thomas. Excavator. May 23rd , 2018.
In the 1950s Louis and Cyril Keller operated Keller Welding and Repair near Rothsay Minnesota. In 1956 Eddie Velo a turkey farmer in the area described to the Kellers a need for a machine small enough to maneuver inside a pole barn and light enough to operate on its upper level. The brothers developed a small three-wheeled design with a belt-driven transmission and delivered it to Velo on February 4 1957.3 Velo allowed the Kellers full access to his operations and after the Kellers learned of drawbacks with the belt-driven transmission they developed and patented a more robust clutch-based transmission system in 1958. The new transmission became the basis of the Melroe M60 loader.
The traditional way of doing business was to make the product as and when it was ordered. This style was very slow As Deere realized that this was not going to be a viable business model he increased the rate of production by manufacturing plows before putting them up for sale; this allowed customers to not only see what they were buying beforehand but also allowed his customers to purchase his products straight away. Word of his products began to spread quickly.
The Kellers uncle an equipment dealer for the Melroe Manufacturing Company based in Gwinner ND suggested that Melroe market the machines resulting in Melroe inviting the Kellers to exhibit at the 1958 Minnesota State Fair. Melroe introduced the four-wheeled M400 model "Skid-Steer Loader" in 1960 and began using "Bobcat" as a trade name for such products in 1962 on the 440-model loader. Les Melroe and advertising agent Lynn Bickett settled on the "Bobcat" name while exchanging name ideas during a drive between Minneapolis and Gwinner. Bickett and Sylvan Melroe developed the "tough quick and agile" slogan used in advertising the early loaders.
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