Against the pristine woodland backdrop of Wisconsin’s Northwoods, CASE Construction Equipment launched an all-new category of equipment, an industry first, with the introduction of the CASE Minotaur DL550 Compact Dozer Loader on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at Customer Center from CASE in Tomahawk, Wis. First shown at CON-EXPO in 2017, the Minotaur is the result of extensive customer feedback, 29 patents and more than 10,000 hours of field testing, according to the CASE team.
From clearing recreational trails amid mountains to preparing residential sites for construction, the Minotaur makes logistical sense for many customers, according to CASE engineer Brady Lewis.
During the testing and feedback phase, customers said they could transport the Minotaur, along with the necessary accessories, with a one-ton truck and heavy trailer, said Jeff Jacobsmeyer, product manager at CASE. .
“As our city yards get smaller, the jobs get more and more complex,” Jacobsmeyer said. The Minotaur’s compact yet powerful nature can eliminate excess equipment on the jobsite and perform multiple machine tasks for faster work.
Lewis confirmed it, describing a downtown St. Louis project that required the use of the Minotaur’s guidance system when grading a narrow construction site on a city block, a useful test of the machine available to tearing up hard, packed earth in a concentrated area.
A new category of equipment
The Minotaur DL550 is not just a compact track loader with a bulldozer attachment coupled to its front loader arms, the CASE team said Tuesday. At approximately 18,000 pounds and 114 horsepower, the new one-of-a-kind machine offers grading and grading performance, as well as field loading capabilities and compatibility with a host of attachments. According to CASE, a single platform has never provided this level of versatility, power and precision, resulting in an entirely new product category created by CASE: the compact dozer loader.
The uniqueness of the CASE Minotaur DL550 is its C-frame integrated into the frame with a six-way dozer blade. The C-frame hydraulically couples to the machine frame, as well as the attachment coupler. This design provides the stability and operating plane of a small bulldozer while ensuring that all operating power is channeled through the entire body of the machine. This establishes better performance and long-term reliability than simply combining a dozer blade attachment with a traditional compact track loader.
It also comes standard with CASE Universal Machine Control, which makes the machine ready for one of three major machine control technology providers, which are sold separately. It is also available with an optional industry-exclusive, fully integrated ripper to rip through difficult terrain to simplify dozing and earthmoving operations.
The C-frame is then detached to allow the operator to use it as a loader with a heavy-duty 1.25 cubic yard bucket, or with hundreds of common loader attachments that many equipment owners already have in their fleet.
Dozer performance in a compact footprint
Built on a bulldozer-style undercarriage and pushing with over 25,000 pounds of drawbar pull, the CASE Minotaur DL550 delivers true bulldozer power and performance. The machine is available with three different track options to suit operator preferences and jobsite profiles:
- 14 inch single grouser steel tracks
- 18 inch triple grouser steel tracks
- 17.7 inch rubber tracks
The 90 or 96-inch six-way dozer blade connected to the integrated C-frame is the same blade as the CASE 650M dozer and gives the operator a full range of dozer controls and movements. The machine’s electro-hydraulic controls also provide similar responsiveness to full-size CASE bulldozers, with the ability to set the sensitivity of the blade, steering and reverser to smooth, moderate or aggressive to suit preference. of the operator. Blade responsiveness can be further tailored to operator preference by independently adjusting blade tilt, lift and angle speed.
The industry-exclusive fully integrated rear ripper is easily controlled from inside the cab – it comes standard with three shanks and can be expanded to five shanks for more aggressive ripping. The rear ripper feature must be selected when ordering as it cannot be added after the time of purchase.
CASE Universal Machine Control provides universal harnesses and mounts to integrate machine control solutions from any of the big three precision construction solution providers – Leica Geosystems, Topcon and Trimble. This allows equipment owners to add the machine to their fleet with the certainty that it can be integrated directly into preferred/existing machine control ecosystems. It also offers rental fleets the ability to easily switch between machine order brands, allowing for excellent rental flexibility based on customer preference.
“Precision machine control allows inexperienced operators to learn the trade faster, reducing training time,” said Josh Belmont, CASE Product Specialist. The reduced training time can onboard more employees efficiently, reducing the ever-worrisome labor shortage in the construction industry.
In its loader configuration, the CASE Minotaur DL550 has a rated operating capacity of 5,500 pounds (50% tipping load) with a breakout force of 12,907 pounds. It features a vertical lift pattern and operates in the ISO control pattern. It also features advanced electro-hydraulic control capabilities where operators can easily dial in the total machine responsiveness to low, moderate or aggressive; or independently adjust tilt, lift and drive speed, as well as loader arm and drive control to best suit job requirements.
CASE builds the machine standard from the factory with an upgraded high-flow auxiliary hydraulic system to run the most demanding and powerful attachments, such as grinder heads and cold planers. Minotaur’s upgraded high-flow hydraulic system is capable of delivering up to 41.6 GPM at 4,100 psi through the ¾-inch hydraulic quick couplers.
The machine also allows operators to harness all that power with “hydraulics on demand,” where the operator can easily select the percentage of auxiliary hydraulic flow to the attachment via the machine’s multi-function display. This allows the operator to tune the performance of the attachment to their preference or the recommendation of the attachment manufacturer, ensuring efficient and correct operation of the attachment.
“The front coupler featured on this machine is the same as you’ll find on most skid steer loaders – this allows the machine to be used with hundreds of attachments,” says Jacobsmeyer. “We gave operators the ability to turn this compact dozer loader into one of the most versatile and powerful compact machines in the industry, and deliver the impressive capabilities that other manufacturers have tried to imitate after the announcement of the original concepts.”
And should the need arise, the CASE Minotaur DL550 is designed to make servicing easy with direct access to grouped service points and controls like all machines in the CASE line. Service intervals and machine operating information are easily accessible on the machine’s eight-inch LCD screen in the cab.
The CASE Minotaur DL550 is available to dealers now, but new customers wanting to order now may have to wait a few months, the CASE team said Tuesday. Pre-orders have been pouring in for several years and are currently being filled with newly made Minotaurs shipping from Wichita.