• 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

Jun 24, 2019

New, Yet Familiar

The industrial design challenge for Project Minotaur was to incorporate novel functionality into an operational framework that relied on proven technologies, while visually communicating the capability to do new things in ways that would appear familiar to operators.

“When we were first approached with the idea of a skid steer that also performed as a dozer, the engineering team had defined the work it needed to do,” explained Eric Jacobsthal, Design Manager. “So our approach was to take what we know works, and strengthen it.”

That process started with sketches on a tablet and then CAD engineering renderings over the next few weeks, followed by a month or so of development that yielded a 3D model that could be viewed at full scale at CASE’s virtual reality lab in Burr Ridge, Illinois.

Some design changes were immediately obvious, starting with the steel tracks in place of the rubber tracks normally found on CTLs, to support Project Minotaur’s dozer performance. The arm design looked similar to a skid steer, but it was re-imagined to maximize strength and performance characteristics.

“The back was more rugged, like a dozer, and the lights were positioned in a way that they wouldn’t get banged up,” said Jacobsthal. “We moved the tanks and batteries that would normally have been there on a skid steer to support the ripper.”

The design also incorporated a concept known in the architecture world as “form follows function,” which meant using elements like curved towers on the back emphasizing its great maneuverability and compact design, and its ease-of-use and ruggedness demonstrated by a heavier door structure that could swing wide open.

Delivering enhanced cab visibility was also a priority, as operators would need it to exploit all of Project Minotaur’s capabilities, and the VR modeling allowed the team to “see” what operators would see in different environments (blade, bucket, ground-level, truck loading, etc).

“We always get requests to make manufacturing easier, and perfect fit-up was our goal,” Jacobsthal explained. “We made sure we made things more heavy duty than the performance requirements specified, to ensure the machine’s performance in the most demanding applications.”

“A machine that’s well put together looks well put together, which is good not just for product quality and reliability, but its look and feel on a dealer’s showroom floor, or on a job site,” he added.

So Project Minotaur combines the “best” aspects of a dozer and CTL, along with CASE’s proven expertise in both product categories, to deliver a third, or new offering of functions.

Hence the concept model’s code name.