One Tough Kitty: Bobcat Skid Steer Loader

031216 Barn Finds - 19XX Bobcat 2

Do you have a big yard project coming up? Or, have you always just wanted to own a Bobcat? Either way, here is a Bobcat with trailer in Coatesville, Indiana listed here on craigslist. The asking price is $6,000, a mere fraction of what a new one would cost and it’s said to work great!

031216 Barn Finds - 19XX Bobcat 1

Melroe Manufacturing Company was founded in 1947 in Gwinner, North Dakota and their corporate headquarters is still in Fargo today even with all of the ownership changes over the decades. The 30-series was introduced by Clark Equipment in 1977, but there is no mention of what year this particular example is. Clark Equipment took over Melroe Co. and made Bobcats from the 1960s until 1995. The company was then sold to Ingersoll-Rand and was renamed Bobcat Company. Since 2007 the company has been owned by Doosan Bobcat Inc. out of South Korea. A little history lesson there in Scotty “Paul Harvey” G’s for-what-it’s-worth department. Or, maybe, the too-much-info department.

031216 Barn Finds - 19XX Bobcat 3

This model 530 has a 33hp Generac engine and according to the seller it runs and operates as it should. There isn’t anything on these tough machines that can’t be fixed, and all parts should be available. A major new feature of the 30-series was the “center-mounted chaincase with drive chains in a “bowtie” configuration, which eliminates adjustments”, according to the Bobcat website. Add in a couple of hundred dollars for sandpaper and paint and you’ll have it looking like new again. 1977 was also the year that the new Bobcat logo was unveiled, the same one that’s still in use today. Speaking of that, you can get a new set of decals to add once you’ve gotten the rest of it looking like new again.

031216 Barn Finds - 19XX Bobcat 4

The fact that this Bobcat comes with its own trailer is quite a benefit. This 12′ x 6.5′ trailer has a drop-gate, newer tires, and hydraulic brakes. I think it would be fun to get this Bobcat looking like new again and the trailer is the clincher. We had a bid of $23,000 to build a retaining wall at our house, this Bobcat would more than pay for itself for any big projects around your yard. Is this Bobcat something that you could find a use for?


  1. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Looks like the perfect tool to drag the next find out of the barn! Good one Scotty!

    Like 1
  2. grant

    Used one of these to change a boat motor once, had to back the boat up to a loading dock to lift it in and out but it got the job done. I don’t think I’d bother purchasing this unless I was able to use it for business, they rent out my way for about $85 per day, probably a bit more cost effective for occasional homeowner projects.

  3. Brian

    and why is this a barn find?

  4. bluzemn1

    what is happening with you guys ????? what is all this junk

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      what is happening with you guys ????? what is all this negativity

      • Howard A Member

        Election year, maybe?

      • David Frank David Member

        Being concerned because Barnfinds has lost its focus ins not being negative. It was bad enough when “good used car deals” was featured, but this is a new low. What’s next? Good deal on a couch?

  5. Dave Wright

    You guys have too much time on your hands………..I deal in this kind of equipment. This is over top retail for a small old worn out Bobcat. A late model low hour diesel sold today for less money at a military base back east. So…….you are bored with cars? By the way, Generac does not build engines……they buy them from other manufacturers and relabel them. These usually have Wisconsin V4HD’s

    Like 1
    • Rustowner

      This size class of Bobcat (such as the 435’s and 530 pictured in this ad) usually had a 23hp Kohler. Early models had an flat 2cyl Onan in some cases. The V4HD’s we used in the larger 5 and 600 series machines, otherwise you would be sitting on the back of the motor. These are cramped enough!

      Like 1
  6. Dave Wright

    These came with a 19-23 HP ( depending on how it is measured) Kohler 2 cylinder air cooled gas engine. One of the smallest ever used in a Bobcat. They have a tough time picking up a load of manure and moving it up a small hill. Do not confuse it with a S530 it is a very different machine. These are very small.

    • Cassidy

      Good info Dave!! I still like it, just not as much now.

