The new kid on the block for supplying and servicing Bobcat’s impressive range of farm-friendly machines and attachments is Versatile Equipment Ltd.
Doosan Bobcat EMEA has given Versatile Equipment sole responsibility in London and the South East for sales and service of the company’s market-leading skid-steer and compact track loaders, mini-excavators, telehandlers, compact wheel loaders, light compaction machinery and attachments.
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 construction, rental, landscaping, agriculture, waste management and other markets in London and the South East.”
As well as selling and servicing the entire Bobcat range of machines and attachments, Versatile Equipment offers a full selection of Bobcat accessories and parts to support both new and existing customers. The company also holds a stock of new and second-hand Bobcat machines.
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 to 4.3 tonnes.
Bobcat began producing telehandlers in 2000, impressing the market with its fully hydrostatic drive systems and compact box frame chassis designs. Doosan took over the brand in 2007 and has since introduced agriculture-specific features in its telehandler range.
All the smaller telescopic loaders are available in agricultural configurations, while four option levels offer increasing operator comfort and productivity. Lee Chater explained that while compact for their size, Bobcat models offered better lifting performances than equivalent competitor models.
He added: “A huge focus for Bobcat has always been operator comfort. Cab designs have historically been spacious but now the comfort and feel of the workspace has been significantly improved.
“All round visibility is greater, helped by radically redesigned engine covers, larger windows, electronically adjustable mirrors and LED lighting.” With ease of use also important, vital information is fed back to the operator via the 5-inch or optional 7-inch display screen.
Newly appointed agricultural business manager Dave Sawicki, a former area sales manager with Bobcat of London and a man with almost 20 years’ experience in the industry, is keen to use the telehandler range as the lead-in to Bobcat’s other offerings.
“I love visiting customers at their work sites, getting to know them and the way they work,” he said. “It helps me spot and discuss opportunities for the customer to maximise the productivity of the machine they’re considering buying, or already own.
“The telehandler range improvements have been incredible over the past few years and I look forward to turning more farmers and folk in agricultural industries onto the Bobcat range of equipment. Many know Bobcat as the name that is synonymous with skidsteer loaders and excavators, but there’s still a lot more brand awareness work to do when it comes to the telescopic loaders.
“Along with the small articulating loaders, a huge range of attachments and great warranty terms, I’m sure we can satisfy all enquiries. It has already been a great experience to dedicate my time solely to farm customers.
“Having fantastic finance packages available, too, with flexible payment schemes, will help customer confidence in these times.”
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 mini-excavator range comprises 17 models, with operating weights from 1.0 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.
Newly launched, the small articulating loader range consists of the L23 and L28 models, which offer a unique solution for customers who work in tight sites, boasting a nimble, ground-friendly design but delivering serious performance alongside a high level of comfort and ease of use. For heavier applications, Bobcat offers compact wheeled loaders L75 and L85.
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.”