Loader zone

Published 27/12, 2019 at 17:24

It’s the rare contractor these days who doesn’t need help on the jobsite, particularly when it comes to skilled labour. Though industry trade groups and educators are doing their best to lure more young people into construction, the results of those efforts may well take several years to produce results.

This is but small consolation for tackling today’s needs, but fortunately, equipment manufacturers continue to build new machines with features designed to help contractors make the most of the labour they do have available. This year’s report on compact loaders and skid steers, for example, contains new and upgraded models suitable for all applications and needs, particularly the paramount priorities of productivity and profitability. If 2020 is the year for making a wise investment in new equipment, these products are a good place to start.


Komatsu Europe launches WA80M-8 compact wheel loader

The all new Komatsu WA80M‐8 compact wheel loader is said to deliver first class operator comfort, optimum visibility, outstanding safety levels, an ergonomic interface, effortless operation, a new 40kph high speed option, and a bold contemporary styling for a strong distinctive visual presence. With an operating weight of 5,995kg, the WA80M-8 is optimised for tough construction applications with a powerful Komatsu S4D98E‐6VHA 53.7kW low emission engine that complies with EU Stage V regulations. With high rimpull, superior breakout power, high lifting and dumping height, as well as enough reserves for even the most difficult ground conditions, the WA80M‐8 also features low fuel consumption. 

The operator is also able to rely on ‘Easy Fork’ kinematic to transport loads with Komatsu pallet forks parallel to the ground without readjusting the fork tines and a 6,000h cleaning interval typically makes the DPF maintenance free for 10 years. For maximum operational safety, the machine’s low centre of gravity enhances stability with its compact dimensions and new engine hood ensuring exceptional all round visibility. A new large and multifunctional high resolution TFT‐LCD widescreen colour monitor has 15 built in languages and improved ergonomic controls include a PPC multi-function lever for easy operating. The optional air conditioner and ‘Electronic Controlled Suspension System’ (ECSS) further assist comfort and productivity. 

All maintenance and service actions can be performed easily and quickly thanks to the tilting cab, with the engine hood opening widely for quick daily inspection, with the electric equipment being well protected behind a maintenance cover. The ‘easy to clean’ wide core radiator, with an optional reversible fan and is readily accessible. A compartment for the battery, mains switch and relays further improves maintenance access to the electrical system.



Cat’s new D3 builds on D and D2 Series’ reputation 

Caterpillar has announced the release of 16 new Cat D3 Series ‘Skid Steer Loader’ (SSL) and ‘Compact Track Loader’ (CTL) models. These new machines build on the D and D2 Series’ reputation for quality, comfort, and performance and deliver improvements in operator experience and track loader stability. Entering and exiting the new D3 Series loaders with enclosed cab is now easier thanks to a wider opening cab door, and, additionally, the distance between joystick pods has increased by 76mm, offering extra space for the operator inside the cab to deliver a more comfortable experience.

All Cat D3 Series CTL models feature standard two speed travel to improve performance on the jobsite. The machines are geared to deliver high torque digging performance, as well as high top end speed for travel. The powerful Cat 279D3 and 289D3 loaders boast a 13.6kph top end ground speed, a 20% increase over their D Series counterparts. The Cat 239D3 and 249D3 models are now built with two speed transmission as standard, versus the previous single speed, increasing travel speed by 9% and aligning the models with the rest of the two speed equipped CTL model range.

The D3 Series Cat SSL and CTL models deliver ‘Smart Technology’ that ushers in a higher level of integration between the machine and new ‘Smart Attachments’. This technology allows the D3 Series SSL and CTL models to automatically recognise Smart Attachments and convert machine controls to align with the operational and informational needs of that attachment. Cat SSLs and CTLs also offer advanced control features that include ‘Return to Dig’ and ‘Work Tool Positioner’ to assist operators with repetitive tasks like grading, digging, and loading. These items are now bundled together with the dual direction self-level feature. In conjunction with the D3 Series introduction, the previous XHP performance model identifier used with the 272 and 299 models has been replaced by the XE marque. 


Bobcat launches new Stage V M-Series loaders

Bobcat has launched new versions of its M-Series S450, S510, and S530 models, the first in the range to feature a specially developed Stage V compliant Bobcat engine. The new loaders are said to provide operators with increased performance, enhanced comfort and optimised maintenance requirements to maximise job site efficiency while preserving a compact size for work in tight spaces and easy transport.

