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New Bobcat 500 platform compact loaders

Bobcat has launched the new family of 500 platform compact loaders, which includes some of the company’s most popular models and is intended to cement Bobcat’s leadership of the skid-steer and compact tracked loader market worldwide.

In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, the new 500 platform comprises six new generation models, the S510, S530, S550, S570 and S590 skid-steer loaders and the T590 compact tracked loader. The new loader models have been designed to continue the success of the Bobcat range globally, where nearly one out of every two skid-steer loaders on the market is a Bobcat machine.

All of the 500 platform skid-steer loader models are manufactured at the Bobcat compact equipment plant in Dobris in the Czech Republic, while the T590 compact tracked loader is manufactured at the company’s main factory in Gwinner, North Dakota, USA.

The new 500 platform loaders replace the existing S150, S160, S175, S185, S205 and T190 loaders and provide operators with increased performance, enhanced operator comfort and easier serviceability to maximise job site efficiency.

Like the larger new generation 600, 700 and 800 platform models launched over the last two years, the new 500 platform machines offer a completely new design, combining over 50 years of experience in loader design with new developments to meet voice of customer requirements and incorporating many of the same innovative features and benefits that have proved so successful in the bigger machines.

Higher performance
The new 500 platform loaders continue the pattern set by the larger machines with significant advances in comfort, visibility, cab room, controllability and cab pressurization. With overall performance and cycle times up by around 16% on the previous models, the new 500 platform loaders take efficiency and productivity to new, higher levels:

– More lift capacity, lifting further and higher
– Faster cycle times, higher breakout forces
– Much better traction providing greater pushing and digging power
– More hydraulic power for attachments
– Greater uptime, reliability and ease of maintenance

The S510 and S550 models are radius lift path loaders, combining excellent manoeuvrability in tight areas with the reach and visibility needed for applications such as dumping materials over walls, backfilling or loading flatbed trucks.

The S530, S570, S590 and T590 models feature vertical lift path boom arms particularly suited to lift and carry as well as material-handling applications. The new vertical lift path loaders offer an increased lift height compared to the previous generation of machines and, combined with an optimised lift arm design, provide operators with the ability to lift heavier loads higher, making it easier to clear high-sided truck boxes and hoppers, as well as placing pallets loaded with heavy materials.

As in the larger new generation loaders, the 500 platform loaders incorporate a unique forward-positioned cab that moves the operator closer to the attachment and provides unmatched visibility in all directions around the machine.

The 500 platform loaders have the largest cab door opening on the market, offering superior visibility to the cutting edge of the bucket or the corners of an attachment. The cab door threshold has been lowered and the overall surface of the door has been increased by more than 40% to provide improved visibility and make it easier for operators to enter and exit the cab. The height of the cab has been increased to provide additional headroom, while still keeping the overall height of the machine under 2 m to operate well in confined spaces.

Windows on the sides and rear of the cab have been increased in size to provide more visibility to the tyres or tracks and the back of the machine. The larger top window makes it easier and more comfortable for the operator to see an attachment with the lift arms raised, an advantage when loading trucks or performing other similar tasks.

Best working conditions
As well as the 10% increase in size and over 30% increase in visibility, the cab on the new loaders allows the operator to adjust the environment to their individual preferences with ample adjustment in seat and suspension to produce the best working conditions. The optional best-in-industry pressurization on the cab improves HVAC performance by 35%. It is based on a new one-piece seal that goes all the way around the door and fits into a special curved pocket. This minimises the amount of dirt and dust that might enter the cab, making it easier to clean.

Noise in the cab has been reduced by 5 dBA while the noise for bystanders has been lowered by 4 dBA. The overall result is the perception of a reduction in noise by over 50%.

Operators have a choice between standard foot pedal hydraulic controls, the Advanced Control System (ACS) or the Selectable Joystick Controls (SJC). The standard foot pedals control the lift and tilt through mechanical linkage. The optional ACS lets the operator use a dash-mounted switch to instantly select between advanced hand control or advanced foot control of lift and tilt functions. The low effort control levers of the optional SJC can be operated in the ISO or H pattern. These handles move up and down in conjunction with the seat to reduce arm movement and operator fatigue. The joystick mounts also slide forward or backward to adjust to the requirements of each individual operator.

The cab on the 500 platform loaders is radio ready with a 12 volt power outlet for charging mobile phones and other devices, a cup holder, added storage compartments and new full-colour, optional deluxe instrument panels. This is complemented by a 50% increase in the front work lights output using optimised reflectors and lenses. The cab is also equipped with front door and rear window emergency removal handles.

In all Bobcat new generation loaders, the hydraulic quick coupler block is integrated and protected in the lift arm and hoses are routed through the loader arms for better protection. A guard bar extends in front of the coupler for added security.

Increased hydraulic power
The 500 platform loaders have increased hydraulic performance over their predecessors and have been engineered for higher standard flow and pressure, for better breakout forces and to give attachments more power to work with. A reduced number of hydraulic connections means less potential for leaks, which are further reduced by replacing 45 and 90 degree connections with straight fittings wherever possible, to ensure better alignment of fittings, hoses and tube lines. The more efficient auxiliary hydraulic flow lessens system losses and back pressure.

In every 500 platform model, size, power and displacement are matched to the loader’s rated operating capacity, balance and weight, resulting in loaders that can outperform higher-horsepower machines.

To ensure that operators spend minimal time on routine maintenance, the loaders are designed to work long hours in demanding conditions. Simple check points and superior design make it easier to perform routine maintenance at the proper intervals.

An integrated rear bumper protects the tailgate, whilst the solid steel tailgate prevents items from penetrating the engine compartment. The swing-open tailgate provides excellent serviceability of the loaders which is also enhanced by an easily accessible box-style air filter and a transversely mounted engine. The tip-up cab design allows ready access to important hydraulic components. Changing the hydraulic oil filtration from 90 to 10 microns significantly reduces the risk of contamination.

The cooling system on the 500 platform loaders has been redesigned for increased efficiency and higher performance to keep the loaders cool when working long hours, an important feature to prolong the service life of the machine. The new design makes it easier to clean out the cooling system, with an oil cooler that swings up, allowing the operator to clean the area between the oil cooler and the radiator.

All of the 500 platform skid-steer loader models offer a two-speed option which boosts the maximum travel speed from 11.8 km/h in low range to 17.3 km/h in high range. The hydraulic bucket positioning option keeps the loader bucket level as the lift arms travel upward, enabling operators to spill less and work faster.

New job-enhancing features have been added to the optional deluxe instrumentation panel. The new panel intelligently monitors key loader functions, while a keyless start helps prevent theft. The 5-inch, full-colour LCD screen offers better readability and interaction. Easy-to-read virtual sweep gauges allow the operator to quickly read and understand the machine’s performance.

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