They were designed for cleaning out the holds of bulkships ,before wheat or sugar was poured in.............used to be lots of them about,but IIRC they had a Continental diesel motor that you could never get parts for.
The following user(s) said Thank You: cobbadog, PaulFH
The earliest Bobcats Ive seen had a V4 Wisconsin petrol and a mechanical trans........about the same age is a model with a 2 cyl Deutz and mech trans..........Case also had a skid steer on the market here about the same time with mech trans,and a Case 4 cyl diesel................One time I got masses of stuff (400ton) from the Qld Railways on tender.....nothing complete,but included was a petrol Bobcat I paid $10 for ......just the wheels missing.
Im sure the first skid steers were invented by Le Tourneau,but wernt ever loaders,but used as tow tractors and sometimes dozers.....the tranny was simplified somewhat by using electric wheels .......later ones had Allison trannys
Looks like 1960 was the first skid steer loader. Those early three wheel ones were brake steered but no skidding involved.
As John says I am sure there were large size skid steer machines long before the mini-loaders appeared upon the scene,
PS Found lots but here are a couple of Pommy ones. Obviously from Photobucket but why recognise a mob who destroyed thousands of picture collections. Despite the Photobucket watermark these were stolen from Bart Vanderveens's "The Observers Book of Fighting Vehicles" ie they have watermarked photos from someone else's commercial work. 10 years ago they accounted for 2% of ALL USA internet traffic! After introducing a without notice $400 fee and blocking access to your collection they now are the 1,500th most popular site and left with 11 employees.