Bobcat 319 mini-excavator

Towable, manoeuvrable, comfortable and affordable - this new mini-excavator from Bobcat has a lot of features you will like.

The 319 is the first in the 1.2-tonne to 1.5-tonne class to offer an expandable undercarriage as standard. Yet its trim physique and low body weight make it easy to transport to site. Complete with rubber tracks, canopy and bucket, the model we tested weighs in at just 1,271kg. Adding a cab will take it to 1,400kg but that gives you the option of trailer transportation behind a pick-up, van or even an appropriate car. A mechanical swing lock prevents unwanted movement of the boom during transit.
Working in a garden? That’s no problem for the 319. At the flick of a switch the undercarriage retracts to less than 1m in width and, with a little concentration, the machine can be steered through a gateway. Once in position, another flick of the switch hydraulically expands the undercarriage to 1,363mm for stability while digging.
The operator’s area is roomy and can be accessed, at least in the canopy version, from either side of the machine. Once in the seat, the console can be lowered into position — it gives an audible click — and you’re ready for work.
Controls are well grouped and easy to identify. Travel levers are in front, with responsive foot-operated pedals giving control over speed. And this machine is a smooth and nimble traveller — albeit in a single-speed up to 1.66km/h.
Our tester has no problem mastering the controls and quickly settles to digging a soakaway beside the track leading to the machinery workshop. “I can’t believe how quiet it is,” he says. There’s no problem with hearing any instructions or comment as he works. Noise insulation and the engine settings give a factory-recorded sound pressure level of only 90dB(A).
Power for the 319 comes from a 9.9kW Kubota Tier II D722 diesel engine running at 2,500rpm. A new design of boom, with the cylinder on top, provides excellent digging performance and means a good load can be carried in the bucket. With a breakout force over the dipperstick of 9.3kN and a bucket breakout force of 12.3kN, work cycles are rapid. The tester also finds that the maximum reach of 3,590mm at ground level means plenty of digging can be done before it is necessary to reposition the machine, which helps with productivity.
The “practical” nature of the 319 even extends to servicing and maintenance. A large rear lockable tailgate swings open for easy access to the engine and filters. There is also easy access to grease points.
We found the 200mm-wide, turf-friendly rubber tracks caused little disturbance to the surfaces around where we worked. Auxiliary points are available to take a variety of attachments. A selection of buckets is also available.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer