Test Drives


When you first lay eyes on the Liebherr L 556 XPower® the great lines of design and impressive size and shape of the loader set the scene and expectations of what is to come in terms of operation. It’s an impressive looking machine to say the least. What is even more impressive is the fact that its ‘go’ outperforms its ‘show’. The L 556 XPower® driveline has brought increased power, performance, flexibility and versatility. The machine is more efficient than ever before and the ride for the operator has never been better. With a massive cabin and beautifully smooth and precise controls that are a dream to use it’s pretty evident that this is a top-shelf machine, which will impress even the most critical of operators.

For me as an operator one of the most critical factors when spending long days in a machine is the comfort in the cabin. When I’m comfortable I work faster and safer with fewer distractions. From the moment I climbed into the cab the size was the first thing that stood out to me. It’s enormous and what probably makes it seem even more significant is the full 360-degree view offered by the huge glass surfaces, which gives uninterrupted views in all directions. The visibility around the machine is also excellent.

Once you settle into the seat – the most comfortable I’ve experienced – and reach down to start exploring the control levers and touchscreen display you’ll realise how well everything is laid out. The control lever built into the seat feels very comfortable and enables super smooth and precise control. The joystick is all on the right hand, and the flick of a switch achieves operational controls including changing from forward to reverse or neutral. The new electrical-hydraulics system offers programmable lift arm and bucket positions from the cab, which above all just felt right. I can see the number of work efficiencies and work-loads improving due to operators being able to focus in with the machine and enjoy the performance and excellent layout of the ergonomic cab. There is a pile of storage (even a chilled storage area for drinks) and the AC/heating is spot on.

The adjustable touchscreen is also a standout with a high quality colour screen that is easy to configure as required. The reverse camera is standard and built into the touchscreen display.


For a big machine, the L 556 XPower® is surprisingly nimble due to the articulated design and continuously variable transmission, which delivers an extraordinarily smooth driving experience across the range of speed when accelerating. It has a mountain of power, which is going to save time again and improve efficiencies during loading and transport of material. The hydrostatic and mechanical drive are continuously adjusted to offer optimum levels of power.

The Tier 4 final engine in the L 556 XPower® puts out 165kW/224hp with a tipping load of 13,700kg. Being one of the six loaders in the XPower range, the L 556 sits in the start of the line-up. The L 550 sits just under it and the L 566, L 576, L 580 and L 586 are the bigger siblings. The machine was set up with a high dump bucket, which is perfect for loading with a max height of over 4.5m and can tip past vertical. This would be an ideal set up for quick and effortless truck loading.


It never ceases to amaze me when I get to experience significant gains in power while achieving reductions in fuel consumption. Liebherr has a system as a part of its XPower® driveline called LPE, which is getting reductions in fuel consumption of up to 30 per cent. Fuel consumption information for all XPower® wheel loaders is now available in the free online Liebherr fuel-saving calculator. The consumption figures, compiled from live data, are constantly updated and provide information that demonstrates the outstanding efficiency of the XPower® wheel loaders.

Along with systems that barely cause any wear on the brakes and minimal wear on the tyres due to its continuous traction control that prevents wheelspin productivity is again increased. Tyre wear is also reduced by up to 25 per cent.

An innovative exhaust system that for the after treatment of exhaust has reduced the requirement of items like diesel particle filters. Regeneration is no longer required and lower fuel consumption along with efficient exhaust after treatment has cut emissions, which keeps everyone happy.

When it comes to data management, Liebherr has its own data transmission and positioning system called LiDAT. The system monitors the control of the entire fleet park in terms of machinery data recording, data analysis, fleet park management and service. All of the important machine data can be viewed at any time on a web browser.

Full walk around access to the rear-mounted engine is impressive – it’s effortless to make checks and I would imagine serving or repair. All the servicing points are on the cool side of the engine eliminating the risk of burns. It feels like a safe and comfortable area to be with anti-slip steps and good quality handrails wrapped around the engine area. The automated electric engine hood is a cool feature and again brings with it added safety removing the risk of jammed fingers.

One of the well-earned reputations that Liebherr has worked hard for over the years is reliability. With decades of development and experience it’s great to see that commitment to intensive endurance testing and high-quality components made from the toughest materials available continues. Along with low wear designs and a reduction of parts through new technology, it’s onwards and upwards for the manufacturer that accepts nothing except the best from itself.

Operators will appreciate the little details along with big features that make the Liebherr L 556 XPower® an extremely impressive wheel loader. From the cab and ride to the power and performance – this loader ticked all the boxes.

[colored_box color=”yellow”]For more information, please visit liebherr.com.au or call (02) 9852 1800[/colored_box]

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