Peter Overlock has always been an artist, whether he’s woodcarving with chisels, painting with brushes, and sculpting the Earth with engcon tiltrotators. After working as a lobsterman, a scalloper, a carpenter, and then studying graphic design, he started working with his father doing excavation in 1987 and found that he really liked it. In 2004 when his father decided to take a step back, he went out on his own and started Earthwork Artist.
Overlock does mostly high-end residential and commercial work, but with his engcon equipment, he says he mostly gets paid, “To have fun.”
“I’m fortunate to have a really good vision,” he says, looking at the wooded area of Belfast, Maine he is clearing for construction of a future mobile home park. “When I get to a job site, I see things in 3D.”
On a residential job, “I get to know the people and tell them ‘I want a really good project for you.’ I see things that they don’t even know they want. I go to bed at night and my head is just going, because things change, and you always want a better outcome.”
He’s using the engcon tiltrotator EC226 and the engcon grapple to clear trees, then switches from the grapple to his bucket to flatten fill being brought-in by dump trucks.
“It’s very efficient,” he says about the engcon. “Your time is substantially reduced, especially with the EC-Oil. For example, if you’re building a wall out of big stones, you can do some digging with your bucket, reach over and grab the grapple, (use it) take it off and put the bucket back on.”
After moving the fill with the bucket, Peter effortlessly switches back to the grapple, all without leaving the seat when EC-Oil connect the oil automatically.
Overlock first started looking at engcon online, and then a local dealership started talking about the engcon line of versatile equipment. Now he has three of them, a EC 233 on his 84,000 pound Volvo, an EC 226 on the 50,000 pound Doosan, and the model EC 206 on the 16,000 pound Volvo.
“A machine without a tiltrotator to me is worthless, the machines are just a bucket that goes back and forth. Why would anybody have a bucket that just goes back and forth when you can have something that is an extension of your hand?” he asks. Overlock is grateful for the reliability of his engcon equipment, and the for the service he gets from engcon when he needs it.
“I’ve been in the tiltrotator world since 2007, and I’ll tell you what, it makes your earthwork much more enjoyable having a really nice machine like this to work with,” he says smiling.
“I’ve heard guys say, “I don’t want that fancy stuff.’ Well, it’s not fancy, it’s productivity. You can actually use less equipment, and less manpower.”
A few years ago he was doing a demonstration at the Transportation Museum in Maine. They asked him to show what he can do, but all he had was an excavator, the tiltrotator and a six-foot-bucket. He couldn’t do anything on the pavement, but there was a 12’X12 sandbox with little dump trucks in it. “From the size of a Tonka truck to a little Matchbox truck and everything in between,” he remembers. “So I lined the little dump trucks up, and then I filled them all with sand.” One at a time.
Then in front of over 1,000 people, someone clamped a magic marker to the bucket, held up a pad, and asked him to draw a picture. “I was sweating bullets,” he remembers, “So I drew a face…and I wrote, ‘HI’…and I didn’t hurt the marker or tear the paper.”
Looking to the future, Overlock says he just wants to keep doing what he’s doing. But there is one thing he dreams of when he lies in bed at night.
“Sometime in the future I’m going to get a big easel with plywood or a big canvas,” he says spreading his hands wide, “And I’m going to get one-gallon buckets of paint in different colors, and wooden handled paint brushes, and I’m actually going to grab my engcon grapple and I’m going paint a picture using that.”
“It’ll be fun,” Peter adds with a grin.
Earthwork Artist, Maine
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