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(VIDEO) Project Minotaur awakens: CASE launches industry-first compact dozer loader

Compact dozer loader features chassis-integrated C-frame, six-way blade, and 12,907 pounds of breakout force

Several compact dozer loaders move dirt on a job site
Several CASE Minotaur DL550 compact dozer loaders

CASE Construction Equipment has launched an all-new, industry-first equipment category with the introduction of the CASE Minotaur DL550 compact dozer loader. Weighing in at more than 18,000 pounds and working with 114 horsepower, the first compact dozer loader delivers true dozing and grading performance, as well as powerful site loading capabilities and compatibility with hundreds of attachments.

Tour the Minotaur DL550 with CASE Product Manager Jeff Jacobsmeyer and Heavy Equipment Guide Editorial Director Arturo Santiago here.

"The Minotaur is truly a fleet of one, that is second to none," says Jacobsmeyer. "Business owners and fleet managers looking for a compact solution that delivers countless benefits in a single footprint will immediately see the versatility this exciting new machine brings to their fleets and will quickly understand what a ‘compact dozer loader' is capable of accomplishing."

Jacobsmeyer says input from customers was a large part of the creation process ever since the machine was first discussed.

The hallmark advancement of the CASE Minotaur DL550 is the chassis-integrated C-frame with a six-way dozer blade. The C-frame hydraulically couples into both the chassis of the machine and the attachment coupler. This design provides the stability and smooth operating plane of a small dozer while ensuring that all operating power is channelled through the whole body of the machine. This establishes greater performance and long-term reliability than the simple combination of a dozer blade attachment to a traditional compact track loader. 

It also comes standard with CASE universal machine control, which makes the machine ready for any of the major three providers of machine control technology. It's also available with an optional, fully integrated ripper for tearing up tough 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 many equipment owners already have in their fleet. 

The CASE Minotaur DL550 compact dozer loader holds 29 patents and has pushed through more than 10,000 hours of field tests, in addition to countless operator clinics and typical lab and engineering testing.

"We've put this machine through hell and back – pound for pound, there's no machine like it that delivers the dozing power and precision, as well as the dynamic loading performance," says Jacobsmeyer. "This groundbreaking, all-new machine demonstrates CASE's commitment to delivering real-world innovation rooted in customer need." 

Dozer performance in a compact machine

Built on a dozer-style undercarriage and pushing with more than 25,000 pounds of drawbar pull, the CASE Minotaur DL550 delivers ideal dozing power and performance. The machine is available with three different track options to meet operator preferences and job site 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 blade connected to the integrated C-frame is the same blade featured on the CASE 650M dozer and gives the operator a full range of dozer controls and movements. The machine's electro-hydraulic controls also deliver responsiveness like full-sized CASE dozers, with the ability to adjust the blade, steering, and shuttle sensitivity to smooth, moderate, or aggressive to meet the operator's preference. Blade responsiveness can be further customized to operator preference by independently setting the speed of the blade tilt, lift, and angle.

The fully integrated rear ripper is easily controlled from within 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.

"The CASE Minotaur DL550 is built like a dozer with the full control and operator experience of a larger machine," says Jacobsmeyer. "That includes the ability to deploy a full range of 2D and 3D machine control solutions that turn this machine into a compact fine grading solution that can get into areas and job sites where it's not practical to bring in a full-sized dozer."

CASE universal machine control provides universal harnesses and brackets to integrate machine control solutions from any of the big three providers of precision construction solutions: Leica Geosystems, Topcon, and Trimble. This allows equipment owners to add the machine to their fleet with the confidence it can be integrated directly into preferred and existing machine control ecosystems. It also provides rental fleets with the ability to easily switch between machine control brands, which allows for rental flexibility based on contractor preference.

How powerful is the new CASE Minotaur DL550 compact dozer loader?

