compact equipment for a number of years, Lavigne decided to purchase several pieces three years ago from Duhon Machinery.
“It became less expensive to buy a machine than to rent it for months on end,” Lavigne said. “A mechanic told me that Bobcat equipment is the easiest to service, the least expensive to repair and the most reliable, which is why I decided to purchase.”
Lavigne purchased a Bobcat 430 Zero House Swing (ZHS) compact excavator, two 2200 utility vehicles and a Toolcat 5600 utility work machine.
One of the hardest-working pieces of equipment on Lavigne’s job sites is the Bobcat 430 compact excavator. Equipped with a 20- or 24-in. (50.8 or 61 cm) bucket, the 430 is often used eight hours a day — up to four or five days a week — to dig 20- to 300-ft. (6 to 91 m) trenches for underground water, sewer and gas lines.
“I appreciate how easy it is to change my buckets when I need to — from the smooth bucket to a bucket with teeth — in less than 10 minutes,” Lavigne said.
Occasionally, a clamp attachment is used to clear tree roots and stumps that other land-clearing companies leave behind.
430 ZHS Fits in
Lavigne chose the Bobcat 430 ZHS because it has the zero house swing feature with flexible rotation for working in tight spaces.
“I had problems with other excavators because I would turn and knock down form boards. Then, I’d have to waste time fixing the form boards. The Bobcat 430 makes working in tight places so much easier,” he said.
In addition to his 430, Lavigne’s crew uses the Bobcat 2200 utility vehicles and Toolcat 5600 to move tools and materials around the job site.
“The 2200s and Toolcat 5600 are smaller than trucks, so they are easier to fit in between buildings on the large commercial job sites.”
The right combination of Bobcat products has helped Lavigne meet his developers’ deadlines, keep employees busy and save valuable time before he moves onto the next job site.
For more information, visit www.bobcat.com/430.
This article was reprinted from Bobcat WorkSaver magazine, 2009 Buyer’s Guide.