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Rent Talk

A Place in History

One of my “bucket list” items is to visit every one of the 50 states and to really get a feel for the culture and the people that live in each state. I had the privilege recently to visit a state that was new to me, but definitely not new to the people who work for Bobcat. The company invited me to travel to Bismarck, N.D., for a media event filled with product introductions as well as some of the local flare. The new Bobcat products, which include the M-Series loaders and excavators and the E60 and E80 excavators, and will be featured in the July issue of RER, did not disappoint, and neither did the state of North Dakota.

The representatives for Bobcat welcomed the event attendees with a dinner located right on the Missouri River at Meriwether's, which happens to be Lewis' last name of the famous duo Lewis and Clark. The evening wrapped up with a Riverboat dessert cruise on the Missouri River.

Day Two started with a factory tour of the Bobcat manufacturing plant in Bismarck. The plant had just been awarded ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 registrations (for more information on this story, click here). After viewing how each machine was made, company representatives shared product information presentations and time was allotted to operate equipment geared to the rental industry. I was able to test drive a number of excavators and loaders, which we will share with you in the July issue of RER.

I was also able to speak with Greg Rostberg, marketing manager for Bobcat, about a few of the products that I operated and what they had to offer to the rental industry. To view my interviews with him, visit Bobcat S630, Bobcat M Series Excavators, Bobcat E32 Excavator and Bobcat 418 Mini Excavator.

Bobcat treated us to a dinner experience at the Fort Lincoln Commissary to wrap up the media event. The volunteers at Fort Lincoln, which opened in 1875, took on the personas and dress of the time period and we were transported back to the late 1800s for the evening. Dinner consisted of pitchfork steak and potato fondue, as well as homemade gingersnaps, buttermilk pie and oatmeal pie. The volunteer staff even reenacted an execution of a treasonous party with a rifle salute.

Bobcat has been around for more than 50 years, and the company further impressed upon me its history by sharing the history of the state in which it resides. And from witnessing the unveiling of its new products for the rental industry, Bobcat is sure to be a company that will be around for many years to come.

On another historic note, Bobcat recently found a home at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History when 56 cubic feet of records were acquired from the company. This donation includes corporate records relating to American manufacturing and marketing as well as business development. Housed in the museum's Archives Center, these papers join the museum's extensive collection of agricultural, industrial and business papers. A selection of these records is scheduled to be on view from Nov. 30 through Jan. 17, 2010. To read more about this article, visit this RER web page.

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