As of 1 January 2021, Doosan Bobcat EMEA appointed Versatile Equipment Ltd with sole responsibility in the south east for sales and service of the market-leading range of Bobcat skid-steer and compact track loaders, mini-excavators, telehandlers, compact wheel loaders, light compaction and attachments.

The new kid on the block for supplying and servicing Bobcat’s impressive range of vineyard-friendly machines and attachments is Versatile Equipment Ltd.

Versatile Equipment, which has been trading since 2003, is now the authorised Bobcat dealer for Kent, Surrey, Essex and East and West Sussex as well as Greater London.

Customers old and new are promised a warm welcome at the company’s expanded headquarters on the Hornet Business Estate in Borough Green, featuring a revamped customer reception and dedicated showroom, together with parts, service, warehouse, administration and sales departments.

Lee Chater, Sales and Marketing Director, said that as well as expanding the headquarters, the company had recruited new sales and customer support staff. “We made similar improvements at our hydraulic repair company, HPS in East Grinstead, to provide an increased service for local customers in this part of our new territory,” he explained.

“Eighteen months on from our appointment at the beginning of 2021 we are enjoying the relationship with Bobcat, helping to significantly increase the company’s share of the agriculture and viticulture, construction, rental, landscaping, waste management and other markets in London and the south east.”

Next Is Now 

Under its new Next is Now initiative, Bobcat has entered the European wheel loader market for compact wheel loaders and small articulated loaders, as well as launching new generation R-Series compact loaders and R2-Series five and six tonne mini-excavators. The company has also added a full range of new light compaction machinery, developed in collaboration with the Ammann Group. 

Also new is an expanded line of new generation agricultural specification telehandlers, all Stage V compliant and with lifting heights from six to eight metres and capacities of 2.6 tonnes to 4.3 tonnes. 

Bobcat has also entered the European wheel loader market for compact wheel loaders, where it has introduced the L75 and L85, and small articulated loaders (L23 and L28).

Light weight, Big Lifter

Small articulated loaders can take on a multitude of big challenges in small spaces, while disturbing the ground as little as possible. Bobcat’s nimble loaders offer a tight-turning circle thanks to an articulation joint that allows manoeuvrability in tight spaces. A lightweight footprint and turf-safe drive mode helps limit the chance of ripping into the turf as it turns or hauls a load.

Bobcat’s small articulated loaders offer impressive lifting capability and a compact size that allows them to work inside, vineyards, orchards, nurseries and fenced-in landscapes. They are also light enough to be transported from site to site by trailer if necessary.

As with all Bobcat machines, the size and layout of the cab or open canopy is designed with the operator in mind, maximising comfort and visibility and offering intuitive controls and superb operator feedback.

All the smaller telescopic loaders are available in agricultural configurations, while four option levels offer increasing operator comfort and productivity. Newly appointed agricultural business manager David Sawicki explained that while compact for their size, Bobcat models offered better lifting performances than equivalent competitor models.

Available models

The Bobcat range offers 12 skid-steer loaders, including the new R-Series S66 and S76 models, along with a selection of seven compact track loaders, including the latest R-Series T66 and T76 models.  

The Bobcat excavator range comprises 17 models, with operating weights from 1.0 tonnes to 8.8 tonnes, with recent additions being the exciting R2-Series E50z, E55z and E60 models.

The newest release is the E88, Bobcat’s largest compact excavator, now built at the same factory as its smaller siblings rather than being a Doosan-built unit. 

The expanded line of new generation agricultural specification telehandlers consists of seven Stage V compliant models, with lifting heights from six to eight metres and lifting capacities from 2.6 tonnes to 4.3 tonnes.

Four levels of ‘agriculture specific’ trim and performance are available, with numerous individual options allowing customisation at every level.

An eighth model is due for release soon, filling the long empty compact slot at 2.2 tonne lift capacity and five to six metre lift height.

Taking a new direction and in conjunction with Ammann, Bobcat now offers a wide range of compaction equipment including vibrating plates, trench rammers, pedestrian rollers and twin drum rollers.

Specialist Rental Fleet

Versatile Equipment also runs one of the UK’s largest state-of-the-art rental fleets of compact loaders and attachments and has a team of experts to offer customers advice on the best machinery to hire for their project.

Lee Chater explained: “Not only do we offer one of the UK’s largest rental fleets of compact loaders, but we also have a huge fleet of attachments to increase the versatility of the machines.

“We can cater for a wide range of needs, whether you need to rent a skid-steer or compact track loader with just a bucket or with a selection of attachments to undertake numerous tasks. All machines in our hire fleet are under three years old, fully certified and have a thorough pre-delivery inspection.” 

This story was taken from the latest issue of Vineyard. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports for winemakers and growers in Great Britain, read our latest issue here and subscribe here