Mini Hex Team Photo
Mini Hex Team Photo

NOT TOO BIG, NOT TOO SMALL

CAT® MINI EXCAVATOR IS JUST RIGHT FOR GEORGIA LANDSCAPER

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After working in the landscaping business for more than two decades, Marvin Cruz has plenty of experience with different equipment brands. Now that he runs his own company — Liveoak Landscape in Lawrenceville, Georgia — and makes the purchase decisions, there’s only one brand he trusts.

“I’ve never shopped for anything but Cat® machines,” Cruz says. “It’s the best experience I’ve ever had. I’m impressed with all the technology and how easy and convenient it is to operate Cat equipment.”

 

THE PERFECT MACHINE FOR THE JOB: THE CAT 303 NEXT GEN

Cruz started Liveoak two years ago. He and his five full-time equipment operators, along with temporary staff when needed, work primarily on landscaping projects at new apartment complexes and senior living communities.

“It’s a creative business,” Cruz says. “I like creating something amazing from the ground up.” With two big new projects on the horizon, Cruz recently decided to add a new machine to his fleet: the Cat 303 Next Gen mini excavator.

This next generation machine comes with a host of exclusive features, including the ability to switch easily from traditional levers and pedals to joystick controls. Its compact radius design makes work in tight areas easy. And auto idle, auto engine shutdown, efficient hydraulics and simple service help keep operating costs low.

Cruz appreciates all those features — and the fact that the 303 Next Gen delivers the same benefits as his first Cat mini excavator, the 303E CR, which he describes as “the perfect machine” for landscaping. “It’s powerful and easy to transport,” Cruz says. “The weight is ideal — you can pull it with your pickup truck. It’s enough machine to do any work related to landscaping.”

 

MOVING UP TO THE NEXT GENERATION

To select the right machines and keep them running efficiently, Cruz relies on advice from sales rep Luis Castro at Cat dealer Yancey Bros. Co.

“Marvin walked into the office a few years ago looking for a mini excavator, and I showed him the different models available,” Castro says. “Like with every customer, I listened to his needs, learned about his projects and did my best to recommend the right machine — not too big, not too small.”

Castro is happy to see Cruz moving up to the next generation of mini excavators with his recent purchase of the 303 Next Gen — a machine he’s recommended to other landscapers.

“Customers love the joystick steering and the touchscreen monitor in the cab,” Castro says. “The fact that you can set up a security code to start the machine is another big selling point.”

Cruz and his operators certainly agree.

“My guys love to work with the new equipment I have from Caterpillar,” Cruz says. “When they get in the Cat mini excavator, they feel it is a stronger machine than other brands for sure.”

 

 

 

 

“Our maintenance costs are about 40-50% less with Caterpillar than other brands,” Cruz says. “With other machines, you have to perform routine maintenance every 250 hours, and every time it gets a little more expensive.”

 

 

 

 

SAVING MONEY, SAVING TIME

One thing that has surprised Cruz about Cat equipment — he owns a 249 D3 compact track loader in addition to the 303E CR and 303 Next Gen — is the simplicity of maintenance. He especially likes the 500-hour service intervals on his mini excavators.

“Our maintenance costs are about 40-50% less with Caterpillar than other brands,” Cruz says. “With other machines, you have to perform routine maintenance every 250 hours, and every time it gets a little more expensive.”

When his machines need more than simple preventive maintenance, Cruz knows he can turn to Yancey Bros. and Castro for assistance.

“He has a lot more knowledge than me about how to take care of Cat equipment,” Cruz says. “He’s always willing to answer any questions I have.”

Castro considers that just part of his role as a consultant and partner. He encourages customers to reach out whenever they have issues with a piece of equipment.

“They can send us a picture or a video of the machine, and we’ll try to troubleshoot it for them before they bring it into the shop,” Castro says. “That saves them time — it could be a simple fix.”

 

A RELATIONSHIP BUILT FOR THE FUTURE

As much as the quality of the machines and the ease of maintenance, it’s that relationship with Castro and the rest of the team at Yancey Bros. that will keep Cruz returning to Cat equipment.

“My goal is to grow my company every year, and I expect to purchase Cat machines every few years,” Cruz says. “I’m really happy with my Cat mini excavators and service — I cannot say enough about how helpful Luis has been to me. We have many years going forward to do business together.”