The moniker “compact utility loader” may seem fitting for these highly sought-after machines, but it falls short in capturing their many capabilities.
These agile and versatile stand-on tools offer more than just loading power – they are true workhorses. To gain a deeper understanding of their impressive features and benefits, experts from Bobcat, Case, Dixie Chopper, Kubota, Toro and Vermeer were consulted. Despite the prevalent use of the term compact utility loader, some manufacturers have opted to refer to them as mini skid steers or mini track loaders. While tracks seem to be the preferred option among newer models, there are still a few wheeled variations available on the market.
With an operating weight of 3,390 pounds, the Bobcat MT100 is a compact and versatile option for various job sites. It boasts a rated operating capacity (ROC) of 1,000 pounds and can handle up to 1,300 pounds in carry position with its standard counterweight in the undercarriage. The machine is powered by a 3-cylinder diesel engine that delivers 24.8 horsepower.
Equipped with an auxiliary flow rate of 12 gallons per minute and a system relief pressure of 2,900 psi at the quick coupler, the MT100 offers efficient operation for various tasks. It has travel speeds of 4.1 mph forward and 2.9 mph reverse, making it easy to maneuver around tight spaces. The bucket pin hinge height measures at 80.9 inches while its reach at maximum height is up to18.6 inches.
According to Julie Portillo, marketing manager for Bobcat, operators can benefit greatly from using compact utility loaders like the MT100 as they offer versatility and reduce manual labor compared to traditional tools like wheelbarrows. Bobcat’s exclusive Bob-Tach attachment mounting system comes standard on this model and allows for effortless attachment changes – with over-center latch mechanism ensuring consistent performance throughout the machine’s life.
Moreover, customers have the option to upgrade their MT100 with Common Industry Interface (CII) design which provides convenience when using non-Bobcat attachments due to its over-center latches and pin-on design features.The tracks on this machine are designed for minimal surface disruption while maintaining overall width at only36 inches; however,LGP (low ground pressure) tracksare also availablewith even lower ground pressure at just3.97 psiand overall width keptto41inches.Additionally,the sealed track rollers run continuously lubricated in oil bath,and idlers are heat-treatedfor longer service life.Maintenance points can be accessed easily without any tools required.
With the introduction of its TL100 at ConExpo 2023, Case made its foray into the compact utility loader market. The company’s goal was to provide contractors with a versatile and powerful machine that could handle various tasks without requiring a large manual labor force.
According to Ryan Anderson, product manager for subcompact equipment at Case Construction Equipment, today’s contractors are facing ongoing labor shortages in the industry. This has created a need for compact machinery that can efficiently power multiple attachments, reducing manual work and increasing productivity while still maintaining durability and strength expected from any machine investment.
The TL100 is designed for a wide range of applications including digging, earthmoving, setting fence posts, grappling brush, grading and snow removal. With its compatible CII system and standard auxiliary hydraulic setup (with optional 14-pin electrical connector), this machine offers optimal attachment performance. Additionally, hydraulic pilot controls ensure intuitive operation and reliable feedback for enhanced efficiency on job sites.
With a powerful Kubota engine and impressive hydraulic capabilities, the Dixie Chopper Talon M/S 700HPX is making waves in the compact utility loader market. Weighing in at 2,880 pounds and boasting a ROC of 707 pounds, this machine is built for heavy-duty tasks. Its track width of only 9 inches and ground pressure of 4.21 psi make it ideal for maneuvering through tight spaces without causing damage.
Designed with versatility in mind, the Talon M/S features an expandable undercarriage that can be retracted to fit through narrow gates or extended for increased stability during larger projects. According to Eli Kean, marketing manager at Dixie Chopper, this addresses a common concern among CUL users who often have to choose between a narrow or wide track unit. Additionally, the operator platform offers advanced suspension for all-day comfort and twin joysticks that allow for effortless control on any terrain or job site.
With a turbocharged engine rated at 24.8 horsepower, the SCL1000 from Kubota boasts impressive power for its size. Its compact design allows it to reach tight spaces, with a width of only 36 inches when equipped with the standard bucket. For added versatility, two other buckets are also available.
The hydraulic pump is directly connected to the engine, reducing maintenance needs and providing an auxiliary flow of 15 gallons per minute. This allows for smooth operation and enough hydraulic performance to match various attachments – such as pallet forks, augers, trenchers and concrete breakers – thanks to the adjustable hydraulic flow and CII system.
Not only does the SCL1000 offer powerful performance, but it also prioritizes operator comfort and safety. With cushioned loader boom cylinders and an adjustable suspension on the operator’s platform, shocks are minimized for a smoother ride. The low ground pressure of just 4 psi ensures minimal impact while traveling at speeds of up to 4.9 mph in both forward and reverse directions. Additionally, a passcode start feature provides keyless operation and gives owners greater control over machine access.
Offering a powerful and efficient solution for construction and landscaping tasks, the Toro TX 1300 boasts a robust Yanmar diesel engine with 37 gross horsepower. With an impressive rated operating capacity of 1,300 pounds and an operating weight of 3,858 pounds, this compact machine is designed to handle tough jobs with ease. Its traction drive utilizes dual hydrostatic pumps and features Toro’s patented traction control system for maximum control and maneuverability.
In addition to its exceptional performance capabilities, the Toro TX 1300 also offers versatility in attachments. The pressure-relieving quick coupler system allows for easy swapping of various attachments according to specific job requirements. With a total of 14 models available in its range, including diesel, gas, and electric options, there is sure to be a model that fits any job site needs. This includes the innovative eDingo 500 with its lithium-ion battery powered HyperCell Power System that provides hours of run time on each charge.
The eDingo 500 is not only efficient but also environmentally friendly as it produces no noise or exhaust fumes when in use. Its compact design at just 31 inches wide makes it suitable for indoor work or areas where space may be limited. Offering a rated operating capacity of up to 515 pounds, this versatile machine can tackle a variety of tasks effortlessly. Designed with contractors in mind, the TX1300 solves reach-related challenges thanks to its Intelescope loader arms equipped with SmartLoad technology which increases reach by an additional 26 inches. With integrated hydraulics and loader arm functions controlled by one thumb-operated controller, operators have more control over their work while maintaining maximum efficiency on the job site.
One of Vermeer’s top-performing compact utility loaders (CULs) is the CTX160, which boasts a powerful Kohler diesel engine with a rating of 40 horsepower. The machine also features a dual-flow auxiliary hydraulic system that provides impressive flow rates of 16.7 and 9.4 gallons per minute, along with a hydraulic system pressure of 3,045 psi. With its vertical-lift design, the CUL offers an impressive hinge pin height of 88.75 inches and can handle loads up to 1,600 pounds.
When it comes to selecting the right CUL for your job site needs, Kyle Newendorp – product specialist at Vermeer – suggests considering several key factors. For starters, pay attention to the type of controls used on the machine; while Vermeer utilizes ISO-pattern joysticks that are familiar to most operators in this industry, some models may feature pushbuttons or foot-operated buttons that can be more challenging to use in uneven terrain. Additionally, consider the operator environment as well; Vermeer has designed their CULs with an integrated cabin layout that provides maximum comfort and visibility for operators.
Another important factor when choosing between different models of CULs is whether you need a vertical lift or radial lift design. As Newendorp explains, each type excels in different applications – vertical lift is ideal for above-grade operations such as loading heavy materials onto trucks or raised platforms using grapples or pallet forks, while radial lift works best for tasks like digging trenches or plowing through tough soil using augers or trenchers. Of course, buckets are versatile attachments that work well with both types depending on whether you need high-reaching capabilities or low-digging power.