WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 12, 2010, 01:49 PM

One of skid-steer loader inventors dies

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A man credited with helping invent the skid-steer loader made famous by Bobcat Co. has died.

Louis Keller of Edgeley died Sunday night. He was 87. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Keller and his brother Cyril built the original skid-steer loader in their Rothsay, Minn., blacksmith shop.

The three-wheel, self-propelled loader was invented to ease manure-removal chores on area turkey farms. North Dakota-based Melroe Manufacturing Co., which later became Bobcat, bought the rights to the Keller loader in 1958.

More than 750,000 Bobcat skid-steer loaders have been produced. Records chronicling the evolution of the loader are housed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

Cyril Keller, 88, lives in Fergus Falls, Minn.