Test Drives

Bobcat 500 Series Loaders !

Bobcat® T595 Compact Track Loader And S590 Skid Steer Loader

Bobcat Company has forged a reputation for producing tough and reliable machines over the better part of six decades, and in doing so has built a presence in the construction equipment market that spreads to many corners of the globe. Long a fixture in the local market, Bobcat equipment is part of 100 percent Australian-owned-and-controlled company Clark Equipment’s stable of brands.

Given its hard-earned reputation, it comes as no surprise that the Bobcat T595 compact track loader and S590 skid steer loader are decked out with a range of useful and intuitive features, combining brute strength, versatility and a finely tuned performance that ultimately helps operators to get the job done quicker. Both of these machines sport the classic Bobcat design, packing power into a compact unit, and allowing for convenient trailer haulage (the T595 has an operating weight of 3654kg, with the S590 weighing in at 2991kg), while operators can get around at pace on site and plough into their work backed by some good old-fashioned muscle.

At first sight, both the T595 and S590 give the impression of being useful little operators – built for purpose, packed with power and, more than anything, at the ready to be thrown into the fray. Compact and uncomplicated, all external components are deftly balanced, complemented by a range of seamlessly integrated features that support operations and dial up the performance levels.

Cab Comfort And Convenient Control Access

The cab layout of both the T595 and S590 should go a long way to keeping operators happy and make tackling long shifts that much easier. I immediately felt at ease getting in behind the controls, with the interior design of both machines arranged to deliver operators both comfort and convenient control access.

There is ample room for entry and exit, with a mechanical suspension seat providing for multiple adjustment points and accommodating different-sized operators. An optional air ride seat, meanwhile, ratchets up the comfort factor, adjusting to the operator’s weight, and helping smooth out the bumps on site.

It’s at once noticeable that the full scope of controls is within close range, providing for straightforward access to a range of functions. Both the T595 and S590 come standard with foot pedals and steering levers, while the models I tested featured Bobcat’s optional Selectable Joystick Controls. All-in-all, with everything at the fingertip on the joysticks, it provided for an impressive, seamless performance.

Meanwhile, the cab-forward positioning of both the T595 and S590, moving the operating area closer to the attachment, provides operators with a good vantage point, with all-around visibility a key component of the design. Enclosed cabs provide pressurised interior space and keep dust to a minimum, with optional heat and air-conditioning providing additional comfort and catering for a range of weather conditions.

The Right Design For More Power

Bobcat advises that its loaders use design and balance to deliver more usable horsepower, achieving the right balance between engine and pump, with a weight distribution that delivers powerful breakout forces and faster cycle times, and there’s no question that both the T595 and S590 are ready to tear into the task at hand.

In putting each machine through its respective paces I was impressed by the power on offer, with the joystick controls complemented by the foot throttle at the ready to deliver a bit of extra power when needed.

The T595 is powered by a Tier 4 55.2kW turbo-diesel engine, has a rated operating capacity of 998kg, is capable of speeds of up to 11.4km/hour (with optional 2-speed travel of 16.7km/hour) and features a vertical lift arm path. The model I put through its paces sported optional wider tracks measuring in at 400mm, and it delivered a noticeably smooth ride on what was a bumpy site.

With compact track loaders weighing more than skid steers of the same size, the tracks see the weight spread out over a wider area delivering a higher pushing force and allowing for lifting of larger loads.

The S590, meanwhile, is powered by a Tier 4 49.2kW turbo-diesel engine, has a rated operated capacity of 967kg, gets around at 11.8km/hour (with optional 2-speed travel of 17.3km/hour) and also features a vertical lift arm path. Getting behind the controls of the S590, I was also impressed by its capacity to tackle tasks head-on and push on through when required with manoeuvrability a key feature.

Bobcat advises that a 70-30 per cent rear-front weight distribution is the best distribution for turning and skidding, stating that its skid steers allow for operators to negotiate obstacles and tight spaces, while the vertical lift arm path on its machines delivers a higher lift capacity and more reach at full lift height than radius lift, keeping the load closer to the machine while the loader arms are raised.

With a powerful standard hydraulic flow Bobcat loaders are ready for demanding tasks, with an optional high-flow system suited for attachments such as a flail cutter, trencher, planer and stump grinder, while counterweight kits are also available for both the T595 and S590, increasing the rated operating capacity.

Fast And Easy Maintenance

Bobcat prides itself on the serviceability of its compact track loaders and skid steers, which it states are designed to “provide the fastest, easiest maintenance in the industry”, with the T595 and S590 featuring a high-strength, protective tailgate, which swings open to provide convenient access to routine maintenance points.

The large opening is designed to provide operators more space within which to work, with a smart layout providing quick access to critical components – and, as soon as you open the machines up, it’s noticeable that the battery has been mounted at the back, while the motor is also right at the very back, whereas they used to be quite a way forward.

Convenience is the key theme when it comes to maintenance for both machines, and operators will no doubt appreciate a layout that sees the engine checkpoints designed to be within easy reach, assisting daily maintenance, with access to routine and long-term maintenance points designed to make preventative maintenance simple.

[colored_box color=”yellow”]For more information visit bobcatofaustralia.com.au[/colored_box]

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