It’s not as easy as it looks running a front loader or excavator

CASE Construction debuted its D Series excavators on Monday night at a multi-day media event at its customer care center in Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

Being so close to our company’s offices, I decided to take part in this. After all, it would give me a chance to climb into some heavy equipment to try it out and experience what our contractors deal with on a daily basis.

The event kicked off 8 p.m. Monday with the presentation of the new excavators from the company, from smallest to largest – the CX210D, the CX250D, the CX300D and the CX350D.

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The CX350D, according to CASE officials, is a strong fit for the gas and oil industry.

“It’s big enough to move pipe when installing pipelines,” says Philippe Bisson, brand marketing manager for CASE. “It has the power to do that.”

With some new attachments in the works, Bisson believes it’ll become one of the must-haves for those installing pipe.

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“We have some attachments here in testing right now that will help pick up the pipe easier,” Bisson says.

The new excavators are now available on the company’s website at

Field Day

Media members returned to the customer care center on Tuesday for field-testing day. We were able to sit behind the wheel of many pieces of equipment and try them out.

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Well, I’ll tell you firsthand, it’s not easy!

The first piece of equipment I tried was a small skid-steer. It was simple enough. The controls were easy to understand in ISO mode – using the left joystick to steer and the right joystick to control the movements of the bucket.

After doing that for about a half hour, I moved up to one of the big boys. I jumped into the 1121F Wheel Loader – the largest of CASE Construction’s wheel loaders. It was a little intimidating at first because of how big it was.

Steering was easy on the 1121F, but getting the hang of using the bucket to scoop up the dirt was a different story.

I started off doing well – or so I thought – by digging into the ground and lifting up the bucket, thinking I had a huge pile of dirt in there. Well, I drove to the dump pile and dumped the bucket … maybe a spade-shovel of dirt fell out.

Yeah, it wasn’t my best moment.

It took me about an hour on that machine to get the feel for it. Even then I was pretty bad at operating it. I guess I shouldn’t operate one of those for a living.

A big kid

The final piece of equipment I had to try was one of the new D Series excavators. I climbed into the CX250D, one of the medium-sized excavators.

The controls were very similar to the skid-steer and very smooth to operate. I felt like a big kid in a sandbox again playing with those yellow, die-cast metal dump trucks and wheel loaders.

It was fun being able to operate the equipment like that and get a feel for it.

And the best part … I didn’t break anything!


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