It’s a spring season design/build landscape job, overhauling the scenery of a ritzy golf course condo community, but today it’s just too wet to work. Your crews are sitting on their hands in their trucks, trading smokes and drinking coffee. And even if the rain did stop, the jobsite is too soft to track machinery over. Your fleet of skid steers is just too rough and tough on the lawn in this cold, wet weather. Every time the tires turn, they pick up sod and cost you extra money in restoration. And those pesky owners are already worried about damaging their well-groomed lawns — especially near the golf course.
Luckily, you’ve found a great alternative. You sent your skid steers back home and rented a compact track loader. It looks like a skid steer and acts like a skid steer, but with a set of tracks instead of wheels. Engineered with a
dedicated undercarriage (looking like a little Sherman tank), compact track loaders leave a lighter footprint on jobsites than their skid steer brethren. Their tracks create extremely low ground pressure — from 3 to 6 psi — dispensing the weight of the machine through multiple contact points, which makes them easy on lawns (even if they’re wet).
Compact track loaders also give better traction than skid steers. Working on steep slopes or slippery, wet hills, a compact track loader can maintain a steadier work pace. When pushing piles of dirt, a compact track loader can build up more tractive effort too. Those dedicated tracks can even give you better flotation when working on sandy, snowy or muddy jobsites — like this landscape job right in front of you. But best of all, this compact track loader brings all the versatility of a skid steer to your jobsite, engineered with the exact same quick coupler attachment plate, so nearly all your skid steer attachments will work on it.
Obviously, this is a great machine for extending the working season of contractors such as landscapers, who can use them in the early, wet spring months or the rainy fall (where they couldn’t use skid steers before). Because of their undercarriage, compact track loaders are also great machines for markets like dirt-moving, residential construction and the local rental lot. In fact, it’s a piece of equipment skid steer users have been wanting for some time.
“Compact equipment manufacturers across the board have done an improved job of listening to their customers in recent years,” says Randy Vargason, general manager of Mustang Mfg. Co. “Mustang’s customers, for instance, were demanding a piece of equipment with the flexibility and ruggedness of a skid steer that wouldn’t punish sensitive areas or get stuck in wet or loose ground. Customers complained that putting tracks on a skid steer was only a band-aid solution. They wanted a dedicated track loader machine.” Of course, compact track loaders do have their disadvantages compared to a skid steer — a much higher cost of ownership (due to the undercarriage), high track wear on hard surfaces, like concrete and asphalt, and a much higher purchase price. In the past, operators often just fitted their skid steers with over-the-tire steel or rubber tracks from manufacturers like Goodyear, McLaren Industries and Loegering, but those were only a temporary solution.
Luckily, about 15 years ago, two companies (ASV Inc. and Takeuchi Mfg. Co.) began developing a small loader engineered with a dedicated undercarriage and a set of tracks. Today, these machines are called either rubber track loaders, multi terrain loaders or compact track loaders.
In 1995, the entire compact track loader market yielded only $10 million in total revenue. Fast-forward 10 years, and the entire market is expected to finish at $700 million in 2005. Of course, unlike skid steers, compact track loader sales are not industry reported through the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). However, an estimate using UCC-1 filings indicates in numbers that North America sales in 2003 were near 9,000 units sold and in 2004 were near 11,000 units sold.
“In 2005, compact track loader industry sales should continue to climb to an all time high of 14,000 units,” says Larry J. Foster, product marketing manager with John Deere’s Construction and Forestry Division. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. A great indicator of this industry growth is the expansion of manufacturers into the market. In 2005, New Holland, Case and John Deere released new product lines into the compact track loader industry, while companies like Bobcat and ASV have expanded their model offerings.
Large or small, vertical lift or radial lift, rubber tracks or steel tracks, enclosed cab or just ROPs, basic or opulent, suspension or no suspension, cheap or expensive — today’s market offers a wealth of choices for buyers. To help better understand this growing opportunity, Compact Equipment contacted nine top manufacturers of compact track loaders — industry heavyweights like Takeuchi, ASV, Bobcat, Caterpillar, Mustang and Gehl — to find out what made each company’s product line unique and appealing. And what we found was an enormous growth market (more makes and models than ever before). So take your time, read the next 12 pages, check the specs, learn about the companies and pick the perfect compact track loader for your jobsites and applications.
Keith Gribbins is managing editor of Compact Equipment.
Caterpillar Multi Terrain Loaders
Five Cat Compact Track Loaders Built for Multiple Terrains and Multiple Markets
Cat is easily one of the world’s most recognizable manufacturing brands. For more than 75 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been growing and expanding its lines of construction and mining equipment around the globe — not to mention designing and selling a variety of diesel and natural gas engines, gas turbines, electronics, electric power generation systems and even toys and clothing.
Today, Caterpillar sits comfortably as one of the United States’ leading global suppliers and exporters of equipment and products. Cat began limited production of its compact track loader line — the Cat Multi Terrain Loaders — in 2001. Caterpillar also offers other compact equipment, including 10 models of skid steer loaders, five compact wheel loaders and seven mini hydraulic excavators in the compact construction market. Also of note: Caterpillar owns 500,000 shares of ASV Inc. common stock, bringing Caterpillar ownership of ASV Inc. to 24.9 percent in 2004. ASV Inc. is one of the original manufacturers of compact track loader technology, based in Grand Rapids, Minn. Today, ASV still engineers and manufactures the undercarriages for Caterpillar’s Multi Terrain Loaders.
Caterpillar currently offers five models of Multi Terrain Loaders in its compact equipment line, with horsepower ranges from 57 to 78 net hp.
The five models are the 247B, 257B, 267B, 277B and 287B. Cat Multi Terrain Loaders are attracting a mixture of customers working in a variety of market segments — from small landscapers and dirt contractors to larger construction companies with fleets of machines. The United States military has even purchased Cat Multi Terrain Loaders.
Each of these customers is looking for a machine with high tractive effort, low ground pressure and the ability to work in soft, wet underfoot conditions. And each of these five Cat models offer their own individual features.
The 247B is Cat’s smallest Multi Terrain Loader. It’s a 57-hp machine with 2.2-L Caterpillar 3024C Turbo diesel engine. The 247B’s 4-cylinder engine offers aggressive performance and a fast torque curve for the machine’s radial lift-style design. The 247B has a rated operating capacity of 1,950 lbs at 50 percent. This model can utilize a variety of work tools, making it versatile enough to work in a wide range of demanding applications, ranging from loading, grading, material handling, jobsite cleanup and digging. Like all Cat Multi Terrain loaders, the 247B utilizes a suspended undercarriage that provides a more stable and comfortable operation.
