Earthmoving Report: Bobcat M Series skid steer

By Mike Anderson, Senior Editor | September 28, 2010
Earthmoving Report: Bobcat M Series skid steer


Bobcat S630 Skid Steer Loader

More power delivered in a smaller package, yet one that feels roomier for the operator. A dream? If so, it's one come true with the next generation of Bobcat compact loaders.

The first of Bobcat's new M-Series loaders, the 74.3-horsepower, radius-lift-path S630 skid steer and T630 compact track loader were unveiled recently in Bismarck, North Dakota. The vertical-lift-path S650 and T650 models follow to market later this summer.

Bobcat's S650 skid steer loader in action

With the M-Series loaders, a cab-forward design brings the operator closer to the attachment, providing increased visibility to the work area and beyond. A larger cab door with a lower threshold and 40-percent additional surface further enhances visibility, and makes it easier for operators to enter and exit. The new cab design, pressurized with a new one-piece seal, also features larger rear, top and side windows. New engine mounts improve isolation, decreasing vibration and sound levels, the latter cut by more than 60 percent, says Bobcat. "I don’t know why you'd want to get out of the machine," says Rob Gilles, marketing manager.

In comparison to a model in Bobcat's existing K-Series family, the S630 is six inches shorter, yet at 2,180 pounds offers essentially the same rated operating capacity as the S220 at 2,200 pounds. The S630 weighs 7,707 pounds, compared to the S220's 7,483 pounds.

The M-Series uses a numbering system new to the Bobcat product offering. After the S and T designations for skid steers and track loaders respectively, the first number designates the frame size, and the remaining numbers indicate performance based on a cross-section of factors. For instance, an S630 and S650 have similar frame sizes and horsepower, but the S650 has higher weight and rated operating capacity due to its vertical-lift-arm path arrangement.

With the M-Series loaders, hydraulic horsepower has been increased more than 15 percent, says Bobcat. Standard auxiliary flow on the debut machines is 23 gallons per minute; optional high flow reaches 30.5 gallons per minute. A new removable hose guide correctly routes hydraulic hoses, preventing hose wear and facilitating easier attachment changing. Other enhancements include:

  • 15- to 20-percent more tractive effort for pushing and digging power;
  • 50-percent more lighting output for night work;
  • and built-in holes for frame-mounted counterweights to increase lifting capacity.

Selectable joystick controls are available on each of the new skid steer and compact track loader models. The T630 and T650 track models have available, as an option, the Roller Suspension system for additional operator comfort and simplified maintenance.

Powered by Kubota V3307 direct-injection, turbocharged engines, the 74.3-horsepower skid steer and track loaders are only the beginning, says Mike Fitzgerald, Bobcat loader product specialist. "The M-Series machines will be throughout the entire product line over the next two years."

Basic Specs: Bobcat M-Series Loaders
Operating Weight (lb.)
ROC (lb.)
Tipping Load (lb.)
Gross Engine Output (hp)
6'9" (h) x. 11'4" (l) x 6'2" (w)
* Equipped with bucket        

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