Whoever said, “Go big or go home,” was definitely not talking about the versatile compact track loader (CTL). Like their wheeled cousins, skid steers, these little workhorses have replaced many other machines on farms and construction sites but can do so on sand and gravel, saturated ground or even mud without bogging down.
A tracked machine’s “flotation” results in a secure, comfortable ride over rough terrain and generally imparts less damage to the ground. Its track’s greater surface contact generally provides greater traction than its wheeled counterparts, resulting in more productive excavation and grading.
In addition to their great versatility, the top CTL brands are robust machines. Many are still hard at work for their original – or second, or third – owners long after their initial purchase.
Among those that continue to offer owners a great return on their investment, we’ve chosen two models for a side-by-side comparison – the Takeuchi TL140, with static tipping load of 5,952 lb. and the ROC of 2,083 lb., and the Bobcat T650, with tipping load of 7,343 lb. and a ROC of 2,570 lb.
These two companies have been perfecting their CTL designs over the years with decades of feedback from their customers.
Takeuchi was first to introduce a CTL to the market. However, Bobcat gave the industry its first skid steer more than 50 years ago. Its name for many is synonymous with compact equipment.
The first concern of many potential buyers is how long the product can be supported after manufacture. Owners need to know that when they need a part down the line, they can get it quickly, minimizing downtime.
Takeuchi’s vast North American dealer network spans the U.S. and Canada coast-to-coast and features OEM-trained technicians. Parts availability is good, as the company supports its product lines at least six generations deep from right here in the U.S.
If a Bobcat dealer is not in your hometown, it’s generally a very short drive to find one. The Bobcat brand was born in the U.S. and its U.S. headquarters are in North Dakota. Its extensive dealer network represents every U.S. state and almost every Canadian province and territory, supported through a parts distribution center in Chicago.
In addition to reliability, the Takeuchi TL140 and Bobcat T650 earn similarly high marks for transportability, maneuverability, and utility.
The Bobcat T650 is a lighter yet competitively productive unit with an operating weight of 9,113 lb. – 656 lb. lighter than the Takeuchi TL140 at 9,769 lb.
If clearance through narrow accesses is important, consider that it depends much more on what attachment you are working with than base rig size.
Without an attachment, the 12.2-foot-long Takeuchi TL140 is 5.8 feet wide. The 11.4-foot-long Bobcat T650 is just a little wider, at 6.1 feet. With their respective standard buckets attached, the Bobcat is slightly narrower. The standard Takeuchi bucket is 76 inches wide; the T650, 74.
Both models feature a Tier 4 Final diesel engine. The Bobcat T650 has a 74 hp diesel engine, with a turbocharged diesel as an option. The Takeuchi TL140 has a turbocharged 81 hp engine as its standard offering.
The Bobcat has a little greater auxiliary standard flow and pressure at 3,500 psi at up to 23 gpm, with a high-flow option of 30.5 gpm. The Takeuchi’s auxiliary standard flow is 2,988 psi at up to 19.8 gpm.
Both models allow operators to quickly change between various features like:
Both have a maximum dump height of 10.3 feet and both have a similar reach at maximum dump height – 34 inches for the Takeuchi TL140 and 34.2 for the Bobcat T650.
The Bobcat boasts one of the fastest rated travel speeds in the industry at 6.2 mph in the standard low-range model (max. speed 6.6 mph). The two-speed T650 option sprints along at up to 10 mph.
The Takeuchi TL140 comes standard as a two-speed model, with max. travel speed of 4.6 mph in low-range or 6.6 mph in high.
Length of track is similar on both units, with the Bobcat T650 having 58.5 inches of track on the ground to the Takeuchi TL140’s 58.9 inches.
With an operating weight more than 650 lb. greater than the T650, the TL140’s 18-inch-wide tracks exert just 4.1 psi on the ground and provide 11,070 lbf of traction force.
The standard 12.6-inch-wide tracks of the T650 have a ground pressure of 5.7 psi and are rated as providing 6,200 lbf of traction force. However, Bobcat offers an optional 17.7-inch-wide track for the T650 with lower psi.
Dominion Equipment Parts keeps rubber tracks for both models in stock, each carrying a one-year, limited, non-prorated warranty from date of invoice against manufacturer’s defects. They feature Dominion Equipment’s Continuous Wrap Technology. A single coated-steel cord wrapped continuously around the rubber track belt ensures no weak points.
Dominion Takeuchi TL140, 450x100x48, tracks and Bobcat T650, B320x86x52, replacement tracks feature a C-pattern tread for multi-surface use and are half-pitch tracks having twice as many lugs as a full-pitch track. Every sprocket tooth has a lug to grab, resulting in a smoother, more comfortable ride. They are manufactured under Dominion’s strict quality control procedures.
Even if the model or brand you are considering is not represented by one of these two contenders, the comparison may still help you see how others measure up against them.
But don’t make your decision based on specifications online. Consult an authorized dealer for the most current information, since manufacturers can make changes to their specs that aren’t reflected in previously published materials.
Takeuchi and Bobcat fully support North American dealer networks of select, highly reputable dealers dedicated to your success with their CTL – no matter which generation or model you own.
We can help keep your Bobcat or Takeuchi running with rubber tracks and undercarriage parts. For more information, contact Dominion Equipment Parts online or call 866-363-7265.
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Dominion Rubber Tracks are available for all mini excavators, compact track loaders and tracked Carriers. Our replacement undercarriage parts include a fully stocked line of sprockets, rollers and idlers, manufactured to the highest quality control standards. Dominion Equipment Parts is also the exclusive OEM parts distributor for Morooka Rubber Track Carriers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America.