Bobcat Company’s latest offerings to the construction and landscaping arena are the T86 compact track loader and S86 skid-steer loader, setting new standards for efficiency and versatility, along with added control and comfort for the operator.
From the inventors who introduced skid-steer loaders to the compact equipment industry comes the R-Series lineup of loaders — the most comfortable, durable and powerful machines ever made by the company. Bobcat Company's latest offerings to the construction and landscaping arena are the T86 compact track loader and S86 skid-steer loader, setting new standards for efficiency and versatility, along with added control and comfort for the operator. The recently introduced models are the only machines that offer three hydraulic flow options in one — standard, high and super flow — to address simple projects requiring lower hydraulic horsepower to the most demanding attachment applications.
The West Fargo, N.D.-based global manufacturer is no novice in setting incredible benchmarks for itself and the industry. Bobcat has received recognition galore over the decades, the most recent being 2022 CES Innovation Awards in the categories of Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation and Smart Cities for the T7X all-electric compact track loader in 2021; Landscape Business Twenty for 2020 New Product Award for the R-Series loaders; and the 2019 International Forum Design Award for the R-Series E85 compact excavator.
North Dakota, where the equipment was invented more than 60 years ago, is where Bobcat's regional corporate offices, global research and testing facility, production and engineering facilities and dedicated innovation space are located. Additional North American locations for training and manufacturing are in Minnesota, Colorado, North Carolina and Wisconsin. Internationally, the company has parts distribution centers, research and development facilities, sales offices, training centers and manufacturing facilities in several major cities. Bobcat employs more than 5,000 people in the United States and Canada, and Doosan, the corporate parent company, has more than 43,000 employed in its businesses across 38 countries.
"We sell products nationwide and worldwide. We have more than 700 dealers here in North America," said Mike Fitzgerald, marketing manager, who has been with the company since 1987. "We cover a wide variety of different applications, and it's changed significantly over the years as to how compact equipment is utilized. What was an extra piece of equipment on a job site 30 to 40 years ago, is now the only power unit that contractors have. Now, they have a wide variety of attachments that get their work done. When I started, there were less than 10 groups of attachments that we offered. We now have more than 70 groups of attachments that we offer through the company. It's changed significantly over the years which makes our products that much more beneficial and efficient to the customer that's using it."
Bobcat's snow removal attachments alone offer a range of snowblowers, blades, pushers and buckets for skid-steer loaders, compact track loaders, mini-track loaders, sub-compact and compact tractors, small articulated loaders and compact wheel loaders. It's this versatility of using multiple attachments and implements on one machine for various functions that has earned Bobcat global fame. Empowering customers to accomplish more in less time using machines that are built with stronger components that can endure challenging work conditions has been Bobcat's mantra from day one. The S86 skid-steer loader and T86 compact track loader are just one example of how the company is consistently improving upon its own offerings, enhancing ROI for organizations large and small across the world.
"From the time we do our initial research to getting things put through and into production in a normal process, that's a few years. We don't do it overnight, and we put our machines through a rigorous testing regimen," Fitzgerald said. "We have proving grounds in Arizona where we test machines to make sure that all components stand up to more than what we expect our customers to put them through."
The Bobcat S86 and T86 loaders bring additional weight-to-horsepower ratio and greater lifting ability, include Premium Power Performance power management system for improved engine-to-workgroup efficiency, offer better cooling for optimal operation and maximum uptime, and have a roomy cab for operators, with ergonomic controls, innovative displays, and machine interaction and monitoring capabilities — once again, delivering revolutionary solutions addressing customer pain points.
Despite the many obstacles presented by the pandemic over the last two years, including supply-chain issues and labor shortages, the Bobcat team has taken every challenge in stride, adapting to different ways of doing business but continuing to make its mark in the industry.
"The continued labor shortage is going to have to make people more efficient in the way they do business, how they work on their jobs and what they can do. We make it so that the equipment that you're buying is more efficient and capable," Fitzgerald said.
On the equipment side, he shared Bobcat had introduced some electric machines, keeping in mind that emissions are a big concern in some areas.
Innovation is an integral part of the Bobcat brand, and the company continues to devise smart solutions when it comes to its products. Using wireless communications for customers to have greater control of their machines and advanced technology features empowering operators to do more are just some ways the company is committed to its ethos. Bobcat is also committed to initiatives outside the organization, focused on community, education and the environment. Efforts have included employees participating in community services, STEM outreach in schools by staff volunteers to inspire students to consider STEM careers and providing equipment for natural disaster relief.
On future plans, Fitzgerald said, "We're continually adding new products to our product offering, we have people that are researching what our customer wants and needs are, and then we feed that into our research and development groups to move forward. As we say in the business, ‘What was an exciting item yesterday is standard equipment today.' Things have changed significantly over the course of time, and we're continually developing new products to better meet the needs of our customers, be it the main power units or attachments that will help those power units, with their return on investment, their utilization to better suit their needs and make them a more efficient operation." CEG
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