Is it time for a new wheel loader?
Look at machine configuration. Gold cites Caterpillar’s Performance Series buckets as an example. Designed to reduce loading time, the buckets have an optimized shape and side curves to reduce friction while penetrating material.
Don’t forget the operator
John Chesterman with John Deere tells about a site visit where he saw a young operator speeding through his load cycles, barely getting a half-full bucket. “I just spent 15 minutes with him to show how to load the bucket,” he says. “His production went up 200 percent and he was a lot happier.” The experience prompts him to urge owners to remember one of the most critical components of loader productivity: the operator. “Mentor your new operators. Show them how to use all the features on a loader, including lock-up torque converters and ride control.”
ROUND UP -- iModels with 4-to-6-cubic-yards reference bucket capacity include:
Compared with previous models, Volvo’s L110G and L120G wheel loaders offer a 25 percent increase in lifting force, a 15 percent increase in breakout force and up to a 5 percent increase in fuel efficiency. Both loaders are powered by a Volvo six-cylinder, turbocharged, Tier 4 Interim V-ACT engine that provides 256 horsepower to the L110 and 268 horsepower to the L120G. The front axle is fitted with a hydraulically-operated differential lock that transfers 100 percent power to the wheels, reducing wheel spin and improving traction in soft or slippery conditions. Two stronger, variable displacement, load-bearing axial piston pumps allow higher working hydraulic pressures, enhanced control of the load and attachments, as well as higher breakout force, faster lifting and tilt functions.
The 1021F and 1121F models are designed for quarry, aggregate and truck-loading applications. Case was the first manufacturer to use the selective catalyst reduction Tier 4 Interim emissions strategy on loaders. The 296-horsepower 1021F and 320-horsepower 1121F offer joystick steering, four selectable power modes and a rearview camera. The loaders are available with hydro-mechanical transmission, which adjusts the mix of power delivery based on travel speed and offers the advantages of hydrostatic drive with the durability of a conventional mechanical transmission.
Kawasaki 85Z7 and 90 Z7
Kawasaki’s new 85Z7 and 90Z7’s new body designs improve visibility from the cab. Features include Tier 4 Interim engines, new powertrain components and hydraulic and electrical systems. An Isuzu engine provides the 85Z7 with 221 horsepower while the 90Z7 has a 280-horsepower Hino engine. Use of variable displacement piston pumps in an open-centered, excavator-style hydraulic system saves on fuel and improves the overall feel and response of the hydraulic system. The “IntelliDig” system balances rimpull power and breakout force when digging tough materials. Both models have a high degree of operator customization, allowing the operator to set power settings, lift arm kickout settings, the declutch setting and how the transmission shifts.
Liebherr’s L550-IND has a redesigned front linkage. With precise parallel movement over the entire lifting range, the L550 provides a clear view of the work area and produces a more equal amount of torque throughout the lifting cycle. Machine applications include pipe handling, small log handling, operations where a large light material bucket is necessary and utility operations where the use of forks is needed throughout the day. The L550-IND features the Liebherr hydrostatic driveline and is powered by the Liebherr D934S A6 four-cylinder diesel engine.
JCB has replaced its 456 wheel loader with the new 457, featuring a Tier 4 Interim, 8.9-liter Cummins engine. Delivering 250 horsepower to the 457, the engine’s Economy mode reduces engine output for lighter duties while saving up to 6 percent fuel. The engine incorporates a high-pressure common rail fuel injection system, exhaust gas recirculation and a variable geo-metry turbocharger. The 457 offers more loading capacity and a tipping point increased by 3.3 percent over the 456, resulting in an extra quarter of a ton of bucket capacity. The JCB Smooth Ride System can be activated at any speed, allowing operators to tailor it to individual site requirements.
Doosan has increased the horsepower of its DL350 to 271 with a five-cylinder, Tier 4 Interim engine that uses selective catalyst reduction technology to offer as much as 16 percent increased fuel efficiency over previous models. The DL350’s lift capabilities have been upgraded, giving operators the ability to set upper and lower limits for both the lift arm and bucket stop positions from inside the cab. The machine has a dump height of 10 feet and can be equipped with optional electric steering to decrease operator fatigue. A joystick has been added to the left armrest to allow operation without the steering wheel. A centralized monitor inside the cab displays engine rpm, coolant temperature, fuel level, machine warnings and other data.
Caterpillar’s new 267-horsepower C9.3 ACERT engine powers its 966K wheel loader, which has a new operator station, electro-hydraulic steering with either joystick or steering wheel control, Cat Performance Series buckets and a more efficient drive train. The cab features a wider, front-hinged door along with left- and right-hand sliding windows, both of which can be opened and closed while seated. The machine can be equipped with the Cat Fusion coupler, specialty buckets, pallet forks, rakes, material handling arms and plows.
Hyundai’s HL770-9 has a fuel-efficient, low-noise, Tier 3 Cummins QSB6.7 engine with three engine modes. The 277-horsepower engine is electronically controlled for optimum fuel to air ratio and clean and efficient combustion. Other features include a redesigned cab with standard automatic AC/heat, heated rear-view mirrors, hands-free phone, personal storage space and AM/FM radio with MP3 player ports. A 5.7-inch color monitor mounted on adjustable swivel-mounts allows easy machine control. The HL770-9 also comes standard with Hi-mate, Hyundai’s remote management system providing access to service and diagnostic information on the Internet.
Komatsu’s WA380-7’s 191-horsepower, Tier 4 Interim SAA6D107E-2 engine offers up to a 10-percent decrease in fuel consumption, compared to the WA380-6. SmartLoader Logic provides optimal engine torque for the job required and saves fuel by automatically decreasing engine torque when it’s not needed. Komatsu’s large capacity torque converter with lock-up comes standard, providing improved acceleration and hill-climb ability and a higher top speed, all with lower fuel consumption. In addition to a 7-inch display monitor, the loader comes with the Komtrax telematics system.