Earthmoving Report: SUPERTRAK loader

By Mike Anderson, Senior Editor | September 28, 2010
Earthmoving Report: SUPERTRAK loader

By design, SUPERTRAK machines offer more than what might appear at a glance. What looks like a compact track loader, and is built from a base-model Caterpillar compact loader model, is actually a dedicated land-clearing machine boasting 140 horsepower.

"The way SUPERTRAK is building these machines is from the ground up for the mulching application, which means heavier skid plates from the stock machines. The main contributor to this is the auxiliary system, with 40 gallons per minute at 5,500 psi. These machines are intended for those customers who want to move up to the next level," says Dave Evans, market development manager and dealer representative for SUPERTRAK.

Caterpillar's 90-horsepower 297C multi terrain loader and 299C compact track loader, when equipped with 72-inch HM315 mulching heads, are "perfect packages" for mulching in residential-type landscaping applications, says Evans. But the souped-up SUPERTRAK machine, equipped with a two-speed FAE mulching head, takes the CTL-sized machine and suddenly places it in direct competition with smaller, dedicated mulching machines by such manufacturers as Fecon and Gyro-Trac. In terms of Caterpillar mulching solutions, says Evans, there's a gap between the Cat 297C/299C compact machines and the 300-horspower forestry feller bunchers equipped with mower heads. With its "CTL on steroids, SUPERTRAK steps in to fill that gap."

But why, as is being pondered at least in one territory, stop pushing the boundaries there?

With Evans on hand with two models from the Cat C4.4 ACERT engine-powered SK140 Series lineup  a CTL version with steel-wrapped tracks and a rubber-tired RTL model based on a Cat 908 wheel loader  Cat Compact Equipment dealer Battlefield Equipment Rentals brought its vision for the SUPERTRAK to its customers in recent demo days throughout Ontario, Canada.

"They initially were mulching machines, but we're trying to show them in some other applications," says Joel Schaubel, who heads up Battlefield's Cat Compact Products sales team. When he looks at the SK140 Series, Schaubel sees an established, comfortable, quiet, operator-friendly yet compact carrier that can handle such tools as 40-inch cold planers, 2- to 3-foot wheel saws, and even 14-foot brooms used in airport snow removal.

"This thing's a monster. It's certainly in a class of its own," says Schaubel. "The way that we're handling it is that there's nothing else out there like it, so customers aren't going to be banging on our door asking us for it. We have to actually go and show them that, 'Hey, did you know you can actually do this? You don't need a self-powered cold planer like the Zippers, or a self-powered snow blower, or to just settle with a 24-inch or 16-inch planer on the front of your skid steer.'"

That "Battlefield has taken the approach that this is a high-performance tool carrier," is exciting, says Evans. Battlefield equipped the rubber-tired SK140RTL it had on display with a SW45 wheel saw. Remember, this is a Cat 908-sized carrier. "You got more engine horsepower and more hydraulic flow and performance out of that machine than a much larger loader could ever produce," says Evans. "So, now you ask a customer again, 'What would you do with it?' "

Model Engine Output (hp) High-Flow Hydraulics (gpm) *Operating Weight (lb.)
*Operating weight without working tool
SK140TR-C 140 40 @ 5,500 psi 12,280
SK140CTL-C 140 40 @ 5,500 psi 12,620
SK140STR-C 140 40 @ 5,500 psi 13,590
SK140RTL 140 40 @ 5,500 psi 16,100

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