By El Camino Rental Posted August 11, 2015 In Construction Equipment
leading choice in construction equipment rentals
got its start in 1947 in Gwinner, North Dakota. Originally called the Melroe Manufacturing Company, its founder was E.G. Melroe. He invented the company’s first products, a grain harvesting device and a spring-tooth harrow. Many decades later, Bobcat is still based in North Dakota and remains at the forefront of construction equipment rentals and sales with a full line of compact yet powerful products. History of Bobcat Construction Equipment.
In the late 1950s, brothers Cyril and Louis Keller of Minnesota developed a design for a nimble loader that they sold to Melroe Manufacturing Company. The Keller Loader, a three-wheeled, self-propelled machine, was the basis for a new Melroe product line. This model M-60 loader could turn 360 degrees for moving items in tight spaces.
A further development on this prototype came out in 1959. Called the Melroe Self-Propelled Loader, the M-200 model had a separate set of wheels in the rear to provide better traction. The M-400, which followed quickly in this innovative line, had four-wheel-drive and was the first actual skid-steer loader ever made.
With the debut of the manufacturer’s M-440 skid-steer in 1962, the brand name “Bobcat” made its first appearance. Along with the newly coined slogan “tough, quick, agile,” the brand became known nationally through Melroe’s marketing campaigns.
The next model, the M-444, rolled off the production line in 1963 with more innovative improvements. Its increasing popularity with purchasers in construction and industry turned the focus of the Melroe Manufacturing Company away from agriculture toward a broader-based clientele.
From 1965 through 1970, Melroe went international, working with English and Italian manufacturers. In the 1970s, Melroe established headquarters in Belgium and started exporting equipment from its North Dakota plant. European sales currently account for more than one-fourth of the manufacturers’ total.
In this same decade, Melroe debuted its Bob-Tach system of interchangeable attachments for transforming the loader into a multitasking machine. Also, the manufacturer introduced the M-970 “Big-Bob” model, a medium duty loader designed to fill the gap between the company’s compact equipment and full-size, heavy equipment. The “Mini-Bob” followed soon after as the smallest skid-steer ever made.
The 1980s saw Melroe making compact, hydraulic excavators. Well received in Europe as well as North America, these machines became a mainstay with the manufacturer. The 300 Series of mini-excavators reached the marketplace in the 1990s.
With over 1000 dealers in 90 nations throughout the world, Melroe sells its products in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Africa and Asia as well as North America. Throughout the years, it has partnered with several other manufacturers but continues to remain rooted in its North Dakota origins.