Follow the development of the three major product groups: compact loaders, compact excavators and telehandlers. Timelines cover major model launches and the innovations tied to each.
The M60 is the first production model of the Melroe self-propelled loader.
The M200 is an improved version of the first Melroe loader.
The M400 is the world’s first skid-steer loader.
The M440 is the first skid-steer loader to use the Melroe Bobcat® trademark.
The M444 is the first Bobcat product to be sold in Europe.
The M444 and later the M600 are produced under licence in Europe for local markets.
The M970 - nicknamed ‘Big Bob’ – is the largest skid-steer ever built at the time and the first to use a hydrostatic drive system. The M970 is also the first Bobcat loader to incorporate a lever-actuated attachment mounting device - called the Bob-Tach® system when it is patented in 1972 -- instead of pin-on attachments. It is a defining moment, a change that spawns the attachment industry and makes the skid-steer loader what some call the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of construction equipment.
This year also sees the first use of a rollover protective structure (ROPS) on the M970 (and the M371 in 1971). It is incorporated in the rest of the line (M610 and M700) in 1972. By 1974 the ROPS is adopted by the whole skid-steer loader industry.
The M371 – the ‘Mini-Bob’ - the smallest skid-steer ever built is launched.
The M610 is the most popular Bobcat model for the next decade. The Bob-Tach system is patented and added to other Bobcat skid-steer loader models. After the Bob-Tach patent expires in 1989, the design is adopted by other manufacturers and eventually becomes the world ISO standard.
The 825 continues the trend towards larger, diesel-powered machines. It is discontinued in 1983 and replaced by the new B-Series 843.
The 520 is the first of the new ‘B-Series’ design, a complete makeover of the Bobcat loader line.
The new Breed 30 Series is launched, including the 530, 533, 630, 631 and 632 models with gas and diesel, air- and liquid-cooled engines. A major product feature is its centre-mounted chaincase with drive chains in a ‘bowtie’ configuration, which eliminates adjustments, a highly touted competitive advantage. Models 730, 731 and 732 arrive the next year.
The 310 model continues the Mini-Bob tradition.
The 40 Series Bobcat 743 is launched and quickly becomes the world’s most popular skid-steer loader. The 40 Series loaders are the first to incorporate the new Seat Bar operator safety system. Other 40 Series models include the 540, 542 and 543; the 641, 642 and 643; the 741, 742 and 743; and the 843.
The 440 and 443 are the first to have a transversely mounted engine.
The 943 is the second Bobcat loader with the engine mounted transversely. This transverse engine design is repeated on succeeding loader generations and continues today.
The next generation ‘50 Series’ 753 and 853 models are introduced, with an innovative electronic monitoring and diagnostic system called ‘BOSS’.
The 7753 is the first of the Bobcat vertical lift path loaders that will revolutionise the line.
The long wheelbase of the 753L (later renamed the 763) offers more lift capacity.
The Bobcat Interlock Control System (BICS) prevents use of the lift, tilt and traction drive functions until the operator is in the seat with the Seat Bar lowered.
The 873 marked the transition of the larger frame size loader to vertical lift path.
The Keyless start option is offered for the first time on Bobcat loaders.
The G-Series cab is introduced for increased operator comfort. Loaders equipped with the new cab offer factory-installed air conditioning, more elbow room, a more comfortable seat and improved instrumentation. The hydraulic Power Bob-Tach system also debuts, giving operators the ability to change attachments with the push of a button.
Bobcat enters the compact track loader (CTL) business. Using the mainframe, lift arms and cab of an 863 skid-steer, the new model 864 has a solid track undercarriage for durability.
Bobcat is the first manufacturer to hit the 500,000 loaders milestone and this is marked by the release of the special G-Series 773 Turbo 500K edition.
The A220 is the first loader to offer both all-wheel steer (AWS) - for low impact operation on sensitive surfaces - and skid-steer for maximum manoeuvrability, both at the flip of a switch. It is also the first Bobcat loader to feature joysticks for drive control and lift arm operation. A larger A300 model is added to the AWS line in 2002.
The T190 is the second model size in the Bobcat compact track loader line. It uses the mainframe of the vertical path 773/S185 skid-steer loader and features the popular G-Series operator cab.
