The remote control system is compatible with Bobcat skid-steer, compact track and all wheel steer loader models equipped with the company’s Selectable Joystick controls. Bobcat claims to be the first manufacturer to introduce remote control as original equipment, rather than offering it as a third party add-on development. It will be available to buyers later this year.
Suggested applications are where the operator needs to be away from potential hazards (such as dust, smoke or vibration), where the machine specifically needs to drive backwards and forwards repetitively to perfect a task, or where the operator can benefit from a wider view.
Product manager Jiri Karmazin said: “We first presented our remote control prototype at Bobcat Demo Days with excellent feedback from our customers, then subjected it to further improvements, testing and licensing, before finally introducing it as an easy ‘Plug&Play’ solution for existing machines for commercial launch.”
He added: “The remote control system can be used in many applications with the focus on limitless visibility, the ability to communicate with the surroundings without the need to be present in the cab, comfort enhancement for applications with noise, vibration and harshness or even in dangerous areas. This was the voice of our customers and the issues we observed on most jobsites.”
Every remote-control kit is password protected, with two-way communication providing operating information about the loader (such as fuel and oil status, warnings, etc.) on a 3.5-inch LCD display. The system provides most of the functions that can be performed via direct loader operation, including throttle, light, creep and float controls. There is also speed management control to ensure easier operation in certain applications (such as trenching, tilling, scarifying and so on).