Earthforce Loader Backhoe
|We have an Earthforce EF-3 Loader Backhoe. If Goldilox wanted a backhoe, this is the one she'd pick - not too big, not too little. Earthforce was a company in Europe that was bought by Ingersoll Rand in about 2001 or 2002. They rebranded these Earthforce machines as Bobcats and IR. Bobcat took the smaller ones (EF-1 through EF-4 also known as the EF-100 thru EF-400) and created the B100, B200 (see picture below), B250, and B300. Bobcat dropped the EF-3 and renamed the EF-4 / EF-400 the B300. The EF-3 uses the same chassis as the EF-200 and EF-250, but added a bigger motor and a self leveling loader of greater capacity. IR took the EF-250, EF-400, and the EF-500 and ended up with the BL-275, BL-370 and the BL-570.
|This is the Full Range Brochure of the Earthforce series. When this brochure came out, Earthforce the equipment had 100 series names. The EF-3 became the EF-300 or the EF-300 became the EF-3. Note the absense of the EF-250 series, which was the EF-200 with 4WD and a side shift backhoe.
|The back of the Full Range Brochure. By this time, Ingersol Rand had bought the company. The backhoe specs aren't entirely accurate for the EF-300.
|This is the full spec brochure for the EF-100 / EF-1. It came with a gas or Kubota 1.1 liter diesel engine. It later became the Bobcat B100. At some point they put the same Kubota engine with a turbo and it became the B100T.
|The EF-200 / EF-2 added a four wheel drive axle up front and turbo 1.1 liter Kubota engine. The backhoe was heavier and had longer reach. This model became the Bobcat B200. Note the brochure shows the option of a side shift. That eventually showed up on the EF-250 below.
|The EF-250 received full Four Wheel Steer, where the rear axle steers opposite to the front, giving the machine excellent manueverability (and a little less stability). I think this machine was called the SSK (Skid Steer Killer) for a while. It used the same loader and engine as the EF-2 / EF-200. This machine became the Bobcat B250, seemingly the most popular Bobcat Loader Backhoe.
|The Ultimate in Goldiloxium - the EF-3/EF-300 Earthforce Loader Backhoe. This machine employs the same chassis as the EF-250 / Bobcat B250, but with a bigger Kubota 1.7 liter, 35 HP diesel and higher capacity, self leveling loader. Not only does it retain the excellent maneuverability and compactness of the 200 series, it brings more power and capacity. Its the perfect machine (except very slow, due to its single speed hydrostatic transmission).
|The EF-4 / EF-400 is a totally different chassis than the 200/300 series above. The wheels are larger, the chassis is entirely different, the engine grows to a 2.0 liter and 56 HP, and adds about a foot in digging depth. It also adds a dual range transmission, giving a little better transport speed. This became the Bobcat B300 and the IR BL-370.
|The EF-5 / EF-500 is a big machine. This is getting into the world of full size backhoes. It brings the maneuverability and flexibility of the Earthforce philosophy to the full size range. This model has crab steering where both axles can steer opposite or together, allowing sideways, crab-like motion. Of course, it now has the same price and transport challenges as a full size. The additional complexity seems to keep a lot of these out of the field.
|An even bigger machine, the EF-6 / EF-600 adds a 83 HP, 3.3 liter engine and a four speed transmission, letting it go 27 mph instead of 5 mph, like our EF-3. I've never seen one of these since they never showed up as an IR model (to my awareness).