Compact Equipment

JAN 2019

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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24 Compact Equipment JANUARY 2019 A Size for Most Everyone There is a large span of model sizes in today's skid steer and track loader market, usually broken into small-, medium- and large-frame categories. At the top, brands like Gehl and Mustang (each owned by French-based aerial lift equipment expert Manitou) tout "the world's largest skid steer." Gehl's is the model V420, and Mustang's is the 4200V. Both machines feature a powerful Deutz 97.2-net- hp engine and 4,200 lbs of rated operating capacity. With an operating weight of 11,665 lbs, these extra-large skid steer loaders utilize a vertical-lift path of almost 12 ft for excellent dumping and loading performance. At the opposite end, brands like ASV are releasing some of the smallest track loaders in the industry. ASV's RT-25 is an awesome economical alternative for contractors, engineered with a 25-hp Perkins diesel engine, 5.1-mph top speed, 1,900-lb tipping load and an 8.4-ft lift height. The RT-25 measures just 48 in. wide. Yet... "The largest portion of the skid steer and track loader market is still comprised of the mid-frame-sized loaders that are relatively easy to transport from job to job and have greater engine and hydraulic performance than the small frame units," notes Lee Padgett, product manager with Takeuchi-US. "The mid-frame loaders are able to run a wider range of hydraulically-driven attachments which makes them more versatile and valuable to a contractor." That's one of the reasons Takeuchi launched its radial- lift TL6R track loader last year with a 65-hp engine, 7,400- lb operating weight, 5,269-lb tip load and max lift height of 9 ft, 6 in. The TL6R is under 6.5 ft tall, and it's only 5 ft wide — a mid-frame model with a great size-to-power ratio. The TL6R's 2,635-lb rated load capacity is a little bigger than the most popular size range, which is mid- frame skid steers and track loaders in the 1,750- to 2,200- lb rated load capacity category. Hydraulics and Attachments Pressurized oil and fluid mechanics (i.e. hydraulics) power skid steers and track loaders. Hydraulic flow to the auxiliary circuit and the attachment will be determined in gallons per minute (gpm) and as standard- and high-flow configurations. Skid steers and track loaders can boast up to 45 gpm on the largest "high-flow" models, powering aggressive implements like brush cutters, asphalt planers and trenchers. "Attachment versatility continues to be an important consideration when buying a loader," says Jason Boerger, marketing manager with Bobcat Co. "As we know, these machines can do more than just dig. Attachments like brush cutters, planers and snowblowers can increase the types of jobs a machine can do, but contractors need to be cognizant of the engine horsepower and hydraulic flow. They need to make sure they know what jobs they will be tackling so they can ensure the attachments will be properly powered by the carrier." There are hundreds of different attachments to choose from and then a zillion different sizes. Like Boerger men- tions, the flow and pressure of the attachment need to be compatible with the machine or there is risk of damage, premature wear and poor performance. Some of the most popular attachment categories include buckets, breakers, brooms, augers, pallet forks, backhoes, mowers, grapples, 1. Job Surface Harder and abrasive surfaces are not very rubber track friendly, therefore the rubber tire machine vs. the rubber track machine is better suited for those conditions. 2. Ground Disturbance Consider the application where ground disturbance may be important. Nurseries and golf courses, for example, lend themselves to rubber tracks where the lower ground pressure would cause less ground disturbance. When working on highway roads and bridges where road speed and the use of grinding attachments are essential, wheeled machines should be considered first. 3. Cost and Cleanup It's important to understand that track units are more expensive, albeit that gap is lower than it used to be. Contractors should also expect that maintaining a compact track loader takes a little more time and effort than a wheeled unit with proper daily cleaning of the undercarriage. SKID STEER VS. TRACK LOADER Three Things to Consider by Tim Boulds, Kubota Construction

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