• 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

May 28, 2019

Don’t Fear the Ripper

The basic design of a ripper — the device consisting of a row of “teeth” that trail behind a dozer to break up hard ground so that it can be graded by the dozer blade — has been all but established science for the past half-century.

Factory Floor

Only that arrangement was not ideal for the new Project Minotaur, for two reasons, according to a conversation with Jacob Benteman and Dan Seacat, design engineers:

First, the multi-functional aspect of Project Minotaur as a CTL meant that it had to be able to load onto a trailer, and the standard ripper design reduced the departure angle, or the incline at which it would drag on the ground.

Second, Project Minotaur’s engine compartment door would face to the rear, unlike a dozer, so the ripper’s retraction and extension had to allow for easy access.

When an early design build with forward mounted teeth was put to the test in the field, the teeth acted like tills and collected dirt on the frame. In addition, the operator platform with the front-mounted teeth required a flip-up design in order to allow access to the pins that hold the teeth in place.

So the team went back to the drawing board, and innovated the established ripper design.

What they devised incorporated all of the performance criteria that operators would demand from a ripper — putting the teeth back in the rear of the frame — but reimagined the linkages for raising and lowering it, so that it would deliver an angle of departure that matched the angle of approach at the front…while preserving the critical ripper function.

They also were able to reduce complexity. Once the teeth were mounted behind the support frame, the movable platforms could be eliminated, therefore reducing complexity.

This is how we’re using practical innovation to build Project Minotaur.