View Full Version : the writing on the wall B300
08-14-2006, 09:01 PM
i am the proud owner of a bobcat B300 tlb. have been amazed by this machine since i have owned it. but, it looks like the writing is on the wall as to whether bobcat will keep selling them. i went to their site today and under the products there no longer was a listing for tlb's. i guess ingersoll rand will keep producing them for now at least. seems crazy to buy a company and quit selling their product. bobcat has done very little to promote the tlb's or upgrade them. wonder why they bought earthforce in the first place.
just had to rant a little,
08-14-2006, 09:15 PM
To be honest with you, I never understood fully why Bobcat started producing TLB's in the first place. Their big deal back in the day was something along the lines of "TLB's are slow, big, unproductive, and costly". Their big marketing ploy against TLB's was the "Bobcat System", combining a skid steer and excavator together to tackle the same tasks as a TLB but in a more efficient matter. The problem with their claims is that if you can get away with running 1 machine, 1 operator, 1 truck and trailer to get to the site, most people would go with that, so if you felt you really WANTED a TLB, you'd be in it for way less than you would be if you were running a skid steer and excavator combo. Personally, I think the excavator and skid steer combo is great, I wouldn't have it any other way. We had to have an excavator for duties outside the coverage of a TLB, so it only made sense to buy an excavator to accompany our skid steer.
08-14-2006, 10:58 PM
i agree completely that the skid steer excavator combo is great. however, i am a one man show. i can only run one machine at a time. i also like the digging power of the backhoe, it has plenty of counter weight. also a much smoother ride. if i had unlimited start up funds perhaps i would go with the combo on a larger trailer with a much larger truck to tow it. i have been happy so far with the little niche i seem to have found with the backhoe. i am shopping for a mini skid steer to get where the backhoe won't fit and for running some attachments they should compliment each other well. and i can carry it on the front of the tlb trailer if needed.
08-15-2006, 03:37 AM
That's my point exactly, you're a one man band who can't have 2 pieces running at once, which in this case a TLB is absolutely perfect. What surprises me though is that for the longest time Bobcat bashed the TLB market, and then a couple years later they were in it. Couldn't quite figure it out, but the consensus I get from Bobcat TLB owners is that they're excellent machines, so at least Bobcat built them well.
Glad it works out for you, different strokes for different folks, but sometimes having 2 pieces just doesn't work for a one man show and I can see why you've gone this route.
08-15-2006, 07:57 AM
maybe it is one of those situations where you are trying to sell a concept and another option is seeming to work as well. it is obvious the benifits of the "bobcat System" that was great marketing. but maybe with the much lower cost of a compact tlb their numbers aren't quite as good. on machinery trader most of the time there are I/R or bobcat tlb's for sale for under 25,000 with minimal hours. that would change their numbers as well as benifits a bit. if there is a threat from a smaller company, buy them out then slowly quit building their machine. curious whether I/R keeps selling them.
08-15-2006, 08:30 PM
I can only offer another suggestion, because I have no idea what Bobcat is up to... but it may be that the two companies are re-aligning their product line. For instance, there is a 444 excavator sold in Europe under the Bobcat name; here in the US, it's only marketed as an IR machine. Similar story for compact wheel loaders. I think we may see Bobcat cleanse itself of non-"traditional" products and start carrying the IR equivalent of those products, simply so that contractors don't identify Bobcat with products of all sorts.
I have no idea, though -- I'm rather baffled by them right now.
I am on the same sheet of music as Scag. It surprised me that Bobcat bought out Earth Force to carry a product they have been marketing against for the last 10 years. They are not selling well and I doubt that bobcat will continue to sell them beyond the next 5 years.
08-15-2006, 09:27 PM
i am tending to go along with tigerrotor on this. hopefully. i know they haven't sold in large numbers but at the same time it would be hard for bobcat to market them after years of saying tlb's are the old way of doing it. I/R would at least be able to advertise and market the tlb without going against the main product line. as far as the machine itself i think people would be suprised. again not saying it is better than a skid steer and excavator combo, although the situation could exist where it would be. it is another way to skin the cat. i imagine there has been a time where someone wished they didn't have to disconnect from the backhoe to use the loader bucket. just the same as when i had to work inside a foundation i ended up renting a mini skid for the day (felt like a bull in a china cabinet).
08-16-2006, 10:47 PM
Here's another idea...
If you go back and read the press release the Bobcat issued in 2001, they cite two main reasons for the acquisition of Superstav (EarthForce was their US subsidiary) :
1) Access to their compact TLB product line. As others have said, this doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, since Bobcat has always marketed against TLBs.
2) "Low-cost manufacturing capacity and additional design resources".
Companies acquire other companies all the time to gain access to new markets, expand their global presence, or gain new distribution channels. When there are overlapping or competing product lines, one or the other usually gets phased out.
Maybe that's what's at work here? Just a thought...
08-16-2006, 11:51 PM
I think the acquisition of Superstav was Bobcat's route into Europe. International business seems simple, but it isn't, therefore acquiring a company who is established in another market/country will allow the parent company to move in on the goods as well.
Caterpillar did this with Mitsubishi in the 60's. Without Cat's acquisition of Mitsubishi, chances are Caterpillar never would have made it into the Japanese market at all, it's very difficult to jump into an international market with zero stance, business is very different across the pond. It's very safe to say that without the Japanese influence from Mitsubishi, Caterpillar wouldn't be the worldwide equipment leader that they are today. No doubt that Cat is in more countries across the world than any other manufacturer, bar none.
08-17-2006, 01:33 PM
Electra_Glide and scag, that's pretty much what I'm thinking. Though I am surprised that Bobcat wanted a step in the European market by pursuing compact TLBs -- Europeans don't seem to have too many compact models (equivalent to our Terramites).
Who knows. Maybe Bobcat will begin producing 14 footers soon! :D
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