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In early June, Bobcat gathered industry media representatives at one of its dealerships in Atlanta where it gave editors a first look at its new skid

RICK MARKLEY

In early June, Bobcat gathered industry media representatives at one of its dealerships in Atlanta where it gave editors a first look at its new skid steer loader. The S850 is the company's largest skid steer.

The skid steer weighs in at 10,008 pounds and has a rated operating capacity of 3,875 pounds; this is 17% more than the companies next-largest model. The loader has lift height of 144 inches, which the company says is the highest in the industry. The unit, with bucket, measures 147.7 inches long and 83.4 inches wide.

The standard auxiliary hydraulic flow on the S850 is 23 gallons per minute at 3,500 pounds per square inch, and an optional high-flow feature reaches 37 gallons per minute.

It is powered by a 92-horsepower, Tier III-compliant engine that tops out at 12.3 mph in high gear and 7.1 mph in low gear.

The loader has an optional instrument panel that monitors the machine's functions and has a number-coded keyless ignition. The hydraulic quick couplers are mounted to the lift arm's front plate. The hydraulic hoses run through the loader arm to protect the hoses, and a guard bar extends in front of the coupler.

The S850's cab has been moved forward to put the operator closer to the bucket and improve visibility; the cab is 10% larger than previous models. A new cab door also improves visibility. The door threshold was lowered and the surface area enlarged by 40%. The loader's window area also has been increased. In-cab noise has been cut by more than 60%, partly due to new engine mounts, which also reduce vibration. The cab has an optional joystick control that will move up and down with the seat during operation.

Bobcat also rolled out four new offerings in another category of small vehicles with some aggregate mining applications. The company's utility vehicles are available in two-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations and with a 32-horsepower gasoline or a 24.8-horsepower diesel engine.

The company built an off-road course for editors to run the machines up hills, through mud bogs and over large rocks (to bottom-out the vehicles). These new vehicles are the result of a relationship between Bobcat and Polaris. Bobcat officials were careful to say that the vehicles are Bobcat, not Polaris machines, and that branding will reflect only the Bobcat name. Most of the manufacturing, however, is done by Polaris.

In addition to greater horsepower and top speed (30 mph), the new models have independent suspension, full-length skid plates, front and rear constant-velocity boot shields, radiator guards, sealed continuously variable transmissions and cargo boxes made of composite material. The company said it did not sacrifice fuel economy with the larger, more powerful engines.

All four models have a cargo box load capacity of 1,100 pounds. Their operating weights range from 1,178 pounds to 1,657 pounds. A heated cab is optional.

Bobcat parent company Doosan introduced some new and revamped models. In 2005, Doosan acquired fellow South Korean giant Daewoo, and in 2007 it added three divisions of Ingersoll Rand, which included Bobcat.

Among its lineup, Doosan has four articulated haul truck models, 16 crawler excavators and eight wheel loader models. Of its new excavators, the DX350LC is most likely to find its way into a quarry or sand and gravel pit. The machine's 271 horsepower, six-cylinder, 466-cubic-inch, turbocharged Doosan diesel engine meets Tier III standards.

With standard equipment, it has a breakout force of 54,012 pounds, an operating weight of 77,603 pounds, an arm reach of 36 feet and a digging depth of 24 feet 2 inches. It has a 50-hour greasing interval for the bucket pivot, and 250 hours for the boom pivot. The oil-change interval is 500 hours.

Doosan also displayed its DL420 wheel loader, which has a 5.2-cubic-yard bucket capacity. The machine is powered by a 659-cubic-inch Cummins QSM11 engine that puts out 280 horsepower and meets Tier III requirements. With the standard bucket, it has a breakout force of 47,210 pounds. It has a turning radius of nearly 23 feet, and its maximum steering angle is 40 degrees.