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 28 of 59

Bobcat's full-color rear camera keeps an eye behind. T he skid steer story continues. What began as a quirky tale about a small, three-wheeled manure-scooping machine has turned into a saga about a versatile tool-wielding work - horse with options of both tracks and wheels. No longer revolutionary, the compact machine today is evolving in purpose, capacity and sophistication. End-users are the catalyst for much of the change. They are pressuring manufacturers to introduce features that will not only let them do more with their skid steers and compact track loaders, but do it more efficiently and safer. In response, manufacturers are introducing innovative engineering and software solutions to meet these market- place expectations. At Caterpillar, engineers made what product specialist Kevin Coleman calls "discreet decisions" in developing high-flow hydraulic systems for their skid steer/compact track loader lineup. High-flow hydraulics are not unheard of, but Cat engineers tweaked systems and components to develop high-flow hydraulics that also are higher pressure. "It is not really new, but it is somewhat unique from the standpoint of high-flow solutions that best fit customer needs," Coleman says. Cat offers two systems — the High- Flow XPS, which bumps the hydraulic flow rate on smaller models to 30 gpm from 20 gpm, and the XHP system for the manufacturer's largest model, which increases flow to 40 gpm from 33 gpm. More to the point, the pounds per square inch component of each of the systems jumps to 4,061 psi. "This is where the uniqueness comes in, the higher pressure," Coleman says. "Operators can get the perfor- mance they need to operate cold milling heads, wheel saws, mulching attachments, land clearing tools — all the tools that really are expected to perform at a high level to clear more acres or mill more feet per minute of asphalt." The "discreet decisions" engineers made to create high- performance hydraulics made the systems more complex, which Coleman suggests some other manufacturers sim- ply have chosen not to do. "But we believe there is a lot of value in the high-volume, high-pressure application that some end-users are looking for." He playfully drops his voice and slows his words in de- scribing the "lower and slower" characteristics of standard flow systems in undertaking tasks demanding more hy- draulic power. "Some customers want to do a job well and efficiently and move on to the next job. That's what they are look- ing for. It's a different set of customers. For people who don't use attachments that require higher hydraulic vol- ume and pressure, the XPS and XHP systems are not such a big deal." 29 Bobcat's full-color rear camera keeps an eye behind.

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