Bobcat is launching a new Remote Control System for Bobcat compact loaders. This system allows operators to leave their seat in the cab and control their Bobcat loader remotely. It is compatible with Bobcat skid-steer, compact track and all wheel steer loader models equipped with the company’s Selectable Joystick Controls. Bobcat is the first manufacturer to introduce a Remote Control System as original ‘Plug&Play’ equipment, rather than offering it as an add-on development from a third party. The new system will be commercially available later this year.
Remote control solutions have proved their qualities and abilities to save lives in the toughest environments all around the world by providing service during disasters like floods, forest fires, mud or rock slides and in other places where operators can be subjected to dangerous situations.
“We first presented our remote control prototype at Bobcat Demo Days in October 2017 with excellent feedback from our customers, then subjected it to further improvements, testing and licensing, before finally introducing it as an easy ‘Plug&Play’ solution for existing machines here at Bauma for commercial launch,” says Jiri Karmazin, Loaders Product Manager Doosan Bobcat EMEA.
“The remote control system can be used in many applications with the focus on limitless visibility, the ability to communicate with the surroundings without the need to be present in the cab, comfort enhancement for applications with noise, vibration and harshness or even in dangerous areas. This was the voice of our customers and the issues we observed on most jobsites,” Jiri Karmazin continued.
The new plug and play system comprises an easily portable and industrial radio remote control solution that can be mounted and dismounted on machines in a matter of minutes, leaving behind the standard machine in its original form. Being able to control the loader from outside the cab offers the operator a completely new and alternative opportunity in terms of visibility and communication.
Not only does it provide direct sight of the progress of work with a range of attachments, further increasing the versatility of the loader and a comprehensive range of attachments including angle brooms, augers, breakers, buckets, snow blowers or trenchers and wheelsaws where the operator specifically needs to drive backwards with the loader and this solution offers perfect visibility of the project. It also allows operators to talk face-to-face with project partners and manage the surroundings (verbally or non-verbally) at the same time.
Remote control aims to increase safety, comfort and productivity by distancing the operator from dust, noise, vibrations and other hazards encountered at the workface or on job sites that require special safety precautions. Work can be done faster with higher precision and, in some applications, with fewer personnel on the job site. For increased safety, the system also features an emergency stop button and drop and tilt detection.
Every remote-control kit is protected by a dedicated password, with two-way communication providing all the important information about the loader (such as fuel and oil status, warnings, etc.) on a 3.5-inch transflective colour backlit LCD display. The system provides most of the functions that can be performed via direct loader operation, including throttle, light, creep and float controls. There is also speed management control to ensure easier operation in certain applications (such as trenching, tilling, scarifying and so on). The system in very intuitive to use and the training for end users will be provided by Bobcat dealers.
The remote control system is supplied with two exchangeable batteries offering a long 20-hour battery life. The protective case ensures it is easier to transport from one job site to another. This forms part of an updated state-of-the-art ergonomic design with the system housed in a rugged and weatherproof enclosure.
As mentioned above, applications include demolition environments with poor air quality and distracting noise, where the remote control system gives the operator the ability to do work from a distance, free from dirt, dust and noise. For construction work that normally requires two people, this solution can cut labour numbers and costs, as only one operator can complete the job themselves by carrying out work with attachments from outside the cab.
In shipyards with limited space, distancing the operator from the machine keeps them away from hazardous chemicals and other airborne pollutants. The job can be done more easily, with better visibility for managing tight spaces in and around containment areas.
In the waste and recycling industries, the remote control solution allows operators to handle dangerous or toxic materials from a safe distance, minimizing the risk of exposure.
With the remote control solution, operators can work on hazardous applications (such as detecting and removing land mines) and also in areas where more visibility is needed to do the job properly (such as in some road applications).