Case used the ConExpo show in Las Vegas this week (March 7-11) to announce an entirely new type of construction vehicle the DL450 compact dozer loader, also known as Project Minotaur.
The machine, which is still at the concept stage, boasts a first-of-its-kind fully integrated design that matches the best operating characteristics of a compact track loader (CTL) with a crawler dozer.
“The first thing people say is, ‘Isn’t that a just a track loader with a dozer blade on it?” Brandon Jaynes, from Case, told iVT at ConExpo. “But it’s not. The linnkage at the front is a legitamate C-frame dozer linkage, which can get the machine’s power down to the bottom of the blade that would be required for dozer applications. This machine is designed for true dozer applications. You can also remove that C-frame linkage and use it as a regular extractor.”
A launch date for the machine has not been confirmed, but Case engineers are using the ConExpo show to canvass opinion on their designs with potential customers and top contractors.
“In 1957, we changed the industry with the introduction of the first-ever fully integrated backhoe loader,” says Scott Harris, vice president North America, Case Construction Equipment. “The DL450 compact dozer loader represents that same forward-thinking and practical innovation, but in an exciting new platform that provides a real benefit to contractors from landscapers looking to step up their grading and earthmoving game, to residential and commercial contractors looking for versatility and dual-function in a single footprint.”
The idea of the DL450 is to provide the power and performance of a small dozer in a platform that also serves as a loader and runs all of the attachments that a contractor currently owns for their skid steers and compact track loaders.
The core feature of the DL450 is a C-Frame dozer interface that pins directly into the chassis of the machine. This provides the stability and smooth operating plane of a CTL, and ensures that all operating power and stresses are channeled through the machine’s chassis and not its loader arms.
The C-Frame can then be unpinned from the chassis and disconnected like any other attachment, allowing the machine to perform like a standard CTL.
“The problem with dozer attachments common with CTLs and skid steers while effective in specific operations is that they channel all operating stress through the coupler and the loader arms, and are really only suitable for groundline work,” says John Dotto, brand marketing manager, CASE Construction Equipment. “This affects performance and adds wear/stress to those components. The operator gets true dozing performance with this machine no arm float, a consistent plane and true 6-way blade performance through the machine’s new controls.”
“The DL450 provides a distinct 2-in-1 advantage to the contractor who has considered purchasing a small dozer,” says Dotto. “With the dozer loader, they will have the full utilization of a CTL and can easily be transitioned over to a dozer. For contractors who rely on smaller dozers, they can add this and seamlessly pick up the functionality of a CTL. We see this as something that will help contractors achieve ideal utilization rates and simplify the footprint of equipment they deploy to a site.”
“There are plenty of landscaping applications where a small dozer like this would be useful,” Jaynes says. “The DL450 is nimble, yet powerful.”