Bobcat Skid-steer Loader – compact, versatile cost cutter – indispensable machine for profitable agricultureBAdmin
The Bobcat skid-steer loader delivers on all fronts – high performance, compact design, versatility and low operating costs, making it an indispensable machine on the farm.
The Bobcat skid-steer is the last word in versatility. Thanks to the compact design, the skid-steer can operate in confined spaces that cannot be accessed by larger machines such as tractors. The massive range of over 200 attachments further augments the skid-steer’s versatility. “We have an attachment for virtually every application and if we don’t have an off-the-shelf offering, we will work closely with the farmer and design and manufacture a bespoke attachment,” explains Lucas Janse van Vuuren, who is responsible for Sales & Support in the Limpopo and surrounding area at Bobcat. “Time is a precious commodity on any farm and the attachments are quick and easy to fit by the operator, keeping downtime to the absolute minimum,” adds Lucas.
“Our skid-steers are available in a wide range, from our smallest unit, that can fit through a normal door, to our biggest Bobcat unit that has a rated operating capacity of over 1800kg, giving farmers a wide choice. No matter what type of agricultural application, Bobcat will be right at home,” continues Lucas.
Avocado and Macadamia farmers constantly require technical knowledge. The growers’ organizations SAAGA (South African Avocado Growers’ Association) and SAMAC (South African Macadamia Growers’ Association) (overarched by Subtrop) assist farmers with solving technical queries through study groups, information days and training courses.
Bobcat is proud to be part of the Levubu Valley Avocado and Macadamia Study Groups in Limpopo Province. “The Avocado study group has been presented in the Levubu Valley for 22 years,” says Lucas. “These independent study groups which are of a very high standard, was supported by 44 members (Avocado growers) in 2013.” The Macadamia study groups held in the Soutpansberg region enjoy the support of 64 members. More than 20 farmers grow both commodities and attend at least one Avocado and Macadamia study group. According to Lucas, a lot of effort is put into arranging good speakers who present relevant and important topics which help the growers to produce a better quality product. “Many ideas are exchanged at these forums and hold benefits for both small and large growers alike.”
The Bobcat skid-steer is in its element on Macadamia farms where the smaller, entry level S530 is effectively used to auger holes to plant trees and fencing as well as to trench lines to lay water pipes and electricity. The bigger machines, ranging from the S650 to the S850 and the T870, are ideal for applications such as loading of trucks, mulching, pruning as well as road maintenance and dam building. “Farmers have found uses for the machines that helped save time and boost productivity,” adds Lucas.
“We have received several successful reports from Macadamia growers on the use of Bobcat skid-steers,” notes Lucas. “Oom Dries Joubert on Maluma was quoted in saying that he uses his Bobcat every day…and on Sundays he uses it to pick naartjies. Paul Thomas, who owns La Montagne,”says, “You don’t know you need a Bobcat … that is until you find out how indispensable it is…”
The unique features of the new Bobcat M 500 series has improved overall comfort as well as increased visibility, therefore enhancing the work environment for the operator, thus improving productivity. With Bobcats in house training facility we are further equipped to offer professional training to ensure optimal operator skills that is required to complete the tasks at hand.
“The Bobcat skid-steer ticks every box on a farmer’s list of essentials, making it the perfect agricultural partner,” concludes Lucas.