From The Editor: Technology Boosts Wheel Loader Productivity

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Updated: September 15, 2019

When it comes to moving large loads, the capabilities of wheel loaders make them the natural choice. These purpose-built tough machines excel when mountains of material need to be moved or tackling big jobs like lifting and moving rocks, concrete, aggregate or quarried material.

Wheel loaders are often required to work in small spaces while picking up and turning in a tight area while moving and depositing large loads. For this reason, they use articulated steering systems with a hydraulically actuated pivot point between the front and rear axles.

A familiar sight in quarries and large construction sites where machines of up to 250 tonnes capacity are used, smaller wheel loaders maybe just one cubic meter incapacity.

Versatility is a key feature of wheel loaders which are often fitted with a quick hitch for attachments to perform tasks such as lifting tubes, operating sweepers and lifting bulk bags. They are often fitted with bale forks, dozer blades, stick rakes, log grabs, bale clamps and more.

A Technology Revolution

Today’s wheel loaders have benefited from the technology revolution that has rapidly improved machine efficiency and reduced operational and maintenance costs across a whole range of equipment in the earthmoving industry.

Sophisticated on-machine and remote management systems for controls, engines and transmissions, hydraulics and tracking equipment are now common features of the latest generation wheel loaders.

Manufacturers are incorporating very ‘clever’ intuitive systems that dramatically reduce fuel usage and optimise a machines’ performance, making it easy for the operator and the machine to adapt to different tasks. Feedback from machine operators is used by many companies to influence the design of their cabins for better comfort, visibility placement of controls, safety and improved access.

Most manufacturers are also recognising the need for better cabin appointments and comfort and a range of operator selectable options. While this sophistication adds up to efficiency, it also means that operators need to spend more time in training so that they gain the full benefit from the technology.