In a move the company says represents a return to its “roots” Bobcat has re-entered the tractor market.
Bobcat’s new tractor lineup includes 15 models, ranging from 21 to 58 horsepower. There are four transmission types available:
- Manual shift transmission
- Manual synchro shift transmission for easier shifting
- Automatic hydrostatic transmission (HST)
- Electric hydrostatic transmission (E-HST), with all the ease of use of the HST plus the ability to maintain uphill speed without travel pedal adjustments. You can also set a cruse control with the E-HDT which Bobcat says can be useful in applications such as planting.
All 15 models come with four-wheel drive standard and all will be compatible with Bobcat-branded attachments through a standard quick attach mounting system. Attachments include a front-end loader, backhoe and mid-mount mower.
Implements include a box blade, angle blade, tine rake, rotary cutter, tiller, snowblower, finish mower, post hole digger (auger), rear ballast box and quick hitch.
Bobcat says the tractors will also be highly maneuverable with a turn radius as small as 96.4 inches. The tractors feature a rear PTO and will be available with three tire options: agricultural, turf and industrial. In addition to smaller contractors and agricultural customers, these models are aimed at homeowners with a lot of acreage.
These new tractors are designed by Bobcat, but they’re currently being built by Daedong, makers of the Kioti tractor brand. However, that’s not the long-term plan.
During the event at which the tractors were unveiled, I had the chance to speak with Doosan Bobcat North America President Mike Ballweber. He says Bobcat plans to eventually bring both design and manufacturing of the lineup in-house, adding that the company will devote considerable engineering resources to these machines in the next few years as they represent a category that moves 140,000 units each year.
Beyond the size of the market, Bobcat says tractors serve as a good way to introduce the brand to new customers. Product manager James Crouch said they’re often the first step away from hand-held tools and zero turn mowers for many customers.
Here are each of the new models. Below is Bobcat’s explanation of how you can browse the model numbers and gain more understanding of that machine’s exact capabilities.
“The compact tractor model number provides valuable insight on each machine’s structure and power. The first two digits represent the tractor’s frame size, or whether it is a 1,000, 2,000, 4,000 or 5,000 platform machine. For example, in CT2XXX the number two indicates that the tractor in question is a 2,000-platform machine. The digit following the first two numbers indicates whether the tractor has an open canopy (ROPs) or a deluxe cab. While a CT50XX has an open canopy, a CT55XX offers a deluxe cab. The final two digits in the model number represent the engine horsepower of each tractor. For example, the CT4055 offers a 55 horsepower engine while the CT4058 has a 58 horsepower engine.”