Load em’up!

Published 27/12, 2018 at 09:39

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, so the old saying goes. A corollary for the construction and demolition business might well be where there’s infrastructure work, there’s a need for compact loaders and skid steers. Jim Parson reports.

Admittedly, that doesn’t roll off the tongue very well, but a recent analysis by Market Research Future, suggests a strong connection between upticks in infrastructure projects and demand for these versatile, power packed machines. The report predicts a global compound annual growth rate of 8% through 2022, with North America leading the way, and the worldwide trend toward urbanisation creating a need for reliable equipment that doesn’t require a lot of elbow room.

This all means that the time may well be right to take a fresh look at what’s new in the world of compact loaders and skid steers. Equipped with more features than ever before, these machines are more reliable, more powerful, and more comfortable to operate. Through the use of  telematics technology, they can also ‘tell’ you a great deal about your work activity, and spot opportunities to become more efficient and more competitive.


JCB unveils new skid steer and compact tracked loaders

JCB celebrated 25 years of skid steer production with the launch of seven new large platform skid steer loaders and compact tracked machines. The machines feature a new ‘Hi-Viz’ boom which is mounted 50mm lower to further improve visibility across the boom to the operator’s right hand side. The boom also features new double tapered pins in both its mounting tower and enclosed quick hitch, boosting strength and durability. The new skid steer and loaders also feature a protected tilt cylinder, allowing the cab to be raised for maintenance with the boom in any position. The tilt cylinder also boasts a larger diameter to boost bucket tearout by 10% on the new 250 and 270 models.

JCB has also made significant improvements to its skid steer and compact loader cab, increasing the door opening angle by 15%, from 40º to 55º, to make entry and exit easier. The door also benefits from a revised door strap and a repositioned grab handle, making it easier to reach from the operator’s seat. A new bolted on yellow external grab handle also helps with entry and exit. Cab air conditioning has been improved, with three internal filters with durable metal covers mounted on the outside of the cab. Upgraded heater vents prevent rattle during travel, reducing noise levels for the operator. In addition, a new front screen, with a lighter frame, offers improved forward visibility, helped in part by moving the wiper motor to the left-hand side of the window.


ASV RT-25 compact track loader 

ASV has developed the RT-25 Posi-Track® compact track loader. Measuring just 1.2m wide, the RT-25 can easily manoeuvre through tight spaces while minimising the risk to property or machine damage. This includes landscaping or construction in high-density housing or confined areas where structures such as fences may otherwise need to be removed to accommodate larger equipment. The unit’s 1,703kg operating weight further reduces risks of damage to turf or sensitive surfaces. That low weight also contributes to increased flotation and traction for snow clearing on sidewalks, driveways or in alleyways. A completely smooth turf track is also available to minimise the risk of damage to manicured lawns and golf course greens. The RT-25’s compact size makes it an optimal addition to rental fleets as its low weight enable it to be easily transported. 

The unit’s cab shields the operator from outside elements, providing rollover protection, something uncommon with walk behind and stand on units which are prone to accidental tipping. The RT-25 also features an optional heated cab for additional comfort during winter operation. The machine’s industrial 18.6kW Perkins diesel engine and 8.2kph top speed allow operators to achieve maximum productivity by moving around quickly,  digging and lifting more. The engine is turbocharged so it can output its full horsepower even at high elevations. The Tier 4 Final engine requires no regeneration, exhaust sensors or diesel exhaust fluid.

The RT-25 features a rated operating capacity of 302kg, a tipping load of 862kg, and an 2.5m lift height. ASV builds the machine with the same drive motor as the RT-40, allowing it to achieve the same high tractive effort, which gives it exceptional pushing and digging power. The RT-25’s quick-attach suits a variety of available attachments. As with all of their models, ASV equips the RT-25 with direct drive pumps, eliminating labour intensive belt servicing required with belt driven pumps. The direct drive pumps along with the machine’s large line sizes and hydraulic coolers transfer more flow and pressure directly to the attachment and prevent power loss, making for a highly productive machine despite its small engine size.

ASV’s undercarriage allows customers to use the RT-25 efficiently year round thanks to its control, flotation, traction, and pushing power in steep, wet, muddy and slippery conditions. Its ‘Posi-Track’ loader system features a flexible rubber track with internal positive drive sprockets to provide superior traction and track life. ‘Posi-Track’ loaders feature as many as four times more ground contact points in their tracks than competitive steel embedded models, spreading the unit’s weight evenly, resulting in lower ground pressure and extra flotation on delicate surfaces. The RT-25’s large number of contact points and guide lugs also virtually eliminate the risk of track derailment. 


Kubota SVL75-2 with high flow 

Kubota Tractor Corporation’s SVL75-2 high flow compact track loader offers increased hydraulic horsepower, and expanding multi-tasking capabilities for a wide variety of attachments on the jobsite. Boasting a 55.4kW four cylinder, direct injection and turbo charged Kubota diesel engine, it is equipped with a common rail fuel injection and a ‘Diesel Particulate Filter’ (DPF) system. The new SVL75-2 meets Tier 4 emissions standards and matches reduced exhaust emissions with enhanced fuel economy.



