CASE Construction Equipment introduced the new DL550B — the industry’s first fully integrated compact dozer loader — at Conexpo/IFPE 2020. Unveiled three years ago as a concept machine named “Project Minotaur,” the DL550B leverages the footprint of a compact track loader (CTL) with the chassis-integrated C-frame and blade of a dozer. It creates a powerful two-in-one machine for grading and loading applications.
The DL550B features a true dozer-style undercarriage for optimal dozing performance and is available in either steel or rubber track configurations to provide contractors with extreme flexibility based on the type of turf and job. The machine weighs approximately 18,000 pounds and operates at 114 horsepower. It is also available with an optional fully integrated ripper and is compatible with a wide range of heavy-duty attachments that make it suitable for everything from initial site clearing to finish grading.
It has a six-way blade and a C-frame that attaches directly into the chassis and primary coupler of the machine. This design provides the stability and smooth operating plane of a small dozer and ensures that all operating power and stress is channeled through the chassis instead of the attachment coupler and arms of the machine (compared to a basic dozer blade attachment on a CTL).
“A standard CTL with a dozer blade attachment can be effective for occasional work, but that combination doesn’t provide true six-way blade performance, or the long-term precision possible with the DL550B,” said George MacIntyre, product manager for compact equipment, CASE. “This design is much better for strength and reliability as the pushing power is channeled through the entire machine. We have also integrated dozer controls for a much more intuitive experience for the operator versus the complicated control arrangement that comes with a common attachment blade.”
Transitioning to a CTL-style operation is easy: The operator simply hydraulically detaches the C-frame and blade to match up with a bucket, forks or hundreds of other attachments available for skid steers and CTLs. The machine comes standard with a 1.25 cubic-yard bucket, available with either a cutting edge or SmartFit teeth system.
The DL550B also offers auxiliary hydraulic options that exceed any of the CTLs in the current CASE lineup — up to 40 gallons per minute at 4,100 psi — which matches well with high-speed attachments such as mulchers and grinders for heavy duty land clearing and site development work.
The DL550B features electrohydraulic dozer joysticks that also operate similar to ISO controls in skid steers and CTLs — changing from dozer to CTL operating function is as simple as the push of a button. Forward and reverse travel, and steering, is controlled with the left hand while boom and bucket controls are manipulated by the right hand when operating in CTL mode. Those same right-hand controls operate the lift, angle and tilt functions of the six-way blade when in dozer mode. Popular CASE dozer features such as blade shake, as well as manual pitch adjustment, are also incorporated.
The machine is compatible with a full complement of 2D and 3D machine control systems to further transform it into a precise grading platform, from sub-base up to finish grade — especially on smaller yards or jobsites where larger dozers or graders may not be able to gain access. It will be available with CASE Universal Machine Control — a system that provides a universal harness for blade guidance systems, universal machine brackets and mounts, and universal jumpers to integrate any industry solution into the machine. This allows the DL550B to be deployed, straight from the dealer, into any fleet-wide precision or machine control solution an owner/operator/contractor may deploy on their jobsites.
It is also compatible with CASE SiteControl CoPilot. This easy-to-use system allows operators to set a desired slope/grade reference and automatically holds that slope/grade without the need for lasers, masts or GPS — regardless of underfoot conditions — enabling both seasoned and less-experienced operators to easily achieve and maintain a smooth surface, slope or grade throughout the work area. Once the operator has set the slope/grade specifications, the system automatically adjusts the blade position to produce a reliable and consistent quality surface, eliminating the need for additional passes and re-work, and reducing fuel and labor costs.
“We envision the DL550B as the next great two-in-one machine that will help simplify fleet management and expand service offerings for its owners,” says MacIntyre. “From landscapers to residential contractors, smaller businesses that have thought about buying a small-frame dozer to expand will now get comparable performance out of a machine that also doubles as a CTL — a machine platform that they are likely already operating.”