Like the 247B, the 257B is a 57-hp machine, engineered with a Caterpillar 3024C turbo diesel engine. However, it distinguishes itself as a vertical lift compact track loader.
The loader lift arms are purpose-designed to provide a straight load path and a good viewing area to the work tool and sides of the machine. The lift arms are also designed to handle heavy loads without twisting and bending. The 257B vertical lift machine has a rated operating capacity of 2,310 lbs and offers an optional high-flow package that produces 26 gpm of flow to run complex hydro-mechanical work tools like trenchers, brush hogs and backhoes.
The 267B is Cat’s 70-hp Multi Terrain Loader, suped up with a 3044C DIT diesel engine. It’s a radial lift machine with a rated operating capacity of 2,900 lbs. The 267B (and the 277B below) ride on an undercarriage with two levels of suspension that allows for a smoother ride, greater load retention and less shock transmitted to the frame of the machine. The 267B’s hydraulic pumps are fixed-displacement and provide 22 gal/min. at high idle. Maximum system pressure for the loader and the standard circuits are 3,335 psi.
Caterpillar’s 277B is its 78-hp, 3.3-L, radial lift machine with a rated operating capacity of 2,950 lbs. With 81 in. of track on the ground, spread over multiple contact points, the 277B (along with the 267B) exerts an industry leading 3.1 psi of ground pressure, resulting in an extremely light footprint. And like the 267B, hydraulic pumps on the 277B are fixed-displacement pumps and provide 22 gal/min. at high idle. Maximum system pressure for the loader, powered by a Cat 3044C DIT engine, and the standard auxiliary circuits are 3,335 psi.
The 287B is Cat’s largest Multi Terrain Loader. Similar to the 277B in horsepower (78 hp), the 287B is engineered as a vertical lift machine with a rated operating capacity of 3,600 lbs. This machine is designed and built for operations in the tough working conditions requiring vertical lifting capabilities. Hydraulic pumps are fixed-displacement and provide 22 gal/min. at high idle. The 287B is also offered from the factory with Caterpillar’s optional High Flow XPS system rated at 33 gal/min. and 4,060 psi. The heart of the 287B’s power train is the Caterpillar 3044C DIT diesel engine.
Each of these multi terrain loaders comes with a dedicated undercarriage that has a suspension, much like ASV’s Rubber Track Loaders. Caterpillar offers three track models with one level of suspension (the 247B, 257B and 287B), and two models with two levels of suspension (267B and 277B). According to Cat, the most significant difference with its undercarriage and competitive undercarriages is its suspension and drive systems.
Cat’s Multi Terrain Loaders utilize an internal positive drive sprocket in its undercarriage — in concert with an all rubber track that allows the machine to be operated efficiently at high speeds. The Caterpillar design also provides for the
maximum amount of track on the ground through longer track frames and wider tracks, according to company officials. The result is a low ground pressure — a key benefit for contractors and landscapers who are looking for a tracked loader. As an example, the Caterpillar 277B has an operating weight of 9,371 lbs, but because its 18-in. tracks have 81 in. of track length on the ground, it only exerts 3.1 psi.
Advice to Buyers
“The first thing to consider is the size of the machine the customer will need,” says Todd Lynnes, commercial marketing manager with Caterpillar. “Are the work areas in confined spaces and will their truck and trailer be able to handle the size of the multi terrain loader? What type of loader arm linkage is needed? Will they be loading trucks and doing a lot of high lifting? If so, they should consider a vertical lift machine such as the 257B or 287B. Does the customer operate high-flow work tools? If they do, they would need to purchase a high-flow machine.”
100 N.E. Adams St.
Peoria, Illinois 61629
Ph: (309) 675-1000
ASV Rubber Track Loaders
The Original Compact Track Loader Manufacturer Still Offers the Largest Product Line Today
In 1983, ASV Inc. was founded by two snowmobile pioneers — Gary Lemke and Edgar Hetteen in Marcell, Minn. Lemke was one of the top snowmobile dealers in the United States and Hetteen had founded Polaris Industries and Arctic Enterprises (the two leading snowmobile manufacturers in the country). That first year, ASV engineers designed an all-terrain transport vehicle called a Track Truck, geared toward hauling crews and cargo for utility companies and ski resorts. But trucks with tracks would not be ASV’s end-all, breakout product. By 1987, ASV engineers had begun to develop another innovative track machine —a compact construction loader with a dedicated track undercarriage system. In 1990, ASV introduced the MD-70 version of its Posi-Track series, and the compact track loader market was born in North America.
By the end of the 1990s, ASV’s compact track loaders began to catch the attention of America’s largest equipment manufacturers. Soon after ASV engineers introduced the company’s Maximum Traction and Support System undercarriage in 1997, Caterpillar Inc., the largest manufacturer of construction equipment in the world, began to take notice. In 1998, Caterpillar signed an agreement to begin selling ASV’s Posi-Tracks through Caterpillar’s North American dealer network. But soon Cat wanted its own machines, so with ASV’s help, Caterpillar developed a unique line of compact track loaders — called Multi Terrain Loaders (MTLs). Today, ASV still supplies the undercarriages for Cat’s MTLs, while still having the largest line of compact track loaders on the market.
ASV has been building its latest RC-Series of Rubber Track Loaders since 1998. In fact, the company boasts it is has built more models over more years than any other manufacturer in the industry. Today, ASV has nine different Rubber Track Loaders in its product line — the most of any one manufacturer on the market. Those models include the RC-30, RC-50, RC-60, RC-85, RC-100, RC-30 Turf Edition, RC-50 Turf Edition, RC-60 Turf Edition and RCV. For more in-depth information on each model, read the descriptions below.
The RC-30 Rubber Track Loader is changing the way people think about compact track loaders. Although it’s a compact machine (about the size of an ATV), it can perform more work in varying terrains than larger track loaders or skid steers. The RC-30 uses ASV’s latest R-Series Traction and Support System (RTSS rubber track undercarriage) with suspension to give it only 2.5-psi ground pressure, making it sensitive enough to work on turf, sod and pavement without causing damage.
