Machine Matters

|  July 01, 2011 |

Not on the Skids

Although the spotlight has been on heavier skid steers, manufacturers are not ignoring their littlest radial-lift diggers

By Mike Anderson

With much of the new product focus on larger vertical-lift models, don’t think skid steer manufacturers have forgotten about the most compact radial-lift machines, which are at the core of skid steer heritage.

The new electronic control module on the Caterpillar 226B3 skid steer allows automatic activation of the optional high-flow auxiliary-hydraulic system when a high-flow attachment is connected.

 Skid steers with rated operating loads of 1,600 pounds or less – a class of machines predominately built on the digging-friendly, curve-accentuated, radial lift path – have been included in updated full-line product families introduced most recently by Case, Caterpillar, New Holland and (an entirely new family) Terex, on the heels of John Deere’s 2009 launch of the 300 Series. Gehl and sister brand Mustang have rolled out their smallest model each, rated at 850 pounds. Other players say they will follow suit in the compact space.

As part of the seven-model 200 Series rolled out at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011, New Holland Construction offers the 1,300-pound rated L213 and 1,500-pound-rated L215 (rated at 50 percent of registered tipping load). “These come with full-size cabs and all the premium features including air ride seats, heat, air conditioning, Glide Ride, a self-leveling bucket and more,” says Dave December, marketing manager. “These wide, comfortable cabs provide more head and foot room, and offer superior visibility in critical zones.” The L213 and L215 represent rated capacities different from the predecessor 100 Series, still available. Along with super compact L120 and L125 models rated at 600 and 700 pounds, the 100 Series has the L150 and L160 rated at 1,350 and 1,600 pounds.

The SR130 and SR150 are included in Case’s new Alpha Series, rated at 1,300 and 1,500 pounds. With their 25-percent-larger cabs, the models of the Alpha Series will replace those of the 400 Series 3, which in this range included only the 1,500-pound-rated 410 Series 3. “A comfortable environment helps the operator be more productive, which ultimately improves the bottom line,” says Curtis Goettel, Case marketing manager, noting the inclusion of larger-machine creature comforts such as a new heating and air conditioning system and the reduced noise and dust of a sealed cab. Able to lift and haul more material, the new Power Stance chassis has a longer wheelbase and a 30/70 front/rear weight distribution, keeping the center of gravity from moving when the loader arms are raised. “Productivity improves when operators feel stable using their machines,” says Goettel.

Two of five Caterpillar skid steer models upgraded from Series 2 within the past year, the 216B and 226B Series 3 are rated at 1,400 and 1,500 pounds as standard, each increasing by 100 pounds with optional counterweight added. Each compact takes on additional features of models at the larger end of the skid-steer offering, including a redesigned dead-engine lower valve that allows an easier means of lowering the lift arms – and providing safe operator exit – should the machine stall with the arms raised.

By matching engine torque with the needs of the hydrostatic drive and implement systems, a load-sensing feature keeps the engine from stalling even during part-throttle operation, says Caterpillar. The new, single electronic control module for the Series 3 includes, for the 226B3 model, automatic activation of the optional high-flow auxiliary hydraulic system when a high-flow tool is connected.

Optional high-flow hydraulics – which expands attachment use from buckets and grapples to augers, breakers and trenchers – is standard for larger skid steers. And now a few smaller models, including the Caterpillar 226B3, John Deere 315, Volvo MC70B, JCB 170 and Bobcat S160, also have high-flow hydraulics. The current Komatsu SK815-5 is also high-flow capable, but the company has halted its production in North America, along with its skid steers, compact track loaders and backhoe loaders. The company says it remains committed to supporting machines currently in the field.

Add the likes of Bobcat, JCB and Volvo to the aforementioned active players, though, and the variety and options within the most compact skid steer classes is best summed up with three words: More to come.



NEW HOLLAND

Already with an established range of compact models as part of a full skid-steer product family, New Holland rolled out two sub-1,600-pound-rated units in the new 200 Series launched this year at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. A radial-lift design provides the L213 and L215 with digging performance in a smaller package, says New Holland, but the compactness doesn’t prevent a full-size cab with the premium features of larger units, including air ride seats, air conditioning and Glide Ride. A longer wheelbase and lower center of gravity allow more material to be lifted and hauled, the company says.

