Bobcat® E85 Compact Excavator

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Updated: August 28, 2019

The WTW team had the chance to fire-up the Bobcat® 8.5-tonne E85 compact excavator. It’s the largest in the R-series, but still fits into the compact range and misses out on the zero-swing tag by around 30mm.

With class-leading digging and depth capacity, and superfast cycle times, it has all the power and muscle needed to get the most demanding jobs done.

Test #1: Power And The Passion

Under the hood sits a proprietary 65.9hp, Tier 4, turbo-diesel Bobcat engine which has been moved from the side of the machine on the previous model to the central-rear on the E85. The room made available where the engine used to now house the impressive load-sensing hydraulic setup, where, of course, the digging and attachment power comes from.

The Bobcat Company approach to its machines is ‘never stop making it better’, and the E85 is a fine example of the approach. A great excavator has the perfect balance between engine horsepower and a sophisticated hydraulic system that maximises power, speed, predictability and control. Bobcat’s new, improved hydraulic system provides the operator with a smooth and refined experience.

TEST #2: Comfort

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about Bobcat equipment is the great cab size and operator comforts. Sitting in the E85 cab shows the evolution of previous machines has been perfected in this excavator. From the added legroom to the awesome seat and well-placed controls, the E85 just feels right. The displays are easy to navigate and the brightness and resolution make them clear to read, even under full-sun conditions.

Noise and vibration in the cab can ruin an otherwise perfect machine. I’m happy to report both of these potential problems didn’t even register during my time in the Bobcat excavator. The only time I even thought about it was when I noticed how comfortable the machine was to use. I had no distractions from either noise or vibration, and I’d be more than happy to spend my days in the E85.

TEST #3: Versatility

During our testing we made the most of the bucket we had on hand, effortlessly digging trenches and removing some big floaters from the test area.

But digging is just one of a big range of tasks the E85 can handle. The Bobcat range has massive built-in versatility with a mountain of attachments available: augers, breakers, clamps, flail cutters, grading buckets, grapples, plate compactors and more. You can also add a Hydra-Tilt swing accessory to get even greater use from a particular attachment.

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

It’s safe to say we were pretty impressed with the Bobcat E85. The fact you aren’t just buying a digger, but a versatile tool carrier capable of so many building-specific tasks, brings both impressive versatility and profitability. We’ve only just scratched the surface of the features that make this machine what it is. The improved visibility, finger tip control and advanced Tier 4 solutions are all further highlights, and Bobcat embraced the opportunity to improve this Tier 4 engine without a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter), simplifying the engine and producing drastically less particulate matter.

If you’re in the market for a machine of this size be sure to contact the team at Clark Equipment who will to answer all your questions and even get you in the hot seat for a test drive.