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Spring 2004

Belt Drive System Improves Engine Performance

Belt drive system

There’s a good reason why the engines of Bobcat® skid-steer, compact track and all-wheel steer loaders run quieter, last longer and burn less fuel than other brands— the Bobcat belt drive advantage.

Adapting technology from the automotive industry, Bobcat loaders use a single belt and pulleys to transfer power from the engine to the hydraulic/hydrostatic pump. Spring-loaded idlers keep proper tension on the belt, which has a three-year warranty. Plus, easy access makes replacing a belt simple and inexpensive.

Competitive loaders transfer power from the engine directly to the hydraulic/hydrostatic pump. Because the pump runs at the same speed as the engine, the pump may not operate at the proper speed for optimal hydrostatic and hydraulic functions. If an efficient, small-displacement pump is used, the engine must run extremely fast to generate proper hydraulic and hydrostatic flow. The result is excessive noise, increased fuel consumption and shorter engine life. A larger displacement pump allows the loader’s engine to run slower. However, it’s still less efficient than the Bobcat design.

The Bobcat belt drive system permits the use of smaller, more efficient pumps and minimizes steering lever effort. Using different sizes of pulleys on the engine and pumps, this system can be adjusted to run the pump faster than the engine, when necessary.

Hydraulic Cooling System Keeps Engines Cool

Hydraulic cooling system

Bobcat® loaders and excavators are cool machines, thanks to an exclusive hydraulic oil cooling system, which offers a number of advantages.

These machines feature a nylon hydraulic reservoir. It’s small enough for oil to heat quickly to operating temperature and to steam out any water that can lead to condensation buildup in cold weather. Since the surfaces are made of nylon, instead of uncoated steel, the oil also stays cleaner longer, helping to reduce maintenance costs.

Similar to an automobile radiator, hydraulic oil circulates through coils where it’s cooled as ambient air passes over. This is more efficient than a large tank or reservoir.

Typically, other brands of compact loaders draw dirty Belt Drive System Improves Engine Performance air from below the machine up into the engine compartment where it’s heated and forced through the oil cooler and radiator and then discharged out of the engine compartment.

Bobcat loaders feature dual path cooling. Cooler, cleaner air from above the engine compartment is drawn through the oil cooler and radiator and exhausts out the side vents, while hot air from the engine and hydrostatic areas is exhausted out the same side vents.

This superior cooling system allows Bobcat loaders and excavators to better handle the higher auxiliary flows needed for high heat load attachments such as hydraulic breakers and planers.