Bobcat’s New 17-ton E165 is its Largest Excavator

Updated Jan 11, 2021

Bobcat has introduced its largest excavator yet, the E165. With a few class-leading performance specs to its credit, this new machine continues a confident expansion of the Bobcat excavator lineup into the mid-size excavator market.

We’ve got all the details in the video below.

As the largest excavator the company has offered to date, the E165 obviously represents new territory for Bobcat. There’s no question that the company is leaning on synergies with sister company Doosan Infracore to enter into the mid-size excavator market, but what’s impressive about both the reduced-tail swing E145 that was introduced last year and this new conventional swing E165 is that Bobcat is taking these first steps into these larger markets pretty aggressively.

Like the E145, the new E165 is entering its size class with what Bobcat says is class-leading lifting capacity and hydraulic performance. Now, Bobcat hasn’t offered up any specific numbers on lift capacity to support that claim, however, they have provided numbers for max reach, bucket and arm digging force that are best in class when you compare them to competing models.

The E165 is powered by a 131 horsepower turbo-charged engine and weighs in at 38,376 pounds. Bobcat places the excavator’s arm digging force at 18,077 pound feet while bucket digging force comes in at 25,794 pound feet.

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Bobcat hasn’t provided a specific figure on slew torque but does say the machine boasts enough for slewing uphill, capable backfilling and better all-around productivity than its smaller models.

The machine’s max reach at ground level is 28.8 feet. Dig depth is 20 feet and maximum dump height is 21.3 feet.

As I mentioned earlier, the E165 is a conventional tail swing model. In terms of width, the machine is 8.5 feet across. Like the E145, it sits on Bobcat’s X-Frame Undercarriage which offers increased ground clearance and maneuverability in softer ground conditions. This undercarriage is also designed to reduce the amount of time you’ll spend cleaning it. It has sloped surfaces that shed debris to prevent material buildup.

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Given these specs, the E165 fits in comfortably in the 16-18 ton size class of excavators and compares very favorably even to more established competitors. Bobcat says it makes for a great road and bridge building machine, but also fits in on underground utility sites, commercial and residential building sites due to its ability to perform more intensive digging and lifting tasks than the rest of its lineup.

They also note that the machine fits in well on job sites where their larger 700 and 800 frame size class Bobcat CTLs and skid steers are in use.



Bobcat E165 Digging 81a0230 20h4 Fc Scaled

Bobcat has equipped the E165 with an advanced hydraulic system and powerful pumps. Auxiliary standard flow is 80.4 gallons per minute. To take full advantage of these hydraulics, Bobcat has included a power boost button on the machine’s right-hand joystick that allows you to instantly increase hydraulic power whenever you need it.

For tailoring the drivetrain and hydraulic performance Bobcat has also included four power modes:

  • First up is Economy Mode which tells the machine to optimize performance for … greater fuel economy. Bobcat says you should feel comfortable throwing the E165 into Economy Mode whenever power isn’t your top priority or when performing precise digging and fine grading tasks.
  • Next up is standard power mode. This mode is aimed at giving you a balance of performance and fuel economy and is meant for most routine digging, lifting and grading tasks.
  • When you need to perform heavier lifting or tougher digging and loading tasks that you need to quickly cycle through, you can throw the machine into power mode which prioritizes power and performance over fuel economy.
  • Finally there’s Power+ Mode which obviously goes one step further than Power Mode. Power+ tells the machine to provide the maximum work group speed for quickly cycling through truck loading or ensuring the machine sustains peak performance throughout demanding applications.

There’s actually one more mode to talk about and that’s digging work mode. When you’ve got digging mode enabled, another feature called smart power control kicks in on the E165. This monitors how hard the machine is working and matches the machine’s engine rpm, hydraulic pump torque and engine response to the load at hand and it can do this while operating in any of the four power modes we just talked about. Essentially it brings an extra layer of optimization and efficiency to those power modes no matter how hard you want the machine to work as long as you’re performing digging tasks.

Further optimization features on the E165 are pump torque control which prevents engine overload by matching hydraulic demand with available horsepower, auto shift which shifts to low range automatically when load is high and back to high range when loads lighten, and variable speed control which automatically reduces engine rpm during low workload such as the slew portion of the dig cycle. Variable speed control brings a 5 percent boost in fuel efficiency.

Another standard feature aimed at saving fuel on the E165 is auto idle which idles the engine automatically whenever the machine has stopped for several seconds.


Larger cab

Beyond handling bigger jobs, another benefit to a larger Bobcat excavator is the larger cab. The sealed and pressurized cab on the E165 keeps sound levels low and features a heated air-suspension seat. That seat combined with the cab’s isolation from the machine’s frame add up to minimal vibration and more comfort throughout your work day.

The cab also features great visibility to the front and sides of the machine, but great overall visibility as well thanks to narrow corner pillars and small window joints which add more glass. Speaking of more glass, Bobcat has also included an overhead window and a removable lower-front window.

Bobcat has also included front and top sunshades when all of that extra glass isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Heat and air conditioning, a 7-inch display and rearview and sideview cameras are also standard features on the E165.


Maintenance features

On the maintenance side, the E165 offers easy access to the top side of the engine through wide-open access covers. A hinged belly pan allows access from the bottom.

Steel side covers give you quick access for the daily maintenance checklist, and centralized grease banks on the base of the boom make daily maintenance there quick and easy as well.

Another handy maintenance feature is that the E165 provides operators with reminders whenever oil and oil filters need replacing before service is due. Plus, operators can easily review hours worked since the machine’s last servicing along with a log of all machine alerts on the 7-inch in-cab display.