The new Bobcat engine provides 37% more torque and fast recovery from overload when compared to the previous machines, meaning that the operator can work with the same power at lower RPM, at lower noise levels with lower fuel consumption. In addition, with an engine equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) as standard, users can work in emission regulated zones such as city and town centres. A new high flow hydraulics option for the S510 and S530 Stage V models also allows the use of higher flow attachments such as sweepers, planers, and wheel saws, with a new air conditioning option available for the S510 and S530.

The new Stage V loaders now feature the previously optional ‘Deluxe’ control panel as standard, offering a choice of different languages and telematics to protect machines and to monitor their performance. Bobcat has also extended the choice of factory installed tyres for the three models, ensuring they can be more closely matched to customers’ applications right from the start.  The cab on the new loaders is radio ready with a 12V power outlet for charging mobile phones and other devices, a cup holder, added storage compartments and new full colour instrument panels. All three skid steer loader models offer a two speed option that boosts the maximum travel speed from 11.4kph in low range to 17.3kph in high range. The hydraulic bucket positioning option keeps the loader bucket level as the lift arms travel upward, enabling operators to spill less and work faster.


Bold new styling for Bobcat’s ‘One Tough Animal’ brand

Bobcat has introduced a new brand identity which reflects the company’s iconic ‘One Tough Animal’ message which aims to more powerfully represent the core qualities of Bobcat equipment. At the same time, the new look unifies and strengthens the visual identity of all Bobcat product lines, with the new styling now more modular and readily applied to machines of all different types and sizes. As the first step of implementation of the new branding, the machine design element of the new scheme was used on the 2t to 4t R Series mini excavators launched last year. New styling decals have now been added and are being launched to complete the new brand identity. 


Sherpa’s two speed evolution

A refined concept and user input makes Sherpa’s 100 two speed mini loader a true evolution of the company’s 100 ECO. As the name suggests, the machine has two speeds, one with more power to manoeuvre and work and a second gear to cover longer distances with a higher speed. The loader is designed with two hydraulic pumps, which may be operated while driving, and is equipped with 127mm full rubber wheels as standard.



Doosan to debut DX42-5 mini excavator at World of Concrete 2020 

Doosan Infracore North America, LLC, will launch its DX42-5 mini excavator at the 2020 World of Concrete show in Las Vegas. This is a conventional tail swing mini excavator in the 4t to 5t class, featuring a strong bucket breakout force and impressive dig depth and reach. Its relatively narrow width provides operators greater ability to navigate through doorways, gates and other obstacles. The machine comes as standard with an enclosed cab with heat and air conditioning as well as an optional open canopy configuration. Both configurations allow for excellent all around visibility, especially to the excavator’s attachment. A standard suspension seat provides ‘all day’ operator comfort, while a strategically positioned deluxe instrument panel provides operators with valuable machine information. A standard keyless start system helps to reduce unauthorised machine use and prevent theft on jobsites.

In addition, DX42-5 owners can choose a standard arm or a long arm option. The latter gives operators more dig depth, reach and reduces the amount of machine repositioning for enhanced productivity. A blade comes as standard with the DX42-5 and an angle blade is available as a factory option for enhanced backfilling and for creating swales. The mini excavator can also be equipped with a quick coupler, bucket and thumb attachment package.


Mustang by Manitou 1350RT compact track loader 

A new small frame track loader from Mustang by Manitou brings a 612kg capacity option to customers in North America. It features an intuitive single joystick control, Level II FOPS and a low maintenance engine for jobs from the construction site to the backyard. The 1350RT has compact dimensions with an overall width of 1,448mm, height of 1,930mm, and a lift capacity of 612kg at 35% tipping load. It features a 34.7kW Yanmar engine that utilises automatic regeneration and zero fuel additives, providing clean emissions with little to no effort from the operator. Built on the proven design of the 1350R skid loader, the 1350RT track loader provides superior weight distribution, stability and tractive effort. In addition, the cab forward design of the 1350RT has excellent visibility on all sides of the machine, allowing precise material placement.

The ‘IdealTrax’ track tensioning system on the 1350RT saves on maintenance and track replacement costs by automatically tensioning the tracks when the engine is on. This process eliminates the chance of over tensioning and extends the life of the tracks by up to 15%. Track tension is released when the engine is turned off, reducing strain on sprockets and bearings. With the system there is no need to manually tension the tracks, making changes on the jobsite quick and simple. In addition, the 1350RT provides versatility on the jobsite with an exclusive ‘Multi-Tach’ attachment mounting system that is compatible with most allied track loader attachments. The 1350RT is customisable with additional features including a fully integrated back up camera and a ‘HydraGlide’ system for a smoother ride and less material loss. An additional self-levelling option keeps the attachment level while the unit is performing the lift function.



