Athens is building a new city hall to replace its current 60-year-old one. The new digs will provide much needed space for employee offices and city council chambers.
As Street Supervisor Dolph Bradford gives us a tour of the jobsite, a John Deere 333E Compact Track Loader (CTL) makes its rounds hauling sand, gravel, and other materials where needed. Down the road, a John Deere 50D Compact Excavator helps build a new pavilion. "We've got quite a lot going on around this growing city."
Compact equipment is the perfect fit for many of these jobs. "We use the 333E to get under bridges, in and out of confined areas like drainage ditches, and for street work where the going gets narrow."
With its reduced-tail-swing design, the City's John Deere 50D is maneuverable in tight areas, yet strong enough to handle 610-mm (24 in.) pipe. "It's a really handy machine. We can quickly trailer it to a jobsite and unload it. It navigates easily around obstacles on street jobs or in close quarters next to buildings. And its tracks are friendly to yards and paved surfaces."
On the city hall jobsite, Bradford needed a nimble machine to keep a steady flow of materials moving to all contractors. Enter the 333E: "As you can see on the jobsite here, we're pretty tight on space. The 333D is compact, but it has plenty of power. Plus, it's economical to run – it's just a great machine."
Bradford is in the process of acquiring a brush cutter to clean up ditches and creeks. He also plans on adding a dozer blade and a broom attachment to the versatile 333E down the road. "You can do just about anything you want with this machine. We plan on using it a lot. It's going to help us get a lot more work done."
Another job bites the dust
Many of the City's jobs are in dusty environments. The 333E's optional reversing fan can be set to automatically reverse to clear core-clogging buildup. "That's a great feature. It really helps keep the machine running cool."
The CTL's cab and floor are tightly sealed and pressurized to keep out dust and noise. "The cab is very spacious, quiet, and comfortable. There's plenty of foot and legroom, and the large entryways make it easy to get in and out of. Visibility is outstanding – you can see really well all around the machine. The controls are ergonomic, smooth, quick, and easy to operate."
Because the City ordered the machine with the electrohydraulic (EH) option, operators can choose from ISO, H-pattern, or foot/joystick EH controls at the push of a button. "All the operators give the controls a thumbs-up."
Machine maintenance with customers' mechanics in mind
The City has its own shop and does all of its own maintenance. "Servicing these Deere machines is simple and quick."
"It's very important for our mechanics to be able to get in there to service and maintain the machines properly and John Deere makes that easy. That was a huge selling point for us."
City of Athens has used John Deere equipment for 12 years. "It's very productive, reliable equipment – I can't say enough good things about it. And we get great service from our local Deere dealer. We have a very comfortable relationship, and they always get us what we need right away. This is one manufacturer that really stands behind its products."