Robbie Sisson has always found he works best with a relatively small labor pool and highly functional equipment and machinery. And his Vermeer ATX530 compact articulated loader (ATX) definitely foots the bill on the latter value proposition, so much so that even after a short time of integrating the machine into his business, he’s already seen new potential for business growth.
Working with his Vermeer Midwest Territory Manager Lucas Petrocci in Aurora, Illinois, Sisson attended a demo for the ATX530. It didn’t take long for him to see the value the small but mighty machine could deliver to his work at Sisson’s Tree Service LLC, in Stillman Valley, Illinois.
“He did a demo, and we were pretty much sold on the spot,” Sisson said of the ATX530 demo by Petrocci, who he quickly credited with providing industry-leading service. “We’d been looking at mini skid steers and other machines, but since we have a Vermeer chipper and stump grinder, we liked the idea of having everything from one place.”
Making the most of a small workforce
Sisson works with a single three-member crew, making labor a frequent constraint in his work mostly with residential customers. But he’s also experienced the benefits of “staying lean” from a labor standpoint, especially when adding purpose-driven equipment like the Vermeer compact articulated loader, which helps him tackle frequent tasks that would otherwise be difficult to do manually. With the diversity of available attachments and features, Sisson noticed a difference in his crew’s performance just days after beginning to use the ATX530.
“[The ATX] makes us quicker and more efficient,” Sisson said. “Plus, it saves your energy. You’re not dog tired at the end of the day. Since we got it, we’ve used it every single day on at least one job.”
Specific high-value features
The ATX’s general versatility was just one component of its functionality that’s helped Sisson do more for his customers. His initial interest was rooted in his need for a balance of payload capacity and maneuverability to help mechanize jobs he and his crew had previously done by hand. What he didn’t expect with the small articulated loader was the machine’s influence on the time many jobs now require.
“The ATX is kind of a game-changer. The way the articulation works, we are able to maneuver around objects that would be tougher in a typical loader,” Sisson said. “We recently had a smaller pine tree removal job that, if we didn’t have the ATX and had to do it by hand, we would have had to drag it out by hand to the chipper. With the ATX, we grabbed the whole pine tree and drug it out in one piece. That was huge. So, we got a two-hour job done in 45 minutes.”
Future business evolution plans
In his first few weeks of operating the ATX530, Sisson said he used the machine on almost every jobsite. With its consistency of performance in making quick work of his average jobs, Sisson anticipates growing and diversifying what Sisson’s Tree Service can offer its customers.
“We used to do one big job in a day. Now, we’ll take that one big job and schedule an additional job we know we can take care of in an hour or two. We’re also taking away from the exhaustion on the body. We run a small crew, but at the end of the day, I’m not as physically tired. It’s just all-around better for us,” Sisson said, adding he also plans to use the ATX530 for snow removal for customers during the winter. “We’re also going to dive into firewood soon. Being able to use the ATX attachments to maneuver pallets of wood around is going to definitely help us in building and managing that venture.”
This article contains third-party observations, advice or experiences that do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Vermeer Corporation, its affiliates or its dealers. Testimonials and/or endorsements by customers in specific circumstances may not be representative of normal circumstances experienced by all customers.
MultiOne SRL Corporation reserves the right to make changes in engineering, design and specifications; add improvements; or discontinue manufacturing at any time without notice or obligation.
Equipment shown is for illustrative purposes only and may display optional accessories or components specific to their global region. Please contact your local Vermeer dealer for more information on machine specifications.
Vermeer and the Vermeer logo are trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the U.S. and/or other countries. © 2021 Vermeer Corporation. All Rights Reserved.