Get a load(er) of these!

Published 30/12, 2020 at 09:15

Having something to look forward to has long been a strategy for coping with difficult times; and after a year like 2020, we all could use something sure to bring a bit of joy in the coming months.

Here’s a suggestion for coping with 2021; plan a new equipment purchase to prepare your business for what we all hope are better business days to come. Compact loaders and skid steers are a perfect place to start. Highly mobile, built to last, and suitable for any type of worksite, these versatile machines are an invaluable part of every contractor’s equipment inventory. What’s more, there’s a product for every need and every budget.


Kubota compact loaders and skid steers

Patrick Baker, Kubota Tractor Corp.’s product manager for construction equipment, says a number of key factors bode well for the compact construction equipment market. “Compact construction sales and rentals will continue to be strong as these machines are ideal for residential projects and property improvements. With these key market segments continuing in a positive direction, Kubota has an optimistic outlook for 2021.” In fact, the first quarter of the New Year will see new additions to Kubota’s compact track loader line. Firstly the SVL97-2, which features improved durability and reliability with an updated diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) system, in cab technology and enhanced operator comfort. The track loader will have an operating weight of 5,261kg, and a rated operating capacity of 1,451kg. 

Kubota has also introduced the SCL1000, a new stand on track loader with wide tracks, narrow body, and a rated operating capacity of 454kg. The SCL1000 features a wide 249mm track that comes standard on the overall narrow 914mm machine. The integrated track design is engineered for durability with the undercarriage welded to the mainframe of the body. The grease track tension design includes sealed oil bath rollers for less maintenance and greater durability. The wide track design is low impact and minimises damage to grass and landscaping. The machine boasts an 18.5kW turbo charged Kubota diesel engine with quiet operation, high altitude performance and no diesel particulate filter requirement. A hydraulic pump directly connected to the engine reduces maintenance. The loader arm has a hinge pin height of 2.1m and a reach of 658mm at a 45o dump angle, and is said by Kubota to have a ‘best in class’ travel speed of 8.2kph. Furthermore it is engineered with cushioned loader boom cylinders and an adjustable platform suspension system that increase operator comfort. The loader comes standard with a keyless start with passcode protection, 12V charging port and a 109mm LCD colour dash monitor for consolidated machine monitoring.

Kubota’s skid steer loaders include the SSV65 and SSV75. With standard two speed travel and optional high flow hydraulics, the skid steers  are designed for construction, rental and agriculture customers. The rated operating capacity is 884kg and 1,220kg, respectively for the SSV65 and SSV75. Both models feature a unique slide up front entry door that rises overhead, a side light for better visibility and safe night operation as well as a spacious cabin with climate control. An optional multi-function lever is available allowing for fingertip control of major machine and implement functions.


Bobcat’s MT100 mini track loader

Powered by a Tier 4 diesel engine and efficient hydraulic system, the new mini track loader delivers fast cycle times, strong breakout force and excellent pushing ability. The MT100 has a rated operating capacity of 454kg and comes standard with removable counterweights. These can be mounted in the undercarriage or at the rear of the machine to increase lifting performance. At just 914mm wide with standard narrow tracks (1,041mm with optional wide tracks), the new MT100 mini track loader offers an ideal combination of an easy to use machine in a smaller size. The exclusive ‘Bob-Tach’ attachment mounting system makes it simple to use a wide assortment of Bobcat attachments, using an ‘over-centre’ latch mechanism and wear compensating pins for an easy and efficient proper attachment.

MT100 also has a completely new, more durable undercarriage that requires no daily maintenance. Permanently sealed and constantly bathed in oil for permanent lubrication, the rollers and their idlers feature heat treated surfaces to minimise the wear and tear of typical use and further extend the life of the track system. Operators benefit from enhanced comfort and confidence thanks to ergonomic ISO joystick controls and enhanced performance features, including optimised roller spacing on the track system. Additionally, an integrated ride on platform gives operators a wider view to the sides, as well as to the bucket cutting edge or attachment. 

Also from Bobcat, are the new R-Series T62 compact track loader and S62 skid steer loader with a redesigned 2.4l Tier 4 Bobcat engine with inline design and durable direct drive system. Bobcat engines feature a robust combustion chamber that handles more pressure and produces more usable horsepower and torque than ever before, meaning better performance for pushing, digging, lifting and operating attachments. The cooling system has been completely redesigned for optimal operation and maximum uptime. Other key improvements include a larger, higher capacity radiator; 50% larger fan size for more cooling at a slower rotation and a tailgate with heavy duty steel louvers allowing for optimal airflow while still providing defines against jobsite debris.

