Bobcat Builds King Skid Steer Loader

Oct. 11, 2010

Bobcat's new 10,008-pound S850 skid steer loader is the biggest in its lineup with rated operating capacity of 3,875 pounds—17 percent more than the No. 2 Bobcat, the S330. The new 12,678-pound T870 is the largest compact track loader the company has ever manufactured; its 3,325-pound ROC is 7 percent more than the T320.

There will always be equipment buyers who want a bigger machine, but few makers have marketed a skid steer of the S850's size. The Gehl 7810E/Mustang 2109 has held this high ground virtually unchallenged for years. Comparing specifications, the S850 manages to tweak the monster marketed by Gehl and Mustang by 25 pounds of rated capacity and 50 pounds of tipping load. Likewise, the T870 barely tops the incumbent Deere 333D in operating capacity and tipping load.

Bobcat distinguishes the specs of its new vertical-lift-path chart-toppers with industry-leading lift height of 12 feet, giving them the ability to load taller trucks and hoppers. It is only a couple of inches higher than the big Gehl/Mustang skid steer, but gives the T870 18 inches of advantage over the Deere compact track loader.

As with other Bobcat M Series loaders, the company calls the new large-framed loaders "cab-forward." Their design does move the 10-percent-larger cab a few inches forward on the frame compared to proceeding designs. The cab door threshold is lower, and glass has been brought further down to expand the operator's view directly in front of the machine. Construction Equipment field testers acknowledge the benefits of this approach and say there are significant advantages to glass also brought lower on the sides of the M-Series. Clear view to the inside and outside edges of the skid steer's tires removes much of the risk from close-quarters maneuvers.

Standard auxiliary hydraulic flow on the S850 is 23 gallons per minute at 3,500 pounds per square inch, and an optional high flow feature reaches 37 gallons per minute. Hydraulic flow and pressure on the T870 are slightly greater.

Buyers who want a side order of sophistication to go with their next king-sized loader should look closely at Bobcat's deluxe monitor option. It comes with keyless start to help prevent theft. On-board electronics monitor up to 14 machine functions, which can be displayed in groups of three on the new five-inch, color LCD screen as sweep gauges. The operator can choose which three functions should be displayed in each group.

The new electronic system recognizes the attachment on the loader and counts working hours on each attachment—a nice tool for tracking work done by attachments so they can be maintained properly.

Manufacturer suggested retail price for the S850 starts at $52,586, and the T870 starts at $67,109.