The equipment manufacturer most construction professionals recognize for popularizing the skid-steer loader has developed a new multi-functional compact machine.

Bobcat Co., West Fargo, N.D., was looking for ways to help fleet owners supplement skid-steers with another piece of equipment that can use interchangeable work-tool attachments. Completing a three-and-a-half-year research and development effort, the firm unveiled the Toolcat 5600 compact utility vehicle at the Feb. 4-7 World of Concrete show 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 allow light material hauling and towing.

"It has more visibility than a skid-steer, but it won't lift quite as much," says Matt Foskey, owner of Ailey, Ga.-based Four Rivers Landscaping and Irrigation, which received a unit late last month. "Having two people in the cab is a neat feature," he adds.

"We did a lot of focus groups with various compact equipment owners, then built the first prototype more than a year ago," says Brad Claus, product representative. He thinks there is broad appeal for the product, with potential users including municipalities, institutions, parks, golf courses, landscapers and contractors. List price is $29,500 with standard equipment.