FARGO N.D. – There were no push-ups, sit-ups or wind sprints, but Bobcat’s attachment boot camp had its share of physical activity. Bobcat salespeople, and a few media members, were invited to Fargo, N.D., for an education in the company’s attachments in the asphalt, concrete, forestry and site prep arenas.
Lawn & Landscape spent some time at the forestry and site prep sites where, along with using attachments, we discovered a couple of new products that may come in handy on the job site, or if you want to extend your services.
Bobcat sonic grader: Used to get a site ready for brick paver installations, like a patio, the sonic grader is more applicable for that type of job than a laser control system would be. “The sonic grader gives you the ability to do contour grading, which is unique,” said Gerald Wenger, district attachment and aftermarket manager. “The laser is more of a precision grading, where you are going to grade to a plain.
“The sonic grader allows you to grade to do cart paths and nature trails … the sonic grader will follow the contour of the terrain that you are putting the path on.” Wenger said this wouldn’t be ideal for smaller properties like an HOA property. Instead, it would be used on larger areas, like a high-end residence. “It’s difficult around town houses, but if you have a nice brick patio where you are getting ready to put a path to go up through the woods or wherever your property allows you to do, it’s a great attachment to get that site ready.”
3 pt. soil conditioner. This product has been available for skid loaders in the past, but now is available for the tractor line. “This is your final pass before you seed a lawn,” said Dale Brandt, district attachments and aftermarket manager.
Brandt said some contractors would use a tiller instead of a soil conditioner, but the tiller isn’t as effective handling dirt.
“What happens with a tiller is it releases too much of the dirt so you don’t get a good level compaction. If you look at the soil conditioner, you actually have a bit that’s only about an inch deep and a drum. The bit will actually loosen up the top inch of the soil and the drum will compact it.
“So it gives you a nice flat surface when it comes time to seed the lawn. After the seeding, and the lawn begins to grow, you’ll have a smooth surface with even compaction across it.”
Tier 4. We also were able to step away from playing with equipment and speak with Mike Fitzgerald, product specialist for Bobcat, to get a quick update on where Bobcat stands with Interim Tier 4 and what you can expect from the change.
“We have changed our 75-horsepower and above machines to Interim 4 technologies,” he said.
“What a landscaper will see there from the engine standpoint is that we are using the same horsepower engine that we’ve used in the past, so therefore you shouldn’t notice a difference in the machine from overall horsepower.
“But they will notice a difference in how quickly the engine reacts because we’ve went to electronic injection from mechanical injection so it is faster and quicker responding for their digging and dirt moving applications.” Fitzgerald said you’ll want to make sure you have clean fuels for the machine.
“We’ve always recommended having clean fuels, but today with these electronically injected engines, we want to make sure they have filters on their transfer tank either in the pickup or on their trailer where they are moving that to get clean fuel into the machine.
“We have a finer filtering fuel filter on this machine so it makes sure the particles don’t get into the engine and again if you put clean fuel into that then you don’t have to worry about plugging that filter at a premature timeframe.”
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– Brian Horn