Innovative Iron Award Winner: Bobcat’s L95 Compact Wheel Loader

Bobcat’s L95 Compact Wheel Loader

The Top Construction Landscape and Rental Equipment Launched in 2023

Innovative Iron Logo 2023

The world of off-highway machinery is evolving — battery-powered units, hydrogen engines, luxury and economy tiering, machine control automation — but maybe the biggest evolution is that everyone wants a compact machine. Small, tool-carrying construction equipment now make up about 50 percent of the U.S. machinery market with mini excavators and compact track loaders being the two most popular categories in America. To meet this enormous demand, machine makers released some pretty awesome machines in the past 12 months: advanced skid steers, electric asphalt pavers, entry-level grade control attachments and so much more. The 2023 Innovative Iron Awards celebrate the best of these compact equipment launches. Scouring tradeshows, visiting manufacturers, operating units, interviewing experts, this annual compilation represents the best equipment we’ve seen and experienced all year, including…

Bobcat’s L95 Compact Wheel Loader

Bobcat L95 compact wheel loader using a grapple attachment

An American compact equipment icon, Bobcat Co. continues to not only enter new markets (mowers, compaction, generators, compressors), but it’s also making larger equipment. In 2023, Bobcat released one of its largest loaders ever with its L95 compact wheel loader. This unit has it all — from big lift heights and serious attachment hydraulics to a deluxe cab and three drive modes — bringing it to the top of Bobcat’s wheel loader trio. I caught up with Jamison Wood, product development specialist at Bobcat, during Equip Expo this fall to discuss this exciting new model.

“We have the L65, the L85 and the newest L95,” said Wood. “So we have three now, but this L95 obviously gives us more capacity. Bigger is better, right? So we have a lot of customers looking for something a little bit bigger. One of the biggest improvements that we’ve made from the 85 up to the 95 now is comfort inside the cab. We have a big deluxe cab with an air-ride seat. Another big thing is we’re going to have more ROC — a little bit more rated operating capacity — and then almost 25 miles an hour ground speed. That’ll be huge.”

The L95 goes big for sure. It offers the largest bucket capacity, the most horsepower and the most powerful transmission within the Bobcat lineup of compact wheel loaders. With a standard bucket capacity of 1.2 cu yds and 10.5 ft of lift height, the L95 excels at material handling. Its electronic hydrostatic transmission (E-HST) delivers easy direction changes, efficient acceleration and effortless speed control. A powerful combination of the E-HST transmission and horsepower management automatically adjusts the loader’s drive system to maximize pushing and loading power.

There’s tons of standard features, including three drive modes, automatic ride control, high-flow auxiliary hydraulics, advanced attachment control mode, seat-mounted joystick, Power Bob-Tach system, 5-in. display panel and travel speeds reaching 24 mph. This unit is also available with a spacious, pressurized cab, boasting high visibility, excellent ergonomics, heated air-ride seat and efficient HVAC system. There’s also an optional rearview camera.

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L95 Attachments and Operation

Bobcat L95 compact wheel loader using a grapple attachment

The L95’s compact size, tight turning radius and Power Bob-Tach interface enhance the machines’ versatility, ensuring maximum performance and making it ideal for landscaping, nurseries, construction, agriculture, rental tasks and other applications. Standard high-flow auxiliary hydraulics provide up to 27 gpm of auxiliary hydraulic flow to the attachment. The L95 even has an advanced attachment control mode, allowing operators to control the engine and travel speed separately for full auxiliary hydraulic performance. Operators can set drive speed increments from 1 to 99 for the ideal combination of attachment performance and machine control. Then, they can increase engine rpm with the engine speed dial and maximize attachment productivity.

The L95 also offers dual-direction detent, allowing hydraulic flow to be engaged continuously in either direction without holding a switch for greater operator convenience.

“We use the Power Bob-Tach interface on here, so we’re able to hook up to all our skid steer attachments — all the approved ones that work for it,” explained Wood. “We also have the Z bar linkage on here for our tilt auto leveling. So when you lift it up, this whole linkage on here will automatically keep it level mechanically. We also have the level indicator — all that stuff can make it a little easier to operate.”

Operation gets even easier with the L95’s three drive modes:

Travel Mode: Spend less time travelling across a jobsite or between jobs. This time-saving feature boosts your top travel speed to as high as 24 mph, using the throttle knob for engine speed.

Smooth Drive Mode: Used for maneuvering across jobsites with mild acceleration and deceleration while carrying loads, using the acceleration pedal rather than the throttle knob.

Flex Drive Mode: Bring a new dimension to driving by managing the travel speed independently from the engine speed. Achieve a whole new level of efficiency and precision. Using the throttle pedal, the operator can maintain a constant hydraulic flow to the boom and attachment regardless of the travel speed.

L95 Engine and Maintenance

Bobcat L95 compact wheel loader doing snow work

Bobcat’s L95 sports an advanced Tier 4, turbocharged engine, delivering high-torque performance and excellent efficiency, while achieving emissions compliance without the use of a diesel particulate filter (DPF) or selective catalyst reduction (SCR). Operators will also appreciate the engine’s reliable, cold weather starting and a variety of features that make maintenance and service more convenient.

“We also increased the horsepower on it,” said Wood. “We were at 68 hp on the 85. Now this 95’s getting right below that 75-hp threshold — for the DEF requirements — right at 74.5, 74.8. You don’t have to put DEF in there. Then having our Bobcat engine, we’re non DPF as well, which is a big thing that we really like to hammer on here at Bobcat. Another difference, going up to the 95, we do put a little bit bigger tires on here. Your ground clearance is going to be a little bit more, be a little taller, and then operators in the cab get a little bit better visibility.”

The Bobcat compact wheel loader has a large fuel filter that enables better system protection and longer filter life with more than double the media surface area. It has more holding capacity to capture impurities for longer intervals, greatly extending the life of the fuel filter. The filter is also easier to change, and it includes a clear water bowl for easy monitoring and a sensor to notify operators when draining is needed.

The fuel pump enables a self-priming system that continuously forces air out of the low-pressure fuel system and back into the fuel tank, eliminating the need for a primer bulb. This makes it easier for operators if the fuel tank runs empty or when changing the fuel filter.

Cold weather work won’t impact your L95 compact wheel loader. The fuel recirculation valve returns warm fuel to the lift pump to reduce fuel gelling issues. It works better than an electric heater, keeping operations running in frigid conditions and improving cold-weather performance.

“The L95 is definitely going to be big with snow customers,” said Wood.

Safety is also increased with the L95. There’s a dynamic braking system that will decelerate and stop the machine as soon as an operator lets their foot off the accelerator pedal — unlike a torque converter-style transmission that coasts before coming to a complete stop. There’s also an automatic parking break with slope assist. When an operator releases the accelerator pedal as the engine idles, the compact wheel loader’s parking brake automatically engages for operator convenience. To disengage, press the button on the instrumentation panel or press down on the accelerator pedal. The slope assist holds the machine’s position on inclines and trailer ramps, giving operators easier, more intuitive control on every type of surface.

Of course, there’s a lot more — from the L95’s lockable engine cover to its side-by-side cooling system. Read all about this Innovative Iron Award winner right over here. The L95 provides an exceptional new addition to the compact wheel loader landscape. This material-handler, with its large bucket capacity, high lift height, swift travel speeds, great maneuverability and increased attachment versatility, will allow operators to accomplish a whole lot more.

Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.