• VIDEO: Episode 11: The Journey BackWichita preps Project Minotaur as it leaves for its journey back to CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020.
  • VIDEO: Episode 10: LearningsFrom the first focus groups at CONEXPO 2017 to customer clinics and jobsites throughout North America, Project Minotaur has evolved through extensive voice of customer feedback and traditional field testing.746
  • VIDEO: Episode 9: The First BuildersCASE builds a new line for Project Minotaur and implements World Class Manufacturing (WCM) principles as the company looks to retain the specially crafted design of the machine while also optimizing worker engagement with the machine and the workspace. 727
  • VIDEO: Episode 8: The First JobsChad Eaton of Grapes & Sons Excavating was one of the first operators at our customer clinic in Arizona earlier this year, and became one of the first contractors to put Project Minotaur to the test on real jobsites in the mountains of Colorado.712
  • VIDEO: Episode 7: Just Add FeedbackJosh Zimmerman discusses his role in dialing in the performance of Project Minotaur, and the important role that feedback plays in how the controls of the machine are refined. 685
  • VIDEO: Episode 6: Customer Clinic DocumentaryContractors from around the country come to a customer clinic in Arizona to be the very first to operate Project Minotaur.661
  • VIDEO: Episode 5: Lift the CurtainProject Minotaur team members discuss the work and planning that goes into developing a customer clinic for a new piece of construction equipment, and what they have in store for the first wave of contractors to operate the machine. 642
  • VIDEO: Episode 4: Break ThingsDan Seacat discusses the hours of testing put on equipment at the Wichita proving grounds, and what operators and testers are looking for as Project Minotaur comes closer to reality. 615
  • VIDEO: Episode 3: Heat, Data, Dozers, LoadersAir-to-boil testing puts equipment through extreme environmental and workload conditions before a new machine is ever seen by contractors.592
  • VIDEO: Episode 2: ConnectionsEngineers at the CASE manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas, discuss the first seeds of the idea that grew into Minotaur, and the core principle behind the frame design and blade/attachment interface. 568
  • VIDEO: Episode 1: Spare PartsCASE unveiled Project Minotaur at CONEXPO 2017 — a new machine category that brought together the performance attributes of a compact track loader and a dozer to create the industry's first ever Compact Dozer Loader, the DL450. CASE has since evolved the concept and is taking it into the next stages of development. This series will follow along the development process — Episode One details the steps taken since initial tests and focus groups after CONEXPO, the pieces of the original design left behind, and hints at the directions it is taking moving forward.511

The Origin Story

Making the Monster

In the Dirt

Feb 24, 2020

Changing The Scenery

The Project Minotaur team has been working with customers over the past few months to put units to work in variety of environments to evaluate performance in the likely places where they’ll be put to use.

“We’ve collaborated with customers who provide the widest possible range of geographies and site use cases,” explained Aaron Baldwin, Product Validation Manager. “Our goal is to add exclusive, new research results to the deep historical data we have on dozer and CTL performance.”

Dozens of tests were completed, ranging from mountains to coastal areas, representing a variety of soil conditions including sandy, hard clay, and rocks. The work sites are also unique in terms of access, whether small narrow roads or city streets, and topography, as the areas have included steep inclines and close proximity to housing.

“The idea is to use a Project Minotaur unit both as a CTL and dozer, since that dual utility is a key component of its value proposition,” said Baldwin.

Because of that added functionality, each test lasts from six to eight weeks instead of the usual month or so, with customers sometimes switching between bucket and dozer daily. The units have collected telematics on mission data, engine parameters, hydraulic pressure, engine hours and other data points that document duty cycles, and all of the customers are providing verbal feedback (and sometimes video, too).

“One customer in the Rockies literally operated a unit on the side of a mountain and was able to use the dozer blade to move boulders out of the ground instead of a CTL bucket,” Baldwin explained. “Because of the unit’s power and ability to grip there was no sliding (it was stable), and he was able to go right from that to grading.”

“Another customer in the Southeast put the unit on residential area roads and noted the fine control, but then took it into undeveloped land to knock over some trees.”

Perhaps just as importantly as variety of use cases, the Project Minotaur customer testing has involved operators with a variety of skill levels and backgrounds, including some for whom English isn’t their first language.

“At the end of the day, we want the machine to be intuitive and drive with very little effort,” Baldwin said. “Even if the first user is an experienced operator, many of them are putting other operators in the seat thereafter.”

“We want it to work for everyone.”