Case unveils the Minotaur

Departments - L&L Insider

This new product offering is the company’s first compact dozer loader.

September 11, 2022

Photo courtesy of Kim Lux, Lawn & Landscape

Case Construction Equipment unveiled its latest machine — the Case Minotaur DL550 compact dozer loader during a product launch event at Case’s Tomahawk Customer Center. The Minotaur is an equipment category first for Case. 

The Minotaur is now rolling off the assembly line at Case’s Wichita, Kansas, manufacturing facility. The product launch represents more than six years of development and collaboration between numerous Case plants, personnel, testing facilities and departments.

“The Minotaur has the potential to be the first machine on the jobsite and the last to leave,” says Jeff Jacobsmeyer, product manager for Case, of the machine’s versatility.

Weighing in at more than 18,000 pounds and working with 114 horsepower, the new machine delivers dozing and grading performance, as well as site loading capabilities and compatibility with hundreds of attachments.

“Our main motivation was to have a machine that was a compact design with versatility. So, a smaller footprint with all the extra power,” Jacobsmeyer says.

The advancement of the Case Minotaur DL550 is the chassis-integrated C-frame with six-way dozer blade. The C-frame hydraulically couples into both the chassis of the machine, as well as the attachment coupler. This design provides the stability and smooth operating plane of a small dozer while ensuring that all operating power is channeled through the whole body of the machine. This establishes greater performance and long-term reliability than the simple combination of a dozer blade attachment to a traditional compact track loader.

It also comes standard with Case Universal Machine Control, which makes the machine ready for any of the major three providers of machine control technology (Leica Geosystems, Topcon and Trimble), which are sold separately. It’s also available with an optional, fully integrated ripper for tearing up tough terrain to simplify dozing and earthmoving operations.

  
Photo courtesy of Kim Lux, Lawn & Landscape

The C-frame is then detached to allow the operator to use it as a loader with a heavy-duty 1.25-cubic-yard bucket or with hundreds of common loader attachments many equipment owners already have in their fleet.

“Customer productivity and customer efficiency were what we really set out to accomplish,” says Terry Dolan, vice president of Case North America. “At the end of the day, everything we produce is to enable a contractor to do and perform their jobs more effectively and have increased productivity.

“If you think of the challenges we have in the labor market, to be able to utilize a single machine for a lot more different jobs while utilizing a single operator for that is beneficial,” he adds.

Dolan and Jacobsmeyer say customer feedback was essential during the process of bringing the Minotaur to life. The compact dozer loader holds 29 patents and has pushed through more than 10,000 hours of field tests, in addition to countless customer clinics and typical lab and engineering testing.

Built on a dozer-style undercarriage and pushing with more than 25,000 pounds of drawbar pull, the machine is available with three different track options to meet operator preference and jobsite profiles:

  • 14-inch single-grouser steel tracks
  • 18-inch triple-grouser steel tracks
  • 17.7-inch rubber tracks

The 90- or 96-inch six-way blade connected to the integrated C-frame is the same blade featured on the Case 650M dozer and gives the operator a full range of dozer controls and movements. The machine’s electro-hydraulic controls also deliver responsiveness like full-sized Case dozers, with the ability to adjust blade, steering and shuttle sensitivity to smooth, moderate or aggressive to meet the operator’s preference. Blade responsiveness can be further dialed in to operator preference by independently setting the speed of the blade tilt, lift and angle.

The fully-integrated rear ripper is easily controlled from within the cab — it comes standard with three shanks and can be expanded to five shanks for more aggressive ripping. The rear ripper feature must be selected when ordering as it cannot be added after the time of purchase.

“When you see the Minotaur you might see it as a large CTL, but it’s when you experience it that you recognize it’s not a compact track loader. It truly is a dozer first,” Dolan said. “For those landscaping contractors doing commercial and residential work, to be able to put a full-size dozer blade on here, and not just a blade attachment, enables them to have the pushing power to do land clearing. And then has the ability to go to precision grading. I think landscaping contractors will be ideal for this.”

In its loader configuration, the Case Minotaur DL550 features a 5,500-pound rated operating capacity (50% of tipping load) with 12,907 pounds of breakout force. It features a vertical lift pattern and operates in the ISO control pattern. It also features advanced electro-hydraulic control capabilities where operators can easily dial in total machine responsiveness to low, moderate or aggressive; or independently set tilt, lift and drive speed, as well as loader arm and drive control to best meet the demands of the work.