Yet the RC-30 has the power and traction to dig, grade, backfill, remove snow and perform a variety of other tasks. With precision, low-effort joystick controls, it’s easy to become productive in just a few hours. The operator station features excellent all-around visibility, a comfortable sitting area and a full spectrum of gauges and switches in the heads-up position make for quick, easy access. Equipped with a rugged Caterpillar diesel engine, the RC-30 offers excellent and reliable power. With 30 hp and a machine weight of only 3,000 lbs, the power to weight ratio is excellent. The RC-30 is also available in a unique Turf Edition configuration with special smooth, green rubber tracks.
Anybody using a mid-sized skid steer loader now has a track alternative — the RC-50 Rubber Track Loader. As with all other ASV machinery, the RC-50 uses ASV’s proprietary and unique rubber-tracked undercarriage system. The RTSS undercarriage on the machine utilizes 15-in. wide rubber tracks and 24-wheeled contact points. As a result, it delivers traction and stability not found in wheeled equipment with a ground pressure of only 2.7 lbs per sq in. The RC-50 provides plenty of power too with its Perkins 404C-22 engine, generating 50 hp (37.3 KW) and peak torque of 105 ft/lbs. The RC-50 has an operating capacity of 1,500 lbs and a top speed of 8 mph. The RC-50 is also available in a unique Turf Edition configuration with cool, smooth, green rubber tracks.
The ASV RC-60 is a mid-sized Rubber Track Loader that combines power, performance and an outstanding list of leading-edge features. Topping the list is ASV’s award-winning RTSS II rubber track undercarriage technology with
suspension. This advanced system gives you maximum traction and stability for working more productively in a wider range of conditions. The RC-60 also offers more performance and versatility than any other loader in its size class, say ASV officials. It features a 60-hp, 2.2-liter, four-cylinder Perkins 404C-22T that’s turbocharged for rock-solid performance even at higher altitudes.
The RC-60’s hydrostatic drive system includes ASV’s Posi-Power Control (PPC). This hydrostat automatically adjusts to match available engine horsepower.
As a result, it’s easier for the experienced operator to run the RC-60 at its peak potential. For the newer operator, it means better productivity with reduced chances of engine stalls. The RC-60 is designed to lift and place large loads with a rated operating capacity of 1,900 lbs. Loader arms feature a new, robust design similar to ASV’s larger Rubber Track Loaders. The RC-60 also comes standard with selectable self-leveling. Like the RC-30 and RC-50, the RC-60 is also available in a unique Turf Edition configuration with special smooth, green rubber tracks.
The new ASV RC-85 delivers excellent performance, thanks to its careful balance of weight and power. It’s the same size as ASV’s flagship RC-100, but with less weight and an 86-hp diesel engine. The result is a great combination of power and
agility, making this full-size loader the best ASV solution for tough applications where you need maximum efficiency. With a 3,400-lb rated operating capacity, it’s also excellent for spearheading loading and material handling jobs. The RC-85 is powered by the Perkins 1104C-44 N.A. diesel engine — a 4.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine with high output, low emissions and low sound.
This unit also features one of the most advanced hydraulic systems available, say ASV officials. Tracks are directly driven by single-speed drive motors with travel speeds up to 6 mph. The hydraulic system provides up to 38 gpm to the standard high-flow auxiliary circuit on demand or 20 gpm to the low-flow circuit. The RC-85’s load-sensing hydraulic system is highly efficient too, producing up to 10 percent more hydraulic horsepower compared to less efficient systems.
The RC-100 is ASV’s flagship Rubber Track Loader. It was designed from the ground up to take full advantage of its suspended rubber track undercarriage. It is the most powerful and productive of the ASV RC-Series product line. The RC-100 is powered by the Perkins 1104C-44T turbocharged diesel engine. It is a 4.4-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine that offers high output with low emissions
and low sound. In fact, with 304 ft-lbs of torque, ASV’s RC-100 has more available torque than any other compact track loader on the market, notes company officials. The Posi-Power Control system is an integral part of the RC-100’s powertrain. PPC is a power management system that lets you work the RC-100 to its fullest potential as it automatically shifts the hydrostat to match available engine horsepower.
The RC-100 is designed from the ground up to run on a suspended rubber track undercarriage. That means there are no compromises when it comes to machine width, ground clearance and machine balance. It also means you get maximum traction and a smoother ride. Forty-two wheeled contact points spread the machine weight over 18-in. wide rubber tracks, exerting only 3.5 psi of ground pressure. As with all ASV equipment, there is no steel inside the rubber tracks so operation is smooth, quiet and with much less friction. Also, a new tilt-up ROPS/FOPS canopy makes access to the hydraulic system quick and easy. Service to the engine and cooling package is through a tilt-up rear hood.
RCV Vertical Lift
The RCV is a vertical lift rubber track loader that excels at jobs requiring higher lift height, longer reach and high-flow hydraulics. The RCV’s innovative pivoting loader linkage results in a near-vertical lift path, keeping the load close to the machine throughout the lift cycle. This maximizes the RCV’s 4,000-lb rated operating capacity, so you can lift and place heavy loads yet still have reach at full lift to center-load, high-sided dump trucks or hoppers.
The RCV provides a great combination of power and agility. It is powered by the 86-hp Perkins 1104C-44 N.A. diesel engine. Machine weight has been carefully matched to the horsepower rating, so you get exceptionally quick response and fast cycle times. The RCV is the first vertical lift rubber track loader that allows exceptional visibility to the rear, sides and forward of the machine, say company officials. The RCV comes standard with many time-saving features including a hydraulic quick-attach, quick-connect hydraulic fittings and selectable self-leveling. The RCV Vertical Lift Loader was introduced in March 2005 at CONEXPO-CON/AGG.
Advice to Buyers:
“Check out machine width before buying,” says Brad Lemke, director of new product development at ASV. “As they are compact track loaders, you will want a machine that can work in tight quarters, have good stability and is easy to transport. Some manufacturers are creating tracked loaders that are not all that compact, with unreasonable machine widths that are less maneuverable and more difficult to transport.”
