Equipment World reader interest on what we term crossover machines—Is it a skid steer or a dozer? An excavator or a CTL?—gained momentum in 2020. Several companies introduced offerings in this category, including Case, Avant, Mecalac and JCB.
The momentum for crossover machines comes primarily from Europe, where they have long been a fixture at trade shows in some form or another. Their do-more-than-one-thing design is partly prompted by the need for contractors there to maneuver around Europe’s confined spaces and narrow alleyways.
Here are the crossover machines that caught our reader’s eyes in 2020:
Compact dozer loader: Case DL550B
The Case DL550B isn’t just a compact track loader equipped with a dozer blade. From the undercarriage to a chassis-integrated C-frame, to full machine control support, it was designed to be a true two-in-one machine, capable of both heavy dozing and loading tasks.
The three key elements that make this a true two-in-one machine are its dozer-inspired undercarriage, the chassis integrated, pin-on C-frame that holds the 6-way dozer blade, and its control scheme.
The 5,500-pound operating capacity vertical-lift machine offers both the ability to increase dozing performance and reach deeper into trucks.
The DL550B debuted as the prototype Project Minotaur at the 2017 ConExpo, and Case showcased the production unit at the 2020 ConExpo.
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Wheel loader/skid steer: Avant Tenco 365
Finland-based Avant Tenco offers a different take on the compact wheel loaders U.S. contractors are familiar with.
Avant’s loader lineup is primarily aimed at smaller tasks along with tight jobsites and indoor areas. The key feature is the articulation joint, and the fact that these machines don’t oscillate, or roll, on the joint.
When the machine is articulating on a slope, both the front and rear portions remain at the same angle, giving the units an extraordinary amount of stability. A low center of gravity also plays into the machine’s stability; the drive motors, engine and transmission are located below and behind the operator.
One advantage to a conventional skid steer: due to the articulation joint, the machine won’t tear up grass. The 26-horsepower 635 model has 2,500 pounds of lift capacity and a max breakout force of 2,700 pounds.
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Compact excavator/CTL: Mecalac MCR Series
The standout feature of Mecalac’s MCR Series skid-excavators is their signature side boom, which has been designed to be used with excavator buckets and skid steer buckets and other attachments like forks. The machines can use both skid and loader buckets in the reversed position, allowing operators to push and load larger volumes.
The bucket is supported against the blade so “the force of the thrust is transmitted directly from the undercarriage to the bucket,” France-based Mecalac says. The side boom folds 130 degrees backward, acts as a natural counterweight and also makes the machine more compact when the arm is raised and when it is on the ground.
With a top travel speed of 6.2 mph – double the speed of a conventional compact excavator – Mecalac says the MCR machines combine the speed of a CTL with the rotation of an excavator.
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Wheel loader/telehandler: Mecalac AS900tele
Functioning as a loader, telehandler or landscaping tool, the 8-ton Mecalac AS900tele telescopic swing loader is designed to reduce the need for additional machines.
With 22.2-gpm auxiliary hydraulics, the machine can use several attachments, including mowers, road sweepers and earth augers, and do work usually performed by backhoes, conventional wheel loaders and telehandlers, says the company.
The AS900tele features Mecalac’s AS Series swing design. Operators can swivel the fully loaded bucket 90 degrees on either side. With the rotated bucket, the machine can fill trenches or carry pipes while requiring less operating space.
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Telehandler/skid steer: JCB 2TS-7T Teleskid
The JCB Teleskid was a 2017 ConExpo standout; this year, the company added a smaller unit to the Teleskid family.
JCB designed its new 2TS-7T Teleskid compact track loader for small jobsites that need extra lift, reach and digging ability.
The 2TS is built on the company’s small skid steer chassis. With an operating weight of 9,914 pounds, it can be transported without requiring a CDL, depending on local regulations. It becomes the third member of the Teleskid lineup, alongside the larger 3TS-8T compact track loader and 3TS-8W skid steer.
The new Teleskid has a lift height of 11 feet 10 inches and forward reach of 7 feet. It can dig 2 feet down. Rated operating capacity when the boom is retracted is 2,096 pounds and 1,140 pounds when fully extended.
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