The Minotaur Arrives! Case's Unique DL550 Dozer-Loader Hits the Market (Video)

This isn’t just a compact track loader with a six-way blade.

Case’s new Minotaur DL550 has pioneered an entirely new equipment category: the compact dozer loader.

Designed to be a true multipurpose machine, capable of both heavy dozing and loading tasks, a prototype of the DL550 debuted at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 under the codename Project Minotaur.

Case put the machine through more than 10,000 hours of field testing and returned to ConExpo 2020 with a revamped model featuring a more powerful engine and a vertical-lift design.

Now, more than six years in the making, the DL550 will be available for purchase at Case dealers this fall. The DL550 is ideal for landscaping, tight jobsites and forestry applications, with Case noting that many of the pre-ordered units are going to landclearing customers. 

“You can transform the Minotaur to the jobsite,” says Jeff Jacobsmeyer, product manager. “It has the potential to be the first one on the jobsite and the last to leave. You can go in and rip, doze and load.”

Updates and features

Several distinctions can be seen between the production model and the unit showcased at ConExpo 2020.

Case has changed the nomenclature, adopting the Minotaur name on the side of the machine and dropping the series letter “B.” The arms have also been painted dark gray to differentiate the DL550 from the company’s other compact equipment. Beyond the cosmetic updates, key specs have remained unchanged, Case says.

Case Minotaur DL550 in 2020 and todayCase Construction EquipmentAble to be towed by a one-ton truck, the DL550 weighs in around 18,000 pounds. It runs on a 114-horsepower FTP diesel engine.

The foundation of the machine is a fully integrated C-frame, enabling the operator to switch between a six-way dozer blade to a 1.25-cubic-yard bucket, or other loader attachments, in a matter of minutes. All operating power is channeled through the body of the machine, rather than just the loader arms, for greater performance, reliability and control, Case says.

“It shares basically the skin of a compact track loader, but what’s inside is very different. It’s a dozer first,” says Terry Dolan, vice president North America, Case Construction Equipment. “The integrated C-frame is different than putting a small dozer blade on a compact track loader or skid steer. By quickly and swiftly being able to drop that C-frame, you can go to a coupler and enable it to be a loader.”

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Built on a dozer-style undercarriage and with more than 25,000 pounds of drawbar pull, the DL550 is available with three track options: 14-inch single-grouser steel tracks, 18-inch triple-grouser steel tracks or 17.7-inch rubber tracks.

The 90- or 96-inch six-way blade connected to the integrated C-frame is the same blade featured on the Case 650M dozer. Inside the cab, operators will find electro-hydraulic dozer joysticks with the ability to adjust blade, steering and shuttle sensitivity to smooth, moderate or aggressive based on preference.

“You want to operate it as two different machines. We have two different settings,” says Jacobsmeyer. “We wanted to make it easy for customers. With the simple switch of a button, switch the Minotaur from ISO, which is a loader operation, to the dozer. When you do that it actually remaps itself, making all of the controls different.”

For grading precision, the DL550 comes equipped with Case Universal Machine Control, which provides universal harnesses and brackets to make the machine ready for 2D or 3D machine control technology from Leica, Trimble or Topcon.

An optional integrated ripper is also available but must be ordered factory installed. A rearview camera integrated into the 8-inch LCD monitor allows operators to see the ripper, as well as machine settings, trip meters, service interval information and operation status.

In its loader configuration, the DL550 features a 5,500-pound rated operating capacity (50 percent of tipping load) with 12,907 pounds of breakout force and a 140-inch hinge-pin height.

Case offers high-flow hydraulics that can deliver up to 41.6 gallons per minute at 4,100 psi via the ¾-inch hydraulic quick couplers. The “Hydraulics on Demand” function allows operators to select the percentage of auxiliary hydraulic flow to the attachment on the machine’s multi-function display to dial in attachment performance.

All routine maintenance points are groundline serviceable. The integrated Case SiteConnect module enables real-time monitoring of maintenance and service intervals, as well equipment utilization and performance analysis. When paired with the Case SiteManager App for iOS and Android, certified Case technicians can diagnose the health of each connected machine remotely through parameter readings and fault codes. The technician can then decide whether the issue can be addressed remotely or if it requires a trip to the machine.

Quick specs:

  • Operating weight: 18,600 pounds with ripper, 18,800 pounds without ripper
  • Engine: FTP 114-horsepower Tier 4 Final turbocharged diesel
  • Maximum travel speed: 5.9 mph – steel track, 8.7 mph – rubber track
  • Bucket capacity: 1.25 cubic yards
  • Rated operating capacity: 5,500 pounds (at 50% of tipping load)
  • Bucket breakout force: 12,907 pounds
  • Hinge pin dump height: 140 inches
  • Overall length with blade: 168.8 inches without ripper, 191.1 inches with ripper