Bobcat has redesigned its skid steer and compact track loaders.
Since inventing the skid steer loader more than 50 years ago, Bobcat has constantly adapted loader design to make operators more productive and comfortable.
New Bobcat M-Series skid steer and compact track loaders feature the most significant design changes undertaken by the company. This new design enables the operator to accomplish more work through performance and durability enhancements that provide more power and keep the loader working longer, while increasing operator comfort through improved visibility and a more spacious and comfortable cab, according to the manufacturer.
The first M-Series models are the S630 skid steer loader and the T630 compact track loader.
The S630 has a rated operating capacity (ROC) of 2,180 lbs. (989 kg) and an operating weight of 7,707 lbs. (3,496 kg). The S650 has a ROC of 2,690 lbs. (1,220 kg) and an operating weight of 8,327 lbs. (3,777 kg).
The T630 has a ROC of 2,230 lbs. (1,011 kg) and an operating weight of 9,015 lbs. (4,089 kg). Finally, the T650 has a ROC of 2,570 lbs. (1,166 kg) and an operating weight of 9,440 lbs. (4,282 kg).
Productivity is an important feature on any compact loader, which is why Bobcat has increased the performance of the hydraulics on M-Series loaders to enable them to efficiently accomplish more work.
The hydraulic systems on M-Series loaders have been engineered for higher standard flow and pressure that give attachments more power to work more quickly. Hydraulic horsepower has been increased more than 15 percent and the standard auxiliary hydraulic flow is now 23 gal. per minute (87 Lpm) at 3,500 lbs. per sq. in. and an optional high flow reaches 30.5 gal. per minute (115 Lpm) for maximum attachment performance.
A new, removable hydraulic hose guide makes changing attachments easier and correctly routes the hoses, preventing wear. The guide slides onto attachment hoses and is easily attached to the loader during attachment hook-up. The operator does not have to twist or bend hoses. Attachments approved for use on M-Series loaders have a post for the removable hose guide that keeps the hose secure, clean and protected when the attachment is not in use.
Other performance enhancements include an increase of the tractive effort of M-Series loaders by 15 to 20 percent to provide exceptional pushing and digging power; holes for frame-mounted counterweights that increase lifting performance with certain attachments; and a larger fuel capacity that allows the loader working longer between fueling, according to the manufacturer.
Light output has increased by more than 50 percent to illuminate the working areas around the front of the loader. New lighting emits a high intensity beam to provide abundant lighting when working at night.
The hydraulic quick couplers are now mounted directly to the front plate of the lift arm. A guard bar extends out in front of the coupler for added protection.
The lower rear frame of M-Series loaders extends past the tailgate and protects the rear of the machine from obstacles, scrapes and bumps on the work site. The tailgate door now swings open to the left, which makes it easier to fuel the loader when it is mounted on a trailer.
Keeping the loader cool when working long hours is important in prolonging the service life of the machine, which is why Bobcat redesigned the cooling system for more efficiency and higher performance. The new design also makes it easier to clean out the cooling system, with an oil cooler that swings up, allowing the operator to clean the area between the oil cooler and the radiator.
Maintenance of M-Series loaders has been simplified with a new hydraulic sight gauge that helps the operator quickly keep an eye on hydraulic oil levels, and end-greased pivot pins at key points around the loader for simpler greasing of the pins.
The cab-forward design not only makes the new loaders look different, it also serves the important purpose of moving the operator closer to the attachment and providing enhanced visibility in all directions.
Visibility is provided to the cutting edge of a bucket or the corners of an attachment because the cab door is one of the largest available on the market. The cab door threshold has been lowered and the overall surface of the door has increased more than 40 percent to provide improved visibility and make it easier for operators to enter and exit the cab.
Windows on the sides and rear of the cab also have been increased in size to provide more visibility to the tires and to the rear. The larger top window makes it easier and more comfortable for the operator to see the attachment with the lift arms raised, an advantage when loading trucks or performing other tasks. The windows are now located on the outside to make them easier to clean.
Bobcat increased the size of the cab by 10 percent, redesigned the interior to allow operators to adjust the environment to their individual preference and improved cab pressurization.
Keeping dirt and dust outside the cab keeps the operator clean and prevents fatigue. Bobcat M-Series loaders have a pressurized cab with a new one-piece seal that goes all the way around the door and fits into a special curved pocket. This pressurization minimizes the dirt and dust that might enter the cab.
Noise is another factor affecting operator comfort, and Bobcat has reduced the sound level of M-Series loaders by more than 60 percent. New engine mounts improve isolation to decrease vibration and reduce sound levels, according to the manufacturer.
The more adjustments the operator can make to the cab environment, the more comfortable the operator. The up-and-down travel of the suspension seat option was increased by more than 30 percent for a smoother ride over rough terrain. The seat also has been given two additional inches of forward or reverse movement to accommodate operators of various heights.
The joysticks on M-Series loaders with optional selectable joystick controls (SJC) move up and down in conjunction with the seat to reduce arm movement and fatigue as the operator controls the machine. The joystick mounts slide forward or backwards to adjust to the preference of each individual operator.
For more information, visit www.bobcat.com/loaders.