Bobcat launches successor to its S130 model in the Middle East
Kanoo Machinery has unveiled the new Bobcat S450 skid steer loader (SSL), a successor to the popular S130 model, at events recently held in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The S450 machines have been designed with customer feedback in mind to better cater to the needs of the market, said Bobcat representatives at the Dubai launch of the new skid steer.
Daniel Moreau, Aftermarket Manager, Middle East for Doosan Benelux SA, said the new machine was a signficant upgrade. With the launch of the S450, Bobcat has completely updated its entire skid steer and tracked loader range.
“We work a lot with the voice of the customer, and when we have developed these new machines, the customers asked us to have better visibility, better comfort,” Moreau adds.
Upgrades to the S450 include a roomier cabin, a 360-panoramic view, and increased durability among others, Moreau says.
Regular maintenance is critical to keep equipment functioning well, especially in unforgiving Middle Eastern conditions. Accordingly, the new S450 offers improved access to its engine for ease of maintenance.
However, some daily maintenance will still be required, he points out.
“If it’s in windy [weather] or a sandstorm, we have to clean each day, minimum one time each day, the air filter, which is a basic requirement,” Moreau says.
Engine oil will have to be changed every 250 hours, whereas oil for the transmission will need changing every 1,000-2,000 hours.
“We have worked to decrease the cost of ownership,” Moreau says.
The company has also made efforts to enhance the ease of operating its SSL’s, he says.
“The job for somebody here is not to drive the machine. We have to be the most simple and the most useful and really friendly to work with,” he notes.
Machines sold in the Middle East will only be different from those for European or American markets on minor counts, he adds.
“We have specific requirements here in the Middle East, different than in Europe or different than in North America, especially engine regulation. But after that the body of the machine will be exactly the same,” he says.
“In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we need to have a back-up alarm, which is not required in some other countries. So we configure the machine in accordance with each area or each specific requirement,” Moreau says.
Bobcat’s SSL’s can be equipped with a wide variety of attachments, and the most popular ones sold in the Middle East include buckets, pallet forks, sweepers, dozer blades, breakers, and trenchers, Moreau says.
This makes sense, considering 70-80% of the manufacturer’s clients in the Middle East are construction companies, with the rest from industries like landscaping and facilities management, says Gaby Rhayem, regional director, Middle East & Africa.
Going forward, the company aims to actively step up its presence in the MENA region, Rhayem adds.
“Bobcat as a brand with the reputation we have, with the reliability we have, our target is to be the number one in the market and have maybe more than 50% market share. This is our target here in the UAE and in all the countries in the Middle East,” Rhayem said.