American Giants "Bobcat" have recently launched their latest offerings for the telescopic loader market. It may come as a surprise to some that the North Dakota company started producing the rigid frame telescopic loaders in the year 2000 and having been acquired by the Korean company "Doosan" in 2007, they have come on leaps and bounds in this sector of the market.
The TL 470 wades into battle with a weight of just over 7 tonnes, a lift capacity of 3.5 tonnes, a reach of 4 metres and a lift height of 6.9 metres. Fitted with a heavy duty hydrostatic transmission and a manual gearbox, it provides a shift on the fly gear change with ease. With a 3.6 litre turbocharged 110hp Deutz power plant, it ticks all the boxes on paper. So how does it fare out in reality? The answer? It packs a knockout punch.
Climbing into the cab, it becomes instantly apparent that driver vision and the layout of controls have been designed to a tee. 360 degree vision is achieved through a 5 pillar cab that features the "ROPS" (roll over protection structure) and the "FOPS" (falling object protective structure) system. Controls are logically positioned with the joystick home to the normal, lift, tilt, boom out and also the machines forward and reverse controls.
What makes this loader different from its red and yellow competitors is the unique features that sit onboard this titan. Featuring load sensing as standard, the TL470 can perform multiple tasks without the engine dying down.
It can lift, tilt and boom out all the same time without shedding a single rev, making it a more than capable machine on a silage pit. It also features a system called SMS (smart handling system) allowing you to control the speed of which the boom etc works at.
The Speed Management system allows you to maintain high revs while operating at low speeds and to top it off, the machine features an "Eco Mode" which allows you to operate the hydraulic system at full flow without the need for full revs.
From my own point of view, I thoroughly enjoyed my day with the Bobcat. The comfort and visibility kept me relaxed and no chore seemed beyond me or the machine. Roll on the summer and I can get it onto a silage pit. You can check out the full Bobcat range at Adare Farm Machinery or EMS located in Naas.
In the words of its founder, E.G Melroe, “The future is animal". And he's right.
Machinery Correspondent - Stuart "The Lad" Downie from "The Crop Cruisers".