The Compact Dozer Loader, a New Industry-First Equipment Category: CASE Introduces the Minotaur DL550

The CASE Minotaur DL550 features a pin-on C-frame and six-way dozer blade, a heavy-duty 1.25-cubic-yard bucket and compatibility with hundreds of attachments for jobsite versatility.

CASE Construction Equipment launched the much-awaited Minotaur DL550 on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at its Tomahawk, Wis. Customer Center. The Minotaur is a compact dozer loader that marks the start of a new equipment category.
CASE Construction Equipment launched the much-awaited Minotaur DL550 on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at its Tomahawk, Wis. Customer Center. The Minotaur is a compact dozer loader that marks the start of a new equipment category.
CASE Construction Equipment

Against the pristine wooded backdrop of Wisconsin's Northwoods, CASE Construction Equipment launched an all-new, industry-first equipment category with the introduction of the CASE Minotaur DL550 compact dozer loader on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at CASE's Customer Center in Tomahawk, Wis. First teased at CON-EXPO in 2017, the Minotaur is a result of much customer feedback, 29 patents and more than 10,000 hours of field tests, according to the CASE team. 

From clearing recreational trails in the middle of mountainsides to preparing residential sites for construction, the Minotaur logistically makes sense for many customers, according to CASE engineer Brady Lewis.

In the testing and feedback phase, customers commented that they can haul the Minotaur, as well as needed attachments, around with a one-ton truck and heavy trailer, CASE product manager Jeff Jacobsmeyer said. 

"As our urban job sites get smaller, jobs are getting bigger" in complexity, Jacobsmeyer said. The Minotaur's compact but powerful dozing nature can eliminate excess equipment on the jobsite and perform the duties of multiple machines for quicker work. 

Lewis confirmed this, describing a downtown St. Louis project that required using the Minotaur's guidance system while grading down a tight jobsite on a city block, a useful test of machine's available to rip up hard, packed-down earth in a concentrated area. 

A New Equipment Category 

The Minotaur DL550 is not simply a compact track loader with a dozer attachment coupled to its front loader arms, the CASE team said on Tuesday. With approximately 18,000 pounds and 114 horsepower, the new first-of-its-kind machine delivers dozing and grading performance, as well as site loading capabilities and compatibility with many attachments. According to CASE,single platform has never delivered this level of versatility, power and precision, resulting in an entirely new product category created by CASE: the compact dozer loader.

The uniqueness of the CASE Minotaur DL550 lies in its chassis-integrated C-frame with a six-way dozer blade. The C-frame hydraulically couples into both the chassis of the machine, as well as the attachment coupler. This design provides the stability and  operating plane of a small dozer while ensuring that all operating power is channeled through the whole body of the machine. This establishes greater performance and long-term reliability than the simple combination of a dozer blade attachment to a traditional compact track loader.

It also comes standard with CASE Universal Machine Control, which makes the machine ready for any of the major three providers of machine control technology, which are sold separately. It’s also available with an optional, industry-exclusive fully integrated ripper for tearing up tough terrain to simplify dozing and earthmoving operations.  

The C-frame is then detached to allow the operator to use it as a loader with a heavy-duty 1.25-cubic-yard bucket, or with hundreds of common loader attachments many equipment owners already have in their fleet.

Dozer Performance in a Compact Footprint

Built on a dozer-style undercarriage and pushing with more than 25,000 pounds of drawbar pull, the CASE Minotaur DL550 delivers true dozing power and performance. The machine is available with three different track options to meet operator preference and jobsite profiles:

  • 14-inch single-grouser steel tracks
  • 18-inch triple-grouser steel tracks
  • 17.7-inch rubber tracks

The 90- or 96-inch six-way blade connected to the integrated C-frame is the same blade featured on the CASE 650M dozer and gives the operator a full range of dozer controls and movements. The machine’s electro-hydraulic controls also deliver responsiveness similar to full-sized CASE dozers, with the ability to adjust blade, steering and shuttle sensitivity to smooth, moderate or aggressive to meet the operator’s preference. Blade responsiveness can be further dialed in to operator preference by independently setting the speed of the blade tilt, lift and angle.  

The industry-exclusive, fully integrated rear ripper is easily controlled from within the cab — it comes standard with three shanks and can be expanded to five shanks for more aggressive ripping. The rear ripper feature must be selected when ordering as it cannot be added after the time of purchase.

CASE Universal Machine Control provides universal harnesses and brackets to integrate machine control solutions from any of the big three providers of precision construction solutions — Leica Geosystems, Topcon and Trimble. This allows equipment owners to add the machine to their fleet with the confidence it can be integrated directly into preferred/existing machine control ecosystems. It also provides rental fleets the ability to easily switch between machine control brands, which allows for excellent rental flexibility based on customer preference.

"Precision Machine Control allows for inexperienced operators to learn the trade faster, reducing time spent on training," said CASE product specialist Josh Belmont. The reduced training time can onboard more employees efficiently, reducing the ever-worrying labor shortage in the construction industry. 

In its loader configuration, the CASE Minotaur DL550 features a 5,500-pound rated operating capacity (50 percent of tipping load) with 12,907 pounds of breakout force. It features a vertical lift pattern and operates in the ISO control pattern. It also features advanced electro-hydraulic control capabilities where operators can easily dial in total machine responsiveness to low, moderate or aggressive; or independently set tilt, lift and drive speed, as well as loader arm and drive control to best meet the demands of the work.

CASE builds the machine standard from the factory with enhanced high-flow auxiliary hydraulics for running the most demanding and high-powered attachments — such as mulching heads and cold planers. Minotaur’s enhanced high-flow hydraulics are capable of delivering up to 41.6 GPM at 4,100 psi via the ¾-inch hydraulic quick couplers.   

The machine also allows operators to harness all that power with “Hydraulics on Demand”, where the operator can easily select the percentage of auxiliary hydraulic flow to the attachment via the machine’s multi-function display. This allows the operator to dial in attachment performance to their preference or the recommendation of the attachment manufacturer — ensuring both effective and proper operation of the attachment.

“The front coupler featured on this machine is the same as you will find on most compact loaders — this opens the machine up to be used with hundreds of attachments,” says Jacobsmeyer. “We’ve given operators the ability to turn this compact dozer loader into one of the industry’s most versatile and powerful compact machines, and deliver on the awesome capabilities that other manufacturers tried to emulate after the original concepts were announced.”

And in the case of a service need, the CASE Minotaur DL550 is built for ease of service with groundline access to grouped service points and checks like every machine in the CASE lineup. Service intervals and machine operating information are easily accessed in the machine’s eight-inch LCD display in the cab.

The CASE Minotaur DL550 is available now for dealers to order, but new customers wishing to order now may need to wait a few months, the CASE team said on Tuesday. Pre-orders have been rolling in for several years and are being filled now with newly manufactured Minotaurs shipping out of Wichita.