J H Fencing Contractor Ltd, based in Holmfirth in West Yorkshire, has purchased the first MaxControl Remote Control system in the UK from dealer Grays Machinery Ltd. The company is using the system to remotely control a Bobcat T450 compact track loader, also supplied by Grays Machinery at the end of last year.
Jack Hampshire, owner of J H Fencing, said: “The MaxControl system is perfect for remote control of the Bobcat T450 equipped with our post knocker attachment, which we use to install fence posts at a fixed distance apart. I use the MaxControl system on my iPhone to move the machine and attachment from one installation point to another, positioning the machine exactly where it is needed.
“As well as allowing me to do the fence installation work by myself from outside the machine, the MaxControl system gives me a perfect view of all the work area. This means I require less staff and it also greatly increases work efficiency, being able to load and unload more safely and possibly operate in places where I may have felt less comfortable inside the loader. As a result, I am finishing work in around two-thirds of the time, taking 2-3 hours off a 10-hour day.”
The MaxControl system is a new hardware kit, combined with an iOS app, with easy touch controls that have been specially designed to be used with a smartphone. An Android version will be available shortly. According to the company, the system can be retrofitted to any machine with Selectable Joystick Controls, dating back as far as 2004.
Mr Hampshire added: “I purchased the T450 from Grays for its compact size and operating weight of only 2961 kg, combined with the low ground pressure and high traction provided by the durable tracks on the machine to work in all conditions. Another very attractive feature of the T450 is it is fully towable and, with a width of under 1.4m on 300 mm tracks, the T450 can pass through even the narrowest gates on farms and elsewhere, which is perfect for our work creating new equine arenas and other fencing applications.
“The T450 may be a compact machine but it provides all the power we need for our work – it is driven by the well-proven Bobcat D24 Stage V high torque diesel engine providing 41.0 kW (55 HP) of power and combines this with an impressive tipping load and a rated operating capacity of 2049 kg and 717 kg, respectively.”
Bobcat states that using the MaxControl system eliminates blind spots when carrying heavy loads, as well as raising awareness of the surrounding environment. Being outside the cab also allows the operator to communicate clearly with co-workers.
Mr Hampshire added: “The set-up is child’s play and very intuitive. You simply connect the device to the machine via the joystick control and a remote dashboard forms and is displayed on the smartphone. Thanks to this flexibility, I can simply start the machine, pull out my mobile phone and control the machine remotely.
“Switching back to manual driving is just as quick. It is easy and intuitive to use and has a range of up to 100 m. Being based on an app, I know I can also get the newest features the moment they are available.
“With MaxControl installed on the T450, it allows us to combine jobs without having to jump in and out of the loader’s cab. Being able to operate outside the cab provides a different angle of view, helping new and even less experienced operators in tight areas.”