Written by: Bobcat Australia
Posted on: 9 Oct 2019
Topic: General News
Building A Family Business Through Versatility
It started with an unusual request. Three years after founding Swogier Construction, Stan Swogier received a customer request to put in a sand volleyball court. So, Stan rented a Bobcat loader with a backhoe attachment. After finishing the job, Stan realized the Bobcat machine made his one-man operation more versatile. So after consulting with his wife, Lori, he decided to buy a 753 skid-steer. In addition to a backhoe attachment, he purchased a bucket with a grapple and an auger.
“It was like my dream come true,” Stan says. “I was the only one in the area that could go out and drill post holes from 6 inches up to 3 feet around.” He bought more attachments and loved the new work he could accomplish with the 753’s versatility. “I found out that the Bobcat loader was a perfect machine for our company,” Stan says.
Starting A Construction Company From Scratch
Before the Bobcat equipment, all Stan had was a strong work ethic. As a teenager he worked as a laborer for his uncle’s construction company while dreaming of bigger things. “I said, ‘Someday I’m going to be a master carpenter,’” Stan says. “They were all doing trim work, and I had to do all the grunt work, of course. I was young.” He eventually achieved his dream of becoming a master carpenter, and after working in commercial and residential construction for 14 years, he told Lori he was ready to work for himself. Lori, whom Stan frequently credits as his main financial advisor, was supportive. “She said, ‘I have a job and can support us while you start our own construction company,’” Stan says. “I thought, ‘Well, if it doesn’t work, I’ll hang up my hammer and go back to work for someone else.’”
Thirty years later, Stan is still operating his own company. He purchased his first Bobcat loader from Bobcat, and he still does business with the same dealer today. He cites their customer service and Bobcat attachment inventory as the primary reasons he remains a loyal Bobcat customer, despite other companies trying to sell him equipment. “Bobcat has all the attachments sitting in their yard,” Stan says. “I know that the attachments are there. They’ll bring the attachment out to a job and pick it up the next day.”
Bobcat Attachments Solve Jobsite Challenges
Stan was hired for a new residential construction project, and the lot was covered with little trees, including a creek bed in the backyard. Stan knew he had to take out all the trees before he could begin construction, so he attached a Bobcat flail mower to his E35 compact excavator and used it to clear the entire lot. The excavator’s reach allowed his operator to mow along the creek without having to worry about the uneven terrain. “That one job made the purchase of that attachment worthwhile,” Stan says.
His son, Stan Jr., used the flail mower for a residential construction project too. The customers wanted evergreen trees planted in front of a house that was nearing completion, and the request required clearing a substantial amount of brush. The landscapers were struggling with the project, so Stan Jr. offered to clear the area using his flail mower. It’s another example, Stan says, of how purchasing the attachment has made his company more valuable to his clients.
The same construction project included plans for a huge deck over a gorge. The location and slope of the gorge presented a challenge for digging the deck supports. To solve the issue, Swogier Construction used an auger with the E35, which gave them sufficient reach to drill the holes from a stable position. “If we didn’t have that equipment, how else could you we something like that?” Stan says. “All the attachments expand our business.” His company’s most recent purchase is an M2-Series T595 compact track loader. “We can grade with it,” Stan says. “We can break concrete and drill post holes with it. It’s an all-around machine. It’s a very, very durable machine. We pile up snow with it in winter. This machine is all of what it says.”
Future For The Company
Many years have passed between Stan’s first 753 and his new T595, and Stan is now ready to relax and play with his grandkids. Soon Stan Jr. will take over the company. Stan is a proud father. “I can’t say enough about how Stan Jr.’s has taken the reins and transformed our business since he’s come on, just to a new level,” Stan says. “He has good rapport with all the customers. The customers love him and his great ideas. “He’s a master carpenter, too. He’s really doing well, and I’m so proud of him.” Although Swogier Construction will eventually change leaders, its choice of Bobcat equipment will definitely stay the same. “Bobcat has been there for us since day one,” Stan says. “We like to grab a piece of equipment, take it out to the job, and know we can go out and do the work ourselves. And Bobcat has been that type of machine for us throughout the years. We’re not switching by any means.”