The 864 is re-badged as the T200.
The MT50 marks Bobcat Company’s entry to the mini-track loader product category.
The S185 model replaces the 773 Turbo.
The S300, with its larger frame size, continues to push the skid-steer loader into more demanding construction and industrial jobs. A radius path loader, the S220, is introduced the same year.
The T300 CTL is built on the mainframe of the S300 skid-steer loader, signalling the end of the T200 model.
The MT52 mini-track loader updates the MT50 with numerous improvements.
The CTL lineup grows to include the radius lift path T180 and T250 models, built on the mainframes of the S160 and S220 skid-steers.
The MT55 mini-track loader is launched as a ‘wide track’ version of the MT52.
The T140 is added to the CTL lineup, based on the S130 skid-steer frame size.
The rated capacity of the S330 makes it the largest in the line.
The T320 CTL meets a market demand for a larger, more powerful track loader. It is the first model to offer the Roller Suspension™ system, which provides a smoother, more comfortable ride.
Bobcat is the first manufacturer to reach 750,000 loaders milestone.
As the smallest CTL from Bobcat, the T110 compact tracked loader brings even more compactness and transportability to the range.
The new S650 (vertical lift path) and S630 (radius path) models kick off another complete remake of the loader line. The T650 (vertical lift path) and T630 (radius path) CTL are also launched.
The distinctive ‘cab-forward’ design moves the operator closer to the work, giving better visibility of the attachment and all around the loader.
The new S850 regains the ‘world’s largest’ title.
The T870 is now the largest of the Bobcat track loader models.
The vertical lift path S770 model completes the line-up.
The A770 all-wheel steer (AWS) loader replaces the A300.
The vertical lift path T770 CTL is also launched.
The 500 platform loaders are introduced. Six models offered from the S510 to the S590.
The T590 (vertical path) CTL completes the 500 platform.
The S450 is the last and smallest of the new generation skid-steer loader models, wrapping up a five-year launch cycle.
The T450 replaces the T140 in the CTL line-up.
Bobcat is the first manufacturer to top one million loaders. Special edition S650 and T650 loaders are built to commemorate this production milestone, 56 years after the first Melroe self-propelled loader in 1958.
Bobcat announces plans to enter the compact hydraulic excavator market.
Bobcat brands machines sourced under an OEM agreement.
The 100 and 116 models complete the first generation ‘100 Series’ Bobcat excavator line.
Bobcat becomes the first manufacturer to make excavators in North America, a record that would remain for 25 years. The 220 is the first Bobcat compact excavator off the line at the plant in Bismarck in North Dakota.
The 225 becomes the second U.S.-built Bobcat compact excavator.
Product development continues fast and furious with the 300 Series compact excavators.
Two new 300 Series models are added, with the 320 and 325 replacing the original 220 and 225.
The 337 expands the line with a 3.7 m digging depth.
Customer demand calls for more options for different digging conditions, so Bobcat begins to offer long-arm and extendable arm variations. The 341 is the first, a long-arm version of the 337. The 331E is the first model with an extendable dipper.
The 322 replaces the model 320, featuring a hydraulically retractable undercarriage for tight quarters operation.
A new design focus shows up in the D-Series excavators.
Bobcat attachment focus is reflected in the innovative X-Change system.
Bobcat is the first to top the 50,000 compact excavators milestone in North America.
The next generation compact excavators are the first in the industry to offer factory air conditioning, much like the now-popular option on Bobcat loaders.
The 430 and 435 excavators are launched with a rounded styling, improved hydraulics, roomier cab and a zero house swing (ZHS) feature that keep the tail of the excavator within the width of the track undercarriage.
The 442 bridges the gap between full-sized and compact excavators. It has a 4.2 m digging depth and zero tail swing.
The 425 extends the 400 range downward with the increasingly popular Zero Tail Swing feature.
The 418 becomes the smallest Bobcat excavator model, with a 1.8 m digging depth.
The E32 model is the first of the new E-Series Bobcat excavators, starting a full redesign of the line-up over the next five years. The 3.2 tonne E32 replaces the 331 that had been part of the Bobcat line since 1993.
The E35 (3.5 tonne) is introduced with the much larger E60 (6 tonne) and E80 (8 tonne) models. The E45 and E50 models follow later in the year and Bobcat also launches the E14 and E16 1-2 tonne models.