ASV offers new machine packages

ASV has introduced base and premium level configurations for its mid-sized ‘Posi-Track’ loaders. The options make ASV’s innovative, productivity boosting compact track loaders more accessible to rental companies, homeowners and all sizes of businesses involved in landscaping, construction and snow removal. Both configurations allow operators to use ASV’s trademark power and performance to do more work in more places. 

Customers are able to choose between base and premium versions of the RT-65, VT-70 High Output, RT-75, and RT-75 Heavy Duty Posi-Track loaders. The premium configurations include additional productivity and comfort features to allow operators to get more done during long work days. The base models come with ASV’s high levels of power, performance, and reliability that customers have come to expect from the company. All Posi-Track loaders are backed up with ASV’s new two year / 2,000h warranty, which covers the tracks for the entire period and includes what is said to be the industry’s first and only no derailment guarantee. 



John Deere upgrades G-Series skid steers and compact track loaders 

John Deere has added to its line of five small frame G-Series skid steers and compact track loaders, providing operators with even more options for the job site. Whilst the five models (312GR, 314G, 316GR, 317G, and 318G) were introduced to the market more than three years ago, John Deere has continually worked with its customers in the landscaping, agricultural material handling and construction industries to better understand their needs and how to improve machinery for maximum productivity, uptime and solutions. 

The improved small frame G-Series machines feature increased productivity and time saving options. They can be equipped with an optional rear view camera and easy to clean cab windows for additional visibility, safety and speed on the job site. The upgraded cab offers more comfort so operators can easily manoeuvre the machine and remain in the cab for longer periods without sacrificing performance. The small frame cabs also include a new Bluetooth radio option, and the redesigned manual control levers have improved ergonomic grips for increased operator comfort and accessibility. Other upgrades include protected auxiliary hydraulic lines that run within the boom for additional protection, ultimately extending the machine’s life cycle. The machines have an optional capability to support two sets of counter weights, providing the operator with greater stability and capacity to lift heavier materials. The newly integrated four point tie down system increases overall mobility and impact on different jobs by enabling operators to securely and safely move the machine to different locations.

Also from John Deere is a new high lift option for the 344L compact wheel loader which offers operators increased height and further reach for dumping or stacking, material handling, general construction work, landscaping and snow removal tasks.  With a maximum hinge pin height of 4m, the high lift option offers an additional 2.9m of reach compared to the standard version. The 344L comes equipped with the ‘Articulation-Plus’ steering system, enabling operators to maximise productivity with the ability to move faster and increase lifting capacity when moving or placing materials overhead. When equipped with a quick coupler and bucket, the full turn tipping load on the 344L high lift option is 4,700kg, allowing operators to confidently lift heavy weights overhead. The 344L’s stability and manoeuvrability, combined with 76kW of maximum peak power, enable operators to deliver big results. 


New grading attachments for John Deere skid steers and compact track loaders 

Helping compact equipment operators improve productivity and machine versatility, John Deere has added new 1,829mm, 2,134 mm, and 2,438mm models to its referral attachments line, ‘Level Best’. The new grade control ready Level Best Dual Mast PD Series box blades improve productivity on John Deere skid steers and compact track loaders.  The box blades are available in 2D precision grading and 3D precision grading options. The 2D series comes ready to produce precise 2D grading by working seamlessly with laser transmitters, with the system automatically adjusting the elevation by controlling the lift and tilt of the attachment to maintain vertical accuracy and smooth grading performance. The grading box system adjusts dozens of times per second to ensure a smooth grade with tight tolerances making it ideal for precision grading.

The system has been designed to take advantage of the ‘push-pull’ directional work style of skid steer loaders for maximised production. The PD Series is made specifically for skid steer loaders and compact track loaders, with a unique frame design giving operators exceptional control, efficiency and smoothness. This minimises the potential ‘bounce’ effect often experienced in skid steer loaders due to the short wheelbase. For jobs that demand 3D grading, Level Best grading boxes come ready to be used with Topcon GPS, robotic total stations or sonic technology. The grading box comes installed with the cables needed to work with Topcon 3D GPS. This allows customers to use the Topcon GPS systems they currently use on other machines, whilst the main components can be installed on the grading box for a plug and play solution. 