840 Lily Lane
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: (800) 346-5954
Bobcat Compact Track Loaders
The Compact Equipment Innovator Offers Five Compact Track Loader Choices
At first, the Melroe Mfg. Co. only produced and sold farm implements — harvesting attachments and spring-tooth harrows. But an important meeting in 1957 with Cyril and Louis Keller would change the company’s course from farm equipment to construction machinery. The Keller brothers had engineered a three-wheeled, self-propelled loader, a tough utility machine that was great for cleaning out barns and stables. The Melroe management saw the potential immediately. They bought the rights to the product, re-engineered it with four wheels and 4-wheel drive, and introduced the model M-400 in 1960, which was the first true skid steer loader.
For nearly 50 years, Bobcat has been manufacturing skid steers and other innovative compact equipment for the worldwide market. Today, Bobcat has more than 900 Bobcat dealers in 75 countries.
From its North Dakota base, Bobcat continues to be a leader in the compact equipment industry with one of the widest compact product lines around, including skid steer loaders, compact excavators, compact backhoe loaders, compact utility loaders, telescopic tool handlers, utility vehicles, Toolcat utility work machines and the biggest attachment line on the market. In 1995, Melroe and its parent Clark organization were acquired by Ingersoll-Rand Co. — a leading manufacturer of construction equipment and industrial machinery with more than 40,000 employees worldwide.
Bobcat entered the compact track loader market in 1999. For decades, Bobcat skid steer loaders had been equipped with over-the-tire tracks from third-party sources when working on muddy or sandy jobsites. But Bobcat designers wanted a better alternative, so they developed a loader with a dedicated track undercarriage, aimed at extending working seasons while offering superior tractive effort, low ground pressure and great flotation. Today, Bobcat manufactures five compact track loaders — the T140, T180, T190, T250 and the T300. Each of these units offers unique performance features.
The T140 is the latest compact track loader introduced by Bobcat. It made its debut at the 2005 World of Concrete and CONEXPO-CON/AGG shows in Las Vegas, attracting a lot of interest from many different markets. The small dimensional size of the T140 allows it to get into tighter work areas than larger machines. Yet with a 1,400-lb rated operating capacity and 46-hp engine, this machine has the ability to lift and move significant amounts of materials.
With its 1,800-lb rated operating capacity and a 61-hp Kubota diesel engine, the T180 provides superior digging and lifting performance while still offering low ground pressure — just 5 psi in a compact frame (only 76 in. high, 66 in. wide and 130 in. long). A 16.9-gpm pump at 3,300 psi generate excellent hydraulic breakout, as well as power for running attachments.
With the power of an 81-hp engine, coupled with 18-in. rubber tracks that exert just 4.1 psi of ground pressure, the T250 is a popular attachment carrier and work machine. The radius lift path loader has a 2,500-lb rated operating capacity (at 35 percent of tipping load) with 21.2 gpm of auxiliary hydraulic flow, making the loader compatible with more than 40 Bobcat-approved attachments.
T190 and T300
The vertical lift capability of the T190 and T300 compact track loaders makes them popular for loading dirt and other building materials into high locations, such as reaching the middle of a truck. The vertical lift path is designed to provide extra reach at full lift height without any decrease in performance. The vertical-lift path loader provides plenty of power, lift and reach, making it easy to clear high-sided truck boxes and hoppers. It is also ideal for placing pallets of brick, block or sod.
The undercarriage of each of these Bobcat compact track loaders is what makes these machines so successful in mud, sand and other loose material. The undercarriage is driven by two powerful direct-drive hydrostatic motors — this
feature minimizes moving parts and eliminates axles and chains, say Bobcat officials. The two motors include internal tapered roller bearings to help carry heavy load stresses. The undercarriage rollers and idlers are designed to ensure smooth track operation. Triple-flange rollers guide both sides of the track lugs to maximize contact between the rollers and tracks and to help minimize any detracking. The rollers are permanently lubricated and require no
periodic maintenance. The only daily or weekly maintenance required is to remove debris in the undercarriage to prevent packing.
Each undercarriage is designed and manufactured with an individual size rubber track. The “C” pattern of the rubber tracks is designed to reduce vibration, which enhances the ride of the loader and improves operator comfort.
The “C” pattern track also has a thick rubber wear surface for increased life.
Aside from its unique undercarriage design, Bobcat’s compact track loaders are also designed with ease of maintenance in mind. Key engine items are easily accessible by opening the rear swing-out tailgate, including engine oil and fuel filters, engine oil dipstick, drain and fill, air cleaner, battery, fuel injection pump, starter and alternator. Because the engine is mounted transversely, regular maintenance can be performed on most major components of the track loader fairly easily.
Advice to Buyers:
“Decide whether a compact track loader is the best machine for your jobsite. Look at the existing ground conditions, applications, local weather conditions, trends and budget,” says Mike Fitzgerald, loader product representative at Bobcat. “For example, working on a demolition site with a track loader may wear out the tracks quickly. We’ve learned that a skid steer loader with tires may be a more cost-effective choice for this application because of the amount of debris on a demolition jobsite.”
250 E. Beaton Dr.
West Fargo, ND 58078-6000
Ph: (701) 241-8700
Fax: (701) 280-7845
New Holland Compact Track Loaders
Two New Rubber Track Loaders from the Construction and Ag Giant
The New Holland Construction brand has a venerable history. It dates back to 1895 when the New Holland Machine Co. was founded in Pennsylvania, specializing in agricultural equipment. The company’s rich heritage in construction and earth moving has become an intricate part of its brand appeal ever since. New Holland has a vast resource of experience and know-how in engineering quality construction equipment today. It introduced vertical lift technology to the skid steer market with its Super Boom series in 1972. The company broke new ground again in 1999 at CONEXPO, when it introduced 53 brand new machines to the North American equipment market.
Today, New Holland Construction is a brand of CNH Global, a leader in construction and agricultural equipment industries. CNH is the third largest manufacturer of construction equipment in the world. New Holland Construction is the world’s second largest manufacturer of skid steers and produces more than 8,000 backhoes worldwide. Now based in Carol Stream, Ill., New Holland Construction sells and services a diverse line of construction equipment through its network of dealers and distributors in more than 160 countries.
Capitalizing on the growing popularity of compact track loaders, New Holland Construction introduced its first two models (the LT185.B and LT190.B Compact Track Loaders) in early 2005. With 2,500- and 2,900-lb rated operating capacity, respectively, both new models feature similar lift capacity and reach as New Holland’s Super Boom vertical lift linkage skid steers — the LS185.B and LS190.B. The patented Super Boom vertical linkage system delivers more forward reach at maximum lift height for precise load placement, points out New Holland, making these track loaders great pick and place units.
