Bobcat’s S450 skid-steer loader combines the features of compact loaders and the larger new-generation models.
Bobcat has launched the new-generation S450 skid-steer loader, building on the success of the S130 model it replaces, by combining the advantages offered by a truly compact loader with many of the new features and improvements found on the larger Bobcat new-generation models.
As well as its compactness, the S450 skid-steer loader can be supplied with a comprehensive choice of 48 different product families of approved attachments (with more to come), offering solutions for a very wide range of applications and providing a perfect illustration of the Bobcat Tool Carrier concept common to all Bobcat compact loaders, says a company spokesman.
“Like the larger models, the S450 skid-steer loader offers significantly improved comfort and visibility to allow for greater control and accuracy in tight working spaces,” the spokesman adds.
In addition, for the first time in a skid-steer loader model in this size class, the S450 loader is supplied with a fully pressurised cab with air-conditioning as an option. Other key features include increased hydraulic performance and efficiency; a new tailgate design; integrated rear bumper and enhanced serviceability.
Hydraulic performance has been increased with an increase in system pressure and changes to the hydraulic components and hose and tube line routings. These have been designed to allow the use of straight fittings instead of adjustable fittings (45 or 90 degrees). The number of hydraulic connections has also been reduced.
“These changes improve overall efficiency and also eliminate routing variation as well as reducing potential rubbing and leak points,” he notes.
The new tailgate has been designed with a shorter vertical height and stiffening pockets to provide optimal strength whilst maintaining a slimmer fit. This allows the use of a tailgate protector integrated into the machine’s mainframe.
The exhaust muffler is mounted directly to the engine, without a flex element to reduce noise and vibration. Refuelling of the loader in a transport position is now easier with the tailgate door opening to the left.
To complete the compact package, serviceability and uptime protection have been improved with features from the larger models. Both the oil cooler and radiator are now a combination unit that provides a cleaner cooling environment less likely to trap debris and to aid routine cleaning. The holes in the rear screen are also smaller to keep more debris out of the cooler.
The hydraulic drive loop case drain oil is now filtered at a 10-micron level before reaching any critical components in the system. This provides a higher level of protection than the 90-micron filtration of the older series loaders.
The main hydraulic filter is now a long-life (cartridge type) filter and the filter replacement intervals have doubled to 1,000 hours. The hydraulic sight gauge is now mounted under the rear screen and is easily visible during routine checks to help the operator quickly check hydraulic oil levels.
Increased electrical protection is provided by dedicated fuses for individual circuits, which are mounted in an easily accessible box near the battery. Battery access is increased and battery protection from debris and heat is improved with the use of a dedicated cover.
The new S450 cab is based on the larger Bobcat loaders and has been cleverly designed to maintain the loader’s compact size whilst still providing the operator with better comfort and control. The internal area of the cab has been increased by 10 per cent compared to the S130 model, resulting in more space around the operator. Moving the side windows to the outside of the cab has contributed to the increase in interior space and has also made them easier to clean. In addition, the threshold of the cab door has been lowered and the size of the door opening has been increased, making it easier for operators to enter and exit the cab.
Bobcat’s best-in-class cab pressurisation system is based on a one-piece seal that goes all the way around the door, increasing pressurisation to minimise the dirt and dust that might enter the cab.
All-round visibility has been increased by 30 per cent compared to the cab on the S130 model. The 5 cm forward positioning of the cab offers the operator improved visibility of the working area. Forward visibility is further enhanced thanks to a 45 per cent larger door and a lower front cross member. New front working lights contribute to improved forward visibility with a 50 per cent increase in output (total wattage).
The roof window is over 40 per cent larger than that on the S130 model. The side and rear windows also offer more visibility and the lower side screen has been enlarged by more than 16 per cent to improve visibility to the tyres. The rear screen and cooling package have also been lowered. Together with a 14 per cent larger rear window, this new design significantly improves visibility to the rear of the machine.