R-Series loaders are also equipped with new, stronger cast steel lift arm sections and powerful hydraulics to improve lifting capabilities which are stronger in key areas, yet offer a slimmer profile to ensure optimal performance and increased visibility. The new roomier one piece, sealed and pressurised cab design repels dust and dirt, isolates the operator from engine and hydraulic noise, and enhances the efficiency of heating and air conditioning. When it’s time for maintenance or repairs, the entire R-Series cab lifts out of the way to provide improved service access with hardware on the cab exterior for easy removal.


ASV ‘Max-Series’ loaders with next generation cab

ASV’s Max-Series loaders new, next generation cab features 360o visibility, a more spacious operator area, a fully adjustable seat, and a new state of the art touch screen display. Operators are also provided with a new fully suspended seat with an adjustable recline, slide, weight and four arm rest settings. A new one sided lap bar frees space around the operator’s waist and also makes entry and exit easier. Along with extra shoulder and leg room, the cab also features a Bluetooth radio, improved speakers and speaker placement and a new antenna placement for a better signal. ASV also designed the new cab with features to ensure long term reliability. New wiring harnesses and fuse panels are fully sealed, watertight, and installed with a design that further protects the electronics. Operators can also choose to include a factory installed full rear brush guard, as well as a heavy gauge, falling object protective structure (FOPS) level 2 cab; a feature previously only on the ‘RT-120 Forestry’.

ASV’s ‘Posi-Track’ loaders feature hydraulic and cooling efficiencies, with drive motors transferring torque to the patented internal drive sprockets with internal rollers reducing friction loss in the undercarriage, allowing for maximised performance. In addition, all machines include large line sizes, hydraulic coolers and direct drive pumps (rather than belt driven pumps) for transferring more flow and pressure directly to the attachment and preventing power loss. ASV’s advanced cooling system helps contractors operate MAX-Series machines at 100% load, 100% of the time in ambient temperatures up to 48°C.


John Deere grade control technology now available for 333G compact track loader 

‘SmartGrade’, John Deere’s proprietary grade control technology, has now been integrated into the 333G compact track loader. The feature expands user capabilities on site development, roadbuilding, landscaping, residential and commercial building operations by enabling them to take on new tasks and larger jobs that require accuracy. The SmartGrade 333G increases productivity by helping to automatically complete grading tasks faster with fewer passes and less rework. Moreover, operators can reap the benefits of using a versatile, more transportable piece of equipment where the grade control system is fully integrated into the machine’s structures and software, delivering precise grading performance while eliminating vulnerable masts and cables.

Operators are also to benefit from the launch of ‘DozerMode’, a control solution that enables the EH joystick control system to function like a crawler dozer with the push of a button.  This is beneficial when operating the machine equipped with the John Deere designed and built, six way dozer blade attachment that can both cut a grade and spread materials, as well as streamline attachment needs and setup time. The blade is fine tuned to meet the performance needs of a compact track loader and does not require tools to change between other attachments. It also enhances the versatility of the machine by accurately and automatically cutting or finishing light materials in tight spaces. In conjunction with SmartGrade technology, the blade reduces the amount of operator input, ultimately lowering operator fatigue.

John Deere has introduced improved rubber tracks featuring improvements to the construction and design, boosting performance and durability even when navigating challenging terrain and conditions. The new arched roller path helps to shed debris and improve roller path life. Additionally, updated steel cords reduce bending stress, while enhancements to the metal core adhesive process further improve durability.  In addition to the design updates, the rubber tracks warranty on new machines and service parts has been increased to 18months or 1,500h, whichever comes first. With the improved parts warranty, John Deere reaffirms its commitment to providing durable and reliable equipment solutions for its customers.


Mecalac offers ‘AS900tele’ for optimised logistics

Mecalac’s AS900tele combines the compactness and mobility of the company’s revolutionary ‘AS Swing Loader Series’ with telescopic technology for versatility on the jobsite. The 84l/min auxiliary hydraulics further increase flexibility allowing use with a range of attachments, including mowers, road sweepers and earth augers. Functioning as a loader, telehandler or landscaping tool, the AS900tele reduces the need for additional equipment and optimises jobsite logistics. Like all AS Series units, the 7,250kg AS900tele features innovative swing design enabling the swivelling of the fully loaded bucket 90o on either side, transforming space management. With the rotated bucket, filling trenches or carrying pipes requires minimum operating space whilst on a road project, with the rotation limiting necessary space, requiring only a single lane closure rather than the two lane closure needed for traditional loaders. 

