Second Career Brings Flight Attendants Down to Earth

Fri August 07, 2009 - Southeast Edition
CEG

Southern Fields owners Julie and Dave Loosemore enjoy their second career as construction business owners, finding plentiful work for their Bobcat loaders.
Southern Fields owners Julie and Dave Loosemore enjoy their second career as construction business owners, finding plentiful work for their Bobcat loaders.



Customer service was an important aspect of Dave Loosemore’s first career and has transferred over very nicely to his second career — residential construction.

For 32 years, Loosemore was a flight attendant for United Airlines, often dealing with high-profile passengers on international flights. Now he is putting that experience — and his Bobcat equipment — to use, working with four luxury homebuilders in the Orlando, Fla., area.

Southern Fields works on homes that range in price from $2 million to $25 million, and in size from 10,000 to 40,000 sq. ft. Most are built for prominent people in the athletic and business community.

Loosemore owns Southern Fields, Windemere, Fla., with his wife, Julie. She retired after 37 years with United Airlines and now handles the financial and administrative part of the business. During the time they were flying, they had several days a week off and were able to start their part-time construction venture. From day one, service was the hallmark of their company.

Timing is Everything

“Our big break came one New Year’s Eve when I got a call from a builder who needed someone to clean up around a new home that the owner wanted to show to his family,” Loosemore said. “The person who was supposed to do it did not show up and the builder got my name from another person in the business. All I had was a tractor, but I rushed over and helped him out. That builder is still our No. 1 customer today.”

While service remains paramount, many other things have changed for Loosemore.

“Since the initial assignment, that builder, and others, have expanded our job description a hundred times,” he says. “Today we do everything but construct the house — site development, grading, drainage work, unloading and moving building materials, cleanup and more.”

As builders hired Loosemore to do more, they also encouraged him to add the type of equipment that would allow him to work efficiently and productively.

“I looked around and discovered that Bobcat Company had the premier line of compact products,” he said. “We purchased a 763 skid steer loader in the early 1990s, and as our business grew so did our fleet of Bobcat loaders.

“Having reliable, versatile equipment is very important,” Loosemore said. “We are always on call for our builders. They want us to respond quickly and do quality work.”

Cost-Effective Loaders

Today, Southern Fields operates T320, T300 and T190 compact track loaders and a S150 skid steer loader, all purchased from Bobcat of Orlando.

“About 90 percent of the time we’re working in sandy soil. Our three Bobcat compact track loaders respond very well in these conditions. They allow us to be very efficient and, as a result, very cost-effective for our builders.”

The flotation provided by the rubber tracks makes compact track loaders ideal in Florida soil, according to the manufacturer.

With all the pieces in place — customers, employees and equipment — Loosemore is more than pleased with the way things have turned out.

“Every day we work overlooking a lake or on a golf course,” he said. “That sure beats the inside of an airplane.”

This story was reprinted from Bobcat WorkSaver, Summer 2009.