  7. Ed P

    Dave is probably right about the price and power of this machine. But, restore it? Scrape some rust and primer those spots. This is a work machine and it will revert to it’s current appearance in no time.

  8. Francisco

    I had one of these which we used to muck out horse stalls. The Kohler was replaced with a Honda motor. They are tricky to handle, easily upset, and downright dangerous. You could fall forward from the seat and have the bucket come right down on your head. This is not the ideal machine for building a retaining wall. I sold mine on Ebay for three grand. I was glad to see it go. A widow maker.

    • Franklin Ulrich

      Seat belt ?

      • Francisco

        I wouldn’t operate one without it. And I’m not exaggerating.

  9. rogerowen

    Can’t really see a classic car connection – not even a classic tractor connection. Anyway that looks pretty expensive to me. They are not popular in the UK as they have a tendency to tip over.

  10. Howard A Member

    Darn near spit my coffee out when I saw this, great find. OK, I’d like to get something straight here. No where in the title of this site does it say “Classic Car” Barn Find’s. If there ever was something that would be “found in a barn”, it would be one of these. Please, there are a bunch of sites that deal strictly with classic cars. Feel free to visit and comment on them, just don’t bring us folks down that enjoy seeing anything and everything that might be “found in a barn”. ( Whew, there, I know it’s 3am, but sheesh)
    I worked for a trencher/Bobcat dealer, and drove every kind of machine you can think of. Francisco is right, these are very dangerous machines, especially the older ones, like this. Skid steers ( their “official name”, as they “skid the tires to steer”) have come a long way in development, just because there have been so many accidents. It’s imperative to buckle the seat belt on these ( fact is, the new ones won’t move unless the belt is buckled and the restraining bar is down) as these can be very jumpy, literally bouncing you out of the seat. They are very back heavy ( motor and hydraulics are in the back to offset the weight in the bucket or whatever attachment you have, they make many kinds) so with an empty bucket, you ALWAYS load the machine by backing on to a trailer.( I’ve seen skid steers tip back, even roll) Also, back down an incline with a bucket of material, as they will tip forward. If it has the Wisconsin V-4, it was a good motor. I was told, if it turns over, it will run. Not the most power, but very durable. Be advised, Bobcat parts are EXTREMELY expensive, and they are very hard to work on. For the person that does their own work, however, a skid steer is a must have.
    Sorry for the ramble, but thanks to SG for this, and I can’t wait to see what’s next, oh yeah, the dump truck. And Jesse is right, go piss and moan somewhere else ( although, he didn’t actually SAY that)

    • Mike H. Mike H.

      Let’s hear it for Howard! My sentiments exactly; if you want to go be negative and snarky, go comment on “Bring A Trailer” like all of the other know-it-all’s.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Mike, don’t thank me, thank Folger’s. ( I’ve been thinking about switching to de-caf for quite some time). Sorry all

      • Mike H. Mike H.

        Perhaps just a higher quality of bean is all that’s required; don’t jump off that bridge that caffeine built for you.

        But seriously, you said how I believe a lot of us are feeling lately. We all have a choice whether to subscribe or not, to read the posts or not, and to comment or not. You see a 1990’s vintage Toyota and you’re not feeling it? Then STFU and move on. I read EVERY article here, I’ve subscribed to receive EVERY update (e-mail filters, boys. Learn how to use them if it’s bothersome that your inbox fills up and auto-file these for later), and I comment when I feel I have something constructive to add. These are my choices, and as I pay $0.00 to be able to see what’s on this site then I figure I have (0000) input as to what’s posted. If I see something which I personally think is cool, there is a provision for me to submit it and share it with the audience. The moderators will determine whether it’s share-worthy, and I doubt that they turn away much.

        Jesse and Josh: keep up the good work here. Your site is the distraction which makes it possible to get through the day, more so even than B.A.T., which has been getting a TON of press lately.

    • Ed P

      Howard, I have learned a lot about cars, trucks, and now bobcats. Foreign cars do not interest me much, so I just skip over most of them. I do find the Russian cars interesting though. BF and Scotty G, please continue as before.

