2020 - Volume #44, Issue #4, Page #05[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
My Connection To The Inventor Of The Skid Steer
In 1957, Eddie took his basic idea to Cyril and Louis Keller who ran a fabricating shop in nearby Rothsay, Minn. He told them he’d pay them a fair price if the loader worked. If it didn’t, he would just pay for materials and the men would be out their time. The first prototype was a small, 3-wheeled machine with car wheels, a 6.6 hp. Kohler engine, and a transmission from a Plymouth. The digging teeth on the loader bucket were cut from jail bars from an old jail that had been demolished. Left and right drive wheels operated independently, controlled by levers.
Once the design proved its worth on Velo’s farm, the Kellers started making them to sell. Eventually, Melroe Manufacturing Co. bought rights to the machine and paid the brothers a royalty. Both of them joined the company and it took off rapidly.
I asked my dad if his friend Eddie ever got rich from having the initial idea for the Bobcat skid steer. “If he did, no one could ever tell. Eddie wasn’t one to worry about things like that. He made a deal with the Kellers to build one machine and went back to work. He was a smart guy who never stopped moving and getting things done,” he told me.
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