In 1973, Gehl Company (today Manitou Americas Inc.) began designing and manufacturing its own line of skid steers. The Gehl skid steer line has constantly evolved over 40 years. Today, a complete line of seven radial and three vertical lift models, including the V400, the world’s largest skid loader, are offered under the Gehl brand name.
Gehl skid-steer designs include the original hands-only control system, the T-Bar; the Powerview lift arm; and the adjustable, side-anchored operator restraint bar.
“The Gehl brand is dedicated to its roots of designing and producing durable, easy-to-use skid
loaders,” said Dan Miller, CEO of Manitou Americas and president of the Manitou Group CE Compact Equipment Division. “Our task for the future is incorporating innovation and
technology into our loaders, yet still maintaining the ease of use our customers have come to
Gehl actually started marketing a branded skid steer built by the Ericsson Company in 1969. The first Gehl-designed machine rolled off a Gehl assembly line in July 1973 in Madison, S.D., where Gehl-brand skid steers are still manufactured.
Performance features such as liquid-cooled engines, hydrostatic transmissions and diesel-powered machines came from Gehl in the early 1970’s.
In the late 70’s, and early 80’s Gehl brand skid loaders featured a roll-back ROPS and hydraulic solenoid lift arm lockouts for easier maintenance. In 1982, Gehl Co.'s 4610 featured the operator restraint bar for more comfort and added protection.
In the mid-1980’s the model 4615 was added, specifically designed for construction. Models 6620 and 6625 entered Gehl into the largest skid steer class. By 1995, Gehl offered a full line of eight models serving the agricultural and construction markets.