With several of the controls and switches moved to the left and right posts of the door frame, space on the dash directly in front of the driver is now freed up. A handy addition to that space is a rearview mirror. When loading and unloading bales and pallets, I didn’t have to crank my head around 180° to see what was behind me. Another big advantage is the large window in the roof, which allows for a great field of view when stacking and retrieving round bales and big square bales.    

The 328D I tested was an electrohydraulic (EH) machine with the optional Performance Package. Under normal operations, the left joystick operates the direction of travel of the machine using an ISO pattern. Moving the right joystick forward and back lowers or raises the boom, and moving it side to side dumps or raises the bucket. A switch on the control panel allows you to switch from the ISO pattern to an H pattern.

Another switch allows you to switch to creep mode. The display screen will show the maximum speed you can attain. It can be dialed down in increments of 5% from 100 to 10%, and in increments of 1% for anything below 10%. This is a great feature for training new employees on the machine, or for those jobs where more precision is needed.  

Another nice feature of the Performance Package is the ability to select speed settings — from production rate to precision rate — for the boom and bucket. The various rates allow you to perform some tasks more easily if you do them repetitively and still need some degree of finesse.  

A foot-operated throttle provides a quick and easy way to change engine speed. A dial on the right side of the door frame allows constant throttle settings.   

The skid loader has a huge, 29-gal. fuel tank, which is a big improvement over my current model with a 15-gal. tank and the series II model from the mid-2000s with a 20-gal. tank.