Riddell, owner of Riddell Plumbing Inc., Sunnyvale, Texas, has been in the plumbing business since he was 19 years old. And over the years, Riddell has learned what it takes to keep customers happy and build a good reputation. Today, he and his 80 employees stay busy working one-on-one with both home and commercial builders to install plumbing.
To set his business apart from the pack, Riddell has taken great effort to not only provide the best service, but also the cleanest. He understands that when his crews pull up to a home to start a job, one of the first thoughts that goes through the customer's mind is, what is my yard going to look like when they leave?
“When you're working in a developed neighborhood, people don't like you making big messes,” Riddell says. Not only does a messy job create an eyesore, but it also takes valuable time and money to repair the turf.
So to further help prevent messy jobs, Riddell recently purchased a Bobcat® 430 compact excavator with zero house swing (ZHS) to add to the pair of Bobcat 331E extended arm compact excavators he owns. Riddell uses the machines to place new plumbing from the street to the house in the residential areas - many of which are being upscaled. Riddell says he chose the 430 compact excavator because the ZHS enables his crews to easily maneuver when working in the 5 feet of space between homes.
“It has the power of a much larger backhoe, but then you have the ability to get into tighter places,” Riddell says. “The customers are pretty much amazed by it. Because in dealing with previous plumbers, they're used to them coming in with a large backhoe and making a huge mess and these are just so much cleaner. It makes our job look a lot better.”
With ZHS, not only does the rear of the machine stay within the excavator's width or tracks, so does the machine's left and right front corners. The design allows a zero radius swing range of nearly 320 degrees, which permits easier spoil placement in tight quarters and decreases the chances of accidentally striking buildings or trees during operation.
Riddell has several different types of excavator buckets, but he typically equips the 430 and 331E compact excavators with an 18-in. bucket for digging the plumbing trenches. To quickly switch between buckets, Riddell uses the Bobcat X-Change® attachment mounting system that comes standard on all the excavators.
Another feature on the 430 compact excavator that attracted Riddell was its FastTrack™ drive system. With the system, dedicated axial piston pumps power the travel motors to provide smooth, precise turns, maximum torque control and optimal travel speed. A low-range travel speed of nearly 3 mph eliminates the need to shift between speed ranges on most backfilling projects. In high range, the 430 can travel as fast as 5 mph.
Riddell says his operators use the drive system to get around the jobsite quickly. “A lot of times we may have to drive around the back of a house and come up an alley, and having the FastTrack (drive system) just saves a lot of time,” he says. “If you're wanting to get around in a hurry, FastTrack is the way to go.”
For more information about the 430 compact excavator, visit www.bobcat.com/products/ex/zhs.html.