Additionally, the unit’s telescoping capabilities pair reach with power for flexibility. With a lifting height of 4.72m and outreach of 3.5m, the AS900tele allows operators to minimise repositioning while maximising reach. The AS900tele has a carrying capacity of 2,270kg at full extension, providing ample power for applications such as loading walking floor trailers or waste handling. Paired with a range of attachments, the telescoping allows the unit to replace traditional backhoe loaders, wheel loaders, and telehandlers.  It also has three steering options, 2 wheel, 4 wheel and ‘crab’, allowing operators to simultaneously drive, pivot and manoeuvre, regardless of ground conditions. Combined with the swivel arm, it results in a 20% smaller turning radius compared to traditional wheel loaders increasing productivity and safety for a range of common tasks. By avoiding unnecessary movements and maximising the use of available space, the AS900tele can increase productivity with less noise, maintenance and environmental impacts. Even with the wide range of motion, the AS900tele offers increased stability over traditional articulated loaders and telehandlers. A well balanced design and automatically locking rear axle further allow operators to safely manoeuvre in all positions and on all terrains. 


New MCR Series 

Mecalac’s updated ‘MCR Series’ compact skid excavators maximise efficiency, comprising of three models: the 6MCR, 8MCR and 10MCR. They are said to provide speed, productivity and compact operation when compared to traditional mini-excavators, with the swiftness of a skid steer with the 360o rotation of an excavator for versatility and high travel speeds. A compact footprint delivers increased safety, sustainability and efficiency.  The MCR also features a hydrostatic transmission and drive motors strong enough to take on any job, with a dedicated pump that drives the motor, delivering what the company says is twice the speed of any traditional mini excavator on the market. 

On the jobsite, the MCRs’ versatility increases productivity and reduces congestion. This is due in part to the company’s patented quick coupler, ‘Connect’. The advanced system allows operators to quickly transition between attachments, such as pallet forks or digging buckets, without leaving the cab, decreasing downtime between tasks and increasing overall productivity. Additionally, once the pins are engaged, Connect provides zero risk of dropping a bucket. 

By using a range of attachments, contractors can undertake the work of several machines with a single unit, freeing up resources and space without sacrificing efficiency. With a skid bucket attachment, contractors can move up to 75cm3 of material at top speed or rest the bucket against the blade for applications such as grading and ground levelling. This innovative feature stabilises the bucket, distributing the forces to the frame of the machine and reducing stress on the boom, prolonging component life. 

Mecalac’s developments feature an innovative speed control travel speed management system which is standard on all the manufacturer’s crawler skid excavator models. By setting a maximum travel speed from 20 available speed options, operators can focus on the task at hand for increased safety and productivity. Speed control increases versatility for the 6MCR, 8MCR, and 10MCR machines, making it easy to move across the jobsite at speeds up to 10kph or maintain very low speeds for applications such as mowing or snow removal. When combined with the flexibility from a range of attachments, ‘Speed Control’ increases productivity and jobsite efficiency. MCR units also feature Mecalac’s innovative three part arm with a 360o rotating ability for an extended range of movement compactness. Operators can do more from a single position or within confined spaces with increased flexibility and reach while minimising unnecessary movement. The three part arm can also be tucked in, allowing for extra compactness and mobility without overbalancing the unit in the front  resulting in a true zero turn radius. 


Caterpillar’s 963 track loader 

The new Cat 963 track loader combines versatility with what is said to be up to 10% better fuel efficiency. Replacing Cat’s 963K model, the 151kW track loader has an operating weight of 20,358kg, and is easy to operate from an updated cab with suspension seat and adjustable armrests/controls.  An intuitive 254mm touchscreen dash display features a standard HD rear view camera, whilst ‘Slope Indicate’ helps make operation easier by showing machine mainfall and cross slope. The joystick option provides familiar controls for operators experienced with skid steers/compact track loaders, or there is the option to use V-lever/foot pedal controls. With either control scheme, operators can set implement response – fine, normal, coarse – to match operator preference or application. 

The 963 is powered by a Cat C7.1 engine that produces 15% more peak torque than the previous model for more power to the ground under load. Up to 10% fuel consumption reduction is achieved with the ‘Auto Mode’ that will adapt the engine speed to the load. ‘Eco Mode’ uses even lower speed for further reduction in fuel consumption in lighter duty applications, whilst ‘Power Mode’ keeps engine speed high. An optional ‘Performance Series’ bucket boosts productivity up to 20% and optional ‘Fusion Quick Coupler’ enables fast attachment changes. A variety of buckets, forks and other tools can be shared among track loaders, wheel loaders and other Fusion compatible machines.

Caterpillar has also developed the new ‘Durilock’ for underground loader buckets. The fully integrated bucket system features hammerless installation and maintenance free retention of ground engaging tools (GET) with ‘Infinitite’ elastomer compression retainers. Three interchangeable shroud styles enable a mining operation to quickly remove one type and replace with the type that is best suited to the loader application without changing the base edge or retention system. The system is said to deliver 50% faster installation and removal of GET compared to legacy, mechanically attached systems, and, because there is no need to re-torque bolts periodically, maintenance time for GET is reduced by more than 50%. Additionally, integral corner guards extend bucket in service time by about 30%. The Durilock system is available for Cat R1700 to R3000 loaders, and most buckets of 5m3 to 10m3 capacity. Cat’s retention design provides superior retention reliability without time spent performing re-torque procedures, whilst the elastomer compression retainer installs in seconds to allow fast installation and removal with no complex hardware to fail, handle, or tighten.

