A lot of heavy-duty equipment types have very distinct colour schemes, from the bright red used for fire engines to the famous yellow used for JCB diggers.
The reason for this is that heavy equipment should be as visible as possible, so in less than ideal visibility, workers can see a big machine coming and get out of its way.
Equipment made by the Bobcat Company, somewhat unusually, is painted predominantly white with orange accents. This decision is so famous that a common slogan of Bobcat is “tough enough to wear white”.
However, it has led many to wonder why such a rugged and dependable machine would use a colour scheme almost destined to end up stained and discoloured within minutes of starting a
Oddly enough, the white colour originally came about to solve the opposite problem in two very early industries where the Bobcat became popular.
Early skid-steer loaders were primarily used for moving fertiliser and in the dairy industry. Both fertiliser dust and milk are white, so other colours would commonly be stained white by the end of the day, making them look rather unsightly all of the time.
At the time Bobcat primarily used red and yellow as their colour scheme, making it look even more obvious than it would with any other colour
For these early adopters, painting the loaders white was the obvious and ideal solution, as it hid the appearance of stains and debris and camouflaged them against the white of the loader. This made cleaning far easier at the end of the day.
This had an ancillary benefit of making the machines and by extension, the farms and factories look cleaner as a result. In most cases, stains are exceptionally noticeable on a white background so a casual observer will look at the loaders and see sparkling clean machinery.
Even though Bobcats are used in far more industries now, it has become part of the brand’s image and reputation.
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