Case builds the machine standard from the factory with enhanced high-flow auxiliary hydraulics for running the most demanding and high-powered attachments — such as mulching heads and cold planers. Minotaur’s enhanced high-flow hydraulics can deliver up to 41.6 GPM at 4,100 psi via the ¾-inch hydraulic quick couplers.

Schill Grounds Management lands first international acquisition

The company also acquired Grounds Elite in Cincinnati.

Schill Grounds Management is expanding into Canada through the acquisition of TLC Landscaping in London, Ontario. The company offers commercial landscaping and snow and ice removal services to clients of all sizes in the region.

TLC will continue operating with that name as it joins the Schill family and will expand into the Toronto area in the coming months.

Separately, Schill is also enhancing service in Cincinnati with the purchase of Grounds Elite, which has been providing complete grounds management service in that region for 20 years and deepens Schill’s service offerings and footprint throughout southwest Ohio and into the Dayton market as the company expands.

TLC is Schill’s first international acquisition and it gives the growing company a new service area across Lake Erie and to the north of its hometown footprint in and around Cleveland. TLC has repeatedly been voted a top landscaping company by The London Free Press and it holds an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau.

Schill is actively seeking additional acquisitions in the southern Ontario province as it strengthens operations in and around the Greater Toronto Area.

“We are very excited to add TLC’s visionary leadership team and employees to the Schill family as we come together to provide the very best service to customers in south Ontario and enter the Toronto market with strength and momentum,” said Jerry Schill, CEO of Schill Grounds Management and founder of the company nearly 30 years ago. “In Cincinnati, Grounds Elite gives us a greater service footprint and operational efficiency across southwest Ohio and Dayton.”

SavATree merges with Wisconsin-based company

Buckley The Tree Care Specialists’ team and Owner Tim Harris will stay onboard.

Savatree has merged with Wisconsin-based tree care company, Buckley The Tree Care Specialists. This merger introduces SavATree’s presence in the Milwaukee market, serving customers throughout Southeast Wisconsin and the surrounding areas.

Since 1963, Buckley The Tree Care Specialists has served customers in the Greater Milwaukee area. Owner Tim Harris and his team will stay on with SavATree.

“The partnership between SavATree and Buckley enhances our ability to expand service offerings while gaining support from a leader in the green industry,” Harris said. “Additionally, SavATree’s professional approach and commitment to both their employees and customers really aligns with the values and standards we’ve set at Buckley The Tree Care Specialists.”

“We are delighted to partner with Buckley The Tree Care Specialists. Joining forces with a company like Buckley The Tree Care Specialists will allow us to provide professional services to a broader range of customers and to also have a stronger presence in the Mid-West, as this merger marks our first two locations in the Milwaukee area,” said SavATree CEO, Carmine Schiavone.

BrightView buys 100 new electric vehicles

The Chevrolet Bolt EUVs will be used in at least 15 different states.

BrightView recently bought 100 electric-powered Chevrolet Bolt EUVs that will be put into service across the country, beginning this month. With the deployment of these new cars, BrightView’s management fleet is now comprised of nearly 400 electric and hybrid vehicles.

The new vehicles will be broadly deployed across at least 15 states, including California, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas and Florida. Over the next four years, the company’s aim is to convert its fleet of 3,000 field managers’ vehicles to electric and hybrid. The announcement — and similar enterprise efforts — is a part of BrightView’s overall environmental sustainability strategy of reducing its carbon footprint and becoming carbon neutral by 2035.

“As a company dedicated to developing, designing, and maintaining the best landscapes on Earth, we are continually seeking sustainable solutions that minimize our impact on the environment,” said Andrew Masterman, BrightView president and CEO. “The addition of electric and hybrid vehicles is yet another example of our commitment to investing in the future of our planet and achieving our environmental goals.”

SiteOne Landscape Supply helps veterans through non-profit support

A $10,000 donation enhances access to battery-operated equipment for I Want To Mow Your Lawn.

Siteone landscape supply donated $10,000 worth of battery-powered equipment to I Want To Mow Your Lawn, a non-profit organization that provides free lawn service to veterans, elderly and others in need. The donation—a combined effort from several SiteOne branches in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania—provided the non-profit with brand-new, environmentally friendly equipment.

“We’re seeing new laws banning gas-powered equipment, so we wanted to help the non-profit get ahead of those regulations while supporting its efforts in assisting veterans and elderly in need,” said Doug Shinnick, SiteOne sales support representative. “One of our pillars at SiteOne is to be a good neighbor. We strive to be impactful by implementing our large but local mindset and giving back to our communities.”

