Product Line Continually Evolving
The evolution of the Bobcat compact-track-loader offering covers both actual models and available product features. From the smallest, the seven model product line starts with the T110, which was just introduced this spring. The largest, T320 was introduced in the summer of 2007. In the interim, Bobcat introduced the Roller Suspension system as an option for the T320 in March 2008, eventually expanding it to the T180, T190, T250 and the T300.
Now offering its fourth generation of compact track loaders, Takeuchi has four models ranging from the 6,315-pound TL220 to the 11,630-pound TL250. The new TL200 Series was released last summer with such upgrades as multi-function control handles and hyndraulic quick couplrs. Takeuchi was the first to use an integrated track frame engineered from the ground up for an exclusive use as a track loader, says the company, which does not make skid steers.
Upon the acquisition of ASV in March 2008, Terex was launched full-force into the compact-track-loader market with models ranging from 30 to 100 horsepower. The now-seven-model PT Series, based on the patented Posi-Track undercarriage system, now carries the brand name and color scheme of Terex. By using more bogies, Terex ASV compact track loaders provide maximum ground contact area with minimum ground pressure.
Four Models Packing More Punch
All four models in the Case 400 Series 3 compact track loaders boast increases in horsepower and torque, thanks to the 2008 upgrade to Tier III-certified, turbocharged Case engines. Pilot controls are now standard on each of the 420CT, 440CT, 445CT and 450CT models, and a new cab offers improved ergonomics and visibility, including an 80-percent increase in front glass for the 420CT and 440CT. A foot throttle is now standard on all models.
Having already established the multi terrain loader or MTL product line, consisting of five models, Caterpillar additionally rolled out an entirely new product family of compact track loaders last summer. The 279C, 289C and 299C use a Caterpillar-designed and -built undercarriage, which employs steel rollers and steel embedded in the track. The Cat CTL undercarriage is suspended from the frame via torsion bars. The CTLs use the upper frames of the Cat skid steers, but the undercarriage differs completely from the MTLs, which use rubber rollers and fabric reinforcement in the rubber tracks.
Smaller Model Makes 2009 Debut
At the World of Concrete 2009, John Deere introduced its third and smallest compact track loader. The CT315 incorporates many of the same components as the larger, established CT322 and CT332 models, but with a 45-net-horsepower engine, a 1,500-pound rated operating load , and a 2,178-pound bucket breakout force. A small stature enables the CT315 to slip through narrow openings, but it retains an optimal 60/40 weight distrbution for handling heavy loads. Other product-line upgrades include the availability of optional electro-hydraulic joystick controls for the top-of-the line CT332.
Komatsu offers two models positioned at the upper end of the compact-track-loader size range: the two-speed CK30-1 and CK35-1 with rated operating loads of 2,485 and 2,755 pounds and operating weights of 9,546 and 10,053 pounds, respectively. The dual-speed compact track loaders are equipped with a three-flange front idler that guides the track over the front of the undercarriage and maintains contact with both track guides.
Updated with Tier-3-certified turbocharged engines in 2008, New Holland’s three compact track loader models combine the reach and lift capacity of the Super Boom load arm design of New Holland skid steers with the advanced flotation, traction, and stability of tracks. Without any rear frame towers to block the view, Super Boom compact track loaders offer operators visibility in every direction. A new cab has a glass door opening a full 90 degrees.
With three models including the new 8,000-pound 180T, the line’s smallest model, JCB has redesigned its compact-track-loader offering to remove a constant-pressure proportioning valve and add a dedicated charge pump for the auxiliaries. This allows auxiliary flow to be unaffected by the drive motors, even if those motors are at maximum output. As with the company’s skid steers, JCB compact track loaders feature the unique “monoboom” design.
Introduced in February 2008 as a new design, the CL35 is the lone IHI entry in the compact-track-loader market. With a rated operating load of 1,620 pounds, the CL35 has what is claimed as the largest operator area in its class, featuring a height-adjustable suspension seat and increased legroom. All operations are consolidated into joystick controls, removing the need for pedals and providing smoother machine maneuvering. To save fuel, the Eco Mode button adjusts engine speed.
In addition to the upgrading of its three established models with Tier-3 engines, the last year has produced the addition of an entirely new compact track loader to the Gehl offering. At a width of less than 60 inches, the 51-horsepower CTL55 weighs in at 6,129 pounds, with a rated operating load of 1,246 pounds. As with its larger siblings, the CTL55 features proportional-controlled auxiliary hydraulics, a foot throttle and a two-speed drive system. Gehl compact track loaders, including the larger CTL65, CTL75 and CTL85, use a standard pilot joystick control system.
In lock step with the product offering of parent Gehl, Mustang added the MTL312 in 2008, introducing a smaller unit to a now four-model product line. Mustang compact track loaders are now all equipped with standard foot throttles in addition to hand throttles, enabling the operator to quickly kick down the machine to a slower engine speed. A new joystick control with a fully proportional auxiliary hydraulic flow control has also been added. The operator can adjust attachment speed to conform to the speed of the machine, and can “ease” attachments into use.
In addition to the upgrading of its three established models with Tier-3 engines, the last...
Manitou’s Gehl and Mustang brands unveiled a number of new products to a group of U.S. and...