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Terex's track loaders to compete in UK market

Terex will next month bring three makes of track loaders to the UK in a bid to compete with Caterpillar and Bobcat.

The company will introduce its rubber track loaders after they have proved a hit in the US and Australia.

Terex will introduce the PT30, PT60 and PT80 featuring rubber tracks developed by US firm ASV, which it acquired earlier this year. The machines use the same system as is licenced out to Caterpillar. The tracks use rubber and fabric instead of steel cable and bars.

Training manager Rick Harris claims the track has a life of 1,500 hours, compared to between 600 and 800 for steel embed systems.

“Without the problem of track life, you will be able to use it in a yard instead of a wheel loader,” he says.

The company claims the 1.5 tonne PT30 will be a first as it can be fitted with smooth tracks and can be used for landscaping or even maintaining golf courses. Harris says the machine manages to keep 178mm of track on the ground to give it floatation on delicate surfaces.

Terex hopes the machines' suspensions will make them an edge with operators. They gain their suspension from torsion axles to give it a smooth operation and which have a life of between 4,000 and 5,000 hours. The chassis has plenty of clearance from the ground which makes the machine easier to drive around the site; the smaller PT30 has a clearance of 250mm.

Terex differentiates the machines from Bobcat as their weight sits in the middle, instead of on the rear. This, it says, will give it the edge on working on sloping sites such as motorway embankments.

Global product manager Mark Raymond says the nippy loader may also gain the edge over excavators on some sites for loading dumpers.

“The dumper is still king,” he says. “We're not saying the loader is better, but it is more versatile.”

But will Terex make inroads into the European market on the strength of their patented track in the wake of Caterpillar?

“Europe is going to be easier for us than North America because some of the barriers have been knocked down for us. It is for us to get across why customers should pay a premium when they have previously been using wheel loaders.”

The company has yet to draw up a list of attachments for the UK market, although it will take any standard loader tools. Mr Raymond says a range of attachments will be available before the end of the year.

Terex plans to bring the PT100 into the country next year.