Once again, Bobcat Company is setting a new standard for the industry. New R-Series loaders are redesigned from the ground up and built to tackle bigger, tougher jobs as well as deliver increased lift height and capacity; the most advanced touch display in the industry; improved cooling that maximizes uptime; and a long list of other new features. The R-Series compact loaders launched in February 2020 with the T76 and S76 models, and a full series rollout will occur across all platforms and models within the next two years.
In preparation for the full series rollout, we sat down with Jorge De Hoyos, senior product manager at Bobcat, to get the details on the most powerful, durable and reliable loaders Bobcat has ever built.
Q. What led to this innovation?
A. The new R-Series skid-steer and compact track loaders came from a combination of studying evolving customer needs and looking at our current design to see how those needs, as well as future needs, can be met with enhancements and modifications. While M2-Series loaders continue to serve our customers, we determined it was best to start with a new design with no preconceptions or need to keep the status quo.
Q. What’s the process for creating a new product series?
A. It’s all about creating value for the customer. We invented the compact loader industry more than 60 years ago, and we want to continue leading it forward. We’re constantly in touch with how our customers are using the products in their applications. After formulating a list of customer wants and needs, we use quantitative research to understand what we should prioritize to create more benefits for the customer. For example, during this round of research, we found out that increased visibility was a customer request.
Q. How have the lift arm updates improved performance and visibility?
A. The R-Series lift arms are now made with cast steel segments, which allows us to shape the material and strengthen it where it’s needed most. This has eliminated the need for additional steel plates, therefore improving operator visibility to the sides and bucket corners. We’ve also optimized the work group to improve lift capacity and lift height, which helps with productivity and cycle times. Part of optimizing the geometry of the lift arms included moving the linkage to the rear, which has also improved side visibility and serviceability. When you couple the new lift arms with the new clear-side enclosure, the visibility is unmatched in the industry. We’ve also added premium LED lighting; optional full and back corner lighting and side lighting is available.
Q. How has the cooling system been improved in the new R-Series compact loaders?
A. The new loader design lets the machine draw fresh air from the rear to cool both sides of the engine. We’ve paired that new design with a larger radiator fan that cools a bigger size oil cooler so customers can expect improved cooling performance on longer work days and have less power losses.
Q. How does the optional touch display benefit operators?
A. Operators will see machine vitals in multiple screens and formats so they can continuously monitor their machine. The optional display also provides extended alert descriptions, eliminating guessing on what the machine needs. Operators can monitor the performance of select attachments, fuel consumption and service reminders. The new touch display is also integrated with AM/FM radio, hands-free calling with noise cancellation and Bluetooth® connectivity.
Q. How has comfort been improved?
A. We’ve made the R-Series loader cabs roomier and created a sealed, pressurized environment that repels dust and dirt, reduces engine and hydraulic noise, and makes heating and air conditioning more efficient. A one-piece cab also makes maintenance easier – the entire cab lifts out of the way to provide superior access.
Q. What reactions have you received about these new compact loaders from dealers and customers?
A. The positive responses have been overwhelming. Our dealers are pleased that we have listened to their concerns and the customer concerns and that we’ve addressed them. They’re also very impressed with the innovation and the technology we’re bringing to the table.
Q. What’s next for R-Series compact loaders?
A. We’ve launched the T76 compact track loader and the S76 skid-steer loader. The next group of models that will be released are the vertical lift models with 68 horsepower and 74 horsepower with capacities of 2,350 and 2,400 pounds. We’re planning on introducing those this summer. We have a dedicated innovation group with many ongoing projects and we remain committed to staying on the leading edge of innovation.
Visit https://www.bobcat.com/loaders/features to learn more about the new R-Series compact loaders.