L120

• 18 net horsepower

• 600 pounds rated operating load

• 2,050 pounds operating weight

• 8 gpm hydraulic flow

L125

• 15.5 net horsepower

• 700 pounds rated operating load

• 2,185 pounds operating weight

• 8 gpm hydraulic flow

L213 (new)

• 43 net horsepower

• 1,300 pounds rated operating load

• 5,000 pounds operating weight

• 15.6 gpm hydraulic flow

L150

• 36 net horsepower

• 1,350 pounds rated operating load

• 4,500 pounds operating weight

• 11.6 gpm hydraulic flow

L215 (new)

• 49 net horsepower

• 1,500 pounds rated operating load

• 5,300 pounds operating weight

• 15.6 gpm hydraulic flow

L160

• 44 net horsepower

• 1,600 pounds rated operating load

• 5,534 pounds operating weight

• 15.1 gpm hydraulic flow



BOBCAT

Offering five model sizes of skid steers with rated operating loads up to and including 1,600 pounds, compact equipment pioneer brand Bobcat transitions into larger-machine features and options with the turbocharged S160, available with high-flow hydraulics, two travel speeds and air conditioning/heat. A range of control options, including selectable joystick controls, allow the machine to be set up to suit the operator. An optional deluxe instrumentation panel features system diagnostics, lockouts, keyless start security, digital and job clocks, attachment information, help screens and multi-language capability.

S70

• 23.5 net horsepower

• 700 pounds rated operating load

• 2,795 pounds operating weight

• 9.8 gpm hydraulic flow

S100

• 35.5 net horsepower

• 1,000 pounds rated operating load

• 4,091 pounds operating weight

• 13.1 gpm hydraulic flow

S130

• 49 net horsepower

• 1,300/1,400 pounds rated operating load

• 5,235 pounds operating weight

• 16.9 gpm hydraulic flow

S150

• 49 net horsepower

• 1,500/1,600 pounds rated operating load

• 5,935 pounds operating weight

• 16.9 gpm hydraulic flow

S160

• 61 net horsepower

• 1,600/1,700 pounds rated operating load

• 5,965 pounds operating weight

• 16.9/26.4 gpm hydraulic flow



JOHN DEERE

Sized for working in confined spaces, John Deere’s 313 and 315 skid steers check in at a standard 59 inches wide, slimming to 56 inches with optional 7×15 tires. At the same time, large-capacity fuel tanks, no-grease Quik-Tatch systems and heavy-duty drive chains that never require adjustment ensure sturdy performance, says Deere. With Quik-Tatch changing tools “in just seconds,” nearly 100 standard WorkSite Pro attachments increase versatility and productivity. Optional high-flow hydraulics on the 315 allows the additional use of such attachments as augers, breakers, trenchers and power rakes.

313

• 45 net horsepower

• 1,260/1,400 pounds rated operating load

• 5,150 pounds operating weight

• 15 gpm hydraulic flow

315

• 56 net horsepower

• 1,500/1,650 pounds rated operating load

• 5,200 pounds operating weight

• 16/26 gpm hydraulic flow



CASE

As part of the nine-model Alpha Series rolled out this year, Case newly offers a smaller-model choice in the space formerly occupied by one model, the 410 Series 3 with a rated operating load of 1,500 pounds. The new SR130 and SR150, with rated capacities of 1,300 and 1,500 pounds, boast the improved visibility, operator comfort, climate management and operator controls defining the Alpha Series, says Case. Sealed to reduce noise and dust, the cabs are 25-percent larger with increased glass surface and a “revolutionary ultra-narrow” wire side screen for improved operator visibility.

SR130 (new)

• 43 net horsepower

• 1,300 pounds rated operating load

• 5,000 pounds operating weight

• 15.6 gpm hydraulic flow

SR150 (new)

• 49 net horsepower

• 1,500 pounds rated operating load

• 5,300 pounds operating weight

• 15.6 gpm hydraulic flow



CATERPILLAR

Smallest among the Caterpillar compact loader models upgraded from B-Series 2 last August, the 216B3 and 226B3 radial-lift skid steers each boast the redesigned dead-engine lower valve providing what Cat calls an easier-to-move, more-positive means of lowering the lift arms should the engine stall. A lever-action handle working directly on the hydraulic relief valve replaces the long cable and pull-type knob used on predecessor models to activate the safety system. Other B-Series 3 enhancements include a new single electronic control module – relocated to the back of the cab – enabling automatic glow-plug activation, expanded diagnostics and use of an optional on-demand cooling fan.

216B3 (new)

• 47 net horsepower

• 1,400/1,500 pounds rated operating load

• 5,690 pounds operating weight

• 16 gpm hydraulic flow

226B3 (new)

• 56 net horsepower

• 1,500/1,600 pounds rated operating load

• 5,822 pounds operating weight

• 16/27 gpm hydraulic flow



VOLVO

Retaining the one-piece welded mainframe and cast-iron axle housings of the original Volvo skid steers, the B-Series radial-lift models boosted ground and cycle speeds with their Tier 3 engines, the company says. Depending on application or preference, operators can use hand-operated pilot controls or foot and hand mechanical controls. New joystick handles for both systems include the standard auxiliary hydraulics function. On pilot control machines, dual joysticks allow all loader functions to be operated with the right hand and all drive functions with the left. The MC60 and MC70 machine sizes are below that of the single-arm C-Series family introduced by Volvo at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011.

