29 October 1999

Tracked loader has farm


By Andy Collings

BOBCAT has made some important changes to its skidsteer line-up – a serious update for the 773 and 873 models, and the introduction of a new rubber tracked version.

Changes to the companys 773 include use of a new boom geometry which results in increased reach and height. Two, rather than one central, crowd rams are now also fitted – an arrangement which not only improves bucket tear out force but also allows greater operator visibility.

Operator environment has also been enhanced through the introduction of a new cab which offers improved all-round visibility and better instrumentation. Options for the cab, which will be fitted throughout all Bobcat skidsteers, include a front door and the companys fly-by-wire proportional control system.

In addition to the standard 773, two further models will be introduced next year – the 773 Turbo (53hp) and the 773 Turbo H. The &#42 denotes an ability to provide an extra flow of hydraulic oil to power high consumption hydrostatically driven attachments.

The same improvement package has been given to the larger 873 skidsteer, although a slightly different boom has now been fitted.

While the UK demand for skidsteers for agricultural use remains reasonably static, the introduction of the rubber-tracked 864 model could conceivably attract new interest.

Powered by a 72hp Kubota engine, the hydrostatically driven tracks receive their drive from sprockets positioned above the level of the track rollers – not unlike the format used on large crawlers.

Ground clearance is put at 28cm (11in) and top speed at 11kph.

Available with the option of 32cm or 45cm (13in or 18in) wide tracks, resulting ground pressure loadings are 5.25psi and 3.7psi respectively.

Equipped with the new cab but not as yet a new boom, price of the 864 will be announced at a later date.

See more