Mustang 1650 RT Track Loader

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Updated: June 12, 2019

Two days before our Mustang 1650 RT Track Loader test drive, it didn’t just rain in Sydney, it absolutely poured! It was ankle deep mud when we arrived at our site. If any site was going to test the track and stability of this little powerhouse, it was going to be this one.

The material to be chipped or mulched included everything from large chunky sections of cut trees to a full range of large thick branches, all the way down to thin leafy smaller branches, as well as mulch and mud available to move around. The specs for the 1650 RT painted the picture of a powerful workhorse with the 70hp Yanmar engine, strong hydraulic fl ow, automatic track tensioning (IdealTrax), 2 Speed Travel and a host of other impressive features. But as we all know, impressive lists don’t always end up in an impressive machine, however I’m happy to say in the case of the Mustang 1650 RT, everything just seems to seamlessly come together in a nimble and gutsy little performer.

Before we get into how well the Mustang performed it’s worth throwing a few specs at you. As the name suggests, the machine is rated to 1650 lbs (794kg) – calculated at industry standard of 35% with a heavy duty rear bumper as standard. The max height to the hinge pin is 3m and the overall width is 191.77cm.

The first thing you notice when operating this beast is the class-leading 70hp Yanmar engine. There is plenty of grunt and 400mm wide tracks have been allocated to help transfer power to the ground with the extra capacity of the engine. A two-speed mode has also been allocated to help speed up getting to and from trucks when moving loads. This track loader is quick on the ground and the left-hand operation in manoeuvring the loader is intuitive and precise, not to mention smooth.

Power and Performance

When it came down to lifting power and performance, the Mustang has impressed. It would give Dean Lucan a run for his money back in his day. There were several large sections of thick tree trunks that I didn’t think the 1650RT would lift, but it grabbed onto and lifted to the full height range of the machine. The hydro glide bucket also meant the loader travelled extremely well when loaded. With a top speed of 16km p/h the amount of work this loader can smash through in a short period of time is impressive. In the mud and slop, even when the bucket was fully loaded, the 400mm wide tracks did a great job getting the power from the engine to the ground.

A Long List of Features

There are numerous other specs you would expect from a machine of this quality, including anti-vandalism protection, auxiliary hydraulics, brake control, engine auto-shutdown, foot and hand throttles, hydraulic safety system, hydrostatic drive-servo and ROPS/FOPS level 2 to name just a few.

But if you feel like ramping things up there is also optional extras: enclosure packages, air conditioning, engine block heating, power-a-tach attachment mounting systems and selectable self-levelling hydraulic lift action – I’ve just scratched the surface in this area. As good as our site for the test was, I would have loved the opportunity to rip into a huge pile of road base for at least a few hours to test the power of this machine. But from the level of performance I experienced, the Mustang has come ahead leaps and bounds from the last one I operated about eight years ago. I still remember operating a Mustang back then and feeling as if the machine didn’t have the level of performance I expected – they were a little underwhelming back then. However,