Nine years ago when Pat Covell was starting his utility services company, Treton Inc., he wanted to be sure he was getting the best value for his equipment dollar. He demoed every brand of mini excavator he could find, including John Deere, Caterpillar and Takeuchi. The hands-down winner was Kubota, he said. “I had two other people I respect try the machines and give me their opinion, and we agreed there wasn’t a better one out there than Kubota. I still believe that.”
After nine years of Kubota ownership, Covell has been impressed with how well the Kubota equipment has performed and held up. His fleet includes nine mini excavators with models including K057, K040, K035, KX121, and U45, plus an RTV900 utility vehicle and a ZD331 zero-turn mower. “They are very productive with very little downtime. We are faithful with changing the fluids and greasing them, and we’ve never had to replace any major parts,” Covell said.
Treton Inc., an Amanda, Ohio-based company primarily performs, but is not limited to, underground and aerial utility work. Customers include ATT, Verizon, MCI, Sprint, Northeast Ohio Gas, and Horizon Telecommunications. The compact Kubotas are particularly useful in underground work, Covell noted. “In tight places like downtown Columbus, we use them for working in the street, and we can excavate up to 8 feet deep with a K057.” With the Kubotas, he said, he has the productivity of a rubber-tired backhoe but can keep the work to one lane. Additionally, his crews can use a one-ton truck to haul the compact machines so he doesn’t need to maintain large trucks.
“Kubota mini excavators are fast and strong for their size, and also very smooth,” Covell said. ”My eleven full-time operators all agree they wouldn’t want anything else.”
Another benefit of owning Kubotas is strong resale value, Covell said. He generally keeps a machine for four or five years, then sells it and upgrades.
Covell is a longtime customer of Columbus Equipment Company, where he also purchases Komatsu equipment. ”Columbus Equipment is hard to beat for service in Ohio,” he said, and he was pleased when Columbus Equipment became the local Kubota dealership because of its excellent customer support. “You couldn’t ask for better people to deal with.” Parts are always available or delivered within a day, he noted.
“If we have questions, the service department is more than willing to take the time to answer,” Covell said. His two staff mechanics handle the regular maintenance on his equipment, which is all the Kubotas have ever required. “I just can’t say enough about the Kubotas because of the lack of maintenance issues. Besides normal wear and tear we haven’t had to do maintenance on anything.”
Covell also has an excellent relationship with sales rep. Richard Durst in the Columbus store. “Rich has a lot of knowledge of all types of excavating equipment. If he’s not sure, he’ll take the time to research it. A lot of my competitors agree he’s great to deal with!”
Covell has been in the excavation business for nearly 30 years, starting out as a laborer and working his way up. When he started Treton Inc., the company consisted of him and his wife Pam, who still helps manage all of the office functions. In just nine years—and after having successfully navigated through The Great Recession—Treton has grown to about 30 employees, a size Covell is comfortable with. In fact, he sometimes turns down offers to bid for work because he wants to retain the company’s current size.
Excellent customer service, loyal employees, and reliable Kubota equipment have helped Treton Inc. reach and maintain that enviable position.