Gehl RT255 Pilot Series 

track loader now available in North America

The new Gehl RT255 Pilot Series track loader is now available at dealerships across the US and Canada. Featuring a seat mounted joystick, automatic track tensioning and top rated hydraulic flow rates, the Gehl RT255 aims to deliver maximum performance and versatility on the jobsite. This model also has one of the highest standard auxiliary hydraulic flow rates in the industry at 110l/pm, with an option for 142.7l/pm with high flow. A higher rate of flow allows faster cycle times, making the Gehl RT255 a highly efficient machine. Operators also have access to more attachments, making it ideal for applications such as landscaping where an operator is often switching between buckets, tree spades, and augers.

The RT255 is powered by a 55.4kW Deutz four stroke turbo engine with 329Nm of torque. It has an operating capacity of 1,157kg at 35% tipping load, and can lift up to 3.3m. In addition, a custom designed undercarriage provides enhanced stability, grading, tractive effort and ride control.   It is equipped with Gehl’s ‘IdealTrax’ automatic track tensioning system which reduces maintenance and track replacement costs by ensuring proper track tension upon engine start up and during operation. Tracks are not over tensioned and there is less strain on sprockets and bearings, which increases the life of the tracks by up to 15%. Track changes in the field are also quick and simple with automatic tensioning.

‘HydraGlide’ is another feature found on the Gehl RT255 track loader, providing a smoother ride with less material loss. The lift arm ‘floats’ while transporting loads, and additional self-levelling keeps the attachment level as the operator raises and lowers the lift arm. Optional features on the Gehl RT255 Pilot Series track loader include a fully integrated rear view back up camera, ‘IdealAccess’ fold up door and ‘Easy Manager’ telematics.



Wacker Neuson’s new Series II large frame skid steers and compact track loaders

Wacker Neuson’s Series II large frame loaders include two skid steer models (SW) and two compact track loaders (ST). All models are powered by a 55.4kW Kohler diesel engine and offer standard auxiliary hydraulic flow of 83.6l/pm with optional flow of 120 l/pm. As the ‘big brother’ to the company’s medium frame line, the machines offer parts commonality and a proven design for the job site.  The new large frame loaders offer a cab that fully tips forward with the loader arms down, providing complete access to all maintenance components. The machines are engineered to be user friendly with a simple open design and efficient layout that requires less time on daily service checks meaning more time on the job. The Kohler diesel engines feature a maintenance free, regeneration free after treatment system, eliminating the impact of extreme heat and downtime due to regeneration or the need for cleaning particulate filters.

The SW and ST loaders have many comfort features including repositioned joysticks that promote intuitive and comfortable operation. The high visibility cab includes angled pedals and foot bed, as well as conveniently located switches that significantly reduce operator fatigue. Access in and out is easy with a wide door and step, plus there is no restrictive lap bar. Control options for the operator include mechanical hand-foot (SW models), electric hydraulic (EH) hand-foot and selectable EH (ISO and H-pattern). The vertical lift models are said to offer class leading hinge pin height and all models feature a 151l fuel tank, with an optional 189l version for track loaders, giving operators more time in the cab and less time spent refuelling.  All models also feature a variable speed cooling fan that provides on demand cooling of the engine, which maximises efficiency, improves fuel economy and assists in cold starts.


SVL65-2 is Kubota’s lightest and most manoeuvrable compact track loader 

The new SVL65-2 features an ‘Advanced Multifunction Valve’ (AMV) that provides smooth operation when using simultaneous functions, such as auxiliary, boom and bucket circuits, allowing operators to be more productive throughout their work day.  With the AMV, the SVL65-2 makes running any attachment that utilises auxiliary hydraulics easier, especially when using attachments such as grapple buckets, four in one buckets, and hydraulic augers. Powered by a 50.7kW engine, the SVL65-2 boasts a wide working range including a rated operating capacity of 952.5kg at 35%, or 1,361kg at 50%, a reach of 886.5mm, and a hinge pin height of 3,010mm. A standard self-levelling feature can be engaged with the flip of a switch and keeps the bucket or forks level without the need to manually adjust the angle on the way up. Multi-function levers provide fingertip control of all major vehicle and attachment operations. 

While the overall footprint on the new SVL65-2 is smaller, the cab is equivalent in size to Kubota’s SVL75-2 and SVL95-2. A wide door opening allows for easy and safe entry and exit. Consistent with the larger models in Kubota’s SVL Series, the SVL65-2 features an easy open sliding front door that can be opened regardless of the position of the bucket or loader arm; plus, full machine operation is possible with the door open, if desired. 


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