SMALL AND MIGHTY
What’s New in Compact Loaders Digging Up the Latest Facts
Photo courtesy of Case.
CASE’s DL450 compact dozer loader “Project Minotaur” may change builders’ equipment footprint.
Photo courtesy of Bobcat.
Bobcat’s M2-Series redesign increases performance while providing for ease of operation.

By definition, skid-steers and compact loaders (track or wheeled) are small machines built to do

big jobs. These versatile machines are very popular with homebuilders, and sales continue to rise each year as the building industry advances. In order to meet your needs, manufacturers have listened closely to your wish lists and have built even more features and functions into their newly redesigned models. Here are a few examples:

Bobcat’s New M2-Series Loaders Showcase Improvements in Performance and Operator Comfort

The M2-Series loaders from Bobcat includes 24 different skid-steer, compact track, and all-wheel steer loader configurations to suit the needs of the builder. The two biggest performance enhancements to these versatile machines are to the automatic ride control and the operation of the cooling fan.

The newly redesigned reversing fan allows operators to reverse the direction of the cooling fan to blow debris (i. e., dust, dirt) from the radiator and rear screens. Utilizing the reversing fan reduces the need for frequently cleaning the cooling area. The new reversing fan option can be operated manually on an as-needed basis or set to automatically reverse the fan at regular intervals to deliver consistent temperatures for the coolant and hydraulic oil.

The automatic ride control (ARC) allows the loader to detect an increase or decrease in the hydraulic lift arm pressure based on whether the loader is currently carrying materials. The automatic ride control can now be controlled from the interior of the cab instead of accessing from the tailgate.

The operator can toggle between automatic or manual operation, which allows the operator to keep the ride control off for tasks such as back dragging. The ARC allows for operation of the loader at faster speeds as it reduces material spillage while leveling out the effect of the load and providing a smoother ride for the operator.

In addition to the smoother ride offered by the ARC, the cab for the M2-Series has been re-engineered to reduce noise, vibration, and dust. Bobcat improved the front and rear cab isolators, door seals, and side screen dampers to give the operator more comfortable working conditions. The control system has a new low-effort hydrostatic pump which makes using the drive lever easier by reducing the effort necessary by as much as 25 percent. The new control system reduces operator fatigue for those jobs that require extended time in the loader. Operators of the M2-Series loaders will appreciate the increased visibility offered by the redesigned front window, which provides 34 percent more viewable area than before.

CASE Construction Equipment Introduces the Compact Dozer Loader

CASE Construction Equipment unveiled the concept for its new compact dozer loader earlier this year. This fully integrated design brings together the best of compact loaders and crawler dozers. “Project Minotaur” as it is dubbed, the DL450 offers operators the power and performance they demand of a small dozer with the option of utilizing all the attachments currently used with their skid-steers or compact track loaders (CTL). The versatility of this machine could allow contractors to reduce the amount of equipment they must take to the job site.

The integrated design boasts a detachable C-Frame dozer interface that provides stability to the CTL when dozing and eliminates the stresses to the loader arms by channeling the power