Larry Brown Excavating’s Bobcat T250 and T300 track loaders are equipped with SJC. This allows Brown’s operators to switch the control patterns between H-pattern and ISO-pattern, depending on their preference. Operators familiar with the company’s Caterpillar dozers or Takeuchi loader can jump into the Bobcat loaders and not miss a step. “They are just easier in my opinion,” says Brown.
But the ability to select different control patterns just scratches the surface of electric capabilities. “We have the ability to change the way the machine operates via the electric controls, and allow for smooth operation at slow speeds when people are trying to work in tight, confined areas,” says Fitzgerald.
A snail icon on the left handle slows down the machine. “You still have full joystick movement, but you are operating at 4 mph instead of 7 mph,” says Fitzgerald. “Now your maneuverability is much better in those tight areas.”
“You still have full engine horsepower, but you push that button and it slows your travel speed down and you get more efficient operation,” says Lance Mathern, a Bobcat marketing manager. “It’s also adjustable. You can dial it up or down to be anywhere essentially from 0 to 7 mph. If you are running a planer or a wheel saw — something where you want to go very slow at a very consistent speed — you can set that speed and push the joystick all the way forward.
“You don’t have to be constantly holding that joystick in a specific place,” he continues. “It is almost like cruise control, except you have to hold the joystick forward.”ACS and SJC continue to represent a growing percentage of Bobcat sales due to customer demand.
Complex Control From The Cab
“Precise and accurate control of work tools increases productivity,” notes Chris Key, commercial supervisor, skid-steer loaders and multi-terrain loaders, Caterpillar Inc. “The biggest advancements for in-cab control of work tools are to put more functions in the operators’ hands and give the operators of machines the functionality they want at their fingertips.” The layout of the buttons, triggers and sliders can actually enhance control of the work tool.
Caterpillar’s Deluxe joysticks provide this type of fingertip control, notes Key. “The applications that benefit most are those requiring use of hydro-mechanical work tools, which require more than one function,” he states. For example, a cold planer requires control of the drum for cutting the road surface. You must control the sideshift, tilt and cutting depth.
“The Deluxe joysticks also provide proportional control, which is a benefit for a number of hydro-mechanical work tools,” says Key. These types of joysticks allow several hydraulic functions to be easily controlled. “The one-touch continuous hydraulic flow is an easy way to set a hydraulic flow at a required level. This is achieved by selecting the desired hydraulic flow on the right Deluxe joystick, then locking in flow by pressing a button on the left-hand Deluxe joystick.”
Likewise, these joysticks accommodate precise functions on hydro-mechanical work tools. “Momentary hydraulic control allows fine adjustment on a work tool,” says Key. “For example, this could be used for setting the depth of cut on a cold planer.”
Other control features on the Caterpillar skid steers also enhance productivity. One such feature is the auxiliary electrical control. “It provides the ability to use a single auxiliary hydraulic function for more than one task on the work tool,” says Key. “For example, the cold planer side shift and tilt can be performed using one set of hydraulic lines and a solenoid valve on the work tool.”
And when it is time to switch attachments, pressure in the hydraulic lines often makes the task difficult. “The hydraulic pressure relief switch provides a simple and easy way to relieve pressure in the auxiliary lines,” says Key. “With the machine switched off, pressing the switch for five seconds will relieve pressure in the lines. Once the pressure has been relieved, disconnecting the hydraulic disconnects for a hydro-mechanical work tool is made easier.”
Switch Attachments From Your Seat