Case Construction Equipment recently launched its new N Series loader/backhoes at the company's Tomahawk Customer Center, a 500-acre facility nestled in the north woods of Wisconsin. The 60-year-old site, which provides hands-on product demonstrations and training for more than 2,000 visitors each year, now has a new 3,000-square-foot Product Review Center.
The last time I was at Tomahawk, in June 2008, the company broke ground on the state-of-the-art center. Now completed, the Product Review Center provides a panoramic view of the product demonstration area, which on this visit in late September had a striking backdrop of trees at the peak of their fall foliage.
The huge, sweeping windows allow visitors to see the full line of Case construction equipment in operation. Presenters inside the Product Review Center are able to communicate directly with Case operators who are running the equipment outside on the proving grounds. In addition, a camera inside the equipment provides the operator's point of view on a big-screen display inside the center, allowing visitors to see how the operator engages each feature to perform various tasks.
On this visit, Case highlighted much of its product line, with special emphasis on its new N Series loader/backhoes, utilizing the new technology in its Product Review Center, which provided shelter as a steady rain fell outside.
The new N Series represents a complete update of Case's loader/backhoe product line, and includes four models — the 580N, 580 Super N, 580 Super N Wide Track and 590 Super N — which replace the company's M Series 3 line. The new machines all feature 4.5-liter, turbocharged engines, ranging from 79 hp in the 580N to 108 hp in the 590SN. The N Series also provides substantially improved visibility and operator comfort compared with the M Series models. Other features include an increase in backhoe breakout force and lift, along with increased loader breakout force, lift and reach.
“The new N Series loader/backhoes are truly a game changer,” Rob Marringa, marketing manager for Case Construction Equipment told RER. “The N Series was engineered from the ground up. We've taken the flagship product of the Case lineup and delivered best-in-class performance from back to front. The new N Series really is ‘stronger everywhere.’”
Wanting to introduce the new machines to the media with a bang, the company orchestrated an elaborate nighttime fireworks display that culminated in a demonstration of the N Series' new high-intensity lighting package, a feature added to enhance jobsite safety and boost operator productivity. The new lighting package improved performance by 28 percent, providing superior visibility and overlapping field coverage. The new, easy-flex side lights offer 45-degree rotation to deliver extra lighting where it's needed most on the jobsite.
“The new N Series machines light up the entire perimeter of the machine,” says Marringa. “This means the entire side-to-side range of backhoe movement — and beyond — is illuminated. This not only gives the operator a better sense of control; it also boosts productivity at any time of day or night.”
Excitement about the new loader/backhoe line and the company's new Product Review Center from Case employees was palpable. The company spent 18 months enlisting loader/backhoe operators from the United States and Canada to review equipment designs and test pre-production models of the N Series in a variety of applications and climate conditions. Comments gathered from these experienced operators shaped the development of the N Series all the way to final production. One of those operators, Dennis Zentner, owner of DRZ Contracting, Delta, British Columbia, was in attendance to share his experience in the development of the N Series.
“The 580SN WT loader/backhoe performed well on grading, trenching, backfilling, heavy lifting, hole-patching and rock-breaking,” Zentner said. “Overall, it's a great machine. Case did a great job redesigning the backhoe boom. It's an improvement and definitely stronger than competitive models I've used.”
On this visit to Tomahawk, Case provided the fireworks, but the launch of the new N Series loader/backhoes brought the boom.