Bobcat Company's new 3600 and 3650 hydrostatic drive utility vehicles, powered by 24.8 hp diesel engines, are the first utility vehicles in the Bobcat lineup to offer cabs with heat and air conditioning. The new models extend and join the company's the 3200, 3400 and 3400XL models along with the multi-functional Toolcat 5600 and 5610 utility work machines.
The 3650 is the industry's first utility vehicle with the capacity to operate front-mounted, PTO-Driven attachments. PTO technology is an efficient way to transfer engine horsepower to an attachment for optimum performance. Bobcat Company is positioning the 3650 to fill the user-need gap between its standard utility vehicles and the larger Toolcat utility work machines.
One of the main drivers behind the 3600 and 3650 was the development of a hydrostatic drive system with a two-speed motor that improves durability without compromising speed compared to a vehicle with constant velocity transmission (CVT). Another feature of the machines is a diesel engine that will automatically shut itself down if it experiences high engine coolant temperature, low engine oil pressure, or high hydraulic oil temperature. This gives the operator added peace of mind when operating Bobcat utility vehicles in demanding conditions.
The composite cargo box on the new models resists dents, unlike steel and aluminum, and won't corrode like steel. Standard features on the Bobcat utility vehicles, such as the skid plate and suspension guards, and the 3600's brush guard, help protect components from damage when traveling over rough terrain, logs, rocks and other debris.
Drivability, safety, comfort
The combination of independent front dual A-arm suspension, with rear De Dion suspension that ties the two rear wheels together, improves the vehicle's ride comfort and provides improved stability to haul and tow heavy loads. These features allow the 3600 and 3650 utility vehicles to achieve an industry-leading payload capacity for towing and hauling. Cargo box capacity alone is 1,250 pounds.
Another characteristic of the hydrostatic system is dynamic braking, which occurs when the operator releases pressure on the travel pedal. As the operator lets up on the travel pedal, a valve in the drive motor closes-blocking the flow of oil-which in turn slows the machine down at a similar rate. This dynamic braking feature also makes the utility vehicle easier to control when under load.
The ability to change directions without shifting also make driving these utility vehicles almost akin to driving the family car. You can perform direction changes from forward to reverse in the new utility vehicles by using a travel control pedal rather than the typical F-N-R lever. Just rock your toe to go forward and press back on your heel to go in reverse. It's that easy.
Bobcat has incorporated an LCD screen within the speedometer that displays service codes. This allows customers to quickly identify issues with their machine and get them back up and running quickly. Also the fuel tank on the 3600 and 3650 utility vehicles is conveniently located and daily checks of items such as fluids, filters and the battery can be made through easy access to the engine compartment. Liquid-cooled engines in Bobcat utility vehicles protect a critical engine component from overheating, which also results in more power and performance from the machine, because components are kept cooler at higher RPMs.
Comfort features on the 3600 and 3650 include tilt steering, ample legroom and foot space and two-passenger bucket front seat standard on the 3650. A dealer-installed bench front seat capable of seating up to three occupants is also available on the 3600 utility vehicle. Two 12-volt plug-ins allow an operator to charge a cell phone, iPod or other electrical devices.
Work tools, attachments
To meet jobsite needs for snow and ice removal, the 3600 has an optional integrated snow blade and a sprayer that can be mounted in the vehicle's cargo box, while the 3650 utility vehicle's exclusive M.A.X (Multi-Attachment X-Change) system, in addition to the sprayer, can power front-mounted PTO-driven attachments including a snowblower, mower and angle broom, as well as non-PTO attachments consisting of the snow blade, pallet fork and bucket. These six attachments, combined with a maximum lift height of 2 feet and rated lift capacity of 500 pounds, allow the 3650 to accomplish tasks from clearing sidewalks of snow and debris to moving dirt or palleted materials.
Another valuable feature for operators of the 3650 utility vehicle is the ability to operate the throttle independent of the travel control pedal. A first for the utility vehicle market, this capability allows the operator to set the engine speed with a throttle rather than having to use the accelerator pedal to increase engine rpm. Separating the two functions gives the operator the freedom to run powered attachments more efficiently with the rpm they require yet at low travel speeds. This feature will also be beneficial when the vehicle is under load and high torque is required, but speed is not desired.