Hardscaper in PA reviews new Cat 302 Mini Excavator
Hardscaper in PA reviews new Cat 302 Mini Excavator

Cat® 302 Excavator Brings the Heat to a PA Hardscaper

A climate-controlled cab was the solution John Guimento needed to tackle cold weather jobs

John Guimento knew he found his calling when he started a family-owned hardscape company in 2004. Based in Dickson City, Pennsylvania, Guimento and Son Hardscapes LLC specializes in concrete, retaining wall blocks, and pond excavation and installations. John’s son, Michael, is his right-hand man.

“I’ve been doing this since 1994 and I went full-time in 2004, when Michael was three years old. Basically, he came in to the picture the day he was born,” said John. 

Over the years, the duo has formed the perfect tag team on the jobsite. John takes reign on grading and concrete work, while Michael’s talents shine in the trenching department—digging out for patios and retaining walls. 

“Being hardscapers, we don’t do just one thing. One day we might be excavating, and tomorrow we might be doing concrete. There’s a lot of different things you have to learn, and the people who want to do that are few and far between,” John explained. “So in my field, having compact equipment can help offset the challenges of finding good labor.” 

From the beginning, John established a relationship with Cleveland Brothers Cat dealer and began building a small fleet of Cat® machinery to help him get the job done. Michael has fond memories of visiting the dealership at a young age—running around to get in the cabs of each machine. The company’s first purchase was a Cat 242B Skid Steer Loader, then purchased two mini excavators—a 304C CR and a 301.7D CR. 

Last winter, while operating his 301, John’s hands went completely numb—forcing him to stop every 15 minutes to go warm them up. He later found out that he had Type 2 diabetes, which was causing the numbness. Despite the diagnosis, the work still had to be done. Luckily for John, a solution was waiting for him at the dealership—in the form of a Next Generation Cat 302 CR Mini Excavator.  

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When it comes to working in extreme temperatures, a climate-controlled cab was the solution hardscaper, John Guimento, needed to take on jobs year-round. Our Cat® 302 Mini Excavator is equipped with an advanced display, heated cab and customizable operator settings. One of John and his son Michael’s favorite features is the ease of switching from stick steer controls to the thumb attachment for excavator.

Hardscaper in PA reviews new Cat 302 Mini Excavator

He was at Cleveland Brothers looking for a mini excavator thumb attachment when he spotted the 302, and you could say it was love at first sight. Similar size as the 301? Check. Thumb available? Check. Heated cab? Check! It was a done deal. John traded in his 301.7 for the 302 and hasn’t looked back since. 

“We do a lot of tight jobs, so I need a machine that can fit in tight spaces. The 302 has more power, more digging depth. I can take it on jobs that I couldn’t take the 304,” said John. “And with the climate control, it has all the creature comforts of home.”  

Michael was equally excited about the new machine, and had his own list of benefits to note. Along with the advanced display and Bluetooth capabilities, he’s a huge fan of the stick steer function.

“When I’m digging, I like to use stick steer to get back and forth,” Michael explained. “It’s a huge time-saver because I don’t have to stop to reach for the sticks, then reposition. All I have to do is hit a button and I’m moving.”

Hardscaper Guimento & Sons with Cat 302 Mini Excavator
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“I’ve been doing this since 1994 and I went full-time in 2004, when Michael was three years old. Basically, he came in to the picture the day he was born,” said John.

Hardscaper Guimento & Sons with Cat 302 Mini Excavator
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“We do a lot of tight jobs, so I need a machine that can fit in tight spaces. The 302 has more power, more digging depth. I can take it on jobs that I couldn’t take the 304,” said John.

Hardscaper Guimento & Sons with Cat 302 Mini Excavator
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“When I’m digging, I like to use stick steer to get back and forth,” Michael explained. “It’s a huge time-saver because I don’t have to stop to reach for the sticks, then reposition. All I have to do is hit a button and I’m moving.”

Hardscaper Guimento & Sons with Cat 302 Mini Excavator
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“Being hardscapers, we don’t do just one thing. One day we might be excavating, and tomorrow we might be doing concrete. There’s a lot of different things you have to learn, and the people who want to do that are few and far between,” John explained. “So in my field, having compact equipment can help offset the challenges of finding good labor.”

Hardscaper Guimento & Sons with Cat 302 Mini Excavator
Hardscaper Guimento & Sons with Cat 302 Mini Excavator
Hardscaper Guimento & Sons with Cat 302 Mini Excavator
Hardscaper Guimento & Sons with Cat 302 Mini Excavator

While John and Michael have different preferences when it comes to machine features, the 302 has exceeded both their expectations. Their inside sales representative at Cleveland Brothers, Rory Kania, couldn’t be happier to see Guimento and Son Hardscapes continue to grow.

“I met John just about two years ago. He came into the showroom with a few questions about mini excavators. We went over the compact equipment, features, benefits—just trying to narrow down the right size for his business and a solution to help him generate revenue,” said Rory. “That’s what I really enjoy about my job, being able to pair up customers with the proper equipment to get their job done.” 

Running a small business is certainly not a walk in the park; it’s a constant balancing act. That’s where the relationship with Cleveland Brothers and Caterpillar brings value—helping the Guimentos find solutions, when and where they need them. And Michael has big plans for the future.

“I would like to see Guimento and Son grow to have a couple of fleets and crews out on jobs,” said Michael. “We could still do the small work, but a lot more of it!”  

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