When Liebherr started the process of designing their new 8th Generation Crawler Excavator, they realised to bring the range into the future they would have to revise the basic concept of their machines. Offering their customers even higher-performance and comfort.
The resulting 8th generation Liebherr Litronic excavators include higher engine power, heavier counterweight for higher bucket capabilities and minimal fuel use. Enhanced comfort for the operator has also been addressed, along with a new boom innovation with a modified head for better boom forces and optimised load curve, which also leads to fuel savings.
In this review, EEM were lucky enough to have the brand new R 934 Litronic (stage V) on hand to fire up and experience first-hand these new features and comfort. The R 934 is just one of seven new models, including the R 922, R 924, R 926, R 930, R 934, R 938 and R 945. All these engines comply with the requirements of EU emission stage V.
ULTIMATE SAFETY AND MAXIMUM COMFORT
Liebherr has set out to significantly improve the operators experience with their newly designed comfort cabs. To start with, the cab is huge with piles of legroom. There is a suspended pneumatic seat, sophisticated climate technology and a user-friendly 7” touch screen display, along with a retractable windshield.
For this test drive, we enlisted the help of EEM’s good mate, Heath Thompson, from Impact Pools and Landscapes. Heath’s role was to explore the operator’s experience of the R 934 Litronic and being 6’2, he was the perfect choice to test out the generous size of the new cab. Despite his height, Heath still had plenty of legroom in the cab. Heath shared, “There’s a pile of room in the cab, and the suspension seat felt great. It was a hot and humid day today, and after watching everyone outside sweating in the humidity, I was very happy to be in this great cab. The joysticks and other controls felt smooth, even with the considerable power this machine is packing. The bucket ripped into the ground and brought up massive, full buckets that the R934 handled with ease.”
IMPRESSIVE DIGGING CAPABILITIES
It’s no surprise Heath was impressed with the R 934 digging capabilities as this new range of Liebherr Crawler excavators all have higher digging forces and greater traction of the undercarriage. The swing torque of the upper carriage has also been optimised. These combined features all add to the improved power and performance of the excavator while reducing fuel consumption.
Along with our operator Heath, EEM were also joined by Area Sales Manager NSW – Earthmoving, Liebherr-Australia, Scott McClement. EEM were just a little chuffed when Scott informed us that we were one of the first in Australia to give this beautiful R 934 a whirl, and let’s be upfront on this; she didn’t disappoint.
Having a chat with Scott about the key features that will attract customers to this machine, he shared, “Make no mistake, the R 934 is all about power, comfort, and efficiencies. There are numerous features in each of these three areas’ that combine to make substantial improvements.”
Scott continued, “The R&D team have completely updated the design of these Generation 8 machines, to provide all the gains they were focussed on, including the ergonomics, performance, and architecture of the R 934.”
With an operating weight of 34,800- 37,200kg, the 200kW/ 272hp is an impressive power to weight ratio. Liebherr operators will feel this additional power, and business owners will appreciate the fuel-saving.
UNIQUE COOLING SYSTEM WITH GROUND LEVEL SERVICING
When opening the rear engine covers, you will be met by the unique cooling system. The radiators configured side by side to enhance breathing/cooling in hot Australian conditions. Service technicians will also appreciate that maintenance work on the Liebherr Generation 8 crawler excavators is now even more straightforward. Access to the upper carriage has been extended, and the maintenance platform has handrails for improved safety. The R 934 has ground-level service points, and the levels of fluids like engine oil, hydraulic oil, fuel, and urea can be viewed from the screen in the cab.
For this test drive, Heath had plenty of material to both dig and move around, and after he spent the day with the machine, it was time to pick his brains on what he thought of this 34-ton Liebherr Excavator. “After settling into the cab and its comforts, I started to get into work mode, and the view was extensive. It has excellent visibility with no obstructions, which, combined with the cameras on the rear and right side, provided all the confidence to get stuck into some real work with safety. The cab is ROPS-certified, so operators will feel protected and safe. The windows are both tinted and laminated for further protection. The high resolution 7” screen is easy to view in a mix of lighting conditions. It was also easy to navigate through the menu,” said Heath.
Heath continued, “We only had the mud bucket to dig with, but I could feel the power of the machine from both the engine and the hydraulic system. This excavator doesn’t lack in the power department at all. There is a large choice of type and length of equipment, and the range has been built with longer lifespan components which will achieve higher productivity thanks to a centralised lubrication system. Some other features I was impressed with was the auto engine idling/automatic engine shut down after idling.”
The hydraulic system is a Positive Control Hydraulic System. It is demand-based with double independent pump flows. It also features high system dynamics and sensitivity provided by the integrated system controlling independent circuit for rotation.
With all this impressive attention to power, efficiency, safety, and comfort, it was nice to see that the undercarriage hadn’t been left out of the mix. Liebherr’s robust and reliable X-frame undercarriage has easy maintenance thanks to its integrated eyelets. The tracks themselves are maintenance-free track chains and track rollers with lifetime lubrication.
It’s safe to say that this machine is going to be a great fit for many operators, material handling and earthmoving businesses out there. With all the right boxes being ticked to meet the demands of even the most demanding customers this 8th Generation range of Liebherr excavators looks to be their best. You can only wonder where the next generations of machines will take us over the next decade or two.
For more information, please visit www.liebherr.com.au or call (02) 9852 1800.