The new S450 has just joined 10 other models in Bobcat’s M Series line of skid steer loaders. This compact version is less than five feet wide, designed to work in tight spaces.
With a 1.8 litre, 49 horsepower engine the S450 replaces the previous K Series S130. And it gets an emissions compliant engine that doesn’t rely on a diesel particulate filter (DPF), so owners won’t have to add servicing or replacing that component to their to-do list.
Bobcat says the non-DPF solution was achieved by designing an “ultra-low particulate combustion (ULPC) engine,” which uses a specially designed combustion chamber to reduce particulate matter right in the cylinders. Therefore, there is no need for a DPF. In addition to eliminating the need for a DPF, the new engine gets increased torque over a wide range of engine r.p.m.
On previous Bobcat models, if some of the engine parameters went out of range, an automatic shut down system was activated. With the new engines, the shutdown feature is still included. Instead of shutdown being the only solution, the system monitors coolant and oil temperatures and manages the engine to prevent reaching a point where shut down is necessary. The company says this helps prevent engine damage and minimize component wear.
The brand has also introduced a cold weather safety feature. Anytime the engine temperature is too low, the loader will temporarily limit maximum engine r.p.m. to prevent premature component wear or failure. Engine idle speed is also raised slightly to reach operating temperature faster. As soon as the engine warms up, the protection mechanism will deactivate.
To deliver engine power, there is an optional two-speed drive, which hits a maximum of 6.2 m.p.h. in low and 9.3 in high.
Just because this is a compact model, don’t expect to have to squeeze into tight quarters to operate it. The company claims it, like the other models, gets one of the largest cabs in the industry. And the S450 uses the “cab-forward” placement that puts an operator closer to the bucket for better visibility.
You can equip the cab with HVAC or a deluxe control instrument arrangement that includes a full-colour, five-inch monitor. And to make you feel like you’re flying a fighter jet, you can opt for a joystick control instead of the standard pedal and lever arrangement.
To improve loader performance, the S450 gets a 3,300 p.s.i. hydraulic system. Bobcat says that significantly improves response. The S450’s pump puts out 63.2 litres per minute (16.7 gallons). Maximum loader lift height to the hinge pins is 2.7 metres (9 feet, 2 inches).
For more information visit www.bobcat.com.
On July 12th, the one-millionth Bobcat loader to be built rolled off the company’s assembly line in Gwinner, North Dakota. The ceremony included such events as a “Bobcat square dance,” in which the dancing machines were operated by long-time factory employees.
The current skid steer concept is the result of an evolution that began with a three-wheeled design the Melroe company bought the rights to in 1958. In 1960 it modified that original machine and began producing the first four-wheeled, skid steer.
Melroe will be selling limited edition “one-millionth” special edition loader models through dealers in 2015.