WEST FARGO, N.D. – Bobcat Company marked its one million loader milestone with a formal ceremony Saturday, sharing the occasion with its employees and the community of Gwinner, N.D., home to Bobcat’s primary production facility. The company also celebrated with family members of those who invented the original loader, honed the design, brought it to market and created the brand five decades ago. Past organizational leaders and hundreds of others who have been part of the Bobcat success story were also present at the event.
The ceremony took place at the Gwinner factory and featured remarks from Rich Goldsbury, president of Bobcat and Doosan (parent company of Bobcat) for North America; Gwinner Mayor Dan McKeever; North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley; North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven and North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer.
Sylvan Melroe, one of the organization’s first marketing managers, talked about the perseverance of the Melroe family, who owned Melroe Manufacturing, and built the first Bobcat loaders. He reflected upon the early days of the loader – as it transitioned from the original three-wheeled version to the skid-steer loader we know today – and how Melroe Manufacturing improved the design that became increasingly tested by challenging jobs the more the machine grew in popularity.
Cyril Keller, one of the brothers who invented the original three-wheeled loader and soon after partnered with Melroe Manufacturing, was on-hand as well.
The ceremony culminated with a product line roll-off of a Special Edition One-Millionth Bobcat Loader, which Bobcat is selling in limited quantities through authorized dealers.
“This entire celebration is about much more than a single loader, the actual millionth machine,” Goldsbury said. “It represents everything Bobcat has accomplished as an organization over six decades, and it signifies our vision for the future. We embrace and honor our history, so it was particularly special to have some of the company’s pioneers and early leaders here. But we wanted to bring them together with those who are moving us forward into the new era – those who will help us build the next million loaders.”