• 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

Sep 16, 2019

The Need…For Speed

At risk of stating the obvious, CTLs and dozers are two machines because they do two different things: lifting and pushing dirt require not just different levels of power but apply it with different levels of control and sensitivity.

Combining the hydraulics into a single unit for Project Minotaur required designing a software and hardware system for both use cases. It took operator feedback to get them right.

“Our deep experience with compact track loaders served as the baseline for our speed presets,” explained Josh Zimmerman, performance controls engineer. “Customers had told us over the years what worked best for their needs.”

“Our cycle times came from our background in small dozers, like how fast blades should move up or down, tilt, and rotate, so we set this as the 100% capacity preset for those functions.”

When operators in the field got their hands on Minotaur, however, the message was clear.

“Some of them said that 100% was too slow for what they wanted to do, and that it wasn’t responsive enough to keep their grade,” said Zimmerman. “They wanted the cycle time to be faster than we’d set it.”

Speed has always been a driving factor for CTL operators, and the hydraulics built into Minotaur had been dialed back to provide fine control for dozer applications. This extra hardware capacity allowed the team to increase the dozer settings and give operators not only more speed but make the joystick control feel more responsive (for a better sense of control).

“Customers have told us that they are more likely to use Minotaur in low or medium settings, maybe because it enables more varied uses,” said Zimmerman, noting that software updates allow the system to be fine-tuned to meet the expected ranges of speed for both dozer and CTL applications. “Our test operators challenged us to expand the range and make it faster and more responsive, like race car drivers who expect to push the limits of what’s possible.”

“If you have a need for speed, Minotaur will be up to the task.”