The world renowned Bobcat brand stands for proven dependability and rugged durability, with a tough product range helping it earn its reputation as “One Tough Animal.”
Less well known is its connection to forklift manufacturer Doosan, which acquired the business in a what was the largest overseas acquisition in Korea’s history.
In 2007, Doosan Infracore paid $4.9 billion to Ingersoll Rand for the Bobcat business, becoming one of the top ten global manufacturers of construction and utility equipment in the process, and taking on a combined network of over 3,500 dealers worldwide and 20 manufacturing plants in the U.S., Europe and China.
To most onlookers, the timing of the acquisition was a surprise and with the benefit of hindsight, the sale most definitely happened at the top of the market – less than a month later bad news from French bank BNP Paribas triggered a sharp rise in the cost of credit, and signalled to much of the world the start of the global credit crunch. Despite the resulting market downturn, Doosan has done much to keep the Bobcat brand as a market leader, investing in a host of new products and new engine technology which will also cross over into the forklift models (see page two).
Its latest M-Series skid steer loader and VersaHandler telescopic tool carrier have also been on show on the Doosan stand at this year’s IMHX, the UK’s largest Intralogistics show.
The Bobcat telehandler combines the speed, agility and strength of a skid-steer loader with the extended reach of a forklift. More versatile than a standard telehandler, the VersaHandler telescopic tool carrier (TTC) is a multipurpose utility machine designed to handle tough jobs effortlessly and efficiently. Ideal for jobs that not only demand high levels of accessibility and manoeuvrability, but also require more lift height, a longer reach and the ability to lift heavier loads than smaller loaders and compact excavators. The hydraulic systems on the M-Series loaders have been engineered for higher standard flow and pressure, which gives attachments more power to work more quickly. Size, horsepower and cubic-inch displacement are matched to the loader’s rated operating capacity, balance and weight — producing a loader that can outperform higher-horsepower machines. The skid-steer models also offer a two-speed option which boosts the maximum travel speed from 7.4 mph in to 11 mph.