New Holland compact track loaders can be equipped with two different track belt widths to match your exact needs: 17.7-in. track for maximum flotation and performance on sensitive turf and 15.7-in. track for maximum
traction and minimum machine width. Belts are interchangeable and easy to remove and install on these units, and the rubber track is steel-belted for additional tensile strength and minimal tension adjustments.
Depending on your choice of track belts, the width of these New Holland models will range from 80 to more than 83 in. The wide stance, low center of gravity and added stability combine with a standard suspension seat to provide a smooth ride, while the rugged, simple undercarriage design provides long life, good traction and a low psi.
The tracks incorporate a New Holland patent-pending undercarriage design. It’s a fixed high-drive undercarriage system that uses similar technology and components as New Holland’s crawler dozers. It features oil-lubricated tapered roller bearings. Overall, it’s a simple design that helps keep maintenance to a minimum, say company officials.
Both models also deliver extra productivity with a standard two-speed transmission for travel speeds up to 8 mph. The optional hydraulic mount plate allows the operator to securely attach or remove buckets and attachments without leaving the seat.
While all of these features are important, good visibility and easy operation are both essential for ensuring a machine’s productivity. The LT185.B and LT190.B both feature a large rear window and a sloping engine hood that complement the lack of rear frame towers and provide operators with maximum visibility. Operation is made easier thanks to self-neutralizing hand controls, an easy-to-read electronic instrument control (EIC) panel and spring-applied, hydraulic-released (SAHR) brakes.
The simple design of New Holland’s Compact Track Loaders also keeps maintenance to a minimum. On both the LT185.B and LT190.B, all major service points are easily accessible, even with the boom down. Flipping up the seat provides access to hydraulic pumps and drivetrain components.
Advice to Buyers:
“Expect compact track loaders to be priced 50 percent or more than wheeled skid steers,” says Jorge De Hoyos, brand marketing manager with New Holland Construction. “When used for the right application and non-abrasive surface, compact track loaders outperform their wheeled counterparts. For the contractor conscious about ground disturbance, the compact track loader’s ground pressure is normally 15 to 20 percent of a wheeled model.”
New Holland Construction
245 E. North Ave.
Carol Stream, IL 60188
Ph: (630) 260-4000
Fax: (630) 260-4304
John Deere Compact Track Loaders
Two Top-Notch Track Loaders from Deere’s Construction & Forestry Division
It started as a one-man blacksmith shop founded in 1837 and has grown into a worldwide corporation that does business in more than 160 countries and employs approximately 43,000 people. Today, John Deere is one of the oldest industrial companies in the United States. The company consists of three equipment operations (Agricultural, Commercial & Consumer and Construction & Forestry), credit operations and four support operations (parts, power systems, technology services and health care).
John Deere entered into the compact construction equipment business in 1999 with a focused business unit called CWP (Commercial Worksite Products) with a
modest four-model introduction of Deere-designed and manufactured skid steers. In the six years following, the CWP product offering has evolved into several product lines that include 300 series skid steers, C&D series
excavators, 244J wheel loader, 110 backhoe, compact track loaders and more than 100 Work Site Pro Attachments.
In July, John Deere will start production of its latest models of Compact Track Loaders — the CT322 and CT332. Deere is focusing both of these track units toward a variety of end-users including landscape contractors, rental yards, underground construction crews and general and building contractors.
The CT322 is Deere’s medium frame compact track loader, engineered with a bucket breakout force of 6,050 lbs, a ground speed of 8.5 mph and tractive effort of 8,000 lbf. The CT332 is the company’s large frame model, outfitted with a bucket breakout force of 11,600 lbs, a ground speed of 7.8 mph and a tractive effort of 11,300 lbf.
Both units were designed by Deere engineering after listening to customers’ likes and dislikes. Key attributes Deere customers voiced were increased track and undercarriage durability, a smoother ride and increased machine performance. Those keys are what help make the Deere undercarriage unique in the compact track loader industry.
Deere track loaders use all steel rollers, idlers, sprockets and steel imbedded rubber tracks on its units, which makes the undercarriage more robust and durable compared to competitive models on the market, say Deere officials. Both units utilize a 450 H dozer roller seal and bearing technology, which uses durable metal face seals and journal bearings in all rollers and idlers to provide superior performance and durability without leaks or wear under shock loading conditions. And with the help of double flange rollers and idlers, these new track loaders are some of the smoothest operating units in the industry.
These design attributes provide the durability, uptime and significantly longer track and undercarriage life for a lower cost per hour of operation with a smooth ride. Both the CT322 and the CT332 use Bridgestone rubber tracks on the undercarriage. The standard track widths are 12.7 in. on the CT322 and 17.7 in. on the CT332. However, the CT332 has the option of a 12.7-in. narrow track width. Four- and five-cylinder, John Deere Power Tech, high-torque diesel engines power the CT322 and CT332 respectively.
Deere Power Tech 250 Series engines have several exclusive features, including: hydraulic valve lifters for quieter operation and elimination of valve lash adjustments; a serpentine fan belt with automatic tensioner, which eliminates all scheduled belt tension maintenance; and a 500-hour engine oil and filter service interval. Customers can also order cold weather options for their engines, such as block heaters and high-capacity cold cranking amperage batteries.
Along with key engine and undercarriage advantages, Deere also touts industry-leading hydraulic breakout forces. Breakout force is a key productivity specification that customers should consider with a track unit — superior breakout forces translate into faster bucket fill cycles, larger heaped bucket capacities and greater prying power and pallet fork curling power. According to company officials, Deere Compact Track Loaders have the largest tractive efforts and bucket breakout forces in the industry.
They also have the best hydraulic horsepower available at the hydraulic couplers (pressure x flow/1714 = hydraulic hp). The CT332 has a 58.4 high-flow hydraulic hp. The CT332 has 61.5 high-flow hydraulic hp. Greater hydraulic horsepower with standard flow hydraulics or with high-flow option translates into greater
productivity when operating key attachments such as trenchers, rotary cutters, flail mowers, tree shredders, stump grinders and high-flow augers. When using such hard-working attachments, operators will want to sit in a Deere compact track loader that’s comfortable. To ensure operator comfort, Deere track loaders feature standard equipment such as a suspension seat, ergonomic and fully adjustable armrests, rear window, floor cover plates, top window, cushion boom cylinders, deluxe instrumentation with auto preheat, auto shutdown with alarm, selectable digital readouts and self diagnostics.
