Published 29/12, 2016 at 15:34

We are in the middle of a year of near-constant product introductions and enhancements, with Bauma 2016 in April, and CONEXPO-CON/AGG looming on the horizon. One of the most popular categories encompasses compact loaders and skid steers. PDi editor Jim Parsons reports.

Kubota Tractor Corporation’s new SVL95-2s compact track loader offers greater multi-tasking capabilities, more powerful hydraulics and more comfort upgrades. As a replacement for the SVL90-2, the SVL95-2s has five hydraulic presets available for operators to choose via an in-cab control, making it ideal for jobs that require running more than a single attachment.

At the heart is the new high flow hydraulic system, which can be programmed and instantly adjusted at the push of a button to adjust flow rates from 19litre/min to 151litre/min, a 19% improvement over previous models. Operators can use up to three hydraulic circuits in parallel, which control the loader, bucket and an auxiliary device, such as an auger or drill. It has a bucket breakout force of 35.4kN and a vertical lift of 1.034m.

Powering the SVL95-2s is a turbocharged, liquid-cooled, four-cylinder diesel engine with a common rail system. In tandem with exhaust gas recirculation, a diesel particulate filter, and a selective catalytic reduction system, the CRS enables the engine to produce 71.9kW while adhering to Final Tier IV emissions standards. With a 109litre fuel tank and a 19litre diesel exhaust fluid tank, the SVL95-2s can run a full day without needing to refuel and a four to five day week before a DEF tank refill.

The cab offers a plethora of new features, including push-button control for the optional high flow hydraulics and a high back suspension seat. A wider entrance makes entering and exiting the cab easier, and the hand/dial throttle control is optimised for jobs where constant engine speeds are necessary. The interior, when ordered with a cab enclosure, also comes radio ready.



New Bobcat M2-Series

Bobcat is introducing the M2 series skid-steer, compact track, and all-wheel steer loaders. They offer a variety of performance, operator comfort and visibility enhancements to help increase operator productivity. The M2 series includes Bobcat 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 frame size skid-steer, compact track and all-wheel steer loaders. The M2 series includes 24 skid-steer, compact track and all-wheel steer models.

Bobcat compact loader operators can turn the automatic ride control option on or off from inside the cab. When the auto mode is selected, the system will work at any travel speed. The ride control function is automatically activated by detecting increased hydraulic lift arm pressure when the loader is carrying material. It will deactivate when hydraulic lift arm pressure is reduced. Automatic ride control reduces material spillage, allowing operators to travel at faster speeds. The option also increases comfort by offering a smoother ride, and is optimised for each Bobcat loader. A reversing fan option allows operators to temporarily reverse the cooling fan direction for several seconds to blow dust and debris from the radiator and rear screens.

The loaders have improved operator comfort with new front and rear cab isolators, door seals and side screen dampers. These reduce noise, vibration and dust inside the cab. Also, a new lift cylinder cushioning feature slows the loader arms before they reach the stops. A hydrostatic pump reduces drive lever effort by as much as 25%.

A dealer-installed side lighting kit is available with LED light bars on the top of the cab. The lights are well protected, have 800 lumens each side. Also improving visibility is a redesign of the top window of the loader’s cab providing a 34% increase in viewable area.

M2-Series S850 skid-steer loaders now come standard with 74kW Bobcat engines. This 9% increase provides increased attachment performance, including operating auxiliary attachments.


S595 skid-steer loader

For operators looking for more performance and productivity in a 55kW skid-steer loader, Bobcat Company offers the new S595, which has a 998kg rated operating capacity.

A standard feature is two-speed travel, with a top speed of 18km/h and operators can switch between speeds with a simple press of a button. The S595 has a pressurised cab that minimises the amount of dirt and dust entering the cab. Bobcat S595 loaders have auxiliary hydraulic quick couplers mounted directly to the front plate of the lift arm, while hoses are routed through the loader arms for protection.



New DL220-5 Doosan Bobcat EMEA has launched the new DL220-5 Stage IV compliant wheel loader.

The DL220-5 has as standard a comfort cab, a powershift transmission with optimised hydraulic pumps, multiple power modes, Z-bar lift arm, return to dig and limited slip differentials on both the front and rear axles. It is also available with a high-lift Z-bar configuration, extending the dump height 457mm above that of the standard DL220-5.

The loader is powered by a six cylinder, turbocharged Doosan DL06P water-cooled diesel delivering 119kW and maximum torque of 735Nm. 

