Cabs key focus of Bobcat updates
Bobcat unveiled new “from the ground up” iterations of two core products today: skid steers and compact excavators. In addition, both lines are adopting a new numbering system.
Loaders debuting at a press event in Bismarck, North Dakota, include the S630 and S650 loaders and the T630 and T650 compact track loaders. The S630 and T630 are available now; the remaining models will be available in August. These are not replacement machines – since they fill in size categories in-between the company’s current models, it currently has no plans to drop any models.
The company paid particular attention to the cabs in both M-Series products. Moved 2 inches forward, the cab of the loaders offers noticeable differences, especially in ease of ingress/egress, roominess and visibility. In addition, the front of the cab has been opened up, with a larger door, and easy-access wider center step. Bobcat says these changes have increased visibility by more than 30 percent, especially noticeable when viewing the bucket cutting edge or attachments.
In designing its M-Series compact excavators, its first re-engineering of these machines since 1997, Bobcat wrestled with whether to continue with conventional machines, or convert all models to the zero tail swing design. It concluded there was still a demand for conventional machines, especially on slopes and on jobs where the machine needed to get through a backyard gate.
And so the M-Series lineup includes the E32 conventional tail swing excavator, with a 45 percent reduced overhang compared to previous models. The E35 zero tail swing model is designed for working on space-constricted jobsites. The two machines offer big excavator features, including Auto-Idle, which automatically causes the engine to return to idle if the excavator’s functions are not used for four seconds, and Auto-Shift travel, which provides on-demand power boost when pushing into a pile.
Also added to the M-Series are the E60 and E80 compact excavators, made by Bobcat’s parent company Doosan. Features include an operator’s seat that can be adjusted in nine ways, and bushings at the boom, arm and bucket pivot that only need to be greased every 250 hours.
Both M-Series loaders and excavators now offer an in-cab reduction of 5 decibels, accomplished in the loaders by several factors, including improved engine mounts.
Under the revised numbering system, on loaders, after the letter, the first number designates the machine’s frame size, with the remaining numbers indicating performance based on the loader’s weight, dimensions, horsepower and rated operating capacity. For excavators, the numbers now correspond to the excavator’s weight in metric tons.