Bobcat has introduced its new backhoe loaders in the Middle East market with a product familiarisation event for local distributors.
Held at the premises of the equipment giant’s UAE distributor, Kanoo Machinery, in Dubai’s Jebel Ali area, the event saw the company’s dealers from the GCC countries get acquainted with the new B700+ range, which is Bobcat’s first attempt in the backhoe loader category.
“We have developed the backhoe loader based on the feedback from our customers in the Middle East,” said Gaby Rhayem, Bobcat’s regional director in the MENA region. “There is a demand in the market for a versatile machine that can be put to a variety of uses at different job sites, and we felt this was the right time to enter into the backhoe leader segment where Bobcat has so far been absent.”
Bobcat had first announced its entry into the backhoe loader market two months ago when it showcased one of the machines at its annual dealer meeting, Rhayem said. “Now our dealers can see the entire range in the flesh and experience for themselves the first production lot shipped directly to the Middle East from our European factory,” he added.
The prospect that Bobcat sees for its backhoe loaders in the Middle East market is underscored by the fact that the machines were not even displayed at the company’s stand at the Bauma construction machinery event earlier this year. “This was because we wanted to reveal the machines exclusively to our Middle East customers first, as this region is an especially big one for backhoe loaders,” Rhayem said.
The four models that comprise Bobcat’s backhoe loader range are the B700, B730, B750 and B780. While all models share the same 4.4-litre, direct fuel injection engine producing 74.5 kW (100hp) at 2200 rpm and maximum torque of 408 Nm at 1350 rpm, transmissions vary from model to model, with a choice of four-speed synchroshuttle, powershift or auto powershift. Other differentiating features include the hydraulic controls and the bucket cylinders, with the B700 featuring a single loader cylinder while the others sport double loaders. Cab-over or fully enclosed cabins are also among the options.
“Bobcat has a strong dealer network in the region and dedicated sales and service teams. We believe that despite being a late entrant into the backhoe loader market, we can break into the top three within one year and then take the fight to the market leaders,” said Gul Nalcaci, Bobcat’s product manager for backhoe leaders in the region.