Bob-Cat refreshes brand with new lineup of commercial mowers

Updated Aug 24, 2018
The Predator-Pro 7000 has a transport speed of 19 mph. Photo: Bob-Cat MowersThe Predator-Pro 7000 has a transport speed of 19 mph.
Photo: Bob-Cat Mowers

Bob-Cat Mowers has announced its biggest product launch in brand history with a full line of new commercial mowers.

When the company was looking at what to update and improve upon, it reached out to customers to find out why they buy Bob-Cat.

ProCat 5000 Photo: Bob-Cat MowersProCat 5000
Photo: Bob-Cat Mowers

According to Ron Scheffler, senior product manager for Bob-Cat, landscapers said they run Bob-Cat’s mowers due to their cut quality, durability and ease of service.

Wanting to stay true to those fundamentals, Bob-Cat has released five new mower models that build upon these attributes.

The new models include the Predator-Pro 7000, ProCat 6000MX, ProCat 6000, ProCat 5000 and the QuickCat 4000. These mowers are considered the Next Generation Series and were debuted at a dealer meeting on Aug. 21.

The company also introduced its new slogan: ‘Fiercely Independent.’

“Beyond the new features and design, this is more than a product launch; it’s the launch of who we are as a brand and a company,” Scheffler said. “We’re doing everything we can to empower our commercial customers to be fiercely independent, to pave their own way. And these mowers, with their improved comfort, performance and serviceability, do just that.”

ProCat 6000 Photo: Bob-Cat MowersProCat 6000
Photo: Bob-Cat Mowers

Because Bob-Cat believes that the deck is what truly determines the cut quality a mower can provide, all the new ride-on models will feature AirFX deck, which was introduced during the 2017 GIE+EXPO. Previously, this deck was only available on two Bob-Cat models, and it will now be featured on the Predator-Pro 7000, ProCat 6000MX, ProCat 6000 and ProCat 5000, ranging in sizes from 48” to 72”.

This deck has a bullnose design for increased airflow and allows grass to spring back up before it reaches the cutting chamber for a cleaner cut. The deck also has 10-gauge bolt-on baffles, unlike other competitors, which are welded on.

“The key is they are such an important part of the deck and if somebody damages one, being able to unbolt it and bolt a new one in is key because they make or break the cutting quality of the deck,” said Jeff Zur, a production support engineer with Schiller Grounds Care, Bob-Cat’s parent company.

A number of ergonomic changes have been made as well on the new models, including angled operators controls and an angled deck adjustor. The handles now have an almond-shaped grip and single-bolt height adjustment to make them more comfortable for individual users.

The almond-shaped handle improves the operator’s grip and reduces fatigue. Photo: Jill OdomThe almond-shaped handle improves the operator’s grip and reduces fatigue. Photo: Jill Odom

Each model features a seat that includes weight and comfort adjustments, but the Predator-Pro 7000 also includes an extra high-back seat with lumbar support and high-density foam in the armrests for increased comfort.

A fuel gauge is present on both left and right control panels along with a cup holder on the left-hand side.

To increase durability, the deck belt has been improved for longer belt life and Bob-Cat has also transitioned from aluminum to cast iron spindles for its upper-end mowers.

“This cast iron (spindle) has a 7-inch diameter across the top, so with the six bolts it has a very good stable connection with the deck; so, you’re not going to have any issues with wobble or stress cracks transferring up into the deck because it’s very stable against the deck,” said Tracy Bales, Midwest territory manager for Schiller Grounds Care. “We hope that this should offer a much longer life than the aluminum spindles.”

On the service side of things, both the Predator-Pro 7000 and ProCat 6000MX feature a new hitch and swing-away back bumper that requires no tools to open, providing easy access to the engine.

“It is a service manager’s dream,” Scheffler said.

Maintenance has been reduced with minimal grease fittings and the mowers also have a replaceable front end that often becomes damaged from frequent curb hopping.

ProCat 6000MX Photo: Bob-Cat MowersProCat 6000MX
Photo: Bob-Cat Mowers

John Gielow, a regional sales manager, says that while the company creates an initial design for their mowers, the main goal is creating one that will hold up to real-world usage.

As the flagship machine, the Predator-Pro 7000 is powered by a Kawasaki FX1000V engine and has two-speed transaxles, allowing it to reach a top transport speed of 19 mph. It has a fuel capacity of 15 gallons.

Meanwhile, the ProCat 6000MX is powered by a Kawasaki FX850V engine and has a ground speed of 12 mph.

Landscapers can choose between transaxles or pump wheel motors for their transmission among every model of the new ZTRs.

The entire Next Generation Series comes with limited warranties. Landscapers will have a chance to see the mowers in person at the 2018 GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 17-19.

Click here to learn more about this new lineup.

Photo: Bob-Cat MowersPhoto: Bob-Cat Mowers
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