MC60B

• 45.4 net horsepower

• 1,400 pounds rated operating load

• 5,710 pounds operating weight

• 18.1 gpm hydraulic flow

MC70B

• 53.9 net horsepower

• 1,500 pounds rated operating load

• 5,803 pounds operating weight

• 19.4/30.4 gpm hydraulic flow



GEHL

Slimming to 36 inches when equipped with narrow profile tires and a corresponding bucket, the “super-compact” or “sub-compact” 1640E skid steer can maneuver through doorways and down alleys, yet still manage 96 inches of lift height and 9.1 gallons per minute of auxiliary hydraulic power, says Gehl. With the hands-only T-bar system, optionally available on other Gehl skid steers, the radial-lift 1640E’s operator controls the driving, speed and steering with the left hand, and bucket lift and tilt with the right. Available on all Gehl skid steers, the Hydraloc automatic interlock system shuts down lift, tilt and drive systems when the operator leaves the seat, raises the restraint bar or turns off the ignition switch.

1640E (new)

• 24 net horsepower

• 850 pounds rated operating load

• 2,980 pounds operating weight

• 10.1 gpm hydraulic flow

3640E

• 35 net horsepower

• 1,050/1,175 pounds rated operating load

• 4,000 pounds operating weight

• 14.5 gpm hydraulic flow

4240E

• 46 net horsepower

• 1,350/1,475 pounds rated operating load

• 4,600 pounds operating weight

• 16.5 gpm hydraulic flow



MUSTANG

Corresponding to the Gehl product line, the sister Mustang brand welcomed a new compact skid-steer model with a rated operating load of 850 pounds. The 24-horsepower 2012 can run as narrow as 36 inches, and hands-only controls allow experienced or new operators to work the radial-lift machine in tightly-spaced digging, lifting and loading applications. Like the established, larger Mustang models, the 2012 has auxiliary hydraulic couplers to power a range of attachments. The 35-horsepower 2026 and 46-horsepower 2041 each offer a choice of hands-only and hand/foot controls. An additional Mustang model not in the Gehl lineup, the 47-horsepower 2044 has three control options.

2012 (new)

• 24 net horsepower

• 850 pounds rated operating load

• 2,980 pounds operating weight

• 9.1 gpm hydraulic flow

2026

• 35 net horsepower

• 1,050/1,175 pounds rated operating load

• 4,000 pounds operating weight

• 14.5 gpm hydraulic flow

2041

• 46 net horsepower

• 1,350/1,475 pounds rated operating load

• 4,600 pounds operating weight

• 16.5 gpm hydraulic flow

2044

• 47 net horsepower

• 1,450/1,550 pounds rated operating load

• 5,623 pounds operating weight

• 18 gpm hydraulic flow



TEREX

With the newest entry into the skid-steer market, Terex introduced a family of eight models at World of Concrete 2011, including two radial-lift machines with rated operating loads of 1,500 pounds each. The 50-horsepower TSR-50 and 60-horsepower TSR-60 – as with the larger TSR-70 and TSR-80 models – are matched by corresponding vertical-lift TSV models boasting larger lift capacities. The two smaller-framed units have a high ground clearances and rear angle of departure, at 10.5 inches and 29 degrees, says Terex. An optional two-speed transmission allows travel speeds up to 12 miles per hour.

TSR-50 (new)

• 50 gross horsepower

• 1,500 pounds rated operating load

• 6,475 pounds operating weight

• 17.1 gpm hydraulic flow

TSR-60 (new)

• 60 gross horsepower

• 1,500 pounds rated operating load

• 6,480 pounds operating weight

• 17.1 gpm hydraulic flow



JCB

The single loader arm design, or Powerboom as JCB calls it, is a hallmark of the company’s skid steer line, right down to the smallest models. The design allows for a left-side door – a safety feature for operators entering and exiting the cab that doubles as an obstruction eliminator to the left. This, the company says, combines with a sloped engine cover and low-slung arm for overall improved operator visibility. The single arm, backed by a lifetime warranty, does not sacrifice stability or power, says JCB, and direction changes within the machine length allow efficient confined-space work.

160

• 47 net horsepower

• 1,389 pounds rated operating load

• 5,842 pounds operating weight

• 17.7 gpm hydraulic flow

170

• 47 net horsepower

• 1,587 pounds rated operating load

• 5,986 pounds operating weight

• 17.7/32.5 gpm hydraulic flow

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