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Posted: 02/05/2020

9 Loader Options and Bobcat Accessories to Consider Before Ordering a New Machine

Bobcat R-Series loader removing tree roots and brush

You’ve made the decision to purchase a Bobcat skid-steer loader or compact track loader. But what’s next in the process of getting your dream machine? It’s time to tailor your loader to your specific jobsite needs and operating preferences.

Before your loader can start down the assembly line, you’ll want to decide which factory- and dealer-installed Bobcat accessories and options to include in your new machine. Loader options can provide you with premium comfort, improved visibility, extra durability and boosted efficiency. Remember, though, if you’ll be adding dealer-installed accessories after your loader has arrived, you’ll need to also factor in the cost of downtime during installation. This checklist will help you think through which Bobcat accessories and features you need – and which might be unnecessary – so you can select the right machine for your work without breaking the bank.

1. Enclosed cabs with heat and air conditioning

Consider weather and seasonal extremes. Do you work in an area that’s hot and humid in summer or bone-chilling in winter? Adding an enclosed cab with heat and air conditioning to your loader will make those extreme temperatures much more bearable for you and your crew. Improved comfort features can boost productivity and expand your working season, potentially paying for the cost of the cab itself. Even if you don’t plan to work in winter, things can change. Opt for a cab on your order now, and you will be ready for future opportunities. Adding a cab post-purchase is not cost effective, so plan to make this decision upfront.

When to make a decision: When you order your loader.

2. Ride control options

Traveling over uneven ground while carrying loose material is practically begging for spillage, especially if you need to move at high speeds. Adding a ride control option to your loader, which is a dampening system on your loader’s lift arms, can reduce spills, improve efficiency and keep jobsites looking nicer while allowing you to move more quickly from one task to the next. Ride control also dampens the ride on rough terrain, improving operator comfort. You’ll need to decide if you want this option before your loader is assembled at the factory.

When to make a decision: When you order your loader.

3. Loader lighting accessories and packages

If you’ll be working in low-light situations, such as inside dimly lit barns or after hours on snow removal jobs, adding extra lighting to your loader can be beneficial. More lumens can improve operator visibility, allowing you to finish the job more quickly and accurately. Your local dealer can add extra lights to your loader down the road, such as a rotating beacon or a side lighting kit that features standard LED lights or optional premium LED lights. So rest easy: this isn’t an accessory decision you have to make right away.

When to make a decision: Either when you order your loader or after your machine has arrived.

4. Optional speed packages

When you’re traveling to and from jobsites, you’re eating up precious time if you’re regularly covering a lot of ground with your equipment. Loading a machine onto a trailer for transportation takes time too. To get some of those hours back, Bobcat offers loaders with an optional higher-speed package. You’ll need to make a decision on this option before your loader is built.

When to make a decision: When you order your loader.

5. Customized loader control style and joystick controls

Hand and foot controls or joystick controls? Your dealer will ask you to choose a control style before placing your loader order. You or your operators might have strong opinions on this topic. If you’ll be the sole operator of the loader, pick the setup you’re most comfortable with. But if you’ll be handing the controls over to your crew, it’s worth considering the rising popularity of joystick controls. Many younger operators aren’t as familiar with foot controls and will likely be more proficient with joystick controls. Plus, the ergonomic design of joystick controls makes them more comfortable to use. The option to switch between ISO and H-Pattern styles of operation on some controls allows further customization for you or your operators. Joystick controls also free up floor space, creating a roomier cab.

When to make a decision: When you order your loader.

6. Quick-change loader attachment systems

Quick-change attachment systems, such as the Bob-Dock™ attachment mounting system from Bobcat, can save you time by allowing you to quickly switch non-hydraulic and most hydraulic attachments from the comfort of your cab – no need to leave your seat. The system can also help prevent injuries by keeping you or your operators safely inside the loader on a jobsite. If you’ll be purchasing several attachments for your loader and you value time savings, a quick-change attachment system can be an advantage. Talk with your dealer to confirm compatibility.

When to make a decision: When you order your loader.

7. Optional touch display

The easy-to-use touch display option provides detailed information and exceptional device connectivity to improve loader operation. Detailed fault code information enhances serviceability and optimizes loader uptime thanks to the comprehensive error code explanations. The optional touch display continues to enhance peace of mind with 20 unique operator codes and a pin error lockout feature to keep your loader secure on the jobsite. Additionally, the touch display features operator statistics and an operator job clock so that you can track machine productivity and employee performance on every job.

Complete your package with increased phone and device Bluetooth™ connectivity, an on-demand, automatic rearview camera display and an on-screen attachment control. The optional touch display is a must for owners and operators seeking enhanced comfort and visibility.

When to make a decision: When you order your loader.

8. Air suspension seat design and upgrades

Planning to log long hours in your loader? Upgrading your seat may be worth the extra cost to help you stay focused on the job during long workdays. Air suspension seats offer increased operator comfort by adjusting to your weight and smoothing the effects of bumpy jobsites. Only available on the R-Series compact loaders, a heated air-ride seat is now an option for owners and operators. Talk with your dealer about seat options when ordering your machine.

When to make a decision: When you order your loader.

9. In-cab radio and speaker system

When you run out of coffee, pumping some tunes through your loader’s speakers can help keep energy levels high. Ask your dealer what entertainment packages are available for your loader when placing your order. Some radios even have an auxiliary input jack to plug in your favorite portable audio device. Your dealer can usually install radio kits post-purchase.

When to make a decision: Either when you order your loader or after your machine has arrived.

The many choices of Bobcat accessories and options for compact track loaders and skid-steer loaders makes it easier than ever to build the machine you want. Always explain to your dealer the type of application you’re planning to do, the conditions you’re working in, and any goals and projects you’re hoping to do in the future to get the best equipment setup.

Planning to do some work in the off-season? Check out these eight must-have attachments for snow removal.

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