There is growing interest in miniature wheeled loading shovels, as farmers seek costs-effective and flexible options for feeding, clearing out sheds and general yard work.

Alongside the likes of Weidemann, Giant and Blaney, there is yet another to consider – namely Dapper.

At present, there is only one model on offer – the 5000. However, there are 5005 and 5009 variants of this unit. It can be had with or without an enclosed cab.

It’s a modest machine; it can lift 1.25t (with counterweights fitted) to a maximum height of 2.8m, thanks to its telescopic boom. It is 2.9m long, 1.26m wide and 2.13m high.

It weighs just 1.64t.


The 36hp Kubota 4-cylinder 1505 engine is mated to a Poclain hydrostatic drive system. Top travel speed is 17kph. Hydraulic output tops out at a creditable 70L/min (200 bar) – no mean feat for a machine of this dimunitive size.

No Irish price is available just yet. In the UK, the Dapper 5000’s list price starts at about £24,000. Available attachments include pallet forks, buckets, grabs, scoops, backhoes, snow blowers, augers, stump cutters, salt spreaders and rotary mowers.


The UK agent is Welmac, which is based in Lincolnshire. We are not aware of an Irish distributor – as yet.

According to Dapper, the 5000 is a “multi-functional loader and tool carrier”. It says that its key selling point is its articulated steering which, unlike a skid-steer loader, makes it “easy to control in rough terrain”.


The firm also says that this results in less tyre wear and, ultimately, less damage to the surface on which the machine is travelling – whether concrete or grass.

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Also unlike a skid-steer loader of comparable size, says the company, the 5000 doesn’t need to be revved up all the time – thus saving some fuel over the course of a working week.

But who or what is Dapper? The entity is part of the larger VOP CZ company – a Czech firm that is best known for the engineering, development and production of military equipment. It makes armoured cars, trucks and even battle tanks.

Interestingly, the business started just after the second world war, repairing equipment of German, British and American origin. It later embarked on the repair of Soviet-made military hardware, including main battle tanks, self-propelled guns and artillery.

Nowadays, VOP CZ employs more than 800 people.