By Desie Heita
Fifty years ago an American farmer designed compact farming machinery that was not only smaller than the existing product but was also easy to use and simple to maintain. Little did the farmer know that, 50 years later, his invention would cross the Pacific Ocean to reach African shores under the brand of Bobcat equipment.
Only, this equipment is no longer restricted to the farming community but its usage extends to industrial and mining use.
Namibian-based Lubbe Auto Centre has acquired the franchise rights to sell, service and market the Bobcat equipment in Namibia.
The equipment portfolio comprises of skid steer loaders, mini-excavators, telescopic handlers, articulated loaders and utility products.
After signing the franchise agreement last month, Lubbe Auto Centre introduced the products to the public last week.
Differentiating the products from other products are the fuel efficiency, easy maintenance and compactness that allows Bobcat equipment to work in a confined space, said Mark Shaw, the general manager of Bobcat South Africa.
On average Bobcat equipment works on a 5-litre of fuel per hour basis on a normal operation, such as landscaping or excavation.
“Some of our clients have achieved better fuel consumption per hour than the 5-litre,” said Eugene Brown, the director of Bobcat South Africa.
The equipment also features low noise level, which makes them ideal for contractors working in residential areas.
Equipment such as the graders require less skilled persons for operation unlike with other graders, which require high skilled people.
“This saves the company from spending money on training. Instead of training a person for weeks, the new driver goes straight into the job,” said Shaw.
The equipment comes with a 1000-hour or 1-year guarantee but Shaw said the guarantee is rarely used due to the reliability of the equipment.
Bobcat Equipment South Africa (Pty) was established in 2006 when Consolidated Rock Machinery (CRM) took the strategic decision to direct all their resources toward the accelerated development of the Bobcat brand in South Africa.
CRM was founded in 1987 and being prominent players in the hydraulic hammer and drilling equipment business sectors, was awarded distribution rights in 2001, for Bobcat’s range of equipment, which includes the Bobcat skid steer loaders, the Bobcat excavators and the Bobcat telescopic loaders.