Bringing all the advantages offered by the E-Series design, Bobcat launches the 2.6 tonne zero tail swing E26 compact excavator aimed at the 2-3 tonne market segment.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Bobcat excavator range, the company launches a special version of the E16 excavator with enhanced versions of both of the standard E14 and E16 models.
The E55 model is introduced in the 5.5 tonne weight class. The E62 and E85 models are updated 6- and 8-tonne machines replacing the E60 and E80 models. The new E25 reduced tail swing (RTS) compact excavator is also launched.
The E17, E19 and E20 models join the Bobcat E-Series excavator range, replacing the E14 and E16 excavators.
Bobcat acquires Sambron and launches the company’s first rigid frame telehandler range offering maximum lifting heights from 5.6 to 18 m.
The new T40170 17 m telehandler is launched.
New enhanced versions of the T40140 and T40170 top-of-range telehandlers are equipped with a revolutionary patent-protected boom offering improved working ranges and performance.
Bobcat launches the T35120 12 m telehandler.
New operator cab and engine compartment on all nine Bobcat rigid frame telehandlers.
Bobcat targets the farming industry with the launch of the new T3571 7 m model and significant upgrades to the T2556 5 m and T2566 6 m models.
The new T35100 10 m telehandler is launched with new components and advanced features being added to machines throughout the range.
The innovative new T2250 5 m telehandler offers the versatility of two quick-change attachment mounting systems: the conventional carriage or the Bob-Tach system used on all Bobcat compact loaders.
Bobcat launches the new 12 m T35120SL MP telehandler, a fully ‘Man Platform Ready’ model designed for use with the company’s new EC-approved man platform, also for use on the T40140 14 m and T40170 17 m models.
A range of four rotary telehandlers with lifting heights from 15.7 to 24.5 m is launched by Bobcat.
Bobcat launches a new generation of 6 and 7 m telehandlers featuring many new features including a patented high visibility, asymmetric cab. The new TL360 and TL470 models replace the previous T2556, T2566 and T3571 telehandlers and herald significant changes to come throughout the range.
New advanced versions of the company’s two largest rigid frame telescopic handlers are launched. The new T40140 14 m and T40180 18 m models both have increased maximum lifting heights and are based on an easy-to-use design that provides class-leading efficiency and productivity backed by state-of-the-art safety systems.
To meet demand in the agricultural market, Bobcat launches the new high horsepower TL470HF telehandler.
The Pontchâteau plant manufactures its 20,000th Bobcat telehandler.
Continuing the revamp of the range, the previous five models from the T35100 to the T35120SL telehandlers are replaced by the new T35105, T35105L and T36120SL 10-12 m middle lift telescopic handlers.
Bobcat launches the company’s new T35130S 13 m and T35140S 14 m telehandlers at the Intermat 2015 exhibition in Paris, aimed at the construction and rental industries. Whilst they have a simpler design intended to meet the needs of rental businesses, the new T35130S and T35140S telehandlers still offer many of the advantages of the new generation models.
The TL358 and TL358+ telehandlers are two new compact 6 m models ideal for farming applications that complete the company’s new generation of compact 6 to 7 m machines, complementing the existing TL360 and TL470 telehandlers. There is also a premium version for the agricultural market, the TL358+ AGRI model, incorporating a number of additional features compared to the standard TL358+ model. Bobcat also launches new AGRI versions of the TL470 and TL470HF models.
The year ends with the launch of the company’s new EVO generation of Stage IIIB/Tier 4 interim rotary telehandlers, comprising four models – the TR38160, TR50190, TR50210 and TR40250 rotary telehandlers, providing maximum lifting heights of 15.7, 18.7, 20.5 and 24.1 m, respectively.
Bobcat launches a new range of backhoe loaders for sale in markets in the Middle East and Africa. Comprising four models – the B700, B730, B750 and B780 – the new Bobcat backhoe loader range offers a choice of different specifications for diverse applications in construction, utility, rental, roadworks, demolition, excavation, landscaping and agriculture.
The standard two-year powertrain warranty is a testament to the reliability and durability of the components and the design of the powertrain in the backhoe loaders, providing extra protection and peace of mind.