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Bobcat Returns to the Compact Tractor Market
Bobcat is reentering the compact tractor market through an OEM relationship with a company in South Korea. Long term, the company plans to design and build the tractors themselves. The launch will begin with 15 new models ranging from 21 to 58 horsepower.
“Compact tractors are a natural complement to existing Bobcat compact equipment,” says Chris Knipfer, general manager, Bobcat compact tractors. “In fact, many of our current customers who own loaders and excavators also own tractors. We now have a Bobcat compact tractor option for those customers.”
James Crouch, product manager, expects the new tractors will be embraced by acreage owners, small farmers, and producers with livestock pens to clean.
“This is the first step, there’s going to be a lot of new equipment coming out in the future,” he says.
Compact Tractor Line Features
All models will come standard with four-wheel drive. “At the end of the day, even if people don’t really need it, they like having that security,” Crouch says.
Cab and open-station models are available.
These new tractors were designed for work in small spaces. Bobcat touts the tight turning radius of their machines for greater control during mowing, tilling, and chore work.
“We have industry-leading turning radius, especially on the smaller models.” Crouch notes. “We also have industry-leading utility capacity on these machines.”
A standard three-point hitch is included on the new Bobcat compact tractors. The company’s quick-attach mounting system is also standard on all 15 models. This feature allows users to move quickly and seamlessly from one task to the next.
Rear power take-off (PTO) enables the use of additional implements.
Three types of tires are available on these new tractors. Agricultural tires may be best for users planning to tow heavy loads or pull implements. Turf tires are designed to provide traction with minimal damage to lawns and other finished surfaces. For maximum traction and puncture protection, Bobcat offers industrial tires.
Depending on the tractor’s frame size and model, one of four transmission types is available.
Manual shift transmission is a basic and economical option. Operators must stop and clutch to change gears. The company suggests this transmission type may be best suited for jobs that require a constant speed such as mowing or spraying.
Synchro shift transmission is a manual option that operators may find easier to use. Users can clutch and shift between all speeds and ranges on the go.
Operators planning to use their compact tractor for front-end loader work may benefit from hydrostatic transmission. This option allows the user to quickly switch directions between forward and reverse. Crouch calls this transmission, “very simple, very clean, and user friendly.”
Electric hydrostatic transmission is similar to hydrostatic transmission, but with the added benefit of being able to maintain uphill speed without travel pedal adjustments.
“If you think about going over large distance with a mower, you can actually set the cruise control and stay at a specific speed for a long period of time,” Crouch explains. “Or, if you’re planting a food plot or something like that and want a consistent rate of speed, you can use that electric hydrostatic transmission that’s on the larger tractors.”
Durability and Maintenance
All the engine fluid fills and filters are located on one side of the tractor for accessible maintenance.
A brush guard protects the front end of these tractors. The metal hood and fenders shield the engine and other components from the elements.
The new tractors are supported by the Bobcat dealer network and a 24-month, 1,500-hour warranty.
Attachments and Accessories
A wide range of attachments and implements are available from Bobcat for the new line of compact tractors. Attachments include a front-end loader, backhoe, and midmount mower. The following implements will also be offered:
- Box blade
- Angle blade
- Tine rake
- Rotary cutter
- Finish mower
- Post hole digger
- Rear ballast box
- Quick hitch
Bobcat had work in mind when it designed the new compact tractors with a suspension seat. A rubber deck mat was added to dampen floor vibrations. Ergonomic controls make long hours of operation more comfortable, and an illuminated dash makes low-light work easier.
Price and Availability
Bobcat's compact tractors begin hitting dealer's lots October 2019 and range in starting price from $11,527 to $42,583.
Visit bobcat.com or talk to your local dealer for more information.