I Want To Mow Your Lawn is comprised of 200 volunteers in 40 states. Those in need can search for landscape help on IWantToMowYourLawn.com or submit a lawn service request. Local volunteers, many of whom are landscape contractors, then help complete the requests. The non-profit encourages the use of battery-powered equipment to contribute to a cleaner environment.

“The generous donation from SiteOne made a big impact on our mission to preserve dignity, enable independence and build community by providing eco-friendly, essential lawn service for those in need,” said Brian Schwartz, founder of I Want To Mow Your Lawn. “We are looking forward to a long-term partnership with SiteOne.”

“We are honored to work with Brian, who started I Want To Mow Your Lawn at the height of COVID-19 when the world was locked down,” said Wade Slover, SiteOne key account manager. “He missed personal contact with his community, so he started mowing his elderly neighbor’s lawns. Through a little bit of labor, his operation brings smiles to those in need.”

Mikyoung Kim Design wins ASLA top honor

The Boston-based company earned Firm of the Year.

Mikyoung Kim Design is this year’s recipient of the Firm of the Year award from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the highest honor that the ASLA bestows on a landscape architecture firm.

The criteria for this award includes the impact of Mikyoung Kim Design’s influence on the direction of the profession and the consistent quality of the firm’s work and its recognition by those who practice landscape architecture as well as recognition by members of the design community and public.

“We are thrilled that our studio’s work with communities across the globe has been recognized by the ASLA,” said Mikyoung Kim. “We are so honored to receive this capstone award. For 25 years we have been focused on transformational urban design at the intersection between human health, social justice and environmental resiliency.”

Mikyoung Kim is the founder and design director of Boston-based Mikyoung Kim Design, an international, woman-owned, landscape architecture and urban design firm. With her leadership colleagues, Bryan Chou and Ian Downing, they have built an exceptional body of work that has redefined the discipline of landscape architecture.

Over the past 25 years, their studio has addressed some of the most pressing environmental and health-related issues reshaping the urban experience. They have a responsive and collaborative approach that imagines possibilities across design disciplines and scales, seamlessly integrating landscape architecture, urban design and environmental art. The firm has received the National Design Award from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the ASLA National Design Medal, as well as Fast Company’s Most Innovative Company award.

Selected by the Board of Trustees, the medals are the highest honors awarded by the ASLA each year. Other medal recipients include Laura Solano (ASLA Design Medal); Kofi Boone (Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal); Matt Arnn of the USDA Forest Service (LaGasse Medal, Landscape Professional); David Archambault (LaGasse Medal, Non-Landscape Professional); the National Assoc. for Olmsted Parks (Olmsted Medal); Charles Kene Okigbo (ASLA Emerging Professional Medal) and Shawn Kelly (the ASLA Medal).

The honors will be presented at the President’s Dinner on Nov. 14 held during the 2022 ASLA National Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Photo courtesy of Mikyoung Kim Design
Photo courtesy of Mikyoung Kim Design
Photo courtesy of Mikyoung Kim Design
Photo courtesy of Mikyoung Kim Design

Huron Capital acquires controlling interest in ExperiGreen

ExperiGreen operates in Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati.

Huron Capital, a middle market private equity firm, has acquired a controlling interest in ExperiGreen Lawn Care.

ExperiGreen operates lawn care branches in Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus and Charlotte. ExperiGreen is run by lawn care industry veterans John Moehn, Dana Irwin, Mike Goodrich and Joe Kucik, who founded Real Green Systems, an industry software provider. Don Brown, former president and COO of Real Green Systems, will also serve as a board advisor.

ExperiGreen has completed several acquisitions in 2021 and 2022 and now has more than 40,000 customers and more than $20 million in total revenue.

Kucik will be co-chairman of the new venture and will share that role with David Alexander, the former CEO of TruGreen and a current operating partner with Huron.

“Mike, Dana and I are thrilled for this partnership as we work to transition from a regional lawn care start-up to a national player at scale with Huron,” Moehn, the ExperiGreen president, said. “We feel strongly about the resources and expertise that Huron and Joe Kucik and David Alexander bring to the table that will propel this expansion initiative forward.”

“We were at an inflection point for ExperiGreen this year, having solidly built the six regional branches that were launched in 2017, and we are now laying the groundwork for more ambitious growth,” Kucik said. “Huron has a wealth of experience and practical knowledge in residential services, alongside a formal value creation playbook for growth companies. We are excited about their collective ability to support our ambitions to grow nationally.”