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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Page 24 of 59 25 planers, blades, snowthrowers, tillers and trenchers. Mulchers and grading systems are two of the trendiest categories for skid steers and track loaders right now, but the variety of implement choices is only limited by man- ufacturer and customer creativity. "Caterpillar offers a box blade attachment designed for grading and leveling of large commercial properties, and it can be operated both manually and automatically with the use of laser or GPS grading systems," explains Kevin Coleman, product expert for skid steers and track loaders with Caterpillar. "To support the growing land management segment, Caterpillar offers a line of industrial brush cutters for our skid steer and track loader machines. A newer offering, our Cat side discharge buckets can efficiently collect, transport and discharge sand, sawdust, mulch or straw in applications where material is needed such as barns or stalls. Work tool attachments will continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of the customer." Cabs and Controls Opulent cabs and high-tech controls are increasingly popular commodities on today's skid steers and track loaders. Cabs are now considered all-day offices with pressurized cabins, air-ride and heated seats, air and heat options, satellite radio and ergonomic controls that make operators feel like they are in the driver's seat of their own car. Some loaders even have the option of a backup camera. Low-effort, electro-hydraulic (EH) controls have grown in popularity with the ability to switch from ISO, H and foot patterns. "Joystick controls are offered on many loaders which provide fingertip controls enabling an operator to easily control numerous machine functions without letting go of the joysticks," says Boerger. "Some features may include speed management, which allows the operator to adjust travel speed independently from the engine speed for greater attachment control, or steering drift compensation, which keeps the loader on a straight path as an operator side-shifts certain types of attachments." We highly suggest you read our following story focused on new skid steer and track loader technologies starting on page 28. Many of these new operator stations come with sophisticated digital control panels that allow for attachment and machine automation. Routine tasks such as boom settings, attachment speeds, hydraulic flows, wheel speeds, ride control and return-to-dig functions can be automated into your joysticks, which are engineered Consider the types of surfaces the machine will be operating on and the major applications planned. Operating a variety of machines is always smart, and rental is a great place to do that.

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