With world-class technology, innovation and customers as core values, Bobcat Company is always looking for ways to bring new ideas, offer new perspectives and find new ways to ensure that customers can accomplish more. And the new R2-Series compact excavators are a prime example of that innovation. These cutting-edge excavators have been enhanced for even better performance, control and efficiency. R2-Series compact excavators give operators improved low-effort joysticks enabling longer operation with less fatigue; increased precision with the optional depth-check accessory kit; and new, easy-to-read displays that enhance an operator’s awareness of service issues before they happen.
Wondering what else separates these new R2-Series excavators from their predecessors and why Bobcat updated a product line instead of launching a new series? Bobcat director of customer insight, Rob Gilles, shared some insight on this subject.
Q. What’s the difference between a new product series and an updated product line?
A: The difference is that when we roll out a new product series, we’ve made major structural changes. When the R-Series compact excavators were developed, we made changes to the machine’s framework. The R2-Series update didn’t include changes to the body framework of the machine, but instead we were ready to roll out new technologies and new advancements beyond what was designed for the R-Series excavators. We make product enhancements like these to offer our customers the most up-to-date features and technology to help them be more productive.
Q. What starts the process for creating an updated product line?
A: We’re continually doing customer research, whether it’s understanding customer needs or asking them about updates they would make to their current equipment. Based on this feedback, we decide which features to include in the next iteration of the machine. We also do research into other industries beyond compact equipment – such as the automotive industry – to understand the technologies used in their products and see what we can bring to our machines to enhance the user experience.
Q. How have the low-effort joystick controls been improved?
A: We reduced the tensioning within the joystick, which allows for better finite movements of the machine. Now you can use a lot of pressure to move things quickly and a little pressure to slightly move your work. The new joysticks make it a lot easier to control your digging on a finite level.
Q. How does the optional touch display boost efficiency on projects?
A: The biggest benefit is that if operators are using the rearview camera, they have a larger area to view it. The touch display also comes standard with integrated Bluetooth™ connectivity, including a stereo and hands-free phone capability. Another benefit is that it gives operators better access to codes that can help them diagnose issues and resolve them faster. If you’re having service issues, the touch display will give you a better definition than just the code. It’ll actually populate more of the diagnosis on the excavator’s display screen.
Q. One of the new features is the optional rearview camera. How does this benefit operators on the jobsite?
A: The rearview camera is mounted onto the machine. When operators are working next to a building or structure, they can see directly behind their machine. They don’t have to constantly be looking behind them for obstacles. They can look at the display screen in the cab and see if the excavator’s tail swing will interfere with any obstructions. From an operator perspective, in a conventional tail swing excavator, a rearview camera will become an integral part of the workday.
Q. When will customers be able to demo and order an R2-Series mini excavator?
A: R2-Series E42 and E50 mini excavators are available now. The R2-Series E42 is a conventional tail swing excavator, while the R2-Series E50 is a minimal tail swing excavator.