Popular optional equipment for Deere’s compact track loaders include: chrome exhaust stack; 2-speed transmission; cab enclosure; heater defroster; air conditioning; powered quick-tatch; hydraulic self level; high-flow hydraulics; and an electronic coded anti-theft system.
Advice to Buyers:
“Remember, compact track loaders are more task specific while skid steers are more of an all around utility machine,” explains Larry J. Foster, product marketing manager with John Deere’s Construction and Forestry Division. “When comparing operating cost per hour, skid steer tires vs. tracks on a compact track loader, compact track loaders will cost you more per hour to operate than a skid steer, but you will move much more material with a compact track loader than a skid steer, operate in conditions and
environments skid steers can’t and you will have more days in a year you can operate a track loader due to the minimal impact weather has on CTL operation.”
John Deere Construction & Forestry Division
P.O. Box 8806
1515 5th Ave.
Moline, IL 61265
Ph: (309) 765-0227
Fax: (309) 765-1859
Case Compact Track Loaders
A Pair of Dedicated Track Loaders Engineered with 150 Years of Case Tradition and Knowledge
The Case brand heritage dates back a 150 years and includes nearly a century in the construction equipment business. Inventor Jerome Increase Case founded Case in Racine in 1842 to build threshing machines. Later, the company gained global recognition as the first builder of steam engines for
agricultural use, eventually becoming the world’s largest maker of steam engines. By 1912, Case had established itself in the construction equipment industry as a manufacturer of road-building equipment, including steamrollers and road graders.
The company built its construction equipment business through several acquisitions, starting with American Tractor Corp. in 1957. By the mid-1990s, Case had expanded to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of light- to medium-sized construction equipment. In 1999, Case merged with New Holland to become CNH Global, marketing several of the world’s leading brands of construction and agricultural equipment. Compact track loaders were a natural extension of the Case product line, which already included some of the industry’s top loader backhoes, skid steers, crawler dozers, excavators, wheel loaders, articulated dump trucks, vibratory compaction rollers, motor graders and rough-terrain forklifts.
Case introduced its Compact Track Loaders in 2005 at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. Case’s line includes the 445CT and 450CT Compact Track Loaders. The 445CT offers 74 net hp with a lift capacity of 3,500 lbs. The 450CT delivers 82 net hp and a lift capacity of 3,857 lbs. The 445 CT is engineered with power reach vertical lift, good for lift-and-place projects, while the 450CT has a power cycle radial arm configuration for high-production digging and faster cycle times. The 445CT features the Case Family III 445/M2 diesel engine, which is Tier 2 Certified, while the Case 450CT features the turbocharged version of the same engine.
Both the 445CT and 450CT fill the needs of a wide range of applications. Both have high-torque, large displacement engines with efficient and reliable radial piston drive motors and planetary final drives. Each unit’s rigid track frame utilizes permanently sealed rollers and idlers, making a sturdy undercarriage good for floatation and less ground disturbance.
Each unit’s undercarriage incorporates proven technology adapted from Case’s medium and large dozers and excavators. These innovations assure durability while reducing operating costs, according to company officials. They include a tapered design for the frame cover, combined with steel mud scrapers to help keep water, mud and debris from damaging the track area. A rigid undercarriage system keeps maintenance costs to a minimum.
Track components are protected by a large spring mounted to the front idler. Track tension is easily adjusted with a grease zerk. Dual-cone face seals provide a reliable, long-lasting seal for a significant decrease in operating costs over the life of the machine. Four triple-flange rollers, combined with single-flange front and rear idlers, maintain track alignment while operating on side slopes.
Rubber tracks are available for the undercarriage in 15.7- and 17.7-in. track widths. Operator comfort is always a key considering any equipment purchases. The operator station for Case’s compact track loaders features a roomy and cozy cab, including a wide water-shedding seat, conveniently positioned controls, excellent visibility with a clear view to the bucket and coupler and low-effort servo hydrostatic controls to help reduce fatigue during operations. Case compact track loaders are also available with a factory-ready cab with optional air conditioning.
Along with comfort, ease of maintenance is a priority for buyers. Case offers easy serviceability with the 10-second, no-tools, tilt-forward ROPS/cab. No other manufacturer has a similar feature, say Case officials.
And no compact track loader would be complete without the versatility of using attachments. Case offers the full gamut of attachment options — from buckets to backhoes. Pump flow on the Case 445CT is rated at 21 gpm, with an optional high-flow system rated at 33.7 gpm. And pump flow on the Case 450CT is rated at 22.1 gpm, with an optional high-flow system rated at 37.2 gpm.
Advice to Buyers:
“Customers need to determine if the value of increased floatation and traction is required for their application,” says Rusty Schaefer, marketing manager at Case Construction Equipment. “If not, the wheeled skid steer may meet their needs with lower owning and operating cost.”
Case Construction Equipment
700 State St.
Racine, WI 53404
Takeuchi Rubber Track Loaders
Japan’s Compact Track Specialists Build Three Rubber Track Models for the U.S. Market
Takeuchi U.S. has been providing pioneering construction equipment to the North American market for the last 25 years. Takeuchi was the first manufacturer to introduce compact excavators to the U.S. marketplace in 1979. As a subsidiary of Takeuchi Mfg. Co. Ltd., its umbrella manufacturing arm headquartered in Nagano, Japan, Takeuchi U.S. has been outfitted to produce a variety of compact construction equipment — from compact excavators to rubber track loaders — all equipped with Takeuchi’s tracks and undercarriage.
Takeuchi began to develop its first Rubber Track Loader in the late 1980s; the company was one of the first in the industry. Over the years, Takeuchi tweaked each machine’s tractive force, bucket breakout force, lift arm breakout force and horsepower till it fine tuned each rubber track loader to its potential. Completed, the company introduced its first machine — the TL26 — in 1992 and manufactured that unit until 1999. Takeuchi’s latest rubber track series, beginning with the introduction of the TL150 released in 2000, contains three models.