In its loader configuration, the CASE Minotaur DL550 features a 5,500-pound rated operating capacity (50 percent of tipping load) with 12,907 pounds of breakout force. 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 total machine responsiveness to low, moderate, or aggressive or independently set tilt, lift and drive speed, as well as loader arm and drive control to best meet job site demands.

CASE builds the machine standard from the factory with enhanced high-flow auxiliary hydraulics for high-powered attachments – such as mulching heads and cold planers. The Minotaur DL550's high-flow hydraulics can deliver up to 41.6 GPM at 4,100 psi via the three-quarter-inch hydraulic quick couplers.

Operators can also select the percentage of auxiliary hydraulic flow to the attachment via the machine's multi-function display. This allows the operator to dial in attachment performance to their preference or the recommendation of the attachment manufacturer - ensuring both effective and proper operation of the attachment.

"The front coupler featured on this machine is the same as you will find on most compact loaders - this opens the machine up to be used with hundreds of attachments," says Jacobsmeyer. "We've given operators the ability to turn this compact dozer loader into one of the industry's most versatile and powerful compact machines, and deliver on the awesome capabilities that other manufacturers tried to emulate after the original concepts were announced."

The operator interface of the CASE Minotaur DL550 compact dozer loader

Fully connected and collaborative fleet management

CASE has also included the CASE SiteConnect module which improves the volume, flow, and integration of data to the CASE SiteWatch telematics platform for real-time monitoring and management of maintenance and service intervals, as well as the analysis of equipment utilization and performance.

It's also the foundation from which CASE has made the collaborative fleet management and remote diagnostics of compact equipment a reality. This enhanced connectivity allows the machine owner to share – with permission – real-time machine information with their CASE dealer and the CASE Uptime Center in Wisconsin.

"With both CASE and the local CASE dealer monitoring machine performance, we're able to be proactive and anticipate potential equipment needs to maximize uptime," says Jacobsmeyer. "The goal of these advances is rooted in customer need for maximum uptime, and the CASE Minotaur DL550 compact dozer loader delivers that - including the ability to remotely diagnose machine events and drastically shorten response times when service is needed."

CASE achieves these remote service capabilities through the CASE SiteManager app (iOS and Android). This app pairs the operator's phone or device to the machine to enable remote analysis by a certified CASE technician, which allows them to diagnose the health of each connected machine through various parameter readings and fault codes. The technician decides as to whether the issue can be addressed remotely - such as clearing codes or updating software – or if it requires a trip to the machine.

"Reducing trips to the field, showing up with the needed parts on the first visit, and the ability to avoid field visits all together by remotely clearing basic codes all drive major savings in time and resources, both for the equipment owner and the dealer service department," says Jacobsmeyer. "This type of collaborative fleet management has the ability to drive major gains for fleets of all sizes and ensure optimal uptime."

And in the case of a service need, the CASE Minotaur DL550 is built for ease of service with groundline access to grouped service points and checks. Service intervals and machine operating information are easily accessed in the machine's eight-inch LCD display in the cab.

The CASE Minotaur DL550 compact dozer loader is manufactured on a dedicated line for the machine. It represents more than six years of development and collaboration between numerous CASE plants, personnel, testing facilities, and departments.

"The CASE Minotaur DL550 embodies our dedication to practical innovation – real world, customer-driven solutions," says Jacobsmeyer. "Through this, we created a whole new equipment category and we're delivering the integrated technologies that drive improvements for operators in the field and for business owners at their bottom line."

New machine tours North America

In its 180th year in business, CASE will celebrate the launch of the first compact dozer loader with a tour of the United States and Canada with more than 30 stops where the machine will be showcased at CASE dealers.

"We are bringing the excitement of this industry-changing launch to every corner of North America," says Terry Dolan, vice president of North America at CASE Construction Equipment. "We have more than 180 years of experience in the field, but we're making moves like a startup, dedicating more time and resources to the field, and spending more time where it counts – with the men and women who run businesses and operate this equipment every day. We can't wait to see you on tour."

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