Words // Ian Edwards Images // Jamie Gray
Comfortable and offering great visibility in a rock solid machine, LiuGong’s 856H is ready for work.
Stability is a big concern with loaders. With the loaded boom raised and steering on full lock, a heavy machine can become a handful for an operator and a hazard needing careful management on a work site. Throw in some uneven ground and a loose surface, and the potential for an incident is high. The LiuGong 856H dealt with exactly that situation during our testing, and dealt with it extremely well. It’s a stable, well-presented machine.
LiuGong’s new 856H wheel loader combines LiuGong technology and innovation with full EU Stage IV compliance.
The 856H is equipped with a Cummins QSB6.7 engine Tier 4 final/Stage IV, air-to-air, intercooled, six-cylinder four-stroke with reversing-fan cooling.
A variable geometry turbocharger ensures plenty of torque, and the high-pressure, common-rail fuel helps maintain high efficiency.
A ZF 5WG210 power-shift transmission has a kick-down function and incorporates autoshifting governed by speed. The driveline features a ZF AP3000 wet axle, and the axle housing and main transmission system are reinforced to improve strength and anti-load capacity. Carrying capacity has been increased by 40 per cent from the previous model, and service life has also been boosted, with LiuGong claiming an average life cycle increase of 250 per cent.
IN THE CABIN
The 856H’s cab design allows for improved visibility to the work tool and improved all-round visibility for safety. Frequently used controls are placed within easy reach of the operator and curved glass in the cab decreases sound levels. 360° access around the cab allows for easy cleaning and access, and a constant temperature function can maintain a comfortable environment for the operator, helping to reduce fatigue and keep concentration and productivity high. The cab features ROPS and FOPS in compliance with ISO3471 and ISO3449 safety standards, meaning the machine is right on the mark with current safety standards around the world.
LiuGong uses what it calls a “ground maintenance idea”. The concept means users can do the regular maintenance and checking of various filters and fuels by standing on the ground. The forward-tilting engine hood, equipped with an electric lifting device, allows for ground-level access to service points to increase the accessibility to components, reducing daily and scheduled service times. The hydraulic driving fan motor can be reversed for cleaning, and the water and oil drains are placed together to realise easier, faster maintenance and service.
With a brand spanking new 856H in our care on a work site we set out to see how the theory stacked up in practice and our first impressions were good. A walk-around to do the usual checks had us nodding in approval as the fold-out engine covers made the pre-start checks an easy process. From there, well-placed handrails had us in the comfortably appointed cabin with minimum fuss. There were more handrails in just the right places around the top of the walk-around cab to make cleaning the windows an easy job. That was a nice touch.
With our bums gently and comfortably cradled in the supportive, air-cushioned heated seat – accidentally turned on by a photographer and no doubt a great feature on a cold morning – we were struck with the excellent all-round visibility. Thanks to the intelligent use of steel and glass in the construction of the cabin there were very limited blind spots, and those that were there were very small.
The comfort level is high for the operator.
Controls are easy to use with minimal body movement, and sound and vibration are well controlled by excellent insulation. Gauges are easy-to-read and all switching sensibly placed and convenient to use.
The worksite for our test session didn’t actually show the LiuGong to its best advantage. We felt the machine did its work really well with minimum stress and made a very comfortable platform for the operator.
None of that was any problem. The problem – if it was a problem – was, the 856H felt like it was ready to work a whole lot harder if only we had the work for it to do.
Gear selection was dead easy thanks to the forward and reverse change on the boom operation lever, and there’s no shortage of power, torque and most importantly, the feeling of security offered by a very stable machine. Visibility around the machine was excellent, operator comfort was high and the LiuGong itself made a hard shift on the worksite damn near enjoyable.
[colored_box color=”yellow”]For more information call 1300 888 479 or visit www.awdgrp.com.au[/colored_box]