A compact track loader is a versatile machine for your construction or landscaping business. With multiple different attachments, they’re ideal for projects of all kinds. Still, they are a significant investment, and choosing the right one can be challenging when there are so many options.
The experts at Louisiana Cat are here to help you make the best decision. Our guide compares two popular makes and models for those looking for high-performing power — the Bobcat® T870 and the Cat® 299D3. Learn about their differences and pick the right one with confidence!
Comparing Size and Performance
These two machines differ in:
- Operating weight: Weight directly impacts your compact track loader’s safe carrying capacity and tipping point. The Bobcat T870 weighs 12,925 pounds, while the lighter Cat 299D3 tips the scales at 11,464 pounds.
- Operating capacity: The Cat 299D3 model offers an operating capacity of 3,480 pounds at 35% of the tipping load. An optional counterweight raises this to 5,240 pounds. For the Bobcat, the operating capacity is 3,650 pounds.
- Horsepower: Horsepower (hp) helps your compact track loader carry out key site prep jobs. The 299D3 offers a generous gross 98hp with a net 95hp under SAE International testing. Expect a gross 100hp from the Bobcat.
- Ground pressure: With rubber tracks, the Bobcat T870 generates 4.8 pounds per square inch (psi) of force on the ground. You’ll see a lighter 4.7 psi with a 17.7-inch track on the Cat 299D3.
- Travel speed: Maximum travel speeds depend on whether the models have a one- or two-speed option. With single-speed style, expect 5.5mph on the Bobcat and 5.2mph on the 299D3. The two-speed Cat offers up to 8.4mph, and the Bobcat’s top speed is 9.3mph.
Both brands have turbocharged diesel engines and meet tier-4 emissions regulations.
Precision and Control Differences
The Cat 299D3 and Bobcat T870 both feature convenient joystick controls.
In the Cat model, you’ll also find a hand-controlled throttle you can change with just the turn of a dial. An Advanced Display option lets you make implement and hystat responses right on the screen. Operators can choose their layout options and back up safely and accurately with a rearview camera.
Bobcat offers standard joystick controls on the T870. Dual foot pedals power the loader’s lift and tilt functions, and dual steering levers control the drive. Owners can upgrade to Selectable Joystick Controls for custom control features, including remote control from an iPhone®.
When it comes to advanced features, the Cat model changes the game. SMART technology means the 299D3 can automate attachment use. The built-in intelligent leveling system sports dual-direction self-leveling and work tool positioning assistance for precision placement.
Prevent load spills with hydraulic bucket control on the Bobcat T870. The optional feature helps the bucket stay level when you engage the lift arms. This model also offers precision grading features using laser and sonic guides, producing accuracy to within ¼ of an inch.
When you’re working in tight spaces, the Bobcat T870 requires a 99-inch radius in comparison to the Cat 299D3, which needs just 91.1 inches of clearance.
Serviceability of the Bobcat T870 Versus the Cat 299D
The Bobcat T870 offers simple equipment maintenance with a concept the company calls “panoramic serviceability.” Their engineers have made it easy to access filters, the battery and fill compartments. Additionally, there’s no need to raise the lift arms to get to maintenance points.
Vital lubrication points are also easy to service without laying on the ground or climbing up on the tires and tracks. The company’s exclusive belt-drive design allows you to perform upkeep from a single side of the machine. Keep a watch on all critical fluid levels just by looking at them as part of your daily once-over.
Cat makes it easy to maintain your 299D3 compact track loader. A full gauge panel lets you see fuel levels at a glance, and operator warnings send alerts when pressures or temperatures aren’t in range to prevent any damage. Plus, it has easy-to-read gauges for coolant and hydraulic fluid, and the tanks are quickly reachable for fast fill-ups. The 299D3 also has ground-level access for the points you maintain daily. Perform inspections and boost safety without having to stand on tires or tracks.
The Cat powertrain features quick-change filters and a convenient S.O.S.SM sampling valve for thorough fluid analysis that can help keep your equipment running better and longer.
Both models offer a pressurized cab for less dirt and noise inside. Add heating and cooling to keep temperatures at just the right level for a long day’s work. The sealed cabs also help it stay warm or cool where and when you need it most.
Additionally, both undercarriages have torsion suspension designs. These styles absorb the bumps and vibrations to make for a more comfortable operator experience. Automatic and speed-sensitive ride controls are also available. As a result, operators can move faster over uneven terrain while still having a smooth ride.
The Bobcat T870 comes with a multidirectional adjustable seat. Even taller operators will be right at home with more headroom and legroom. Plus, precise seat positioning gives your operator maximum visibility. Air ride options are available for even more comfort.
The Cat 299D3 sports a newly redesigned cab offering 15% more interior space. An entry door up to 40% wider and a new cab step style make entry and exit easier and safer. Upgrade the ride with features like a variable-speed fan with a reverse cycle or a Bluetooth® radio with USB and auxiliary inputs. Seat-mounted joysticks and high visibility mean no more awkward operating positions.
How Attachments Compare
Both brands offer an extended range of attachments to get more done with one machine. Whether you’re grinding stumps or compacting ground, there’s a tool for it. Quick coupling is another feature both models have.
Bobcat uses its long-standing Bob-Tach® mounting system to make it easy to swap out buckets, augers and more. Power Bob-Tach lets you change nonhydraulic tools without leaving the cab. Need to switch to a hydraulic one? Just connect the hoses once you’ve attached it. A simple switch push makes the tools ready to use.
In comparison, Cat offers SMART attachments for some applications. The 299D3 will automatically recognize the attachment you couple and pair the cab controls with it. ASSIST features are available for grading and dozing. When using a dozer blade, operators can return to a previous blade position with a button push. This feature means it takes fewer passes to get results. The technology holds the programmed slope for consistent performance when used with the grader.
Both brands also have advanced machine displays to give the operator immediate attachment information. Bobcat’s M2-Series panels let you know position attachments with built-in laser-guided features. Caterpillar developed its displays based on input from the people who use the equipment every day. The screens show operators how attachments are performing so they can maximize the equipment’s efficiency and get jobs done faster.
Trust Louisiana Cat for Your Equipment Needs
Louisiana Cat has a full range of new, used and rental equipment that works as hard as you do, including compact track loaders. Our team backs up our selection with parts and service to maximize your uptime. Since 1933, we’ve been the local experts for Louisiana customers — we’re in your neighborhood and ready to offer the job advice and equipment help you need.
Stop by any location, call us at 866-843-7440 or connect with us online.