Bismarck Bobcat Facility has first ever Domestically-Made E85 Next Generation R-Series Excavator

Bobcat is making a piece of equipment that has never been available here in the US. It's a new excavator, that until now, had to be shipped in from South Korea. 

Our Malique Rankin visited the plant today to take a look at the impact the new heavy machinery is making locally.

Bismarck's Bobcat facility has new equipment in production -- it's called the Next Generation R-Series Excavators, for the first time the E-85 is available domestically. I stopped by the plant to check out the new production line and learned it's not just about the excavator -- it's about the jobs.

Last summer Bobcat announced they'd begin to build the Next Generation R-Series Excavators.

Dean Kuhn; Plant Manager: "We're here to tell you today that production is now up and running and we're adding additional folks to our workforce to accommodate the market demand for these machines."

The new equipment manufacturing is creating over 200 new jobs at their plant alone.
Nearly one third of Bobcat's employees. 

Dean Kuhn; Plant Manager: "positions like welder, fabricators, material handlers, machinists, and assemblers."

The new positions also gave current employees a chance to transfer to excavator production. 

Chelsea Drader; Assembly Lead: "I've been an assembler for 4 years. Then when they started up the line they needed people with more experience to help get things going and running."

Chelsea Drader explains how the new line has created opportunities for current and potential employees alike.

Chelsea Drader; Assembly Lead: "I actually love my job and just the growth I've gotten with the excavator line coming in to the factory, it's opened up a ton of job opportunities. Not only for me but other assemblers on the line and we're doing a lot of cross training too because we have a lot of positions to fill."

Dean Kuhn; Plant Manager: "We've always built attachments and so building excavators has been a new area, a new opportunity for folks to work on and learn about."

The plant manager says the new assembly line is good for Bobcat, their employees, and for Bismarck.

If you're wondering how long it takes to put one of these excavators together, it's as quick as 30 minutes!

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