It was more than a decade ago that Bobcat brought its first mini track loader, the MT52, to market. At last week’s GIE+EXPO, the West Fargo, North Dakota-based manufacturer introduced the next iteration of that product line: the more powerful MT85.
With a rated operating capacity of 850 pounds – 35 percent higher than the MT52 – the new mini track loader also lifts higher and is more stable than its predecessor, as well as the later MT55 model.
The lift-arm breakout force has been increased by 29 percent from the smaller MT55 mini track loader.
Bobcat says the 25-horsepower MT85’s hydraulic system produces fast cycle times, impressive tractive effort, strong hydraulic breakout force and exceptional pushing and digging abilities.
The company says it used input from customers in designing the MT85, which is taller than the MT55, with greater ground clearance and an additional 6 inches of track on the ground for added stability.
A change from prior Bobcat mini track loaders, the MT85 is designed with dual ISO joystick controls, with the loader’s drive function controlled by the left joystick while the loader’s lift and tilt functions are controlled by the right joystick. Gauges and dials on the loader’s dash panel are unchanged from the MT55.
A new “operator presence” safety pedal regulates the auxiliary hydraulic flow for use with approved attachments. The pedal must be engaged when the operator is using an attachment with detent hydraulic flow, such as trenching, snow-blowing, digging holes with an auger or pushing material with an angle broom.
Bobcat says the MT85 has a higher forward travel speed than earlier models, at 4 miles per hour; in reverse, the maximum is 2.3 miles per hour.
The MT85 mini track loader’s engine compartment can be accessed easily, the company says, facilitating routine maintenance.
A new option for the MT85 mini track loader is the common industry interface (CII). The CII will allow customers who are accustomed to this pin-on design to retain the familiarity of their chosen interface and have it matched to a Bobcat mini track loader. New Bobcat attachments introduced with the CII interface include the following: auger, buckets (36 or 44 inches), hydraulic breaker, pallet fork and trencher.
If MT85 customers prefer, they can opt for Bobcat’s “Bob-Tach” mounting system, which provides the ability to swap attachments from the MT85 to other approved carriers such as the Bobcat S70 skid-steer loader. The company says there are more than 20 approved Bobcat attachments for use with mini track loaders using the Bob-Tach mounting system.
Here’s a few more specs on the MT85 mini track loader:
- Lift height to hinge pin: 80.9 inches
- Operating weight: 3,110 pounds
- Auxiliary hydraulic flow: 12 gpm
- Width: 36 inches with bucket (narrow tracks); 44 inches with bucket (wide tracks)
- Ground clearance: 8 inches
- Ground pressure: 3.5 psi (wide tracks); 4.9 psi (narrow tracks)
Sponsors of last week’s GIE+EXPO, co-located at the Kentucky Exposition Center with Hardscape North America, say it was the biggest ever. They estimated some 20,000 people would visit the indoor and outdoor exhibit areas by the time the show ended at 5 p.m. Friday.
Like its competitors, Bobcat brought along plenty of outdoor power equipment popular among landscapers, including some familiar offerings.
The Brushcat rotary cutter attachments, which come in five models, were included in the show again this year. Bobcat says the machine transforms the overgrown grass, brush and small trees it cuts into mulch. The Brushcat rotary cutters’ standard cutting height is 3 inches, but the company offers a kit that can be used to increase the height to 4 inches.
Brushcat attachments are compatible with Bobcat carriers with hydraulic flows ranging from 15 to 40 gpm, depending on the specific model. Rotary cutter models include standard flow or high-flow capability options in 66- and 72-inch widths, and an 80-inch model with high-flow capability. The high-flow models provide increased torque for handling thick brush.
Also on hand for the show was Bobcat’s Tier 4-compliant E35i excavator, which the company introduced early last year. The 24.8-horsepower machine has a direct-inject, 1.7-liter, naturally aspirated diesel engine, which Bobcat touts as combining good fuel economy with sufficient power to handle construction work.