Buying a wheeled or tracked loader can be an interesting option for many landscapers and contractors, with the comfort and ride quality of the wheeled option producing a vastly superior ride. When you also manage to include other great features like a 70hp Tier 4 Yanmar engine, when the competition is running with 50-60hp and include Hydro-glide as a standard (only applicable to RT Models), you must be talking about the Gehl R165.
Simply put, this machine is designed with the standard owner-operator contractor in mind. From the barn or farm to the jobsite, this mid-sized skid steer has power that will impress any operator.
When testing the Gehl R165 I was lucky to have Tutt Bryant Equipment NSW Sales Manager Doug Long on hand to give us some insight into this machine. Doug shared, “The great access, comfortable cab and smooth ride are what seem to be winning over our customers all around Australia. The R165 has an impressive lift height of 3023mm, which makes it perfect for loading into skip bins and trucks. Landscapers around Australia are loving this machine.”
Doug continued, “The Tier IV YANMAR engine is utilising regeneration and no fuel additives, these machines provide clean emissions with little to no input from the operator, as well as producing 69.9hp (52kW). Durable cylinders, which have induction-hardened, chrome-plated rods, have been used for lift and tilt cylinders to add strength and durability.”
So far everything sounded solid for the Gehl R165 and it was time for me to jump into the cab for a spin to gain an insight and feel of the machine to share with you all.
As a bigger bloke sometimes access into skid steers can be a little tricky, but the configurations of the arms provided not only great access but also great visibility, which is important when working in and around other workers and tight or restricted access areas like civil or commercial landscape sites. I could easily see each wheel, which will provide peace of mind to work at a good speed safely, which at the end of the day is of utmost importance. The air ride seat was very comfortable and well-positioned.
The wheels are a lot softer than a tracked skid steer machine and remove a lot of bouncing around and having to put up with the constant clunking sound of a tracked machine. The wheels tend to spin around much easier on a tight pivot point, which is awesome when in tight access areas. The self-leveling bucket is always a nice addition, and overall its power is a true standout with the Tier 4 Yanmar. This gutsy machine was a pleasure to operate with excellent control layout and positioning. The joystick felt very well balanced/positioned and easy to operate smoothly.
At our test site we had a range of materials to rip in to, including rock and ripped up asphalt through to tree loppings and some solid sections of tree trunks and branches. The power of the Yanmar became evident when driving into the heavier materials and its 748kg operating capacity became evident pretty quickly.
I am more than comfortable recommending these machines to contractor and owner-operators because the power is above what you would typically achieve from a machine of its size. The ride was great and build quality and ground-level servicing are all very impressive.
It looks like Doug and the Tutt Bryant Equipment team are going to be busy with the range, which includes multiple models above and below this size. The 165 was impressive across numerous fronts and is a well thought out and solidly built machine.