Jørgen Cappelen is not your ordinary businessman. With a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a drive to challenge what is normal, Cappelen is always searching for innovative ways to better meet the needs of his customers.
For decades Cappelen’s family was a major book publisher in Norway. While the expectation was that he’d follow his father’s footsteps, Cappelen had something else in mind. “We had a farm growing up and one day [my father] hired some equipment to build roads and stables. I was three years old and I immediately fell in love with excavators. By six I was a capable operator and was 100% sure I wanted to run my own business.
Cappelen decided to start his own business at just 17. “It didn’t go so well. I was young and inexperienced, so I had to learn the hard way.” In 2012, he started Jørgen W. Cappelen AS in Slependen, Norway, and today business continues to thrive.
“Our main services are in landscaping and gardening for residential and community projects, plus snow ploughing in the winter. We are focused on excellence and customer satisfaction before growth and I’m always looking for ideas to improve results for my customers.”
Equipment is critically important to Cappelen’s business. He has four important criteria when considering new equipment:
“I once had a tractor on site and a customer thought it was brand new. He was shocked to hear it had over 5000 hours on it. For me, the equipment is part of my brand and reflects the quality of the work we do.”
Cat® 304.5E2 XTC a Unique Solution
Cappelen first discovered the Cat® 304.5E2 XTC on YouTube. The 304.5E2 XTC is the first model in the Xtra Tool Carrier (XTC) line-up, a new and innovative product exclusive to Caterpillar. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is a smart machine,’ and I was already thinking of ways I could use it.”
The main feature of the machine is a skid steer coupler interface that allows the use of compact loader attachments. With the hydraulics and drive-train to match, the 304.5E2 XTC is compatible with multi-purpose buckets, forks, dozer blades, brooms, rakes, trenchers and a range of other attachments, providing unmatched flexibility to tackle any job.
Cappelen quickly called his Cat dealer PON after seeing the video. “We had a demonstration in it and after 3 hours we decided we had to buy it. While some applications were obvious, we have been surprised where we can benefit from this machine and I am sure we will discover more.”
Four benefits Cappelen has already found for the 304.5E2 XTC include:
1. Transporting turf and supplies on site
“This was the obvious one, for many of our sites we have removed the need for a loading machine and transport materials with the multi-purpose bucket or pallet forks.”
2. Field edging and shrub/weed removal
“The excavator with a shear or grapple has always been effective for removing small trees and shrubs but it always took a long time to collect and transport the waste. Now we stack it on pallet forks as we go.”
3. Planting a hedge
“One of our larger landscaping projects recently required 400 trees to be planted for a hedge. The trees are delivered packed on pallets. By transporting the pallets on the 304.5E2 XTC whilst simultaneously digging, we were able to finish the job very quickly and optimise the transporting and planting process.”
4. Finishing work and backfill
“In addition to loading and transporting materials, the multi-purpose bucket also allows us to spread, level and backfill material much faster than with a standard excavator.”
After 40 hours Cappelen’s operator was sold. “He came to me with a big smile and says, ‘It’s so good’!”
The machine is already living up to Cappelen’s expectations. “The ability to transport, load and grade on top of the normal excavator functions means we can cover 90% of jobs with just the one machine.”
Cappelen is already looking at what he can do with the machine next. “Next I will consider a broom for the XTC, maybe even a snow blower. It would be cool to try on worksites.”