  11. MountainMan

    Cool feature! Maybe the guys who have been doing the recent complaining can do the site some good…. Help the writers out by posting a list of what is allowed and what’s not allowed. I’m sure that these poor writers just didn’t get the email that describes what you allow to be posted on the site. Also make a list of what the specific years that you allow and what colors you do and do not want to see on the featured vehicles too so they can get it right!

    Come on guys, really? This is by far the best site for cool cars, some of which have been stored in a barn…. Some have not. I love the variety and the large number of features us readers are fortunate enough to enjoy daily. Keep up the great work guys!

  12. Donnie

    Barn finds LOVE IT OUR LEAVE IT. It is a great site.

  13. Pookie Jamie P

    Correct me if I’m wrong people, but this site is called BARN FINDS. Which means whatever is found in a barn or a bizarre place whether it be a barn or field can be placed on here. As far as I’m concerned anything goes ….. Don’t like it? Find somewhere else to post your negativity. That is all!

    • Howard A Member

      Thank-you, Jamie. Love the site AS IS!!!

  14. grenade

    The bobcat is priced too high, but I’ll look at anything with a motor. I’ll even look at some old bicycles if the story is good enough. For that matter- probably old metal and wood working machines too. Old industrial stuff is interesting.

    Cool dump truck too.

  15. Steve

    Too much money for a worn out machine. Also, thT is too much machine for a single axle trailer. Looks like 3500 lb. axles. One blow out and they are writing your obituary.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Steve, like I say, I dealt with a lot of skid steers, and this is about right for an older one. Generally, the price goes up with the bigger the machine, and a new one like this costs $20,000 dollars or more ( with attachments) I agree the trailer is close to it’s limits, but it appears they did some fancy welding on the hitch and looks like it has “surge” brakes, so it’s probably ok. I still would have backed it on the trailer, though. It appears to be attached to the trailer with a bolt( or something) through the bucket, but I’d still chain it down, that screened ramp wouldn’t hold much if it began to roll.

  16. Rando

    Just to add my .02… I can’t help but try to read ALL theposts, whether I like them or not. This one? Not so much…Even when I get my grammar and spelling and other stuff corrected, I still come back for more because I am nuts for old cars. Hopefully, with the loss of an ex who didn’t want to spend anything on an old car to a g/f who hopes we have one someday, will bring a chance to own an oldie someday. That green mustang a few days back almost did it- had we not just bought a house…

    So anyway, back to the old stuff, be it cars or tractors… keep up the good work guys.

  17. rogerowen

    Ditto (ish), American cars do not interest me much, so I just skip over most of them.

  18. Jubjub

    Wow. It looks so spindley and primitive compared to the one I was in today with am/fm/MP3, heat, AC and windows. We’ve got a brush attachment that is a total monster!

  19. JimA

    New name for the site? Barn finds, used cars and construction equipment?

    Focus guys

  20. Alan (Michigan)

    Love the comments about operating one of these.
    Shortly after moving in at our place 20 years ago, I contracted to have some work done and install a gravel drive. Long story, that did not work out. I went out and rented a skid steer, brand name Gehl, learned to use it, and completed the job myself. Rented another one several years later for other work.
    You know you have arrived when you can have your own bucket loader to do yard work with….

  21. KyleK

    I bought a really nice ’90 542b with 900 hours and a brand new bobcat snowblower for 6k from an estate. The snowblower was new because the bobcat couldn’t spin it. I used it for some projects and sold it for 9k. Then bought a 440b with a blown Kohler and put in a Honda and sold it for 4k. Had a 751 too it was a good solid machine. Yes the old short bobcats are bouncy and a handful. I’m on the 5th skid now a New Holland. Vertical lift, longer wheel base, no bouncing around and you can even drive it up and down a deck over trailer without it tipping backwards. World of difference!

    • Franklin Ulrich

      Funny ,….I paid 800.00 for mine,….. did offer 500 bucks

  22. slickimp

    Wow that’s some bran find

  23. Roger Owen

    ‘Narb’ (Hot Fuzz).

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