The equipment manufacturer most construction professionals recognize for popularizing the skid-steer loader has completed a three-and-a-half-year research and development effort resulting in a new multi-functional compact machine.

Looking for ways to help fleet owners supplement skid-steers with another piece of equipment that can use interchangeable work-tool attachments, Bobcat Co. of West Fargo, N.D., unveiled the Toolcat 5600 compact utility vehicle at World of Concrete, held Feb. 4-7 in Las Vegas.

The Toolcat is a two-speed, hydrostatically driven machine with four-wheel drive, all-wheel steer, and 18-mph top speed. A hydraulically operated boom in front supports attachments, while a dump body and hitch in the rear provide light material-handling and towing capabilities. Available attachments include a bucket, auger, angle broom, box blade, trencher, grapple, snow blower and pallet forks. An enclosed cab seats two.

Bobcat representatives believe the Toolcat is the next step in innovation beyond the skid-steer loader concept. "We did a lot of focus groups with various compact equipment owners, then built the first prototype more than one year ago," said Brad Claus, product representative. Claus said Bobcat plans to cast a large net with the product, with potential applications spanning municipalities, institutions, parks, golf courses, landscapers and contractors. List price is $29,500 with standard equipment.