Bobcat Launches Expanded Range of Grading Solutions

Bobcat is now offering a new wider range of grading solutions based around the company’s compact loaders and grader attachments. The new expanded range of grading equipment is designed for use by asphalt and concrete contractors for excavating and grading work for new roads, pavements, concrete flatwork, tennis courts, utilities and landscaping projects.

Loader-mounted Bobcat grader attachments can now be combined not only with a new comprehensive choice of Bobcat laser grading equipment but also the new Bobcat sonic tracer kit, the first sonic tracer system of its kind for compact loaders, to provide automatic grade control in applications where lasers may not be suitable.

Laser grading requires the job site to be on a plane, whereas the sonic tracer can follow nearly every terrain. The sonic tracer also provides an advantage when grading inside buildings with obstacles where the laser beam could be interrupted. The new Bobcat sonic tracer system also offers the advantage that if the user already has a laser system mounted on the grader, they can also mount the sonic tracer on the blade, allowing them to switch between using the grader with the sonic tracer or the laser system.

The Bobcat sonic tracer kit is designed for use with the new enhanced 274 mm wide HD Grader 108 and 244 mm wide HD Grader 96 heavy duty grader attachments which will also be shown for the first time at Bauma 2013.

New Heavy Duty Graders

The new HD Grader 108 heavy duty attachment is approved for use on the Bobcat S770 and S850 skid-steer, T770 and T870 compact tracked and A770 all-wheel steer loader models. The HD Grader 96 attachment covers the same models with the addition of the smaller T650 compact tracked loader.

The new graders feature a 6-way blade plus hydraulic side-shift of up to 33 cm left or right, both of which are fingertip controlled so that the operator can grade nearly any surface without needing to take their hands off the control levers. There are four two-way hydraulic functions including left side up/down; right side up/down; blade rotation left/right and blade side shift left/right.

The hydraulic side-shift allows the blade to get further into corners when working in confined areas. It also allows grading right up to an obstacle (such as a pole or structure inside a building), side-shifting to get around it and then side-shifting back to continue to work. This minimises hand labour to clear the area around these objects.

The oscillating front bolster provides 12 degrees of oscillation to either side, minimising the effect of dips and bumps on how quickly/or how much the blade needs to respond in these circumstances. Wide flotation tyres on the grader ensure the attachment rolls smoothly across the site.

Easy to Convert to Laser

The new graders can be converted from standard units to laser graders quickly and easily. The operator only needs to mount the receiver poles, clamp the newly enhanced Bobcat laser receivers onto the poles and plug in the harnesses. Designed to operate using CAN-bus communication, the new Bobcat laser receivers are easier to mount and dismount and offer several features and benefits.

For example, the receivers have a longer photocell to follow the laser signal for a longer distance from grade. A super bright grade display with green ‘on-grade’ LEDs provides superior depth/elevation indication and a built-in anti-strobe feature reduces the influence from unintended signals which can be caused by strobe lights on construction equipment.

The receivers retain the indication arrows that visually inform the operator if they are above, below, or on grade. Single click ‘on/off’ of the automatic laser also remains unchanged, and operators can still momentarily override the automatic system.

For compact loaders with Bobcat Selectable Joystick Controls, there is an added feature with additional buttons on the joysticks. The grade can be changed at the receiver by 2.5 mm increments, up or down, +/- 50 mm in either direction. This allows the operator to change grade elevation from within the cab using fingertip controls.

Complementing the laser receivers are the laser transmitters from Bobcat – the model GL412, a single-slope version, and the GL422, a new dual-slope transmitter which comes standard with a handheld CR600 receiver. The latter forms a cost-efficient alternative to Bobcat’s other dual-slope transmitter, the GL722, which forms the deluxe model in the range.

Sonic Tracer Grading System

Installed on the blades of the HD Grader 108 and HD Grader 96 heavy duty grader attachments, the sonic tracer emits ultrasonic signals to maintain a set distance or elevation from an object, surface or the ground, allowing the graders to be used to grade, level, and backfill on a multiple slope terrain when following a string line, kerb stone, the gutter or even a previous pass as a grade control. Grade accuracy is 6.4 mm, and the detection range of the sonic tracer is from 200 to 1300 mm.

The Bobcat system comprises a sonic tracer, two slope sensors and one rotation sensor, all of which are high quality Trimble components. The sensors communicate directly with the Bobcat Attachments Control Device (ACD). To be fully operational, the Bobcat loader must be equipped with the Deluxe control panel, allowing the operator to control the grade from within the cab. The operator can set the desired grade and tracer offset, while getting a read out of the actual grade and graphical feedback on both grade and tracer offset.

For more information about Bobcat and Bobcat products, visit the website

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