Product Report: Bobcat debuts compact utility tractor line

Updated May 31, 2012

Fifty years ago, a Minnesota turkey farmer named Eddie Velo decided he needed to find a better way to clean out his barns than with pitchforks and wheelbarrows. The little loader Velo commissioned from Cyril and Louis Keller would become the prototype for the skid-steer loader, a new machine that would change the nature of construction and landscaping business in the United States forever.

In 1958, realizing they had a hit machine but lacking the capacity to mass produce it, the Kellers approached the four Melroe brothers. Their North Dakota-based company had made a name for itself producing agricultural implements. In just a few short years, the little loader had gone from three to four wheels, and was now known as a Bobcat.

Today, the Bobcat brand is known worldwide. And the Melroes’ company is – in a sense – returning to its agricultural roots by adding an all-new compact utility tractor to its lineup of machines. Initially the company will offer three models – the CT120, CT225 and CT230 – with plans to eventually expand the lineup to include nine different tractors, all of which will be available in the United States by year’s end.

The tractors are produced by Dadong in South Korea, although Lance Mathern, product marketing manager for Bobcat, says his company has tested and reviewed the basic units for almost four years and had a high degree of design input in the tractors’ final design. “The results are tractors specifically geared to the markets Bobcat serves,” Mathern notes. “We have engineered features into these tractors to serve the needs of our landscaping customers and made certain they meet stringent Bobcat standards for safety, quality and dependability. Chief among these design highlights are standard features such as hydrostatic drive, a spark-arrestor muffler, horn, brake lights and suspension seat.”

Settle into the operator’s seat on one of Bobcat’s CT series tractors and you’ll find a straightforward, easy-to-operate machine with highly intuitive control features. Simply select the appropriate power/speed range for the application at hand and go to work. There are no gears to shift, even when you need to reverse the tractor. The direction of travel is controlled by a rocker-style foot pedal – toes down is forward, heel down and the tractor reverses direction. Four-wheel drive is standard on the CT120 and CT230 models, and the CT225 features a limited-slip differential for on-demand power in tough ground conditions. A sleek, tapered front hood provides outstanding sightlines down and to the front of the tractor while raising on gas shocks to provide full, easy access to the engine compartment.

Mathern says Bobcat understands that attachment use will be key to the CT series’ success in the states. “And attachments are something that Bobcat as a company has been a pioneer in for more than 30 years,” he adds. “That tradition will continue on all Bobcat compact tractors. All will be offered with a front-end loader and a wide range of Bobtach-ready attachments.”

These attachments will include angle blades, box blades, finish mowers, augers, post-hole diggers, seeders and tine rakes. A standard three-point hitch allows quick change-out times to ensure consistent productivity on the jobsite.

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