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Bobcat 250

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by shanaqua, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. shanaqua

    shanaqua LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Bobcat 250 or anyone with experience. Is anyone familiar with the Bobcat advanced hand controls? Are they servo. Have they had any dependability troubles with this design. I just sold my Case, and really like hand controls. I am getting ready to order a new 250 and was just curious about the design.
  2. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    Interestingly enough, I probably won't be the best person to answer this, but I'll do what I can.

    From what I understand, the Bobcat hand controls are not servo. Only the lift and tilt functions are electronically controlled; unlike a Case machine, the travel function is still mechanical. (This is the so-called "long stroke" levers that ksss and other users can't stand.) When the operator strokes the lever to effect a bucket or lift arm movement, a potentiometer -- a small electronic device which controls voltage -- decides how far the lever has been stroked, and converts the signal into an electronic one. From there, the electronic signal is processed and oil is metered at the correct amount. Where the Case controls are "four-way" servo-controlled, as in neither lift/tilt nor travel are mechanical, only lift/tilt is electronically controlled on the Bobcat machines. (This is assuming you have an XT machine, not one of the 1800 machines. The 1800 machines were entirely mechanically controlled -- kaiser?)

    As far as I know, the Bobcat AHC have not had any problems recently. When they first came out prior to the G-series in 1999, they had too large a backlog and changed one of the parts, so the quality went down (issues went up), but that has since been fixed. To be honest, I don't know if the controls have changed in the last six years, but I do not *believe* they have.

    Hope that helps... or if not, hope someone else can jump in. :)

    [Edit: here's an link, albeit old, similar to my printed source: http://www.bobcat.com/worksaver/99sp/ws_99sp_advanhce.html]
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,151

    My issue with AHC is the lack of feel, and the delay between movement and the response of the machine, and yes the stick travel in the BOBCAT is way too long. The 1800 series is a mechanical linkage but actuates a servo to reduce feedback and reduce effort. Why would you want a 250 after running a CASE?
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Cat pilot controls are great! :drinkup: I too agree that Bobcat's stroke is WAY too long, that's what I absolutely couldn't stand about them. You felt as if you were on a NordicTrak exercise machine all day pushing your arms back and forth, no good. But I'm not going to tell you buy a Cat because you're looking at a Bobcat anyway, but I will say that pilot operated controls are the best out there, minimal effort and no delay in the stroke. I too have to ask why the switch from Case to Bobcat?
  5. iowacatman

    iowacatman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Bobcat hand controls are fly by wire, Cat pilot controls are hydraulicly actuated. Bottom line difference is that pilot controls will be more reliable (look at an old 10,000 hour plus excavator) and are smoother to operate. About the only maintenance will be fixing an occasional leak (about every 6,000 - 8,000 hours).

    I am afraid however, that everyone may eventually go to fly by wire because it is cheaper. I hope not (I'm sure you backhoe and excavator operators hope not as well)
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I doubt servos will ever take the place of pilot controls simply because it's an advancement that has been made over time, why go backwards? Cat prides themselves with having the pilot system on their skid steers and I doubt they'd changed that. Also, when you're spending upwards of $150,000 for a 120 sized excavator, it better damn well come with pilot controls payup
  7. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    Heh, I don't think ICM meant that all machines would lose pilot controls... and one reason is the possibilities offered by hooking up electronics to that system. It's pretty amazing what some of the Cat wheel loader electronics people come up with... :)
  8. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,389

    I demo'd a T190 last week with the optional hand controls. Hated it. Like was said too much feed back and too much effort to work the controls. Today Cat dropped me off a 257B to try. Night and day difference. As much as I hated the Bobcat I love the Caterpillar. I know you are only asking about the controls so that is all I will touch on. 200% difference. Cat wins hands down. My advice is don't limit yourself to one machine. Demo several and find what works best for you. What some love others hate.
  9. iowacatman

    iowacatman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Another factor that may drive manufacturers to Electric controls is the increasing availability of GPS technology, and the ease of interfacing with electric controls.

    Watch for Cat's new backhoe loader to maybe go to electric controls (available spring 2006, but don't tell anyone). Some backhoe loader mfg.'s have already come out with 'pilot' controls that are fly by wire. Fly by wire can be very operator friendly though, but it takes some bucks $$ to get them that way.


    What would you say is the main differences between the T190 and the 257B? Maybe you could tell us in a different thread?
  10. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    Been waiting for them... :D

    I say, bring 'em on. Let's see if they've fixed the big reasons operators don't like 'em for.

    And IOM, are you a dealer or an employee of Cat corporate?

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