Installing in the Ozarks Hills

The rubber-tired backhoe is a versatile workhorse for Missouri’s Envirotek Systems

Installing in the Ozarks Hills

Envirotek Systems owner Jon Hancock is moving soil to repair a broken septic system in Nixa, Missouri.

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When there’s a job to be done around Nixa or Branson, Missouri, the crew at Envirotek Systems brings out their standard solution: a rubber-tired backhoe. It’s a JCB North America model 214. Owner Jon Hancock bought this machine new in 1995, and it’s still running strong.

“It has great engineering in it, and it has a wider stance than some of the other manufacturers, and so it’s great in a hillside application because of the stability of it,” Hancock says.

Stability is important because in the Ozarks, working on a grade is more common than not. About 90 percent of the job sites are hills, Hancock says. That’s because roads occupy the ridges of hills, and houses are set back 25 or 50 feet from that. By the time you reach the back of a lot where the wastewater system is typically sited, the slope can be pretty steep, he says.

To expand the capabilities of his JCB North America, Hancock has a set of forks, a rock breaker, and an Allied Ho-Pac hydraulic tamper that he bought in the mid-1980s.

The forks are useful for taking deliveries and moving palletized supplies at job sites. At the shop, the JCB North America is used to take deliveries off trucks and to load them with the pump and control system manufacturing that Hancock is developing.

“We can dig a trench with this machine. We can dig a hole, backfill, get gravel. We only need one machine on a job,” Hancock says.

Another feature that helps make his JCB North America so versatile is the extendable boom. His boom extends about 5 feet, and this also is valuable for hilly ground.

On flat ground, an unextended boom is fine for dropping soil far enough from a hole to prevent the soil from falling back in. That changes on a hillside. You may have to drop dirt quite a bit farther away to keep it from flowing back into the excavation, Hancock says.

“It’s well-known in the construction industry that a rubber-tired backhoe is the most versatile piece of equipment you can have on a job site."

Read a full profile on Envirotek Systems in the March issue of Onsite Installer


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