The Durilock system offers three different shroud styles to enable matching the GET to the application and conditions. The ‘D50S Standard’ is a traditional wedge shape used in most production and development applications; the ‘D50A Abrasion’ has a contoured design that repositions more material on the shroud base, and the ‘D50P Penetration’ has less leading edge to deliver easier penetration in dense material. The lip assembly provides the mounting surfaces for the shrouds and corner protectors, which balance corner and centre station wear rates, with cast corners welded to the base edge assembly to create the lip assembly. The corners incorporate a stepped design that eliminates corner shroud torsional loads and delivers reliability. The integral corner design boosts corner life by 15% and improves penetration when compared to systems that experience corner erosion and shortened bucket life due to corner rounding.


New Holland launches new 300 Series skid steer and compact track loaders

The advanced technology in New Holland’s new 300 Series includes the ‘Super Boom’ vertical lift linkage, a new 203mm multifunction LCD display with reverse camera, straight line tracking improvements, fully upgraded electrical harness and much more. The 300 Series will be offered in 11 new models in ‘radial lift’ or ‘super boom vertical lift’. These models range from 45kW to 67kW rated operating capacity from 726kg to 2,041kg, and dump reach from 470mm to 902mm. With greater dump height and reach, customers are provided with more visibility to ease loading high sided truck boxes or hoppers. The super boom vertical lift linkage offers high levels of visibility and height, and a transparent area on top of the cab gives a clear view to the bucket, even at full height.

A simple operator interface brings new features such as maintenance tracking, engine protection and ignition time out for  maximised uptime. The multifunction display conveniently shows engine data, performance information, RPM, fuel level, battery voltage, oil and engine temperatures and trip screen. Along with easy to navigate features, the display offers simple electro hydraulic control settings and is customisable to the operator’s needs. For regular service or maintenance, the 300 Series offers easy access to the engine. The cab can be tilted forward to access components and easy cab cleanout, with the all new wiring harness reducing downtime from troublesome electrical issues.

The low profile durable track undercarriage improves durability and helps reduce noise, with the long wheel based skid steers and steel embedded track compact track loaders providing a smooth ride and excellent stability. The centre of gravity and weight distribution are designed for optimised traction and control during lift and carry tasks. Models built with electro hydraulic controls feature multiple speed and sensitivity settings, including the new ‘creep mode’ and automatic straight line tracking. The former is a slow speed option giving greater control for slow speed operations such as trenching with speed thresholds of one to 100 increments. Automatic straight line tracking also improves productivity and precision when working with a trencher or cold planer.


New 300 Series excavator from Takeuchi

The TB370 compact hydraulic excavator is the first in Takeuchi’s 300 Series compact excavator line. The 6t -7t class machine is powered by a 44kW Kubota V2607-CR-TE5B turbocharged diesel engine that delivers 213Nm of torque.  It also features a load sensing hydraulic system that provides over 117l/min of auxiliary hydraulic flow making it an extremely versatile, powerful, and efficient machine. As the first model in the 300 Series line up, the TB370 has a wide range of state of the art features that include an 203mm touch screen multi-function colour monitor with integrated air conditioner and radio functions. The automotive styled interior is completely redesigned and spacious enabling the operator to remain comfortable throughout the work day. An intuitive jog dial and switch panel further improves control of machine functions and features.  For greater versatility, the TB370 includes first, second, and third auxiliary circuits that enables the use of a wide range of attachments. The additional third circuit gives the operator the option of adding a hydraulic pin grabber coupler to simplify and improve attachment interchangeability. 


Kanga’s remote controlled loader works hard where no one wants to go

The remote controlled TR825 multi task mini skid steer from Kanga provides an ergonomic, safer, more efficient working alternative, with advanced safety features such as unique ID codes, redundancy control and automatic emergency stop. Standing 1,016mm high, the TR825 works in both manual and remote modes to provide the ability to eliminate traditional work methods in hazardous environments and confined access areas. Other features include an anti-corrosion chain that withstands harsh environments such as iron ore, salt, copper or red dust. The zinc coating protects the chain from seizing or rusting, whilst four certified lifting points allow the loader to be craned into confined spaces. Twin hydraulic cooling fans enable the loader to work in confined spaces at high temperatures while maintaining the hydraulic oil temperature for optimum loader performance. In the event of low oil level and excessive heat, an automatic engine protection shutdown prevents damage. Two removable panels allow additional engine bay ventilation when working in extreme heat situations. 

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