Bobcat adds Trimble GPS option to grader attachment (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix

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By adding a Trimble GCS900 GPS grade control option to its grader attachment, Bobcat says owners of its M Series loaders now have the ability to precisely grade on jobs that require more maneuverability than dedicated graders can handle.

Two Bobcat grader attachments, the 96- and 108-inch moldboard models, will be available in GPS-ready versions, says Katie Althoff, Bobcat attachment product specialist. “This allows compact equipment owners to get into that GPS market they’ve been waiting for,” she says. “They’ll have less staking and rework and can be more efficient.”

According to Trimble, the GCS900 system’s on-board control box determines the position of each tip of the blade and compares it to the design elevation to compute cut or fill to grade. The cut/fill data drives the valves for automatic blade control. Four LED lightbars provide guidance at a glance. “If you have to bring in fill, it will tell you with the lights on the sides,” Althoff says.

The GPS system requires users to have a Bobcat M Series skid steer or compact track loader with a deluxe instrument panel. The Trimble system comes with a control box that suction mounts inside the cab and offers a full-color graphical LCD display.

Bobcat’s grader attachment has a 6- or 8-way hydraulically controlled moldboard. The hydraulic side shift provides up to 13 inches of blade movement to the left or right, allowing you to grade close to walls or obstacles. A proportionally hydraulic valve offers three speeds at which the moldboard is raised or lowered.

Using the skid steer/grader/GPS combination might tempt larger machine owners to forego the use of a dedicated grader or dozer on some tight jobsites, Althoff says. Many equipment owners may already have the Trimble system, allowing them to add it to the grader attachment when needed. Unhook the grader, and the loader returns to its all-purpose nature.