Bobcat Compact CT122 tractor
The Bobcat CT122 is a compact size for getting into hard to reach spaces and the horsepower to perform
- Can get into very tight places
- Easy to learn the controls and drive
- Good brakes
- Sharp appearance
- Good seat comfort
- Hydrostatic transmission
Bobcat is an American company that produces a range of machinery from skid steer loaders, track loaders, all-wheel steer loaders and telehandlers, through to compact excavators.
Established in 1948, Clark Equipment is the Australian and New Zealand agent, with numerous dealers nationwide.
The compact CT122
Despite being a smaller tractor, the Bobcat can be fitted with a front end loader – ideal for moving small quantities of hay, gravel, firewood, dirt or manure. The three-point linkage at the rear also offers the ability to fit a variety of implements; anything from a mower to a rotary hoe.
Typical users may include golf courses, small landscape companies, farmers and lifestyle block owners.
Driving the 933kg (without front end loader) CT122 ROPS in-paddock was as easy as it gets for a compact tractor. Having power steering it is considerably easier to drive.
With a small 1422mm wheelbase, the steering lock is incredibly tight so there won’t be many places you can’t get into, thanks to a tiny 2261mm turning circle.
All of the controls are well positioned and easy to learn how to operate.
There are two PTO points; the rear PTO operates at 540rpm while the mid-frame PTO runs at 2000rpm – for on-board mowing.
Lift capacity of the three-point linkage is 380kg at 600mm behind the lift points. Still at the back, a single 29L/min hydraulic outlet is available for you to run hydraulically powered implements.
Operating the front end loader was the best part of my test, where I got to move dirt around, which I cultivated from a grassed paddock using the 30hp CT230, fitted with a Muratori MZ4 105 rotary hoe.
On the downhill I found the wet brakes entirely adequate, particularly since I drove around with a front end loader fitted, plus a heavy mower on the back.
Hydrostatic transmission system
People will enjoy the hydrostatic transmission possibly more than any other feature. Turn the key to start the engine, engage either high or low ratio with the "gear" lever located to the left of the adjustable seat, set the engine revs and press the "accelerator" pedal. This pedal opens a valve that lets through more hydraulic fluid to enable a faster, or slower, driving speed, up to 15kmh maximum.
It works well because most tractors run best at one pre-set speed, leaving the driver to concentrate solely on their ground speed while keeping the engine power up – which you’ll need to do if you are running one of the implements.
The "rocker" style foot pedal can also be operated using the heel to drive the tractor backwards.
For those with a big job requiring a constant ground speed setting, relief is on the Bobcat by way of a colour-coded lever, situated alongside the handbrake.
A good engine
The three-cylinder diesel engine produces 22hp with 16.2hp available at the PTO.
The CT122 has the engine dipstick easily accessible on the side – without the need to remove covers or lift the bonnet. A dual air filter comes as part of the package to ensure the engine inhales only clean air. The grease points were well designed too.
Another thoughtful feature is a screen fitted directly in front of the radiator to catch the airborne dust and debris before it wedges itself into the radiator core. The screen is quick-detach for faster cleaning.
The motor is quiet running, partly thanks to the exhaust exiting at the bottom front right, well away from the driver.
Read in-depth farm machinery reviews in the latest issue of Farm Trader magazine, on sale now.