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The Skid Steer: A Game Changing Invention

The masterminds behind the invention of the world’s first skid-steer loader have been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in America.

Bobcat Brothers: The Dynamic Duo Behind the World's First Compact Loader

If you work in the construction, landscaping, and material handling industries, you likely know the Bobcat brand well.

But did you know that the inventors of the world’s first compact loader, later named the Bobcat skid steer loader, were two brothers named Cyril and Louis Keller?

These brothers have been selected for the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) in 2023.

In the 1950s, the Keller brothers built a three-wheeled loader with two drive wheels in front and a caster wheel in the rear, which caught the attention of Melroe Manufacturing Company (now Bobcat Company).

After a successful demonstration at the Minnesota State Fair in 1958, the company was awarded exclusive manufacturing rights and hired the Keller brothers to refine the design and put it into production.

With the addition of a second set of drive wheels in 1960, the M400 became the world’s first true skid-steer loader, known for its unique steering system that enables the machine to turn within its own length.

Today, Bobcat offers over 100 products and produces more than 400 different attachments, continuing to shape the compact equipment industry through innovation and forward-thinking.

The Keller family is proud of this recognition for the invention that has positively impacted so many in the industry and society, from supporting farm operations to building homes and offices.

As Bobcat Company celebrates 65 years since the invention of the machine, we can look forward to seeing what the future holds for this innovative brand.

And as a Bobcat owner, you too can be proud of your association with this game-changing invention.

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