Taylor Rental Fills a Niche

Nov. 1, 1999
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The Earthforce compact TLB (tractor-loader-backhoe) is making impressive headway into the equipment-rental sector in North America. In four years, Superstav, the Czech manufacturer, has produced a line of six medium-sized TLBs that fulfill a long-emptyniche in the rental market.

Jay Maners, owner of Taylor Rental in Mount Vernon, OH, a midsize rental company that services a range of customers from large road-building firms to homeowners, says, “For years there have been mini-backhoes on the market, but no one was making a midsize. And size is a factor because any bigger than this, you can’t tow without trucking.”

All models (excluding the EF-1 gas model) have standard features such as Kubota diesel engines that range from 25 to 68 hp, hydrostatic transmissions, Parker and Rexroth hydraulics, and Carraro axles. Certified ROPS/FOPS, an antitheft device, emergency stop switches, an oil cooler, a backup alarm, and bolt-on bucket teeth for backhoe and loader are also standard.

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Options include six-in-one loader buckets, pallet forks, road lights, safety glass cabins, and external front and rear hydraulics. Universal quick-attach features are available for both loaders and backhoes. The EF-2, EF-3, EF-4, and EF-5 have the option of either side-shift backhoe or center-mounted backhoe with vertical stabilizers. The side-shift backhoe is standard in Europe and not unknown in the United States, but it hasn’t seen widespread commercialization here. It makes the machines extremely versatile because it allows them to get into tight places and small areas.

Loader breakout starts at 3,600 lb. and peaks at 9,500 lb. for the EF series. Digging depth ranges from 9 ft. to 12 ft., loader lift capacity from 2,675 lb. to 5,300 lb., and bucket breakout from 2,726 lb. to 8, 406 lb. The machines vary in weight from 4,166 lb. to 9, 500 lb.

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“We’ve had a very good response to this machine,” says Maners. “With the four-wheel steering and four-wheel drive, the machines are easy to handle and operate. It’s versatile especially for its price range. The customer is given the option to dig 10 or 12 feet deep with a machine that can be rented out for about 175 dollars a day. Before, a contractor would have had to rent out a full-size backhoe or two different machines to do the same job.”

Maners particularly likes the fact that the machines are so easy to use. “A typical loader backhoe is a farm tractor retrofitted with a front-end loader and a backhoe. They’re complicated to use. You have a transmission with a lot of gear selections, you have attachments that are bolted onto the machine, and you have a lot of other options to contend with. With this machine, you have an on and off switch, a throttle, and a pedal that selects forward and reverse. Then you have a front-loader lever, and when you swivel the seat around, you have the controls for the backhoe right there. I can show someone how to operate it in five minutes.”

For rental companies like Taylor Rental, that’s a big plus. Add to that a better return on investment because of less downtime and maintenance costs, and the Earthforce TLB looks to be a winner in the equipment rental arena.