• 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

Mar 18, 2019

Planning For The Unexpected

As soon as Project Minotaur debuted at ConExpo last year, customers were already coming up with novel ways to put it to work.

Heart of a Dozer

“One guy saw it as a machine that could be lowered down a hole to help build a subway station,” said Brady Lewis, the project’s Program Manager. “Customers clearly got ’what it was’, and we heard use cases we’d never thought of before.”

“I was surprised that people picked up on it so quickly,” added George Mac Intyre, Director of Landscaping & Agriculture Segments.

The potential for a combined dozer and compact track loader (“CTL”) had been clear early on in the innovation process, both because of the market growth of CTLs, and the fact that many of them get adapted with mulching heads to clear land. Some customers add attachment 6-way blades to use CTLs as if they were dozers.

Only they’re not.

“We’d talked with dozer guys about the limitations of putting a dozer blade on a CTL,” said Mac Intyre. “The blade doesn’t want to stay flat and tends to bounce around, which severely limits your ability to do fine grading. Also, the rubber tracks on a CTL produce less traction and stability.”

With those customer insights in mind, Minotaur’s steel tracks, and a patent-pending C-Frame designed to switch seamlessly between true dozer and CTL functionality were built into the vehicle’s specs, ensuring that it will offer more versatility than anything currently on the market.

Just what exactly they’ll do with it remains an open question, however, and those use cases could suggest additional modifications, or simply help set endurance thresholds for the development process.

So CASE has upped its engagement to help develop novel use cases, and incorporate that feedback into Minotaur.

“We’re taking what we already know, and adding to it what we might not know,” Lewis said.

What that entails is a robust conversation with customers and dealers, meeting at shows and one-on-one, as well as using surveys. “We’re looking for a variety of applications from as many customers as possible,” according to Mac Intyre.

The team has also added entire new rounds of product testing, and plans to get machines into customers’ hands far earlier than usual.

“In a normal program we know exactly what customers will expect a machine to do,” Brady added. “Minotaur’s functionality is going to create new use cases, and by getting data on those scenarios early, we can ensure that we deliver the performance and reliability that CASE is known for.”

“We want customers to put it through its paces long before we bring it to market.”