New from John Deere 

Combining speed, precision and lift capacity, the new John Deere 344L compact wheel loader provides productivity for material handling, landscaping, snow removal and construction customers year round. Industry exclusive features on the 344L help operators move faster and remain comfortable on the job site while increasing machine uptime. The 344L offers a faster travel speed with smooth auto shift technology up to 40kph, making it ideal for users with larger job sites to traverse. The Articulation Plus steering system on the 344L allows operators to lift more during turns, whilst its design features an articulated frame plus rear wheel steer, providing a tighter turning radius, improved stability and additional lift capacity. 

In addition, the newly designed loader arms and coupler provide better parallel lifting of attachments and increased visibility, especially when using forks. With a full turn tip load of 5,738kg, customers are able to lift heavier loads and can keep more material in the bucket without making adjustments. Knowing that a comfortable operator is a productive operator, the 344L features a new cab design. A comfortable air ride, high back seat to reduce operator fatigue, while heating features keep workers in cold conditions focused on the job. More space in the cab and increased visibility to the loader arm and bucket improve overall efficiency, with the 344L also equipped with pivot and rear oscillation to provide a smoother ride. 

To increase uptime, a redesigned engine layout and cooling package provide increased airflow for superior cooling, reduced debris penetration risk, as well as easy access to ground level service points. Reversing fan capabilities keep customers in high airborne debris areas running longer. A new FT4 Deere engine provides serviceability. Proprietary shift logic reduces operating costs by better retaining material with smooth shifts and decreases operator fatigue. Rim pull control extends tyre life by allowing customers to adjust the torque of the machine to the conditions of their job sites.  Contractors looking to get the most out of their 344L wheel loader can also rely on Jelinek telematics, which provides real time data and health prognostics to suggest maintenance solutions that decrease costly downtime. Remote diagnostics enable a dealer to read codes, record performance data and even update software without a trip to the job site.

John Deere has also added an exclusive on board grade indication option on the large frame G Series skid steers (330G and 332G), and the large frame G Series compact track loaders (331G and 333G). Available as a factory or field kit option, the new feature is ideal for job sites that involve levelling and slope work.     

The industry exclusive integrated on board grade indication option provides operators with an accurate readout of the cross slope and main fall slope of the machine. The machine cross slope and main fall slope information is displayed in real time through the machine’s main display monitor, with the readout being easily configured to display as either percentage or degrees depending on preference. 

The absolute and relative slope readouts provide enhanced information to the operator for specific applications. The absolute value readout is useful for providing information during general grading applications that do not need a local grade reference, with the relative value readout being well suited for operators looking to alter grade relative to an existing or reference grade.


Takeuchi TB2150 is the largest in its line up

Takeuchi-US has launched the TB2150 hydraulic excavator, which is completely redesigned from the ground up. The 15,640kg TB2150 replaces the TB1140 Series 2 excavator to deliver greater functionality, performance, comfort, and serviceability.  The TB2150 offers a maximum digging depth of 5.5m, maximum dump height of 6.2m, maximum reach of 8.7m, and maximum bucket breakout force of 10,065kg.   

Powered by a Deutz TCD 3.6l turbocharged diesel engine that is U.S. EPA Final Tier 4 emission compliant, the TB2150 produces 85kW, a 10% increase over the previous version. The engine utilises a DOC+SCR diesel exhaust after treatment system that requires the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).    

The operator’s station has been completely revamped with an automotive style interior that is operator friendly. A spacious cabin features a heated high back air suspension seat, and the new colour multi information display keeps the operator informed of machine performance. In addition, the excavator includes boom and arm holding valves, an overload alarm, and a new rear view camera to view objects behind the machine on a colour monitor. 

Serviceability and uptime have been improved by simplifying access to key maintenance. This includes a nearly 5% increase in fuel tank capacity and the engine does not have a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to maintain. In addition, the machine comes as standard with Takeuchi’s new telematics system, Takeuchi Fleet Management. 



Size matters with Gehl’s V420

Gehl has introduced the world’s largest skid loader, the V420. This machine features a Tier IV certified Deutz 89kW engine and 1,905kg of rated operating capacity. For added performance for large jobs, the V420 offers 480J of torque. With an operating weight of 5,291kg the V420 is the largest skid loader that is offered on the market today. It comes standard with cab, heat and air conditioning; 14 pin connector for easy attachment use; two speed for travel around the jobsite, and Gehl's patented Hydraglide for a smoother ride and less material spillage from the attachment. A vertical lift path of almost 3.7m allows for excellent dumping and loading performance.

The V420 skid steer is configured to be a true tool carrier, coming standard with the features needed to operate attachments such as mulching heads, cold planers, rock wheels, and so forth. High flow auxiliary hydraulics is standard, and offer hydraulic flows up to 155l/min for optimal performance. Five easily accessible auxiliary hydraulic lines with flat face couplers are available on the front of the machine near the operator's station for easy access.

