Bobcat Compact CT230

By: Terry Stevenson

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The Bobcat CT230 are well up to the task and should make a good long-term investment

Bobcat Compact CT230
Bobcat Compact CT230
  • Multi-adjustable seat for driver comfort
  • Easy to use controls
  • Hydrostatic drive system
  • Steel engine bonnet, not plastic
  • Powerful and quiet engine
  • PTO and hydraulic driven implements
  • Fold-down roll-over protection bar
  • 2WD or 4WD operation
  • Speed adjustable linkage rise and fall
  • Effective wet disc brakes

US-built, Bobcat are sold in NZ and Australia by Clark Equipment, which has nine models in its line-up, from 21hp to 49hp.


The three-speed transmission is a hydrostatic design. The "rocker" style foot pedal can be operated using the heel to drive the tractor backwards. It is an excellent innovation, as when I used various implements I could quickly change direction via my foot without changing gear. When I wanted the ground speed to remain constant I could use the "cruise control" lever, located beside the handbrake.


The CT230’s 30hp three-cylinder diesel engine has more than enough power for the size of tractor. The 1.5-litre powerplant would rev out to 2900rpm and make a pretty good spread of power throughout the rev range.


Driving the four-wheel drive Bobcat CT230 in the paddock was simple – just turn the key and the tractor started up even while in gear.

A feature I wasn’t so keen on was the seat safety cut-out switch that turned the engine off every time I got out of the seat.

Traction from the large 7 x 14" front and 11.2 x 24" rear tyres is enhanced by the 2WD/4WD system, allowing the ROPS Bobcat to go almost anywhere.

With a 2895mm turning radius, the CT230 turning circle seemed fairly average for this sized tractor. To obtain a smaller turning circle I used the skid-steer style left or right foot brake by locking the inside wheel.

The CT230 has separate hydraulic pumps, retaining lifting capacity without affecting the power steering.


The roll-over protection bar (ROPS) can be folded down for work under trees, and a front end loader can be attached to make the CT230 more versatile.

At the rear is a 16.3L/min hydraulic outlet to use in conjunction with any implement that requires a hydraulic drive. The three-point linkage was easy to fit the implements I used during the test, thanks to the telescoping lower arms and sway bars.

Its lift capacity is a healthy 685kg measured 610mm behind the lifting point, and easily handled a 163kg Muratori MZ4 105 wide rotary hoe.

The live power take-off (PTO) has two outlets with 22hp available, which required the clutch to engage. The 2000rpm mid-PTO can be hooked up to a mid-mounted mower, although we used the rear 540rpm PTO.

Operator comfort

The CT230 is graced with an adjustable steering wheel and a comfy suspension seat that is adjustable in two directions. All the controls were in the right places.
There is a large floor space in this model, and a small tool box is located behind the driver’s seat.

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