After working for a landscaper in his teens, Greg Cote knew early on that he wanted to work for himself. In 2007, at the age of 21, Cote broke off and formed his own lawn care service in Newington, Conn. Starting out with a small pickup truck, a trailer and a lawn mower, Cote went to work.
Despite the recession that began in 2008, Cote’s business gained traction.
“I think it was just my attention to detail,” he says. “I work with all of our customers to make them feel like they’re our only customer.”
In his third year in business, Cote branched out and started building brick paver walkways and patios. At about the same time, he expanded further into commercial snow removal during the winter months. Currently, Cote has five employees in the summer, and as many as 10 in the colder months to keep up with the demands of heavy winters in Connecticut.
“We’re out all winter pushing snow, hauling snow and piling snow,” he says.
Last year, Cote was contacted by a representative of Cat dealer H.O. Penn, who introduced him to the versatility offered by a Cat Skid Steer Loader. Prior to this, Cote was borrowing another brand of skid steer from a friend, or renting when he needed one.
“With him being relatively new, he assumed a Cat Skid Steer Loader was more than he could afford,” says H.O. Penn sales representative Brian Wood. “We were able to fix him up with a machine that was within his price range.”
Cote purchased a Cat 262D Skid Steer Loader last fall. Among its many capabilities, the machine is used for snow removal and hauling pallets of pavers in the summer.
“We use it year round, probably more than the trucks,” Cote says. “In the summer, we use the forks attachment to move pallets of block around, so we’re not paying someone to move them from the front yard to the backyard.
“In the winter, before I had the skid steer, I couldn’t haul snow away, pile snow or move it around,” he continues. “Now I can offer a wider range of services for my customers, including complete snow removal.”
When it comes to attachments, Cote utilizes several bucket sizes, including one for snow removal and another for digging dirt. He also has a Cat Sectional Snow Push attachment and forks.
“It’s a versatile machine that has added to my bottom line by saving time on my jobs,” he says. “When it comes to the kind of work we do, the attachments just speed up everything.”
Cote purchased his skid steer through Cat Financial.
“Brian, my H.O. Penn rep, walked me through everything,” he says. “He made it really easy.”
Cote shopped around before purchasing his Cat Skid Steer Loader, and he discovered that Caterpillar offered financing as part of the total package.
“With all of the other brands, everything was an upsell,” Cote says. “With Caterpillar, the financing was just standard.”
With Product Link™ installed on his machine, Cote is secure in the knowledge that his Cat dealer can keep tabs on the location of the skid steer and monitor other machine functions.
“I just know that if someone tries to steal my machine, we can find it,” he says.
With brick walkways and patios becoming a growing part of his business, Cote is contemplating the purchase of a mini excavator, and possibly another skid steer to aid in snow removal.
“I am sold on Cat equipment, and my skid steer loader is the first of what I expect will be many more to follow,” Cote says.
WHAT THEY LIKE ABOUT CAT EQUIPMENT
“I think the Caterpillar name speaks for itself as far as its reputation for quality and reliability,” says Greg Cote, owner of Cote’s Landscaping & Lawn Service. “My skid steer loader is like a Cadillac. It has heated seats, a backup camera and Bluetooth radio—and all of those features are standard. The joystick controls are easy to operate. No one minds running that machine for 12 hours clearing snow.”
WHAT THEY LIKE ABOUT THEIR CAT DEALER
When he is clearing snow in the middle of the night, having the ability to make a service call and receive timely parts and repairs is critical, Cote says.
“I can’t afford to be down,” Cote adds. “If I’m plowing snow at 2:00 in the morning, I can call H.O. Penn if there are any issues, and they’ll come out and take care of it right on the spot. With the other companies, you’ll figure out how to haul it to them, and who knows how long it will take to repair.”