Telehandlers were once seen as a nice option on the far; for those who have them, they are now a necessary tool
Bobcat beefed up its telehandler lineup with the introduction of the V923 VersaHANDLER this summer.
The company already offers a V519 telehandler that has 74 horsepower and can lift 5,500 pounds with a 19-foot-high maximum height, as well as a 100 h.p. V723 that can lift 7,700 lb. and a maximum height of 23 feet.
The new V923 also has a maximum height of 23 feet, but it has 130 h.p. and a 9,000 lb. lift capacity.
“The V923 was introduced for more heavy-duty Ag. The V723 has been around for years, that size class, but we’re seeing the market grow and they want a little more h.p., a little more capacity,” said Marty Miller, product manager for the telescopic product line at Bobcat.
“You can get some great lift capacity with the shorter boom with this heavier machine.”
The V923 weighs in at 18,158 pounds while the V723 weighs 17,155 pounds.
Bobcat started importing telehandlers into the North American market around the year 2000 after it bought Sambron, a French-based telehandler producer, but the V923 is the largest capacity telehandler it has imported to North America to date.
“We first started out utilizing the old design we purchased, but now through the years the design is 100 percent bobcat,” Miller said.
“Their engineers are on the same systems as our engineers in Bismarck, or around the world. The design is from our global engineering community, following some of the global standards.”
The V923 VersaHANDLER is an all-wheel drive, all-wheel steer platform that can travel up to 40 kilometres per hour and has three different steering modes.
When travelling at high speeds the rear wheels lock forward and the front wheels steer the machine similar to a car.
“If you want manoeuvrability you can put it into four-wheel steer, which will make it turn in really tight quarters, in tight areas. And then also you have crab steer where the front and the rear tires will steer the same direction,” Miller said.
In previous models, the operators had to line up the rear wheels before they switched steering modes.
“This one does it semi automatically. You hit the switch and when the wheels hit their neutral point they will stop and let the others catch up,” Miller said.
The V923 has hydrostatic drive but it also has a high-speed gearbox that enables two low-speed ranges as well as two high-speed ranges.
The telehandler was designed with a low boom-pivot point in the rear to help keep more of the weight on the front axle while the boom moves up.
When it comes to the tools typically used by Bobcat telehandlers, Miller said they are always sold with a pallet fork, commonly sold with buckets, bucket grapples, bale forks, and sometimes sold with rotary-powered of mechanical silage defacers and sweeper or angle brooms.
The 130-hp 3.4 liter turbo-charged Doosan engine is Tier 4 compliant without a diesel particulate filter (DPF), enabled by a combustion chamber that minimizes the amount of particulate matter the engine creates.
Miller said having a non-DPF engine reduces downtime maintenance costs.
“They’ve (Doosan) got engines that fit our needs, our horsepower and torch ranges, and we have some customizability with the engine that we can put in our machines because it is part of our company so we can tailor the engines to better fit our applications a little bit more,” Miller said.
The engine has a reversible engine fan that can be set to automatically blow air back through the radiator while working.
The telehandler comes with automatic boom suspensions and a boom float.
“If you put a load in the bucket or the forks and you’re traveling over rough terrain there are accumulators in the boom that help isolate the boom load, the shock load. So it gives you a smooth ride over bumps when you have a load and helps keep your load a little more stable,” Miller said.
A significant difference between the V923 and V723, is the larger V923 has a variable displacement load sensing hydraulic pump with a 39-gallon per minute capacity that better supports auxiliary hydraulics.
“At idle speeds it will actually lift the load a little bit quicker and smoother as you start loading up the machine, and for multi-functions it better splits the load between the functions,” Miller said.
Operators can also slow the hydraulic system down with the Smart Handling System with its plus and minus buttons on the joystick.
Besides the drive peddle on the floor, most of the machine’s functions are on the joystick.
“The forward-reverse functions are on the joystick” Miller said.
“Also your auxiliary controls are on your joystick, as well as your telescoping boom, so your right hand really doesn’t have to leave the joystick to move the machine.”
There is a quick attachment mounting system available on the V923 that allows operators to change non-hydraulic attachments without leaving the cab.