Bobcat is replacing its current lineup of M-Series compact loaders with the new M2 Series, a 24-model lineup of skid steers, compact track loaders and all-wheel steer loaders boasting several improvements for increased operator comfort.
The M2-Seres lineup includes 400-, 500-, 600-, 700- and 800-frame-size loaders powered by a Bobcat diesel engine. The engine design eliminates the need for a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and offers simpler operation, panoramic serviceability, better fuel efficiency and less engine noise.
Speaking of engines, Bobcat has upgraded the standard powertrain inside the S850 skid steer to include a 100-horsepower engine. It represents a 9-percent power increase from the previous generation S850 and provides increased attachment performance and higher ground speeds during more demanding applications including operating high-flow auxiliary hydraulic attachments such as forestry cutters, planers and snowblowers.
Each new M2-Series loader features a new cab design that provides more operator comfort thanks to rear cab isolators, door seals and side screen dampers which reduce noise, vibration and dust inside the cab. A new lift cylinder cushioning features allows for smoother operation by slowing down the loader arms before they reach the lift arm stops.
Overhead visibility has been improved as well with this new cab design. The top window of the cab offers a 34-percent increase in viewable area—handy when loading material into a high-sided truck,—and allows for easier top window cleaning.
Operators will also appreciate a low-effort hydrostatic pump, which comes standard on the 600- and 700-frame-size M2 loaders. This new pump reduces drive lever effort by as much as 25 percent, Bobcat says, which should go a long way in reducing operator fatigue.
Bobcat has also made it easier for operators to deactivate its automatic ride control option on these new loaders. The feature reduces material spillage and provides a smoother ride thanks to a dampening effect when increased hydraulic lift arm pressure is detected. In the past it could only be turned off using a valve accessed by opening the machine’s tailgate. Now, operators can simply press a switch inside the cab to toggle the option on and off.
Another M2 improvement is a new reversing fan option that allows operators to temporarily reverse the cooling fan’s direction in order to blow dust and small debris from the radiator and rear screens. Operators can choose from three operating modes:
- Automatic: Reverses fan direction at a regular frequency to keep the loader’s engine coolant and hydraulic oil at proper operating temperatures.
- Manual: Purges material at the operator’s discretion
Bobcat is also offering a dealer-installed side lighting kit on these new loaders. Well-protected, 800-lumen LED light bars are mounted to the top of the loader cab and on the right and left sides. The light bars produce a bright white light and can be switched on and off with the press of a button inside the cab. Bobcat says the kits are not yet available on the M2-Series S450 skid-steer or the T450 compact track loaders.