Bobcat's Mini Excavators Showcase Versatility Across Africa, From Infrastructure Projects to Banana Plantations

Posted: 31 January 2023

Mini Excavators from leading manufacturers are making light work of various projects across the continent. When it comes to construction machinery, few traits are as prized on Africa's shores as versatility. With projects spanning from inner-city buildings to remote infrastructure development under challenging conditions, the ability to adapt to the surroundings while sustaining peak productivity is of utmost importance. Mini excavators stand out as one of the most versatile pieces of equipment on the market, capable of efficiently performing a multitude of tasks while operating in confined spaces or on delicate surfaces. It is no surprise that mini excavators have become ubiquitous on construction sites from East to West.

Bobcat, a company with over 60 years of experience in providing reliable compact equipment, is committed to meeting all of Africa's mini excavator needs. To understand more about the company's mini excavator offerings in the region and the driving factors behind sales, African Review interviewed Nicolas Dumont, the district sales manager of Bobcat Africa. Dumont shared his perspective before listening to local representatives associated with the company. According to Dumont, the 4-5 ton models, E50z and E55z, are the top-selling units in terms of volume, making up approximately 60% of their sales. The E37 follows closely behind.

In Morocco, customers now understand the versatility and advantages of having a compact mini excavator dedicated to smaller jobs.

SILVIO ROCHA

Deputy Director General at Hydrau Mac

"We have achieved an excellent market share across the continent with these machines. Among the models, E17z and E27z are quite popular in South Africa, making it the most diversified market in terms of model mix."

Continuing, Dumont noted that applications for these models are incredibly diverse and really depend on the country in which they are deployed.

"While it is more traditional to use mini excavators (MEX) for urban work sites in North Africa, they also have a place in fruit plantations (banana or pineapple) in West and Central Africa for digging trenches for irrigation, or in vineyards in the Western Cape of South Africa. In many African cities, affordable manual labor is still predominantly used for urban work. This is why MEX are mostly used in remote locations where labor is scarce, and a compact machine is necessary."

“The key benefit of our MEX range is that we are able to provide machines with mechanical injection engines. This really is a must to cope with the high sulphur content as well as the contamination of the fuel (such as water or dust) due to poor storage (external tanks where condensation is created)
and/or transfer conditions,” he added.

Finally, Dumont considered what he thinks is setting Bobcat’s machines apart from competitors, surmising, “We have several competitive advantages. On the product itself, the mechanical engine is the main advantage. Many African customers had bad experiences with high pressure/common rail injection engine and they would rather buy a second hand machine with a mechanical engine rather than a Stage V unit.

“Some of our competitors do have mechanical engines as well, but on some models they only offer a canopy while we have an air conditioned cab option on the E37, E50, and E55z, which considerably improves operator comfort in the hot and humid environments found in Africa.”

South Africa

Providing context from one of the continent’s more developed countries, Clayton Sadler, sales manager for Bobcat of Goscor Earthmoving Equipment, explained that while supply challenges have unfortunately limited market sales in 2022, this year sales have largely gone to rental and agriculture.

“The rental units have been used in vineyards and plantations removing old vines and trees, preparing land for replanting and general maintenance for irrigation and drainage. One E55 model with a thumb attachment went into game farm management where it has been put to work de-bushing, maintaining trenches, and road making. The customer is very satisfied with the additional scope of work the thumb attachment offers.

"We see the MEX as more of a rental machine in the construction segment, where it is utilized during the mid-stages of building due to its compact nature."

What sets Bobcat’s range apart, based on customer feedback, Sadler remarked, “With the ‘long arm’ option on the E55 we have a similar reach to a 6 ton machine. Our vineyard customers therefore enjoy the benefit of being able to work on up to three rows of vines from one position. This results in less repositioning, saving time and reducing fuel consumption for the customer. This and the power of the brand make the Bobcat MEX an easy choice.”

Angola

In Angola, the top sellers are “by far and away” the E35, E37 and E50, according to Ivo Araujo, general manager of Centrocar Angola. He remarked that these models are currently and most commonly working in the rehabilitation of cities’ infrastructure all over the nation on many key projects.

This includes the National Road 230 Luanda-Saurimo (connecting the capital with the eastern border of the DRC) as well as other projects including Lubango peripheral highway, Luanda military hospital, and Luanda children's hospital.

On what customers in the country find most attractive around Bobcat’s machines in this field, he remarked that reliability and running costs have been highlighted, in addition to outstanding productivity.

Morocco

Finally, moving to the other end of the continent, Silvio Rocha, deputy director general at Hydrau Mac in Morocco, explained, “The main model by far is the E50z, which is very attractive because of its capability for operating in compact working zones. The E35/E37 models are also popular for finishing works and site preparation in narrow spaces.

“In Morocco, customers now understand the versatility and advantages of having a compact mini excavator dedicated to the smaller jobs that before were always carried out using backhoe loaders.”

He continued by noting that most of the units are working inner city on tramway expansion jobs but customers are now using them in smaller and more narrow construction sites where the compact size matters.

“Mostly our customers are choosing Bobcat models not only due to the reliability of the machines but also because of the technical support and aftersales assistance, which is which is extremely important when they have construction jobs with tight time schedules to meet."

