Competitive Comparison: Bobcat T86 vs. CAT 299D3 Compact Track Loader

Published on June 7, 2023

Ready to take on bigger, more ambitious projects with a new compact track loader? A large-frame compact track loader is great for tackling tough jobs on residential or commercial construction jobsites. It can also tackle heavy-duty hardscaping, move heavy landscaping materials, or remove trees and brush for land clearing or land development. If you need a compact loader for your farm or livestock operation, a large-frame loader can deliver all the capability and power you need from sunup to sundown.

The new Bobcat® T86 delivers all this capability and more, along with performance-enhancing options like super-flow hydraulics and innovative new features like Premium Power Performance. 

Many people who are in the market for a large-frame compact track loader will be looking at the Caterpillar 299D3 as well. In our latest competitive comparison, we go through some key differences that will affect your decision.  

Bobcat T86 vs CAT 299D3 Comparison 

If you’re comparing the Bobcat T86 to the CAT 299D3 compact track loader, here are the top things to know: 

Operating Capacity 

The Bobcat T86 offers higher rated operating capacity so you can lift more and tackle heavy-duty work (3,800 lb. vs. 3,560 on the 299D3 XE). 

Higher Hinge Pin Height 

You can lift higher and further with the higher hinge pin height on the T86 (132 in. vs. 126.3 in.) 

Travel Speed Options 

Work quicker and get more done faster with standard Two-Speed travel (T86 at 10.4 mph vs. 8.4 mph on the 299D3 XE). 

Three Hydraulic Flow Options  

The T86 offers three hydraulic flow options – standard, high, and super flow – in one machine for more versatility than ever before. 

New Hydraulic Oil 

With the introduction of our most powerful hydraulics yet in the T86 compact track loader, Bobcat now offers two new hydraulic oil products to ensure maximum performance and uptime.  

Hydraulic Horsepower (HP) 

The T86 hydraulic horsepower outranks the competition thanks to the higher auxiliary flow rates in our new super-flow hydraulics (42.0 GPM vs. 40.0 GPM on the 299D3 XE). 

Premium Power Performance 

Premium Power Performance intelligently distributes the power where it’s needed and provides improved productivity with up to 13% more output during work cycles.  

Operator Comfort 

R-Series comfort brings an industry-leading touch display and one-piece enclosed cab with best-in-class visibility and an optional clear-side enclosure.  

Bucket Positioning & Ride Control 

The T86 includes standard dual-direction bucket positioning and automatic ride control to enhance productivity. 

Cooling System 

  • The cooling system was designed for optimal performance with larger cooling components and a standard reversing fan (no additional rooftop cooling accessories are required) 

  • R-Series loaders feature a Bobcat® engine. An efficient design provides the performance you need while reducing and simplifying routine maintenance.  

Bobcat 5-Link Torsion Suspension Undercarriage 

The T86 has a 5-Link torsion suspension undercarriage – a Bobcat-patented design – for industry-leading operator comfort and a smooth ride. The 299D3 XE has a torsion axle suspension and does not have the option for a 5-link suspension that improves lifting and grading performance. 

Attachment Availability & Offerings 

The T86 can use Bobcat’s existing attachment offerings and newly developed Bobcat super-flow attachments, including the planer, forestry drum mulcher and snowblower

Productivity Comparison 

Premium Power Performance - 13% More Productivity 

Premium Power Performance will help make the Bobcat T86 compact track loader up to 13% more productive than competitive compact track loaders. Designed to boost productivity on high-flow and super-flow machines, the optional power management system distributes power more efficiently. This intelligent power management system improves engine-to-workgroup efficiency, distributing more power where and when it’s needed during multitasking operations.

Premium Power Performance - Hydraulics 

The new feature exclusive to the T86 and S86 compact loaders, Premium Power Performance, is standard on loader models equipped with high-flow or super-flow hydraulics. The hydrostatic pump that controls the drive train and the electronic displacement control pump that controls the hydraulics work together to determine where to efficiently distribute more power – whether to the tires and tracks or to the attachment at the front of the machine. This power management system makes the R-Series machines highly controllable and extremely efficient.  

Horsepower vs Flow, Capacity & Speed 

While the Bobcat T86 has 105 horsepower compared to 110 horsepower in the Caterpillar 299D3, the T86 offers higher auxiliary hydraulic flow, higher rated operating capacity and a faster top travel speed. The T86 boasts a balanced mix of ideal machine weight, powerful engines and high-performance hydraulic pumps. This is above and beyond other innovations like Premium Power Performance that direct available power more efficiently. Add it up, and you can do more with the horsepower you have. 

Attachment Versatility Comparison 

The Bobcat T86 compact track loader provides versatility advantages over the CAT 299D3 with more attachment capabilities and productivity. The T86 delivers more hydraulic horsepower and three hydraulic flow options in one machine, setting a new industry benchmark in performance.  

Three Hydraulic Flow Settings 

With the Bobcat T86, you can get three hydraulic flow settings in one machine: standard flow (23.6 gpm), high flow (36.6 gpm) and super flow (42 gpm). The Caterpillar 299D3 offers two: standard (23 gpm) and XE (40 gpm). Each component of the T86 – including the engine, pumps and hydraulic system – is engineered to deliver maximum hydraulic performance so you can work quicker, lift more and take productivity to new heights.  

Super-Flow Hydraulic Attachments 

Bobcat super-flow attachments are specifically designed for super-flow hydraulics – so you can get the most productivity and performance possible. These new attachments include super-flow forestry drum mulchers, planers and snowblowers. Compared to the Bobcat high-flow planer, the 48-inch super-flow planer is up to 20% more productive! 

Pick the Right Compact Track Loader for You

Choosing the perfect loader for your work comes with lots of things to think about. One of the best ways to pick the right machine is to give it a test run. Use the Build & Quote tool to configure your dream T86 and connect with a dealer today.