The V420 cab is spacious and comfortable for the operator, with a suspension seat and pilot joystick controls. Excellent visibility is possible through a large, domed glass front door and wide side windows that can be opened for added ventilation. A foot or hand throttle allows the operator to easily increase travel speed or machine functions, and an optional rear view back up camera provides increased visibility to the rear of the machine. Available in February, a radio with hands free Bluetooth allows for the operator to make calls or easily stream music from another device for a customised environment.


Doosan to debut new tool carrier at World of Concrete

Doosan Construction Equipment will display a variety of products at booth C5577 during the January’s 2019 World of Concrete exhibition. Front and centre will be the 106kW DL200-TC-5 tool carrier with a parallel lift linkage system. With increased visibility down the centre of the parallel lift arms, operators can clearly see the ground, truck or work area in front of the machine when placing loads. In addition, the system keeps the work tool flat as it is lifted rather than rolling back; an advantage when lifting pallets and other loads that need to stay level.

The 11,700kg machine features a hydrostatic transmission, giving operators more power, improved fuel efficiency and better precision while working. Operators can choose between three power modes - power, standard and economy – that adjust the maximum engine rpm. Unique to the hydrostatic drive system, the engine rpm is not directly correlated to the machine’s travel speed, so the maximum travel speed remains unaffected.  Dump height from the bucket edge is 2.7m, with 100kN of force.

In addition, wheel loader operators can choose from three traction modes – max, traction control and S mode – to easily adjust traction force to match jobsite conditions for more efficient operation in digging, stockpiling and loading applications. The machine is also available in a high lift option for additional lift height and reach to more easily load materials such as cement into high sided trucks.



Attachment news from Bobcat

Bobcat is launching the new WS-SL20 self -levelling wheel saw, designed to cut efficiently through asphalt, rock, and concrete surfaces. The WS-SL20 is approved for use on the Bobcat S630, S650, S770, and S850 skid steer loaders, and the T590, T650, T770, and T870 compact track loaders. The WS-SL20 has a variable segments wheel, which allows operators to quickly change the width in four steps between 50mm and 120mm in the field, instead of replacing the complete wheel in a workshop, saving approximately 10h in the process. The self-levelling feature on the WS-SL20 allows the attachment to follow and adapt to the contours of the ground, and the new design means that a trench cleaner is no longer needed. 

Utilising well proven Bobcat components such as the ACD (with Bobcat software) and valve block components, the new wheel saw has an integrated stabilisers system and a standard rubber shield for stone ejection/dust reduction. A water kit option is available for dust reduction. Removable deflectors are also a standard feature, allowing the WS-SL20 to operate as close as possible to the pavement edge.

Bobcat has also announced a new line of planers including the 500mm PSL50 and 1,066mm PSL120, which are designed for use with Bobcat high flow compact loaders.  The 870kg PSL50 offers the same features as the existing PSL60 model with self-levelling, side shift and tilting.  The new 1,145kg PSL120 shares the same features as the existing PSL100 model, with self-levelling, side shift and tilting, being ideal for road maintenance, where the increased width can provide 20% more productivity.  The PSL50 and PSL120 planers offer cutting depths with a standard drum of 170mm and 130mm and maximum cutting angles left and right of +/- 15° and +/- 8°, respectively. Both planers are compatible with the Bobcat water kit, which also comes in two new versions to match the PSL50 and PSL120.

In addition, the fully hydraulic design of the self-levelling planers ensures all functions can be controlled from the operator seat.  The self-levelling system also offers the advantage of maintaining a constant planing depth, independent of the position of the planer, even, for example, when the loader lift arm position changes, or when the loader drives over bumps or debris. The new PSL50 self-levelling planer is approved for use on Bobcat S530H, S550H, S570H, S590H, S630H, S650H, S770H, and S850H skid-steer loaders; and the T590H, T650H, T770H, and T870H compact tracked loaders. The PSL120 1,200mm planer can be used on the S630H, S650H, S770H, and S850H skid steer loaders as well as the T650H, T770H, and T870H compact tracked loaders. 

A rear camera kit is now available for Bobcat skid steer and compact track loaders, providing the operator a continuous rear view of the machine to prevent contact with obstacles that may damage the loader and its components. Specifically designed and developed for compact loaders, the rear camera kit includes a 109mm LCD colour monitor with a LED backlit screen, wiring harness, mounts and a tailgate mounted camera that offers a 118° horizontal viewing angle and an 89° vertical viewing angle. Multiple screen and camera settings enhance the display image for optimal viewing in both light and dark conditions.  The system is integrated into the loader, activated when the ignition is turned on, and runs continuously as the loader moves in both forward and reverse motions. The display’s integrated circuit protects the system against over and under voltage, spikes, ripples and load dumps. 

Shock and vibration resistant, the camera and display are qualified for all applications, and the kit provides heavy duty metal housing and a rubber backlit keypad to protect components from hazards. An anti-glare, scratch resistant screen gives operators an optimal display image. The system is rated for both dust and water exposure, and the camera’s internal heaters remove condensation, snow and ice from the lens so operators have a clear view in all weather conditions and temperatures ranging from -40°C to +85°C.

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