Milestones of Bobcat's 50 Years of Skid-Steer Loaders

August 2008 Vol. 63 No. 8
Ed Larson, Melroe employee, uses an M400 to clear snow in Gwinner, ND. Even thought he M400 didn’t set any sales records, it for

Bobcat marketing representatives point out that many of the company's most significant technological developments remain Bobcat exclusives:
Bobcat skid steer loaders remain the only product in that category not requiring chain adjustments, the only skid steer with all wheel and skid steer capabilities and transversely mounted engines, and the Toolcat 5600 is the only machine with the combination of features it offers.

1958: Cyril and Louis Keller make a deal with Melroe Manufacturing Co. for production of their small, three wheel loader. Melroe began marketing the M 60 self propelled loader, essentially launching the compact equipment industry.
1959: The Melroe loader is redesigned as the M 200.
1960: The four wheel drive M 400 is introduced – it is the world's first skid steer loader.
1962: The Bobcat brand name and logo are introduced on the M440, a completely new design that would open new markets.
1965: Bobcat equipment is introduced in Europe.
1969: Clark Equipment Co. purchases Melroe, keeping the Melroe name and Bobcat as a division of Clark.
1970: The Bob Tach quick change attachment system is introduced on the M 970 "Big Bob," the first hydrostatic skid steer load and also the largest with 3,000 pounds rated capacity.
1977: Bobcat introduces the first skid steer loader not requiring chain adjustments.
1985: The Bobcat 943 becomes the first skid steel loader with a transversely mounted engine.
1986: Compact excavators added to the Bobcat line.
1995: Ingersoll Rand purchases Clark Equipment, including the Melroe division and Bobcat.
1999: Compact track loaders added to the Bobcat product line.
2001: The first loader with both all wheel steer and skid steer capabilities is introduced by Bobcat.
2003: Unique Toolcat utility work machine – combining features of an attachment carrier, pickup truck, and utility vehicle – is introduced.
2007: Doosan Infracore purchases Bobcat from Ingersoll Rand. The Bobcat Company operates as an individual business of Doosan Infracore International.
2008: Fiftieth anniversary celebration.

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