New Bell L-series TLB

New Bell L-series TLB

Although the Tractor Loader Backhoe (TLB) may be considered an entry-level machine for general earthworks, the newly launched Bell L-series TLB is proudly a locally manufactured product that offers innovation and a wide range of features that one would only expect in much larger and more sophisticated equipment.

Driven by the proven and dependable John Deere PowerTech™ engine, the 315SL has a top speed of 40 km/h when travelling to a jobsite.

The five-speed PowerShift™ transmission provides smooth shifting and reliable performance with on-the-fly all-wheel drive engagement.

These features, together with the standard limited-slip differential on the front axle and fully locking differential on the rear, deliver best-in-class tractive effort and overall 4WD performance.

The rear differential lock protection can also be enabled through the machine’s monitor, which prevents potential damage from rear differential lock engagement at high speeds.

According to Bell Product Manager, Dale Oldridge, the Sealed Switch Module (SSM) in the cab offers a central location for the machine’s functions and is completely sealed to protect against moisture, dust and debris.

The SSM comes standard with keyless start and a machine-security system, which requires a passcode to prevent unauthorised operation of the TLB.

To further promote machine protection and lower operating costs, smart technology offers the exclusive ‘Auto Shutdown’ feature, which shuts down the engine after a predetermined time, which can be set through the monitor.


In terms of boosting productivity the new L-series TLB has improved cab ergonomics making the operator’s workspace even more user-friendly.

“An enhanced Loader control grip has a new ergonomic design that integrates fingertip controls into the grip for ease of use.

Additionally a multi-function lever has been introduced on the steering column to control lights, wipers and indicators to create a feel more like a modern car, keeping the operator focused on his surrounds while operating in the Loader position,” says Oldridge.

The Bell TLB features an exclusive digital monitor providing best-in-class on-board diagnostics, calibrations and machine information for ease of maintenance. It also facilitates the user-friendly set-up of machine features to promote productivity.

“Ride control is offered as an optional feature, which can automatically turn on when ground speed exceeds the speed setting in the monitor.

With ride control the front loader hydraulic cylinders act as a shock absorber to improve drive comfort and reduce operator fatigue. This also helps to deliver full loads for better productivity,” he explains.

“In keeping with the philosophy that a happy operator is a productive operator, the TLB has an adjustable mechanical on air-suspension seat and lockable storage in the cab.”

Re-designed rear lighting is more robust to facilitate easier changing of globes while LED lighting kit is available as an option and includes the choice of spotlights or floodlights to facilitate longer working hours with better visibility.

Maintenance and reliability

In keeping with proven concepts from the very first Bell TLBs, the L-series retains its unitised mainframe and excavator-style boxed structures which are light weight to provide maximum rigidity and structural integrity for the life of the machine.

A welcome enhancement is the addition of external shimming of the stabilizer legs to reduce machine movement and improve accuracy during backhoe operation

The Bell 315SL also comes standard with axle cooling and filtration as well as an improved wet disc brake set-up for increased durability and performance especially while travelling between jobsites.

A heavy duty transmission oil filter is geared towards increased reliability while the hinged cooling package design allows for coolers to be separated for ease of servicing and cleaning.

Continues Oldridge: “Ease of maintenance has been an important consideration and the L-series has same-side, ground level daily service, including fuel fill. By making daily checks easier to perform, they are more likely to get done, reducing inspection time and preventing a major failure.

Our TLBs also feature an exclusive spring applied, hydraulically released (SAHR) park brake that cannot be driven through, never needs adjustment and applies automatically with engine shutdown while a single, self-adjusting engine serpentine belt reduces maintenance time.”

“Since Bell started manufacturing the only locally produced TLB in the South African market in 2005 we have continued to develop a solid reputation with a loyal and expanding customer base.

The Bell 315SL is largely the same tried and tested workhorse as the popular K-series TLB but with a few complementary enhancements that we are confident will add further value to machine owners in those important areas of productivity, uptime and lower daily operating costs,” says Oldridge.