Bobcat introduces 5-link torsion suspension

The M2-Series T870 compact track loaders are the first Bobcat loaders manufactured with the company’s new 5-Link torsion suspension undercarriage.

The 5-Link undercarriage is a brand-new design for Bobcat compact track loaders. The undercarriage design significantly improves operator comfort and ride quality without sacrificing performance, according to the company. Its design not only improves ride quality, but it absorbs the stress and vibrations encountered on the job. Less vibration reduces machine wear and improves the machine’s components life.

In addition, the 5-Link torsion suspension undercarriage produces less noise and provides a quieter work environment for the compact loader operator.

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With protecting uptime as a top priority, the 5-Link torsion suspension undercarriage is designed with reliable components, including a new drive motor to ensure the undercarriage is operating properly.

As well, the undercarriage’s new drive motor is easier to maintain, while the drive motor’s outer bearing is more durable due to continuous lubrication from the loader’s hydraulic system. A 15 per cent increase in diameter to the drive shaft inside the gearbox also increases the component’s durability.

To withstand harsh operating conditions, dual flange front idlers are made with forged steel to guide and support the rubber tracks around the ends of the compact track loader’s undercarriage.

An additional fifth link on the rear axle stabilizes the undercarriage to increase machine stability and performance when grading.

Bobcat’s 5-Link designed to distribute stress

Bobcat’s 5-Link undercarriages are designed with a solid cast spindle mount for increased durability. This design eliminates welds and distributes stress across one seamless piece that has additional metal and strength. An inner bar in the axle system is heat-treated and surrounded by four rubber cords, increasing the system’s longevity.

New rollers are wider to maximize their contact with the compact track loader’s rubber tracks, minimize wear and deliver a smoother ride for operators. In addition, a larger rear idler positioned further back within the undercarriage provides more surface area for less wear per rotation, increasing overall component life and supplying more down force to the cutting edge.

A new feature of the undercarriage is an automatic hydraulic track tensioning system. Operators no longer need to manually adjust the compact track loader’s track tension with a grease gun. Instead, the hydraulic tensioning system automatically ensures the proper track tension, thereby increasing machine uptime protection.

Bobcat also lengthened the undercarriage’s rubber tracks to increase surface area and ground contact, which in turn provides better flotation and improving machine performance in soft ground conditions, like sand or mud.

Easy maintenance

The 5-Link torsion suspension undercarriage’s bushings are made with high-grade, steel for added durability. Regular loader maintenance is simple thanks to five easy-to-access grease fittings. Recessed fittings are protected from jobsite objects and debris to help minimize machine downtime.

A redesigned undercarriage main frame allows operators to perform preventive maintenance quickly. A horizontally mounted hydraulic track tension cylinder provides more room between the undercarriage components and the track for easier cleanout. Plus, the undercarriage is sloped on both sides to shed sand, dirt, mud and other material. Raised cutouts between the rollers allow for easier cleaning.