The fully automatic transmission, with three selectable transmission modes, uses a vehicle control unit, where the engine’s computer and transmission control system constantly communicate with each other to reduce fuel consumption and increase performance.

To help save fuel, auto idle and auto-shutdown come as standard. When enabled, auto shutdown will stop the engine when the preset idle time is met. Operators can configure the idle time from 3min to 60min.

The new ROPS/FOPS cab offers generous headroom and a comfortable, fully adjustable, heated Grammer air suspension seat and a steering column design giving more clearance for operators’ legs and knees. The steering wheel can also be tilted and moved telescopically to match an operator’s preferred position. The DL220-5 includes additional oil sampling ports to improve preventive maintenance procedures and fluid pressures are now viewable from the dash panel.



New from John Deere

The new John Deere large-frame G-Series skid steers 330G and 332G and compact track loaders 331G and 333G were inspired by feedback from John Deere customers.

The biggest improvement on the G-Series is the refined vertical-lift loader boom design that rises higher, reaches farther and lifts more. Height to hinge pin is 3.4m, enabling operators to easily load dump trucks, feed mixers and hoppers.

Increased operating capacities of up to 1.7t provide the muscle needed for heavy loads, coupled with a breakout force that has been increased by 40%.

Increased auxiliary hydraulic flow and power provides access to an even broader range of attachments. Universal Quik-Tatch enables change from bucket to forks and more in just seconds. Standard and optional high-flow auxiliary hydraulics also run powered attachments, such as hydraulic hammers, cold planers, mulching heads and trenchers. All auxiliary hydraulic lines and wiring are routed through the boom.

An easy-access entry simplifies getting in and out f the cab. Excellent visibility gets better with an optional rear view camera and optional LED lighting that provides front and side illumination. The cabs and floors are sealed and pressurized to keep out dust and excess noise, and a footwell clean out makes debris management easy. Cab side windows also remove easily for cleaning.

Flexible control choices allow contractors to choose between standard EH ISO controls, (EH) ISO joystick controls or options that are switchable between ISO and H patterns, or EH three way switchable controls that allow operations between ISO, H-pattern, or hand and foot controls of operation within the same machine.


The JohnDeere 324E mid-frame skid steer

Key highlights of the 55kW John Deere 324E include upgraded controls and boom performance, auxiliary lines integrated through the boom, and cab improvements aimed at improving operator and machine productivity, uptime and lower daily operating costs.

John Deere offers all major control patterns on the 324E, so the operators can decide. This includes ISO, H pattern, or foot/joystick electrohydraulic joystick controls. The E-Series also features an option that allows operators to switch between all three control patterns, at any time, with the push of a button.

The vertical-lift boom design provides claimed best in class performance throughout the lift path. It also offers greater reach of 3.2m, clearing high sideboards.

Good visibility from the cab is another key highlight. Expansive curved front glass, a large top window and low side windows make it easy to see the surrounding area. With a larger entryway and all-glass curved door providing wide open access, getting in and out of these skid steers has never been easier.


New John Deere attachments

The new John Deere line of hydraulic hammer attachments HH20C, HH40C, HH60C, and HH80C is optimised to work with select John Deere G and E Series skid steers and compact track loaders, G-Series compact excavators and most competitive models. The hammers provide two to three times more blows per minute than previous models. With 30% fewer parts, rebuild time is reduced to 1h versus 8h, and an exclusive tool retention system enables quick installation and removal using a small screwdriver.

Additionally, the hammers only require grease every 2h of operation and have a 1,000h service interval. Five bit options are available.

John Deere’s new grading-heel buckets are designed for the G-series skid steers. They are similar in style and size as standard buckets, but feature a squared heel for back dragging applications. The bottoms of the buckets are smooth, which allow the bucket to produce a flat surface. The buckets are available in two sizes, 1.524m and 1.676m for use with most compact models in the G-Series line.



Volvo’s L45H and L50H wheel loaders

Volvo’s H series wheel loaders are equipped with Volvo’s torque parallel linkage, providing parallel movement throughout the entire lifting range. A long wheelbase, low centre of gravity and good weight distribution give the machine superior stability on rough and uneven terrain.

The L45H and L50H have Volvo’s load-sensing hydraulic system that drives power to the hydraulic functions according to demand. An optional boom suspension system boosts productivity by up to 20% by absorbing shock and reducing bouncing and bucket spillage.

There are planetary axles, and the front and rear 100% differential locks feature a dog clutch to improve grip and maintain maximum traction.