Mini Excavators

E08 Mini Excavator Bobcat E08 Compact Excavator

E08 Mini Excavator

Don't get stuck with exhausting manual labor, check out the Bobcat E08 compact excavator for the smallest of job sites.

Operating weight
1138 kg
Digging depth
1.8 m
Engine power
7.5 kW

E10e Mini Excavator Bobcat E10e Mini Excavator

E10e Mini Excavator

Thanks to the E10's innovative Lithium-Ion battery pack, you can operate throughout an 8-hour day with minimal charging breaks.

Operating weight
1201 kg
Digging depth
1.8 m
Engine power
7.5 kW

E10z Mini Excavator Bobcat E10z Compact Excavator

E10z Mini Excavator

With the Bobcat E10z's retracted track and pivot flexibility, you can operate in confined areas other machines can't handle.

Operating weight
1176 kg
Digging depth
1.8 m
Engine power
7.5 kW

E17 Mini Excavator E17 Compact Excavator

E17 Mini Excavator

Gateways, narrow paths, and tight corners are no match for the nimble yet powerful Bobcat E17 compact excavator.

Operating weight
1711 kg
Digging depth
2.2 m
Engine power
10.2 kW

E17z Mini Excavator E17z Compact Excavator

E17z Mini Excavator

With the Bobcat E17z mini excavator's 320° rotation range & fast hydraulic performance, you can handle big jobs in tiny spaces.

Operating weight
1749 kg
Digging depth
2.2 m
Engine power
10.2 kW

E19 Mini Excavator E19 Compact Excavator

E19 Mini Excavator

If you're looking for impressive performance, extreme driver comfort, and awesome versatility, come see the Bobcat E19 in action.

Operating weight
1885 kg
Digging depth
2.4 m
Engine power
10.2 kW

E19e Mini Excavator Bobcat E19e Mini-Excavator

E19e Mini Excavator

Fully electric, powerful, zero-emissions excavator.

Operating weight
1907 kg
Digging depth
2.4 m
Engine power
10 kW

E20z Mini Excavator E20z Compact Excavator

E20z Mini Excavator

Thanks to the Bobcat E20z's retractable undercarriage, you can squeeze down to 98cm or expand up to 136cm to customize your performance.

Operating weight
2019 kg
Digging depth
2.4 m
Engine power
10.2 kW

E26 Mini Excavator E26 Compact Excavator

E26 Mini Excavator

The newest Bobcat E26 now comes with innovative features like a Cylinder-In-Boom workgroup that improves the way you dig.

Operating weight
2608 kg
Digging depth
2.6 m
Engine power
15.4 kW

E27 Mini Excavator E27 Compact Excavator

E27 Mini Excavator

If you're looking for a machine that prioritizes high-demand performance & transportability, the new Bobcat E27 is right for you.

Operating weight
2683 kg
Digging depth
2.8 m
Engine power
18.3 kW

E27z Mini Excavator E27z Compact Excavator

E27z Mini Excavator

Step up your compact excavator's capability with a best-in-class 360° stability, high-output and user-friendly Bobcat E27z

Operating weight
2705 kg
Digging depth
2.5 m
Engine power
15.4 kW

E34 Mini Excavator E34 Compact Excavator

E34 Mini Excavator

With a roomier air-conditioned cabin and excellence performance options, the Bobcat E34 is neweset allstar in the fleet.

Operating weight
3476 kg
Digging depth
3.1 m
Engine power
18.2 kW

E35z Mini Excavator E35z Compact Excavator

E35z Mini Excavator

Get the best possible mixture of operating range, stability, compactness, and comfort with the brand new Bobcat E35z.

Operating weight
3499 kg
Digging depth
3.1 m
Engine power
18.2 kW

E50z Mini Excavator E50z Compact Excavator

E50z Mini Excavator

There's no other compact excavator that offers the innovative controls, robust abilities, & cabin comfort of the new Bobcat E50z.

Operating weight
4900 kg
Digging depth
3.6 m
Engine power
31.3 kW

E55z Mini Excavator E55z Compact Excavator

E55z Mini Excavator

Treat yourself to the premium Bobcat E55z with a 7" display, available long arm, responsive controls, & superior capabilities.

Operating weight
5271 kg
Digging depth
3.4 m
Engine power
36.4 kW

E57W Mini Excavator E57W

E57W Mini Excavator

Upgrade the arm of the advacned and high-tech Bobcat E57W and increase your digging depth from 3.495 m to 3.795m.

Operating weight
6312 kg
Digging depth
3.5 m
Engine power
42.5 kW

E60 Mini Excavator E60 Compact Excavator

E60 Mini Excavator

It's time to explore the flagship Gt excavator; the E60 is the perfect carrier for the most demanding applications.

Operating weight
6130 kg
Digging depth
3.5 m
Engine power
41 kW

E88 Mini Excavator Bobcat E88 Compact Excavator

E88 Mini Excavator

With superior stability and performance, excellent ergonomics and easy maintenance, this excavator will be a great asset to your arsenal.

Operating weight
8919 kg
Digging depth
4.5 m
Engine power
48.5 kW

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