Test Drives

LiuGong 848H Wheel Loader

Chinese construction equipment manufacturer LiuGong boasts a history stretching back over 60 years, and takes great pride in its standing as a pioneer in the production of wheel loaders in China, having begun life in the, at-the-time, small regional city of Liuzhou, in Guangxi Province, in 1958.

Times have certainly changed since LiuGong took its initial steps, building a factory in the wilderness on the west bank of the Liujiang River – and, as the manufacturer noted last year upon its 60th anniversary, Liuzhou, which remains its headquarters, is now “a bustling industrial city”, and LiuGong has since grown to become an established name in machinery, with a presence stretching far and wide across worldwide markets.

Supporting a product line which includes a range of excavators, forklifts and skid steers, LiuGong equipment is exclusively distributed on the east coast of Australia by Sydney-headquartered capital equipment specialist AWD Group and its network of dealers. AWD, which has been providing capital equipment sales, service and parts support to both the Australian and New Zealand markets since 1998, is focused on servicing its customer base via key products such as LiuGong equipment, with it not only offering purchase of capital equipment, but also rental equipment, and the ability to finance equipment via its finance arm.

A Wheel Loader Leader

Among its ever-evolving product line, LiuGong has long been at the forefront of the development of wheel loaders, having brought the first modernised wheel loader to China in 1966 – and the company has over the years worked hard to build a reputation for producing durable and reliable machines, engineered to deliver superior performance. Underscoring its long history of production, in marking its 60th anniversary last year LiuGong also celebrated the global production of its 400,000th wheel loader.

So it is that, drawing on over six decades of experience in the business, LiuGong’s H Series wheel loaders follow in its tradition of producing ‘tough equipment’ decked out with all the features necessary to get the job done in a ‘tough world’. Further to this, the manufacturer’s H Series has been tailor-made for the Australian market, coming with radial tyres, quick hitch, remote greasing points and a rear-view camera as standard. Among the line, LiuGong’s 848H wheel loader (14 tonne operating weight) delivers operators a tough and versatile machine – a wheel-loader which is capable of multi-tasking, and which sports a number of notable features, designed to make it easy to get the job done.

Tough Features And Fine Attention To Detail

Under the broad, overarching categories of machine efficiency and reliability, ease of maintenance, and operator comfort and safety, in the 848H LiuGong has produced a machine that combines tough features with a fine attention to detail, decked out to deliver power and efficiency, and it is worthwhile delving into each of these categories to reveal just what exactly is on offer and what operators can expect.

A 108kW (maximum net power) Cummins engine beats at the heart of the 848H, with LiuGong stating it has been “designed to maximise torque and deliver more power and breakout force at lower engine speeds”. The result is an engine geared to assist in delivering operational versatility, and optimised for rapid throttle response, that doesn’t sacrifice any power, with fuel consumption and emissions significantly reduced courtesy of LiuGong’s Intelligent Auto-Idle Speed Control, matching engine speed and RPM to the task, and automatically switching to idle speed between actions.

The 848H sports a 4-speed ZF power shift transmission, including torque converter designed to adapt to any situation, ensuring the maximum transfer of power to improve performance and fuel efficiency.

Operating ‘In Perfect Harmony’

LiuGong states that the 848H’s advanced hydraulic system adapts to any job, organising the mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems, which “work in perfect harmony”, with the adaptive technology matching the hydraulic flow with the machine’s operation. The system sees power only supplied as needed, ensuring superior control of the boom and the attachment, with it geared to provide optimum operation across a range of applications, and enabling the operator to complete a variety of tasks efficiently and with precision.

Meanwhile, for tasks requiring total control, the 848H’skick-down and forward/reverse buttons are conveniently located on the loader joystick, designed to put absolute control in the operator’s hands.

The 848H’s new Z-bar linkage, meanwhile, encompasses an optimised geometry, further improving adaptability, enhancing bucket breakout force, loading stability, speed and operator visibility, with LiuGong stating that careful distribution of stress loads increases its tolerance significantly. Utilising the quick coupler, the 848H can additionallybe transformed into a multi-functional tool in short time, allowing operators to select, lock-on and utilise attachments quickly and safely from the comfort of the cab.

Comfort And Safety A Key Consideration

Operator comfort and safety is also a strong focus in the design of the 848H, with an adjustable steering column and seat promoting comfort and reducing fatigue, while 3-bar stamped steps with a 10-degree ergonomic incline and improved anti-slip tread are designed to promote safe entry and exit of the machine, complementing well-placed door handles and safety rails. Enhancing visibility, a panoramic view cab with curved front glass and well-positioned lift arms is designed to provide the operator a clear line of sight to the bucket edge at ground level, while sight lines to all corners of the machine have been improved to increase safety (complemented by therear-view camera), with controls easily accessible. Meanwhile, an advanced climate control system, with eight all-round vents, is designed to make the operator’s job more comfortable, regardless of the conditions.

Quick And Convenient Mainte-Nance

When it comes to maintenance, the 848H is designed with task speed and convenient access in mind, assisting operators who may be busy with multiple tasks and seeking to reduce maintenance time. A wide-opening fibreglass hood provides fast and easy access to the engine and regular service points, with the 848H’s key parts and fluid refill points conveniently placed, while sturdy handrails, fitted as standard, enable safe and easy access to the machine’s upper structure. Onboard monitoring, meanwhile, allows the operator to keep a check on vital signs, oil temperatures and pressure levels, and to receive service interval alerts.

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