Bobcat appears to be on a roll at the moment with a regular stream of new model launches between themselves and parent company Doosan.

The latest range to be updated is the farm-orientated R series telehandlers from its factory in France.

There are seven new models split into two groups - 'compact' and 'large'. The three smaller models offer a maximum lift capacity of between 2,600kg and 3,000kg with a lift height up to 6.8m.

The larger four can stretch up to 7- 7.5m with the top model being capable of lifting 4,300kg.

Working on silage pit

Power comes from Bobcat's own engine, the D34, a four-cylinder unit of 3,409cc developed jointly with Doosan. It meets Stage V emissions standards and generates either 100hp or 135hp, depending on model.

There are three major areas of improvement over the outgoing models which Bobcat is keen to highlight.

Operating functions

All manufacturers are increasing the degree to which digital intervention occurs between what the driver wants and what the machine actually does, and Bobcat is no different.

Productivity gains are cited as the major justification for doing so.

Bobcat side view

In the case of these latest telehandlers, there are two drive modes which cater for either rapid cycle times or slower manoeuvring.

There is also a Flex Drive control which renders drive speed independent of engine speed, this quickens hydraulic functions while still being able to proceed at walking pace.

Within the onboard software, the new 'Job Manager' function allows the operator to save and recall custom settings for different attachments or applications.

The perceived convenience of this is that all the settings for a particular task with a particular bucket may be changed to suit another task using a grab, for instance, at the touch of a screen.

Bobcat automates boom functions

The company has also taken a close look at boom operation. It is now possible to set a maximum boom height, useful in low buildings.

Returning the boom to ground level can also be controlled automatically so that the boom retracts during lowering, and will stop at a pre-determined height above the surface.

Telehandler with muck heap

A third feature is 'Auto Grab'. This relieves the need for the operator to keep their thumb on the roller to open or close any kind of third service attachment.

Instead, they simply have to over-press the roller switch and the action is carried out automatically.

New cab

A new cab design pays special attention to storage spaces. There is the welcome presence of a refrigerated compartment for the operator's lunch box, a feature sadly lacking on many other new farm machines.

The general soundproofing is another aspect that has been worked on; the company claims that the in-cab noise level has been reduced by a half.

Bobcat cab

The engine cover has been remodelled with a steeper profile that increases visibility and reduces blind spots by 15% on the right hand side of the machines.

This provides excellent unobstructed visibility from the cab which is further enhanced by a rear view camera that displays on the screen as soon as reverse is engaged.