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Summer 2009

S300 Skid-Steer Loader on Call 365 Days a Year

Midwest farming enterprise discovers value of Bobcat equipment

Nunemaker-Ross Farms Inc. owner Pat Ross and his Bobcat S300 loader.

Nunemaker-Ross Farms Inc. owner Pat Ross and his Bobcat S300 loader.

Surrounded by two popular brands of farm machinery (one green, the other yellow), a white and orange Bobcat® skid-steer loader might seem an afterthought on a large Kansas grain and beef cattle farm.

"However, it's the only piece of equipment that we use every day, 365 days a year," says Pat Ross, who owns Nunemaker-Ross Farms Inc. with his brother-in-law Kent Nunemaker. "We depend on it to be there for us; it's never let us down."

Ross and Nunemaker farm about 4,000 acres — 3,200 corn and soybeans, and 800 hay and pasture. They feed out 1,500 beef cattle a year. Another enterprise on their Lawrence, Kan., farm is Bismarck Gardens, a 35-acre sweet corn business managed by Ross' wife, Mary. The farm has been in the family since the early 1900s. Ross joined the operation in 1972 and Nunemaker in 1979.

During the 1970s they purchased the first of several skid-steer loaders to handle a variety of chores. "We tried different loaders over the years, often matching the brand of farm equipment we operated," Ross recalls. "A few years ago we noticed that the loader we had was not keeping up with other similar machines. It wasn't as easy to operate; the controls were stiff. So we decided to carefully evaluate four brands to see if we could find a better fit." They did — a Bobcat® S300, an 81-horsepower vertical-lift-path loader with Selectable Joystick Controls (SJC), purchased from KC Bobcat, Olathe, Kan.

The S300's vertical lift path enables Pat Ross to easily load distillers grain into a Knight feed wagon.

The S300's vertical lift path enables Pat Ross to easily load distillers grain into a Knight feed wagon.

Less fatigue

"One of the first things we noticed was the ease of operation," Nunemaker says. "If you operated the Bobcat loader all day, you would be a lot less tired than if you ran the loader we previously owned. Plus, the S300 is simple to maintain, has great maneuverability, is easy to get in and out of and is very reliable."

Ross, Nunemaker and their four employees use the loader, equipped with heat and air conditioning, to haul manure, load silage, dig postholes and trenches and unload supplies. With pallets of seed corn and mini bulk containers of soybeans, the rated operating capacity of the S300 is just right. So, too, are the Selectable Joystick Controls, which can accommodate multiple operators. Simply flip a switch to pick your preference: H pattern or ISO pattern.

Relying on "the company that pioneered the skid-steer loader — Bobcat — we know we will continue to benefit from the industry's most advanced technology and operator-friendly equipment," Ross says.

While other colors might dominate the larger machines at Nunemaker - Ross Farms, there's bound to be a white and orange Bobcat loader in the midst, working just as hard as its counterparts.

Visit the agriculture page to learn more about Bobcat products for agriculture.