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Test drives: Earthmoving Equipment PT-100G

Supplier: ASV Sales & Service
15 May, 2012

Weighing in at 5171kg, the all new Terex PT-100G is an impressive sight.

With their signature black-and-white paint scheme, and a reputation for building a specialised, highquality product, Terex/ASV have prepared a machine that you're going to want to get in from the moment you lay eyes on it.

The new PT-100G comes in two versions - standard and forestry arrangement. While they share some similarities, they both have received some notable upgrades from the previous model, the PT-100.

The forestry version features rear sweeps and cabin guarding, reinforced hinged belly pans, improved fan shroud design, adjustable automatic reversible fan to blow out debris, and level 2 FOPS.

But both the standard arrangement and the forestry machine have benefited from some major improvements with regard to the suspension, hydraulic performance and safety.

The PT-100G features a patented Posi-Track torsion axle suspension system, which on the PT-100G consists of independently moving torsion axles and four sets of pivoting bogey wheels per side. The pivoting bogey wheels allow the entire surface of the track to flex and contour to the ground, giving maximum traction, low ground pressure and an extremely smooth ride. With an impressive 48 wheels and standard 20in (508mm) tracks, the machine boasts a low 4.5psi of ground pressure.

The PT-100G also features a 50/50 weight distribution, allowing the machine to get its power to the ground evenly, not only ensuring a super smooth ride, but less damage to the underfoot surface when it really matters.

The undercarriage has taken a huge step forward in this model with the inclusion of duo-cone metal faced seals on the rollers and idlers. Terex say this will substantially reduce overall costs of ownership when compared to its predecessors.

Terex has done a lot of research and development to ensure that the undercarriage remains trouble free for as close to machine life as possible. Looking at the undercarriage, you immediately notice the huge 380mm of ground clearance, in addition to a very open design, allowing for easy cleaning. The track change process has been streamlined on this model, we're told that an experienced mechanic should be able to complete it in around 40 minutes per side.

Tracks can be adjusted by an operator in less than five minutes via a simple turnbuckle style tensioning mechanism. Once you start to operate this machine it becomes apparent that the Perkins 4.4L 99.9hp tier 3 compliant engine with 310lb ft of torque is being put to good use, with the 45gpm load sensing hydraulics operating at 3800psi for the high flow circuit.

The machine hydraulics are responsive, smooth and fast, and the two-speed hydrostatic drive system allows fast travel and high torque. All of the hydraulics are able to be dialled back by use of the electric controls which allow you to customise the speed of things like bucket level, lift height, auto idle, implement speed and creep feature.

The creep feature allows you to dial back the maximum speed to as low as 0.5 km/h which is handy when you are doing things such as asphalt grinding or trenching.

Because individual operators often vary in their control pattern preference, the PT-100G allows you to select either H pattern or ISO pattern joystick controls as well as pre-selected bucket and loader speeds.

Terex has put a lot of thought into the cooling system on the machine. As well as the previously mentioned reversible fan on the forestry model,both variants of the PT-100G have a single unit, dual core cooling package radiator, split down the middle with half for engine cooling and half for hydraulic cooling.

In addition, Terex has designed the rear bonnet to fold open almost 180 degrees to give complete access to the radiator, making routine cleaning a simple task. The high flow auxiliary circuit is well engineered and designed to reduce restriction and heat build-up, with its own large gauge hydraulic lines running from the pump to the oversized quick couplers on the boom.

At 45gpm, the PT-100G's high flow circuit is the most powerful available in the compact track loader industry, making the machine ideal for tough applications such as mulching or profiling.

There is a standard electrical interface connection near the quick connector block, allowing full control of even complex hydro-mechanical attachments directly from the joysticks. With variable low flow controls and low flow ranging from 0 20gpm, the PT-100G is well suited for any tilting attachment that requires fine control, such as a dozer blade.

There is also a handy relief valve on the manifold to drain any remaining pressure from attachments prior to removing hoses, making implement changes a breeze.

The radiator cowl hinges back for easy access to the engine and with the simple removal of two chains, it lowers even further to give complete access to the radiator and excellent access to the Perkins engine for major servicing. As for access to the pumps, it is a simple matter of removing a couple of bolts and in less than five minutes the cab lifts up.

The battery is easily accessible, tucked away neatly in the rear frame on the right side, and on the left is the air cleaner complete with a pre-cleaner.

The operator compartment is simple but effective with easy-to-read gauges monitoring all the vitals, so you can get on with the job. Operator conveniences include a 12v outlet for your mobile phone charger and a couple of out-of-the-way handy pockets right beside them to store other belongings.

The air conditioner has the condenser mounted at the rear of the cab creating a super effective system in even the hottest Australian locations. An excellent suspension seat and robust looking AM/FM radio completes the pressurised cab.

The loader frame has a 23 per cent improved reach over the PT100 and together with improved bucket geometry the increased breakout force is noticeable. The triangular loader frame design allows good vision from the cab, and upon close inspection the welded seams appear to be of a high standard.

It's the attention to detail that puts your mind at ease with regard to quality controls during the manufacturing process, and the PT- 100G is a prime example of this concept at work.

The bucket on the machine we tested was supplied by Norm Engineering in Brisbane, but should you have a preferred supplier and wish to use their product, Terex/ASV's network of dealers will be happy to accommodate you.

The figures show that in Australia, rubber tyred skid steer loaders hold the majority market share, but with continuous improvements to the Terex range of Compact Track Loaders, combining superior ride and stability, the statistics could be set to change.

The PT-100G's high flow circuit is the most powerful available in the compact track loader industry, making the machine ideal for tough applications such as mulching or profiling.