Bobcat 773 773 Turbo Workshop Service
Repair Manual Skid Steer Loaders G Series
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The first three wheeled, front end loader was invented by brothers Cyril and Louis Keller
(manufacturer) in Rothsay, Minnesota, in 1957. The Kellers built the loader to help a local
farmer automate the process of cleaning turkey manure from his barns. Their lightweight and
compact machine, with its rear caster wheel, was able to turn around within its own length,
zero turn radius, while performing the same tasks as a larger conventional front end loader.
Melroe Manufacturing Company of Gwinner, N.D., purchased the rights to the Keller loader
in 1958 and hired the Kellers to continue refining their invention. As a result of this
partnership between the Melroe brothers and the Keller brothers, the M-200 Melroe self
propelled loader was introduced at the end of 1958. It featured two independent front drive
wheels and a rear caster wheel, a 12.9hp engine and a 750 lb. lift capacity.
Two years later they replaced the caster wheel with a rear axle and introduced the M-400, the
first four wheel, skid steer loader. It quickly became the Melroe Bobcat. The term Bobcat is
frequently used today as a generic term for any brand of skid steer loader. The M-440 was
powered by a 15.5hp engine and had an 1100 lb. rated operating capacity. Skid steer
development continued at Melroe into the mid 1960s with the M-600 loader.
In 1962 while looking for a catchier name than Melroe Self Propelled Loader, the Melroes
hire Gould, Brown & Bickett advertising agency to give their machine a whole new brand
identity. During a one day meeting at the agency office in Minneapolis, Melroes advertising
manager Sylvan Melroe and Lynn Bickett together created the name and color scheme.
Sylvan Melroe brings a list of animal names the company has been considering as
possibilities for a new name for the loader. Melroe and Bickett use a dictionary to look up the
animal names during the meeting. The dictionary defines a bobcat as tough, quick and agile,
attributes that perfectly describe the loader. The Bobcat brand is born.