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Fall 2008

Transforming the compact equipment industry

Bobcat roller suspension system sets new standard for compact track loaders

Clarence Wilmouth

Clarence Wilmouth, Knoxville, Tenn., with his new Bobcat T320 with roller suspension.

Clarence Wilmouth and Chuck Simmons are separated by thousands of miles yet the two contractors have a lot in common. Both have operated Bobcat® equipment for more than 20 years and recently purchased new T320 compact track loaders with the optional roller suspension system — the first and only compact track loader suspension system with an all-steel design and steel imbed tracks.

Operator comfort, a durable undercarriage, low maintenance and excellent performance are critical to their businesses’ success with their Bobcat T320s. The new roller suspension system accomplishes all four of these and provides them with the most durable undercarriage for their toughest jobsite conditions.

Comfortable ride impresses long-time Bobcat owner

Clarence Wilmouth owns and operates an excavating and landscaping company near Knoxville, Tenn., working with home builders in new subdivisions. A long-time customer of Bobcat of Knoxville, he noticed right away that his new T320 with the roller suspension system felt much better than the undercarriage of his previous compact track loader. He was one of the first customers in his area to try the new track loader option.

I bought the Bobcat T320 for the improved ride and comfort more than anything else. — Clarence Wilmouth

“I bought the Bobcat T320 for the improved ride and comfort more than anything else,” Wilmouth says. “The difference in the comfort is beyond imagination. It makes smooth turns on asphalt, like I expect from a rubber-tire machine.”

Bobcat engineers designed the roller suspension system to work more comfortably on a variety of surfaces, easily driving over small bumps, over hills or loading the machine onto a trailer. The compact track loader hugs the ground for a smooth transition between surfaces, minimizing vibration and improving operator comfort.

“The new system absorbs a lot of the stress when I cross curbs, grade new home lots, and drive across rocks,” Wilmouth says. “It also cuts down on the vibration when I’m carrying sand from one end of the subdivision to the middle — it doesn’t bounce out before I get to the site.”

Low ground pressure requires compact track loaders

Chuck Simmons is the owner of Simmons Landscape Company in Jackson, Calif. Like Wilmouth, Simmons’ business depends on his Bobcat skid-steer loaders and compact track loaders. He recently upgraded from a Bobcat T250 to the 92-horsepower T320 with the roller suspension system from Bobcat Central in Stockton, Calif.

“We moved up to the T320 because we needed the extra horsepower and because we liked the new roller suspension system,” Simmons says. “There’s a noticeable difference, whether I’m driving on the road or working in the dirt. It’s a smoother ride than my previous compact track loader.”

Simmons was turned on to compact track loaders after success with his Bobcat MT52 mini track loader. His company performs landscape maintenance, irrigation installations and erosion control projects. These tasks generally require lower ground pressure than a rubber tire skid-steer loader can provide.

“The MT52 convinced me to upgrade from a skid-steer loader to a compact track loader two years ago,” he says. “We used our MT52 to haul 500 yards of gravel and two trailer loads of blocks that weighed 70 pounds each. Without the MT52, our guys would have hand-carried those blocks 500 feet from the trailer to the site. We liked the way it handled, specifically the improved traction and minimal ground disruption,” Simmons says.

Chuck Simmons

Owner Chuck Simmons recently upgraded from a T250 to the T320 with roller suspension for an improved ride.

Simmons recently won an erosion control project bid because he owned compact track loaders that could travel across sensitive grasses with low ground pressure.

“The customer wouldn’t let us enter the site with a rubber tire machine, but because the compact track loader’s ground pressure is spread out, we finished the job with minimal disruption to the area.”

Minimized maintenance

The new compact track loader undercarriage design — with its sloped design — enhances debris shedding and prevents material from clogging the rollers. Operators spend less time removing built-up dirt and debris, and more time working.

“The new system makes it much easier for us to clean out, and we’re getting less debris in the undercarriage than our other compact track loader,” Simmons says. “It’s much easier and faster for us to clean out gravel and dirt when it gets inside the tracks.”

Bobcat added new clean-out holes to the undercarriage to give owners better access for pressure washer cleanings. Unlike other track loader brands that require special maintenance tools, a normal grease gun will suffice for routine maintenance on Bobcat compact track loaders.

Two contractors, two areas of expertise, same results — improved comfort, enhanced performance and simplified maintenance. Simmons sums it up best when he says “operating Bobcat equipment is the joy of my life.”

Contact your local Bobcat dealership today to schedule a demonstration and experience the new standard in compact track loader ride and performance. In the meantime, go online at www.bobcat.com/roller to read more about the new system, see photos and watch a product demonstration video.

It’s much easier and faster for us to clean out gravel and dirt when it gets inside the tracks. — Chuck Simmons

Additional models now available

Bobcat T250 and T300 compact track loaders can be ordered with the new roller suspension system. Medium-frame loaders, including the T180 and T190, are expected to have this option this fall.

Undercarriage design updates

The debris shedding and cleanout features introduced with the Roller Suspension option earlier this year, are now being incorporated into solid mount track carriages. All T250, T300 and T320 compact track loaders with solid mount carriages will include angled top plates, additional clearance around the drive sprocket, and a pressure washer access hole. These features will allow the system to shed debris better, and make it easier to clean out debris that does stick to the frames.