Equipment Type

"Bowlful" of New Features for Bobcat's K-Series

Like adding vitamins and minerals to breakfast cereal, these new Bobcat K-Series loaders are fortified with chain-case, undercarriage, hydraulic and cooling-system enhancements

March 01, 2006


Large-frame, vertical-lift-path loaders in the new K-Series (S250, S300, T300 and A300) have an additional 2 inches of lift height. This added capability assists in loading over high-sided containers and trucks.

Marketing types can be pretty clever when trying to capture the attention of buyers-or in this instance, the trade press. Several weeks ago, an overnight package arrived containing what appeared to be an empty Kellogg's Special K cereal box, complete with calories-per-serving and fat-content information. Turning the box to the left side panel, however, revealed pictures of the new Bobcat K-Series loader lineup. Okay, we got the connection, so we weren't surprised to see that the back and right side panel of the box promoted new K-Series design features.

Dare we say, then, that these new K-Series machines have a bowlful of new features, or that Bobcat believes that settling into the cab of a new K-Series loader is a great way to start your day at the site? Maybe we should just look at the box again to see what's new with these K-Series models, including the S130 through S300 skid-steer loaders, T140 through T300 compact track loaders and the A300 all-wheel-steer loader.

A significant enhancement for these machines is the new SmartFAN cooling system, which uses a variable-speed, hydraulically driven fan that senses machine-operating temperature, then automatically adjusts its speed accordingly. The company says the new fan can be up to 30 percent quieter in certain operating conditions, a benefit that may allow longer workdays in noise-sensitive areas, reduce noise-fatigue for the operator (less Snap, Crackle and Pop) and contribute to better communication on worksites. Of course, Bobcat did not L'Eggo of its innovative dual-path cooling system on K-Series models, which can accommodate an optional sound-reduction package.

Bobcat might well borrow the sentiments of a fellow feline by saying that the heavier drive chains now used for large-frame K-Series loaders are G-R-R-REAT. The new 120 HSOC drive chains, says Bobcat, are 38 percent stronger than the previously used 100 HSOC chains (HSOC means "high-strength oval chain"). This added chain strength, says the company, has life-extending potential in tough applications, such as those requiring over-the-tire steel tracks or special tires. And on T180 through T300 K-Series compact track loaders, a triple-flange, permanently lubricated track roller added to the undercarriage (making a total of five per side) enhances ride quality and track life.

All Bran new for medium-frame K-Series loaders (S130 through S205 and T140 though T190) is the use of Bobcat's K-Force hydraulic system, which, says the company, provides the same and technology and performance as the systems already used on large-frame models. Among the new system's benefits are an 8-percent increase in breakout force and more available hydraulic horsepower for powered attachments.

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