Bobcat Launches the R Series Stage VS66 and S76 Skid Steer Loaders

Bobcat looks into Technological Advances to Move Skid Steers up The Construction Ladder of Applications

The skid steer loader was generally popular in America initially, however, over the years, the use of skid steers has spread across the globe mainly due to the technological advances that have been made towards their applications.  However, North America still maintains the largest market followed by other countries such as Australia, India, China and Asian countries. The reason for their gradual increase in popularity in countries such as Australia is attributed to a wide variety of factors which includes the introduction of the tracked compact skid steers that are often made available on hire for urban projects because of their lower weight that reduce damage to pavements and landscaped grounds. Another aspect of the skid steer that advocates its popularity is the machine’s lower operational cost which has triggered major manufacturers to take a renewed interest into the development aspects of the skid steer and among them was Bobcat and their launch of the R Series Stage-V S66 and S76 which according to Bobcat is a significant redesign after six decades.

Among the more significant improvements made to the new skid steer loaders include the lengthened wheelbases and tracks that enhances the stability of the machine significantly. The improved hydraulic systems are also worthy of point given the fact that compared to the predecessors, these new machines offer greater push and breakout forces coupled with enhanced lift capacity which naturally results in better productivity and higher efficiency. These new machines also boast low-effort joysticks based on the SJC system. This means that operators will have better control over their machines on their fingertips. The fact that skid steers have followed the footsteps of excavators and are now able to accommodate a wide variety of tools, skid steers in essence could replace excavators easily for the most part and Bobcat offers the widest selection of attachments that is comparative to any excavator.

Telematics Systems by John Deere

Manufacturers such as John Deere are examples of US based manufacturers that are also developing and integrating new elements into skid steers in order to make them more versatile such as the migration to telematics for these machines. According to Luke Gribble, a senior marketing manager for John Deere, the manufacturer offers telematics as an option in their skid steer loaders (JD-Link telematics) which does have a significant impact on our customer’s bottom lines. The JD-Link telematics system offers support via making critical information on utilisation available on demand which enables managers to conduct rapid diagnosis of problems which in turn reduces downtime significantly. Other new elements that have been incorporated into JD’s skid steers include the on-board grade indication system. The indication system basically provides assistance for operators to roll pitch using the in-cab monitor display with a greater level of accuracy. Gribble adds that the operators are able to manoeuvre the machines based on either degrees or percentages in real-time and conduct grade checks from within the cab which eliminates the need for operators to leave the cabin to check grade. The fully integrated system means that there is no additional requirement for hardware or software.

The is no doubt that Skid Steers are quickly rising in popularity due to these advancements in technology and Japanese based companies such as TCM, Toyota and even Komatsu are looking at technological improvements for their machines especially in order to cater for the bobcat skid steer loaders for hire segment which is growing rapidly. Skid steers are quickly becoming the ‘go to’ machines for urban projects due to their high level of versatility currently due to the integrated technological advances that match them to modern excavators.