You all know that feeling of relief. You think you’re looking at weeks of manual digging or days of demolition, then you get the call that the excavator is on the way.
Days or weeks of back-breaking work are reduced to a few hours or a day in the chair of the machine. It doesn’t get much better, or does it?
The team at Bobcat Company has pulled out all the stops with the new R series to bring both performance and operator comfort to new levels. The Bobcat E35 mini excavator is the perfect choice for fitting onto residential sites where only side access is available, working up against walls, roadside operations and large commercial or civil landscaping sites. It sits in the 3-4 tonne class and make no mistake, this machine has more power, better efficiency and a larger, wider, and more comfortable cabin (with climate control of course) than ever before.
Zero Tail Swing (ZTS) means operators will have an unrestricted rotation, more flexibility and reduced potential for accidents when working in tight areas. If you’re in excavation mode, pre-build, you can opt for the long-arm option to boost your digging performance, and the fingertip-controlled boom offset has created great control and also freed up a pile of floor space in the cab. That’s a double win in my book…or is it even triple or quadruple?
TEST #1: POWER AND PERFORMANCE
To start with the E35 weighs in at 3349kg and produces 23.1kW (31hp) of power with a bucket digging force of 31,500N. What does all of that add up to? A bloody powerful and sturdy mini excavator, that’s what.
When you think about it, if you’re going to buy a truck you’re going to be asking for more power from a bigger engine if you plan on doing any serious work. The same goes for excavators. The more horsepower on board means the more performance under load. This machine had plenty of power and made short work of the mixed pile we had to work on. There was various-sized demo material from residential sites, along with large tree sections and the like. The E35 had no dramas clearing the area and digging or shifting all the different types of material. We dug, lifted, dragged and shoved all that stood in our path. The hydraulic power, along with the engine horsepower, has increased. Flow was solid, and the machine dug with speed, strength and precision thanks to the higher pressures and faster cycle times when under load.
TEST #2: COMFORT IN THE CAB
Let’s be honest: once you get over the initial excitement of any new machine purchase, within a few days to a week you’ll know precisely what’s either right or wrong with your machine. Operator comfort isn’t just about being comfortable when working. It’s about providing a distraction-free environment where all the operator is left to focus on is the tasks in front of him or her. With distractions come reductions in safety and concentration.
The E35 has no such problems. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s one of the roomiest and most comfortable excavators for its size I’ve operated. First, it tracked exceptionally well with a comfortable ride and reduced vibration through the tracks and into the cab. Second, as much as the performance has obviously increased, it’s quieter in the cab than other excavators of the same size I’ve operated. The seat itself is broader, as is the cab, and for a bigger guy like myself the extra leg room is appreciated.
I can’t say enough about the thought that’s gone into the cab. Visibility from the chair is fantastic, with a 15% increase in glass area making for a safer work environment for everyone.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
The Bobcat E35 has impressed me on several levels. It’s small enough to get into tight areas and powerful enough to smash through an impressive amount of work. It performs above its weight, and I can see this machine making a lot of operators and bosses very happy with both its comfort and performance. It moved along the ground very well and with the auto-shift feature activated the machine shifts out of high range and back automatically, increasing travel performance on demand. The fingertip boom swing control provided fast and accurate control with next to no fatigue due to the fine and smooth movement of the controls. The auto-idle feature cleverly kicks in when the machine has not been used for four seconds, lowering noise and fuel costs. As soon as any input is given to the machine it returns to the previously set throttle position.
Whether you’re a builder looking to scale up your operations, a commercial landscaper looking to take on more significant projects, or any contractor or business that has an ongoing need to dig or load in areas of limited size, this machine will not disappoint. With a punch way above its weight, the Bobcat E35 is one tough animal.