EQUIPMENT FOCUS: First-class legroom

Todd Loesch / October 01, 2010

While it’s no surprise that manufacturers strive to maximize power and reduce fuel consumption and emissions, many are now beefing up their loaders with more creature comforts.

Several new wheel loaders now boast bigger cabins with more legroom and greater visibility. Operators can adjust and customize the steering wheel and controls to their liking, and fingertip controls make repetitive actions such as truck loading much less taxing. Climate controls such as heating and air conditioning allow operators to do their jobs without having to battle the elements. Liugong even isolated the cab from the frame to reduce shock and vibration. Bottom line: A more comfortable operator can work longer and perform better.

Companies also are paying closer attention to service and maintenance. Caterpillar’s Cat Product Link and Hyundai’s HI-Mate systems let the operator or fleet owner remotely monitor machine performance data in real time from a computer. Kawasaki offers a similar Machine Operation Diagnostic Module (MODM) that provides details on operating systems, performance, fluids and filters. Many of the new models have ground-level access to critical components as well, allowing for easier maintenance and repair.

Smart loader

The newest addition to the Hyundai 9 series—the HL780-9—comes packed with new features. The wheel loader has a new load-sensing hydraulic system, integrated rear-view backup camera and a larger 6.5-cu-yd bucket. Hyundai also includes three years of the HI-Mate GPS system, which keeps the operator or fleet manager up to speed on all machine functions, such as fuel efficiency.

More torque

Kawasaki designed its new 92ZV-2 from the ground up, with power and the operator in mind. The Cummins Tier III-certified engine produces 284 fhp and boosts torque 47%, allowing the loader to climb, dig or lift heavy materials easily. Operators will appreciate the increased legroom, fingertip controls and customizable settings.

First of its kind

John Deere has introduced the industry’s first Tier IV-certified engine, now available on its 744K loader. The PowerTech 9.0-L IT4 diesel meets emissions regulations while producing the same 304 hp and big-time torque as a 744K with a Tier III engine. The unit features all the other hallmarks of the K-series 4WD loaders and has undergone rigorous testing in extreme cold, high altitude and continuous-use applications.

Heavy lifter

Dressta announced two new loaders for general construction and light material applications. The 555C is the latest version of the “triple nickel” loader, with the ability to carry 6.5 cu yd while pumping out 319 hp. The largest Dressta loader—the 560E—can handle 8.5 cu yd and produces 427 hp. Both models feature joystick controls, wet internal brakes and excellent horsepower-to-weight ratios.

Max versatility

Versatility is key for the Doosan DL220 loader. With a Tier III-certified, 148-hp engine, the DL220 can easily load trucks, transport sand and gravel or clear snow and storm debris. Depending on the application, the operator can choose between standard and economy working modes for either maximum productivity or minimum fuel consumption. The DL220 also reduces operator fatigue with a comfortable, roomy cabin and a powerful heating and air conditioning system.

No sacrifices

The Terex TL65 Compact Wheel Loader offers economical, quiet and low-maintenance operation without sacrificing cutting-edge technology. Each model incorporates transverse-mounted engines for optimal stability while also providing comfort and excellent maneuverability in tight spaces. The Terex range addresses the needs of construction, nursery and landscape operation, with bucket capacities between 0.65 and 1.3 cu yd.

Peak power

The new Caterpillar 938H and IT38H loaders deliver responsive power and low emissions. Both models feature the Cat Fusion Wheel Loader Coupler System, providing full performance with the versatility and flexibility of a coupler. An in-cab display shows real-time machine data, and the C6.6 engine has a net 180 hp that achieves peak power over a broader engine speed range. Bucket capacities range from 3.0 to 3.9 cu yd for the 938H and 3.0 to 7.0 cu yd for the IT38H.

Four choices

Takeuchi now offers four new models to service the rapidly growing wheel loader market. Center pivot steering on the TW50, TW60, TW65 and TW80 allows for maximum maneuverability with 40° articulation left or right. A 100% inching pedal allows for reduced travel speed while providing full power to the hydraulic system.

Operator comfort

With 48,060 lb of breakout force and a fuel-efficient 280-net-hp Tier III diesel engine, the LiuGong 877III wheel loader is ready to move some serious volumes of rock, dirt and other materials. The machine features a Z-bar linkage and 5.5-cu-yd bucket. Creature comforts include an air-conditioned and sound-suppressed cab that is isolated from the frame to virtually eliminate shock and vibration.

Three modes

The Case E Series is designed for operator comfort and visibility, highly efficient power and best-in-class maintainability and serviceability. All E Series loaders have three modes: Economy for precision, Max for hard digging and Standard. Case also kept operator comfort in mind with Ride Control and the option to switch between a joystick and steering wheel.

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