The TL130, TL140 and TL150 — these are Takeuchi’s three Rubber Track Loader models. The latest unit is the TL140, introduced in 2003 as Takeuchi’s third generation loader, combining the power of its TL150 with the versatility of its TL130. Powered by a fuel-efficient, 81-hp, Isuzu, turbo diesel engine, the TL140 features a two-speed travel system for operating at both high (6.4 mph) and low (4.5 mph) travel speeds. The TL140 capitalizes on planetary final drives with spring-applied, hydraulically-released disc brakes, as well as one- and two-way auxiliary hydraulics, self-leveling and an electronic engine monitoring and shutdown system.
The TL140 incorporates a wide and long track design and features an operating weight of 9,590 lbs, tipping load of 5,952 lbs and bucket breakout force of 7,403 lbs. With 18-in. wide rubber tracks and an undercarriage that provides plenty of floatation, the TL140 can easily operate on soft ground, improved surfaces, muddy conditions or a combination of all three.
Replacing the former Takeuchi model TL126, the TL130 comes with upgrades in engine, track and bucket performance, providing 1,000 lbs more tip load than its predecessor. The TL130 integrates power into its design, engineered for tougher excavation applications. Powered by a 67-hp, Yanmar diesel engine, the TL130 features a two-speed travel system for operating at both high (6.3 mph) and low (4.5 mph) travel speeds. It has a new, long track design and has an operating weight of 7,497 lbs, tipping load of 4,630 lbs and bucket breakout force of 6,728 lbs. With 12.6-in. wide rubber tracks on its undercarriage, the TL130 can easily operate on a variety of ground conditions.
Last, but not least, is the TL150. It’s Takeuchi’s biggest and most powerful Rubber Track Loader. It has an operating weight of 10,692 lbs and a 97-hp, turbocharged Yanmar diesel engine. With a tipping load of 7,056 lbs, bucket breakout force of 8,692 lbs and a tractive force of 13,770 lbs, the TL150 has maximum power for handling the toughest excavating and lifting applications. The standard 18-in. wide rubber tracks provide a ground pressure of 4.3 psi and supplies the traction necessary for good digging power, as well as traversing soft or tough ground conditions.
The TL150 is equipped with an electro-hydraulic, two-speed travel system that propels the machine to a high speed of 6.9 mph and a low speed of 5 mph. Durability is enhanced by elevating the drives on the TL150, which reduces the wear and abuse associated with a typical in-line drive system.
All Takeuchi loaders are “built from the ground up,” an obvious reference to the company’s powerful undercarriage design. Takeuchi is known for making undercarriages with excellent traction.
The company’s own planetary final drives, coupled with piston motors, provide an efficient transfer of power and torque amplification to each rubber track. It also provides Takeuchi with up to twice the tractive force in comparison to competitive class units, according to company officials.
Takeuchi uses five to six steel rollers in the undercarriage — all sealed and lubricated. The engagement between the rollers, sprockets and tracks is referred to as steel-on-steel. The company’s aim is to run an aggressive track pattern that is designed for good traction in loose and wet soil conditions, so Takeuchi incorporates steel mandrels and steel cables into the rubber molding of the tracks.
This design allows the track to maintain steel-on-steel contact between the track and roller, track and idler and track and sprocket. The internal steel cables strengthen the track and allow the track loader to achieve higher torque ratings.
Advice to Buyers
“Run them all and choose the track loader that performs best in your applications,” says Mike Ross, product manager at Takeuchi Mfg. “Ask other owner operators questions about performance, operating controls and downtime. Also, how well do your track loader dealer and manufacturer support your equipment? Is the track loader durable or do you have recurring problems, failures or parts issues? Does the manufacturer stand behind the warranty? Finally, check out some of the used equipment publications and magazines. Generally, if you see a lot of listings for a particular brand or model, that’s usually a good clue that other owners are not happy with the purchase they made.”
Takeuchi Mfg. (U.S.) Ltd.
1525 Broadmoor Blvd.
Buford, GA 30518
Ph: (770) 831-0661
Fax: (770) 831-9484
Mustang Multi Terrain Loaders
Three Rubber Track Loaders from the Major Compact Equipment Manufacturer
Mustang’s manufacturing roots date back to 1865 when the company began producing agricultural equipment. Today, Mustang is best known for its line of compact equipment — especially skid steers. In fact, the company is celebrating its 40th anniversary of making skid steers in 2005. Since 1965, Mustang has designed, manufactured and sold more than 40 different models of Mustang skid steer loaders throughout the world. Today, it offers skid steers with engines from 36 to 115 hp. Its model 2109 offers the largest lift capacity and highest lift height of any skid steer in the market. Mustang also has one of the broadest lines of compact equipment on the market, including track loaders, excavators, telehandlers and all-wheel-steer loaders. Mustang supplies its products and services to more than 39 countries worldwide.
Mustang introduced the Multi Terrain Loader (MTL) series to the market in early 2002. Today that product line boasts three models — the MTL16, MTL20 and MTL25.
All three of these compact track loaders are built through an OEM agreement with Takeuchi Mfg. Co. — the Japanese pioneer of compact track loader technology.
Ranging from 66 to 97 hp and 2,315- to 3,528-lbs rated operating load capacity (at 50 percent of tip capacity), Mustang’s track loaders are popular with landscape contractors who are in search of a powerful machine with good flotation on sensitive jobsites. Site prep contractors in charge of leveling and dirt work are also big buyers for Mustang.
All three of Mustang’s MTL units were built by Takeuchi, which means a tailor-made undercarriage. These MTLs were engineered with a heavy-duty undercarriage and track system vs. a skid steer bolt-on or add-on undercarriage. Mustang’s MTLs use a dedicated, steel-on-steel design on its undercarriage. Compared to competing units with roller-ball mechanisms, the Mustang units boast steel-on-steel rollers and bearings in an oil bath that ride on the steel mandrills built directly into the rubber tracks. When compared with competing units that have cogs inside the rubber and a roller ball mechanism instead of a sprocket
system, the Mustang comes out as the more durable undercarriage, say Mustang officials.
The undercarriage is an integral part of the main loader chassis. The design of the Mustang units is based on engineering developed 20 years ago utilizing technology from Takeuchi excavator carriages. The steel carriage has a front and rear steel idler and a high-drive sprocket system that drives the track via steel lugs embedded in the rubber track. Major components are the carriage system itself, the front and rear steel idlers and the roller idlers on the bottom of each carriage. All Mustang MTLs come with a set of rubber tracks created from steel belting and embedded steel mandrills.
