Skid-steer loaders, compact track loaders and the exclusive Bobcat all-wheel steer loader all have their own advantages for landscape contractors. When matched with the right attachment, a compact loader can handle most any task set before it on a jobsite.
However, under certain conditions and for some applications, a compact track loader may be the best option. Here’s why: The tracked undercarriage provides better flotation in some ground conditions, and the increased tractive effort versus wheeled machines has advantages in several landscaping applications.
“If a contractor often works on established surfaces or in wet or muddy conditions, I would recommend a compact track loader,” says Bryan Zent, marketing manager for Bobcat Company.
Compact track loaders are better for working in muddy or wet conditions because the track has more ground contact than wheels, giving the machine greater traction in these circumstances. This also means a contractor can lengthen their season by being able to work in these conditions.
The greater ground contact and traction doesn’t increase turf damage, however. A compact track loader is less obtrusive on turf than a skid-steer loader because the tracks have a low ground pressure. The weight of the compact track loader is distributed evenly throughout the surface of the track that is in contact with the ground. Less damage to a surface means less rework for the contractor later, a savings of both time and money.
TRACTIVE EFFORT AND PRODUCTIVITY
“Contractors who specialize in new landscape construction can also take advantage of a compact track loader’s abilities,” says Zent.
Compact track loader advantages do not end with increased flotation. With improved tractive effort versus skid-steer and all-wheel steer loaders, compact track loaders are better suited to handling some specific applications on a landscaping jobsite.
The increase in the loader’s ground-to-surface contact with a tracked undercarriage optimizes the machine’s power and performance. This increase in tractive effort enables operators to easily push heavier loads, making Bobcat compact track loaders ideal for rough or fine grading applications, Zent says. With compact track loaders, landscapers can excel at pushing down hardened piles, dozing tons of dirt and cutting swales.
THE RIGHT ATTACHMENT FOR THE JOB
Several attachments can be paired with the compact track loader to take advantage of the machine’s tractive effort. Box blades or laser-guided grading attachments can be used to final grade an area, while landplanes and landscape rakes can smooth out and level the soil. The landscape rake also collects surface debris, such as trash that accumulates around new construction. The soil conditioner grades and smoothes an area while preparing it for seeding. Sometimes, the ground needs to be broken up before it can be prepared for seeding, and the tiller mixes the soil. Dozer blades and buckets can also be used to push and haul soil around a jobsite.
THE PERFECT FIT FOR A CONTRACTOR
The improved productivity that Bobcat compact track loaders provide is a top reason landscapers add these machines to their equipment fleet. The heavier weight of compact track loaders ensures greater pushing force and allows large loads to be lifted. With more surface area in contact with the ground, compact track loaders provide more tractive effort than wheeled compact loaders. The pushing force of Bobcat compact track loaders is second to none due to direct-drive motors, a solid-mounted undercarriage and a balance between machine weight and horsepower. The tractive effort has been improved even more on the new M-Series line of compact track loaders, the radius-lift-path T630 and vertical-lift-path T650, now available from Bobcat.
For a landscape contractor working in the right conditions or applications, a compact track loader could be the perfect fit for their fleet.
Visit The Bobcat Website for more information.