The L45H and L50H feature Volvo’s certified ROPS/FOPS with ergonomically placed controls, a climate control system, all-around visibility and low internal noise levels.

The comfort drive control function gives operators the choice to control the machine by lever control. This improves operator comfort, reduces fatigue and ensures better productivity. Volvo’s climate control system ensures comfortable operation, providing optional automatic heat control or air conditioning for the perfect cab temperature.

The pre-filter separates coarser dust and particles before the air passes through the main filter and enters the cab. Large, anti-slip steps and handrails assist easy cab entry and exit.

Volvo’s L45H and L50H allow for easy, hassle-free servicing. Ground-level service points and grouped greasing points enable easy maintenance. The oscillating rear axle is supported on maintenance free cradles. Its bearings and bushings are lubricated for life and protected by seals. Machine owners can maximise machine uptime with Volvo’s diagnostic analysis software Matris, which analyses a machine’s operational data and VCADS Pro can adjust machine function accordingly.



Cat compact wheel loaders

The new Cat® M-Series Compact Wheel Loaders — 910M, 914M, and the all-new 918M — build on the success of current K-Series models with engineering refinements that include a new, larger-displacement engine that meets US EPA Tier 4 Final and EU Stage IV emission standards, as well as new options and features that further enhance value, operator comfort, and safety.

The new 86kW 918M has the features to perform efficiently in a range of tasks, whether the job requires the available high-flow auxiliary-hydraulic system to run demanding attachments — such as a snow blower, or standard heavy-duty axles for aggressive performance in waste applications, or the 40kph high-speed option.

A new Cat C4.4 ACERT™ engine powers the three new M-Series wheel loaders. Its self-managing clean emissions module requires no operator intervention or downtime. The module uses a selective-catalytic-reduction system, which requires only the addition of diesel exhaust fluid. The new engine reduces owning and operating costs with standard, fuel saving features, such as the ECO mode, auto-engine-idle shutdown, and available on-demand cooling fan.

The 910M and 914M feature an intelligent power-management system that balances performance and fuel efficiency. The system utilises additional power when the machine senses a higher demand, such as climbing a steep grade or using a high-flow work tool. This on-demand power adjustment provides optimum productivity and hydraulic speed under load.

The deluxe cab of the new M-Series models is designed to provide all-day comfort, featuring two side-entry doors, low-effort electro-hydraulic joystick, suspended pedals, tilt steering wheel, and an air-suspended/heated seat that provides an extremely comfortable ride for the operator.

A multi-function, loader-control joystick provides easy, single-lever control of loading functions, as well as transmission and differential-lock controls. The joystick also accommodates controls for two-, three-, and four-valve hydraulic systems, including proportional control of auxiliary circuits.

M-Series wheel loaders also introduce several new optional features designed to enhance productivity, operator safety, and serviceability. An available LED light package includes front and rear LED auxiliary work lights, combined with an optional rear view camera, ensures maximum visibility for the operator to further enhance job-site safety.

In addition, an optional electronic, soft-touch keypad provides convenient control of most functions and allows operators to program the machine for application requirements and for personal operating preferences. The Implement-Modulation system allows adjusting hydraulic response to one of three levels, and the Hystat Aggressiveness Control provides three levels of shifting smoothness and directional-change response.

The new M-Series models use the Caterpillar-patented Optimised Z-bar loader linkage, which is designed to deliver both the aggressive digging performance and high breakout forces of a conventional Z-bar linkage, and the parallel-lift and load-handling capability of a tool carrier.



Hitachi introduces the ZW-6 compact wheel loaders

Hitachi Construction Machinery’s new range of 4.7t to 5.4t compact wheel loaders is aimed at the European market. The ZW65-6, ZW75-6, and ZW95-6 have been designed with an emphasis on the environment and operator safety and are versatile and comfortable to operate.

With an overall height of 2.4m, they are easy to move on a trailer and have travel speeds up to30km/h. Attachments can be connected quickly and easily with the electro-hydraulically operated quick coupler. Improved visibility of the fork attachment from the cab enables greater precision. Safety and visibility are enhanced by the 360° panoramic view from the cab.

The self-stabilising articulated pendulum joint increases stability and results in higher levels of durability and control. The durability is also demonstrated by the single arm with a low torsion, rigid profile. Less torsion on the boom results in greater precision during levelling. The arm’s hoses and wiring are located internally, protecting vital components.

The Deutz Stage IIIB-compliant engine contains a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system, common rail technology and a diesel oxidation catalyst. This results in low maintenance and exceptional reliability with a 500h engine service interval.


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