Unique to Bobcat Company, Features On Demand empowers you to equip your machine specifically for the work you do. Customers can now customize their compact loaders to the work they do every day. Acceleration Manager Justin Odegaard gives an inside look into what the latest innovation from Bobcat can do for customers.
Q. What is Features On Demand and how does it work?
A. Features On Demand is new with Bobcat R-Series loaders. You, as a customer, can now have features enabled even after your machine leaves the dealership. Your dealer can order a performance package with five features onto the machine that you can enable and purchase now – or up to four years in the future. Dealers will be able to turn on any of those five features including Two-Speed travel, high-flow hydraulics, automatic ride control, dual-direction bucket positioning, reversing fan or auto throttle. They enable it. You’re on your way.
Turning on machine features with Features on Demand takes two easy steps and can be done anywhere with internet access and a smartphone. First, purchase the feature you’d like to enable on your machine – be sure you have your machine’s serial number handy. Then your dealer will actually enable it on your machine using a Bluetooth device that plugs into the rear of the machine.
Q. Why did Bobcat invent Features On Demand?
A. At Bobcat, we are the first and only manufacturer that’s found a way to make this technology work in the construction and equipment industry to empower our customers and dealers to be more efficient and effective.The idea started around a group of machines that were essentially the same other than one key feature: they each had different software. It’s common in today’s automotive and equipment industry for models to be the same other than software. The more software features you add onto a machine, the more you pay.
We came up with the idea to give our dealers the ability to add software features to machines in the field with the tools they already have rather than on the factory assembly line. This allows dealers to have one machine on their lots that they can equip with various features rather than three different models with specific capabilities. And it lets customers purchase a base level machine at a base level price that they can then update with additional features down the road as their needs change. All without buying a new machine.
Q. What type of customer will benefit from Features On Demand?
A. Features On Demand gives the customer the flexibility to easily test and add features to their machine after purchase as their needs and workloads change. One of the most valuable features included in Features On Demand is high-flow hydraulics. It’s really expensive – and sometimes impossible – to add high-flow hydraulics to a machine after market. With Features On Demand, you can purchase a machine without having to make that expensive upgrade to high-flow right away. If your business needs change down the road where you need to have high-flow hydraulics, you can enable it up to four years after your initial purchase. You can then get into different applications using a planer, Brushcat rotary cutter, forestry cutter and other attachments that require high-flow hydraulics.
Q. What machines are equipped with Features On Demand and what features are offered?
A. Right now, Features On Demand is only available on Bobcat R-Series loaders. The five features currently included in Features On Demand are Two-Speed travel, high-flow hydraulics, reversing fan, dual-direction bucket positioning and automatic ride control. Customers can explore all five of those features for the first 20 hours of their loader purchase. If they don’t purchase those features, they will be disabled after the 20 hours expire. Owners can enable any or all of the five features down the road within four years.
In the future, we’ll be rolling out additional Features On Demand features. The first will be autothrottle. Every R-Series loader that has selectable joystick controls will be able to purchase the autothrottle option throughFeatures On Demand. Any R-Series machine that left the factory prior to having the autothrottle feature installed just needs a simple software update, and then away they go.
Q. Why should I stick with Bobcat when it comes to technology like Features On Demand?
A. When you look at the industry as a whole, software technology has been around for a very long time. The automotive industry, for example, is really getting deep into it. So, it’s not a new concept by any means. At Bobcat, we are the first and only manufacturer that’s found a way to make it work in the construction and equipment industry to empower our customers and dealers to be more efficient and effective. When you look at the digital age, you’ll see how important customization has become. This is one thing that really fits into that, where you can have features on your machine that fit your needs right now.
We will also continue to explore adding more features in the future, testing and developing those we see our customers expressing the need for. We understand that not everyone can justify upgrading to the latest and greatest machine every few years, and Features On Demand provides that flexibility to keep their existing machine, but add those needed features later on. We’re looking to save customers money while still giving them the performance they need.
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