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Case Study: Bobcat T450 Track Loader

Posted on: 5 Jun 2017
Topic: General News


The T450 has raised the bar with regards to comfort, features, power, speed, agility and productivity.

Bobcat has led the market they themselves created, ever since they invented the humble skid steer loader several decades ago. The ethos that has kept Bobcat at the forefront of the market has been one of ‘‘continuous improvement’’. By staying one step ahead of the pack, rapidly evolving both the product and the way we use it, Bobcat have maintained the “lion’s share” of the global market. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the all new Bobcat T450 track loader.

The Bobcat T450 replaces the former T140 model, buts it’s so much more than just a change in nomenclature. Engine horsepower has been raised from 36.5kW to an impressive 45.6kW, that’s an increase of 25 per cent. The rated operating capacity has been maintained while the operating weight of the machine is reduced from 3021kg to 2789kg, that’s an 8 per cent reduction. The T450 is faster, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor, and that’s exactly the feedback coming from the market.

Just like the former model, the T450 is 1422mm wide, but has an increased footprint due to changed undercarriage geometry resulting in slightly longer track length on the ground. The increased stability afforded by these changes further add to the improved operator experience with the Bobcat T450. Standard features on the T450 include Bobcat’s deluxe operator cab with interior trim, side, top and rear windows, a front door with windshield wiper, dome light, electrical power port, cup holder, storage compartment and noise reduction kit. The machine also features Bobcat Interlock Control System (BICS) and Bob-Tach™ frame. Auxiliary hydraulics enable variable flow rate to suit a range of implements. The ROPS cabin structure meets the requirements of SAE-J1040 and ISO 3471 and the Falling Object Protective Structure (FOPS) meets requirements of SAE-J1043 and ISO 3449, Level I.

From a service perspective, the entire Bobcat loader range boasts having market leading accessibility, thanks largely to the east-west engine configuration, with the pumps mounted alongside the engine, rather than behind as per the old technology. Power is transmitted to the pumps by way of a heavy duty drive belt, negating drive coupling failures and alignment issues experienced by other OEMs. The unique advantage of this is that the drive ratio has been set by way of dissimilar pulley sizes, an option not available to other OEMs still using direct 1:1 ratio drive couplings. All of the service points are located on the side of the engine in full view once the rear enclosure door is opened making the daily pre-start process quick and simple. Access is further improved by way of the top mount cooling pack and the roll-over cab design enabling easy access to all major powertrain and cooling components.

From an operational perspective, the Bobcat T450 lives up to the reputation established by its predecessors. Where the former T140 led the market in its category, the T450 has further raised the bar with regards to comfort, features, power, speed, agility and productivity. The increased power combined with the other improvements made to the frame, undercarriage, hydraulics and cabin all equate to one of the most versatile and capable machines on the market. The operator’s station is spacious enough to be comfortable and the sound suppression functions well, keeping the in-cab noise level well down. The optional selectable joystick controls are both light and direct in their response and offer the added benefit of being able to switch between ISO and “H” pattern, meeting the preference of a larger group of customers. Vision to the bucket is further improved thanks to a larger front door and changes to the operator seating position.

Overall build quality is evidently high. The fit and finish of external panels is of an automotive quality and the updated decal package adds refinement. The Bobcat T450 is reportedly in high demand with Clark Equipment reporting strong sales. With increased construction activity right up the east coast of Australia, and further growth tipped to come throughout 2017, the demand for compact construction equipment is set to increase. With increased opportunity comes stronger competition, and to stay competitive you need the power and versatility of a Bobcat T450 loader.

Article featured in Earthmoving Equipment Magazine, April/May 2017 Edition



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