Kono, the Riga-based authorised dealer for the Bobcat equipment range in Latvia, has completed a project to renovate a M-600D skid-steer loader dating back around 50 years.
The machine was introduced in 1967 and what makes this refurbished model such a rare find is that it was not manufactured at Bobcat’s traditional base in North Dakota in the USA, but was made under licence by Scheid Maschinenfabrik in Germany in the early 1970s.
It was found, complete with its original counterweight, online by Kono director Ivars Gailums, who saw it being offered for sale by a used equipment supplier in Berlin. The refurbishment took just over two years to complete.
Ivars, who enlisted the help of fomer service manager Robby Bosch to put the machine back together, said: “I have focused on every aspect – whether the bottom of the seat was one piece or sewn together, the colour of the bucket, they are all important to me.
“The M-600D when it was disassembled into many parts, tended to take up a lot of space and we had to take account of this so it didn’t cause problems in our workshop.
“The work on the machine was mainly done by a team of three of our service engineers.
“Sandblasting and powder coating services were outsourced and the leather seat was restored by a company which specialises in restoring old motor vehicles and rebuilding expensive modern cars. I also involved family members to get some unique spare parts – including a shaft, the air filter cap and authentic Melroe Bobcat and Clark stickers from the USA.”
Although M-600Ds continued to be built until 1975, Bobcat said the specific model must date from between 1970 and 1972, the period when Scheid Maschinenfabrik held the manufacturing licence.