Both the MTL16 and MTL25 have Yanmar diesel engines, while the MTL20 has an Isuzu diesel. Mustang works with these engines for their high performance and torque, which provide optimal performance — especially in dozing and digging applications. Auxiliary hydraulics are available on each of the units and range in gpm from 18 to 23.4 gpm. High-flow of 39.6 gpm is an option on the MTL25.
When considering maintenance, Mustangs MTLs are easy machines to maintain. A single lever opens both the engine cover and rear door, giving owners easy access to all general maintenance points. It’s fairly simple to check and change oil and air filters, inspect rear coolers and access the battery. Additionally, the tipping canopy allows easy access for servicing and cleaning the machine. Service for the undercarriage is on the sides of the machine, including an inspection of the track rollers and drive sprocket for proper tension. For track adjustment, owners simply use a small wrench and a greased gun in the cylinder area.
Standard equipment on Mustang’s MTLs includes hydraulic leveling, two-speed drive, backup alarm, horn and mirrors. Each of the MTL units also comes standard with a deluxe six-way suspension seat and full hydraulic pilot joystick control system. Popular options include the cab enclosure featuring sliding windows for improved ventilation and heating and air conditioning.
Advice to Buyers
“The main thing for customers to keep in mind is that the track loader, although rugged, has its limits like any other piece of equipment,” says Randy Vargason, general manager of Mustang Mfg. Co. “It’s important for customers to first do their research to be sure that a track loader is suited to the application in which they are hoping to put it to work. Rubber tracks, like tires, are susceptible to damage. So, it’s vital that they are used in the right application and that particular attention be paid to the maintenance that a rough job will require of the machine. Rocks, debris and excessive turning are three problems that can significantly reduce the life of the tracks.”
Mustang Mfg. Co.
1880 Austin Rd.
Owatonna, MN 55060
Ph: (800) 562-5870
Fax: (507) 451-8209
Gehl Compact Track Loaders
Three Compact Loaders with Tracks from the Agriculture and Compact Construction Equipment Leader
Gehl Co. is one of America’s most well known compact equipment companies. Gehl designs, manufactures and distributes a full line of compact construction equipment, as well as agricultural machinery. With roots dating back to 1859, the company has a long history of engineering quality skid steer loaders, telescopic handlers, compact excavators and farming implements. Through its agricultural division, Gehl has been producing implements for nearly 150 years. Today, the company is a leading non- tractor manufacturer of agricultural equipment in North America, offering a broad line of implements for the farm equipment industry — from forage harvesters to manure spreaders. The company also has a rich history in construction equipment as well, introducing one of the first skid steer loader lines in 1969. Today, Gehl and sister company Mustang offer one of the most complete lines of compact construction equipment in the industry.
Gehl’s Compact Track Loaders were introduced in the spring 2002. Today Gehl markets three models — the CTL60, CTL70 and CTL80. All three of these Compact Track Loaders are built through an OEM agreement with Takeuchi Mfg. Co. — the Japanese pioneer of compact track loader technology.
The CTL60 is Gehl’s smallest unit, engineered with a 66-hp, Yanmar diesel engine and 2,315 lbs of operating capacity. The CTL60 is a great machine for getting into more confined applications with its 12.6-in. tracks. Moving up, the middle size Gehl compact track loader is the CTL70 — with its 81-hp, Isuzu, turbocharged diesel engine and 2,976 lbs of load capacity. Add 5,952 lbs of tipping capacity and a bucket breakout force of 7,401 lbs, and the CTL70 is a great tool for general contractors and landscapers (especially crews moving and digging dirt, mulch and gravel). The CTL80 is the biggest Gehl Compact Track Loader, engineered with a 97-hp, Yanmar, turbocharged diesel engine with 7,056 lbs of tipping capacity, 8,692 lbs of bucket breakout force and 18-in. tracks.
Overall, users of these Gehl Compact Track Loaders are largely landscape contractors and some general contractors in commercial and residential building construction. The prime operators capitalize on the better flotation, traction and low ground pressure exerted by the dedicated tracks of the Gehl units. It’s an excellent alternative to the Gehl skid steer loaders when working in the wet spring or fall rainy season.
Gehl’s undercarriage is what’s called a steel-on-steel design. It was designed by decades of track undercarriages utilized on Takeuchi excavators. Gehl says its Compact Track Loaders use a strong steel carriage design, engineered with steel idlers and a high-drive planetary sprocket drive system. The undercarriage has more than 90 degrees of wrap on the track itself, giving better, more thorough engagement and a longer life.
The rollers themselves are steel roller bearings that are run in a continuous oil bath — made for many years of life with minimal maintenance. The carriage is also fully adjustable, like what you would find on many dozer models today. With one small wrench and a grease gun, you can make the proper tensioning adjustment on either side of the undercarriage in a matter of minutes.
All three undercarriages have a standard two-speed drive system utilizing high-torque and radial-piston motors with planetary final drives — this helps to match the application and speed of operations to the task at hand. Elevated planetary final drives also provide efficient and durable transfer of power to the tracks. Each machine responds quickly to rapid stops with spring-applied, hydraulic-release (SAHR), multi-disc wet brakes. Hydraulic self-leveling on every model will help keep loads level whenever the lift arm is raised.
Add that to a host of high-end standard features and these three Gehl Compact Track Loaders are premium units. Each machine comes standard with a large ROPS/FOPS canopy — one of the largest in the industry as far as overall space and visibility for the operator, say company officials. In the cab, operators will find a large, six-way suspension seat with backrest, pilot-joystick controls for easy operation, mirrors, hydraulic leveling, horn and backup alarm — all considered standard equipment right up front.
New for 2005, Gehl will offer optional high-flow hydraulics on its model CTL80 with 39.8 gpm.
Advice to Buyers:
“Seriously review the jobs and the applications that you do with the business that you have,” suggests Kelly Moore, Gehl product manager. “It’s really important to analyze that with the sales person at the dealership. It’s very important, because there are applications where these machines really shine in and there’s some that they do not shine in. When you get into abrasive applications like rocks, debris and those kinds of applications, these machines really shouldn’t be used in those operations. They really need to take a step back, analyze the type of work they’re doing and the fleet of equipment they have.”
P.O. Box 179
143 Water St.
West Bend, WI 53095
Ph: (262) 334-9461
Fax: (262) 338-7517