Newest Bobcat Excavators Measure Up in Performance and Value
The Bobcat 335 excavator has a digging depth of 11 feet.
The latest additions to the innovative line of Bobcat® excavators combine exceptional value with efficient, productive performance.
The two new mid-size conventional tail swing models — the 329 and 335 — enhance productivity with an advanced hydraulic pump and valve technology to provide excellent breakout forces and smooth control of work group functions, soft touch joysticks and optional keyless start system to minimize unauthorized use of the machines. The 329 is designed to boost efficiency for jobs involving shallow excavating, such as utility projects, and for loading trucks. The 335 is ideal for grading, excavation and demolition contractors.
The new Zero Tail Swing 425 offers the same space-saving efficiency as the Bobcat 430 and 435 excavators, but in a lighter-weight, easier-to-transport package. The 425 allows you to slew freely to maximize digging and spoil placing opportunities when working next to a building, tree or other obstacles while minimizing potential damage to the machine and surrounding objects. It is available in both standard-arm and long-arm versions.
Here’s how these new machines are paying off for some of the first owners.
Bryan Mills, Mills Plumbing, Loganville, Ga., uses his Bobcat 335 excavator for digging water and sewer line trenches on new home construction projects.
He bought his 40 hp 335 from his dealer, Perimeter Bobcat, Norcross, Ga. With an operating weight of 9,170-lb., his 335 weighs about a ton less than his previous Bobcat 341 excavator. It also had a lower price tag. Both features were important to him. However, he didn’t want to sacrifice too much digging power. "I compared the specs of the two machines and figured the 335 was the best for me," Mills says.
His 335 gives him a digging depth of 11 ft., 8 in. and a bucket breakout force of 7,892 lbf. The standard heavyduty X-Change™ attachment mounting system makes it easy to hook up and remove his 24-in. Bobcat trenching bucket or other attachments.
"I'm really happy with my 335," Mills says. "I can fit it just about anywhere I want and still have plenty of power. I work in rocky areas and it can pull out large rocks, so I can trench without any trouble."
In addition to maximizing hydraulic performance, the 335's piston pump and closed-center hydraulic system give him precise control of the work group functions. "Bobcat makes smooth excavators," Mills says.
He likes the ease and convenience of the 335's blade float, too. "It's a great feature when I'm backfilling and smoothing off sewer lines," Mills says. "Instead of eyeballing the work when dragging back dirt, I just push the lever down and the blade keeps an even down-force for grading and leveling."
The placement of the hydraulic hoses and boom cylinder should help minimize repair costs, Mills adds. "The cylinder is well protected and the location of the hydraulic hoses on the back of the boom arm and dipper is a good idea," he says.
Mills, who also owns a Bobcat 331E excavator with extendable dipper, has tried other brands of compact excavators. "There's no comparison," he says. "Bobcat excavators have more power. That's why I stick with Bobcat."
The new Bobcat Zero Tail Swing (ZTS) 425 holds a special attraction for excavating contractor Randy Fox, Knoxville, Tenn. Not only is the longtime Bobcat equipment owner the first to own this model, he also tested a prototype, putting it through its paces in his daily work and offering suggestions on how to improve its performance.
Randy and Rusty Fox say the new 425 excavator was worth waiting for.
The 26 hp 425 replaced his conventional tail swing Bobcat 328 excavator. It joins three Bobcat skid-steer loaders (763, S150 and S160) which Fox and his son Rusty use on a variety of residential excavating jobs. They specialize in tight-space work—from digging footings and trenching for utility lines to backfilling around foundations on new construction and home additions.
"We do the jobs that contractors with bigger equipment don't want to deal with because of the damage their machines can do to yards, flower beds, shrubbery and the like," says Fox. "With our equipment, we can do 90 percent of the work that big machines can do and make the same amount of money."
The 425 is an ideal fit for their market niche. By minimizing the need to reposition to prevent damage when working in close quarters, it allows him to work much more efficiently than he could with his conventional tail swing excavator. The low 3.7 psi ground pressure of the rubber-track machine also minimizes damage to lawns and other sensitive surfaces.
"I'd been asking my dealer (Bobcat of Knoxville) for an excavator like this for some time," he says. "Every day we work within inches of foundations, corners of houses and trees. In the past, I've damaged a lot of downspouts and skinned up trees. Now, instead of keeping the excavator a foot or two away from a wall or tree, I can put the tracks of the 425 right next to it when I slew the house of the excavator."
The 8-ft., 4-in. digging depth isthe right size for their work. "By the time we get set up and reach out to dig a 16-ft.-long footing for a house addition, while crunched up next to a house, hedge row or swimming pool, there’s no room to operate any bigger machine," Fox says. "Our 425 has plenty of power for our jobs."
Despite the machine's trim upper structure, the cab still provides ample space for Randy, who stands 6-ft., 4-in. tall and weighs about 235 lb., to operate the excavator. "The cab is roomy for a Zero Tail Swing machine,” he says. A standard suspension seat adds to his comfort
Randy and Rusty Fox
With an operating weight of 5,849 lb., the 425 is light enough so the Fox crew can transport it on a trailer behind their pickup truck.
Fox also likes the 425's two-speed travel, which gives him a top speed of 2.3 mph. "I just push a button and the machine shifts smoothly between low and high range. There’s no pausing—saves several seconds each time. I'm always changing speeds when backfilling or traveling between jobs and those few extra seconds add up over the course of a day," he explains.
The 425 was worth waiting for, says Fox. "It's a good, all-around machine. In fact, all the Bobcat equipment I've owned over the past 11 years has been good. They’re dependable and durable."
Learn all the details about how these newest Bobcat excavator models can save you time and labor. Visit your local Bobcat dealer today.