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Based in West Fargo, ND Bobcat leads the industry in the design, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of compact equipment. Bobcat has more than 900 dealers located in more than 100 countries, providing compact equipment throughout the world.
Bobcat Company, headquartered in West Fargo, ND is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and distribution of compact equipment. Bobcat compact equipment includes skid-steer, all-wheel steer and compact track loaders, compact excavators, mini-track loaders, VersaHandler telescopic tool carriers, utility vehicles, compact tractors and Toolcat utility work machines.
Bobcat is a global brand with more than 600 dealer locations in North America and the leader in compact equipment - the industry's original innovator, beginning more than 50 years ago with the first compact machine and predecessor to the skid-steer loader.
The Melroe Manufacturing Company was founded in 1947 in Gwinner, N.D., and manufactured agricultural equipment, including the Melroe Pickup (a combine attachment), the focus of the company for its first 10 years.
In the 1950s, brothers Cyril and Louis Keller operated a small machinist-blacksmith shop in Minnesota, repairing machinery for local farmers. A farmer approached the Keller brothers with a need for a self-propelled loader, light enough to be lifted to the second floor of a turkey barn and small enough to clean around the barn's upright poles. In 1957, the Kellers built a three-wheeled loader with two drive wheels in front and a caster wheel in the rear - the precursor to the modern skid-steer loader.
The loader came to the attention of Melroe Manufacturing Company, which invited the Kellers to demonstrate their invention at the Minnesota State Fair in 1958. At the fair, the Melroes purchased the rights to the machine and hired Cyril and Louis Keller to refine the design and put the machine into production.
In order to improve on the design of the loader, a second set of drive wheels was added to the back of the loader in 1960. With this four-wheel drive, the M400 became the world's first true skid-steer loader. "Skid steer" describes the unique steering system, which enables the machine to turn within its own length. Today, nearly one out of every two skid-steer loaders is a Bobcat machine.
Melroe Manufacturing Company (later changed to Bobcat Company) was purchased by Clark Equipment Company in 1969. Clark, in turn, was bought by Ingersoll Rand in 1995.
In 2007, Doosan Infracore acquired Bobcat Company. Doosan Infracore includes Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment (DICE), which oversees sales of Doosan heavy construction equipment, Bobcat compact equipment, and Doosan portable power products. DICE serves four regions of the world, with its North American headquarters located in Atlanta, Ga.
Doosan Infracore is owned by Doosan Corporation, which is based in Seoul, South Korea.
• All-wheel steer loader: one model; Bobcat-exclusive product
• Compact excavators: 11 models
• Compact track loaders: eight models
• Skid-steer loaders: 16 models; Bobcat-invented product
• Toolcat utility work machines: two models; Bobcat-exclusive product
• Utility vehicles: four models
• VersaHANDLER telescopic tool carriers: four models
• Compact tractors: eight models
• Mini track loaders: two models
Fortune magazine named the Bobcat skid-steer loader one of "America's Top 100 Products" in 1988 and 1991.
In 2004, the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) honored Bobcat alongside Eli Whitney's cotton gin with its "Historic Landmark" award for the invention and development of the skid-steer loader.
In 2008, during the 50th anniversary year, Bobcat manufactured its 750,000th skid-steer loader - more than all other brands combined.
In 2009, Bobcat introduced its newest generation of compact loaders and excavators - still the only compact excavators produced in North America.
In 2009, officials from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History announced they had acquired 56 cubic feet of Bobcat archival materials, which will now permanently be housed at the museum's Archives Center to preserve Bobcat history.