Bobcat has announced a major update and upgrade to its entire range of fixed frame telehandlers including the addition of upgraded Stage V diesels.
The new R-Series comprises 12 models with lifting heights from six to 18 metres with maximum lifting capacities of 2.6 and 4.1 tonnes.
The new R-Series range includes the following models: Compact - three six and seven metre/2,600 to 3,000kg capacity TL26.60, TL30.60 and TL30.70 models. Middle Range - four seven to 12 metres/3,500 or 3,600kg capacity TL35.70, T35.105, T35.105L and T36.120SL models. High Lift - five 13 to 18 metres/3,500 and 4,000kg capacity T35.130S, T35.130SLP, T35.140S, T41.140SLP and T40.180SLP models.
The key change on the models is the upgrade to Stage V diesels. They now feature the new Bobcat D34 Stage V engines with Diesel Particulate Filter (DPI) after-treatment with automatic regeneration. This is coupled with a newly configured automatic transmission with a ‘Dynamic’ mode for applications requiring rapid transmission response, and an optional hand throttle with ‘Flex Drive’ function that allows the operator to control the travel speed independent of the engine RPM. A Perkins Stage IIIA engine is available for markets with lower emission standards.
The new models include a new engine hood with a steeper profile that is said to improve visibility and reduce blind spots on the right hand side of the machine by up to 15 percent. The cab has a new central control panel and dashboard, with an upgrade interior with more space and better visibility. A five inch LCD display provides interactive and streamlined information, including the feed from the rear view camera. The machine is controlled through an improved 'all in one' joystick and modified pedal.
Finally, the company has stepped up the level of protective shielding for exposed hydraulic and electrical components and added a steel plate underneath the machine. They are also supplied with Bobcat’s new Machine IQ telematics system and also come with a standard three year factory warranty (3,000 hours) on the entire machine.
European region president, Gustavo Otero, said: “Telehandlers are a fundamental asset of our business strategy and key pillar of our 'Next is Now' initiative. Our new ground breaking R-Series range offers high performance, robust machines for maximum uptime with a focus on accurate controls and intuitive operation for tackling any job on the construction site. With these new models and the increased investment in our telehandler business, we are aiming to double the production of Bobcat telehandlers by 2025.”
“Bobcat telehandlers are popular all around the world. We want to further improve our presence and accelerate our growth in the construction market with this new generation. Leveraging from the ease of use, safety and reliability of our equipment, we aim to be present on every job site, where this kind of equipment is needed.”
This move follows similar upgrades to those recently announced by JCB and Manitou. The surprise – perhaps – is that there was not information on battery electric models. Bobcat has a very small share of the telehandler market even though it can trace the lineage of its telehandler line back to the earliest days of the market. It is doing well on the agricultural market and in a few specific industries such as waste handling where it has focused its efforts.
To win market share away from the leading manufacturers in this market is a tough challenge and involves a good deal more than product upgrades such as this. However, Bobcat’s ambition to double production over the next four years is perfectly achievable given the way the market is still growing and that fact that it has a well engineered, well designed modern product and a strong brand. To do more requires improved distribution and product line specific marketing and communications to support it.