The market for wheeled loaders is highly competitive and key suppliers are pushing the boundaries with new models now being launched. Technology is advanced, with the latest remote fleet management tools now being offered as standard on high specification machines for development markets. Engines offering low emissions performance as well as ergonomic cab layouts have also figured highly in the development process for the new machines.
One of the most innovative developments for the wheeled loader segment comes from Caterpillar, which is now expanding its range of Cat Command tools for a broader range of construction machines. This highly sophisticated package delivers an array of remote control and semi-autonomous technologies, including remote control loading as well as dozing and excavating operations.
According to the firm, Cat Command helps to boost safety and increase productivity for a variety of applications such as wheeled loader operation. The availability of a sophisticated remote control system offers full machine manoeuvrability from a safe distance when working in hazardous environments. By removing the operator from the cab, the package can eliminate machine vibration feedback felt by the operator, reducing fatigue. The firm claims that this system will also help to address the shortage of operators as the virtual cab layout offers easy access to accommodate those with physical limitations.
A single operator can quickly and easily control multiple machines, one at a time, or change jobsite location without travelling from the office to the machine. This improves operating efficiency and reducing travel time and costs. Remote control affords continuous production immediately following a disruptive process, such as blasting or weather conditions which would normally stop an operation.
The remote control systems are precise in use and are already well-proven, having originally been developed for the underground mining sector. The Cat Command Console and Station controls are integrated with the electronic and hydraulic systems of each machine. Operating commands are sent directly to the electronic system through a dedicated radio transmitter/receiver, providing in real-time control. Since the system is a dealer-installed kit fully designed and integrated into the machine, not an aftermarket add-on, Cat Command can be quickly switched between similar items of equipment within a fleet to give the customer increased versatility.
The line-of-sight Cat Command Console comes complete with a lightweight, compact control console supported by a comfortable shoulder harness. Controlling all machine functions, the Command Console allows the operator to work safely and comfortably away from the machine, while remaining onsite and in direct visual contact with the equipment. This solution requires no onsite communications infrastructure and is ideal for short-term and emergency use when encountering a potentially hazardous work area.
The more sophisticated Cat Command Station offers the chance for the operator to be located onsite for line-of-sight operation or positioned many kilometres away for non-line-of-sight applications. The station includes a modular, customised virtual cab. The operator is seated in front of machine controls and displays similar to those inside the machine cab. Offering an improved working environment, the Command Station allows operators to work for longer periods of time without fatigue, and one operator can remotely operate multiple machines, one at a time, from a single station.
From Doosan Infracore Europe now comes the company’s DL-7 wheeled loader range. These next-generation machines are driven by powerful new Stage V compliant engines and are said to provide higher productivity, increased fuel efficiency and a low cost of ownership.
Redesigned buckets offer up to 7% more capacity for the seven new Doosan DL-7 wheeled loaders to provide better loading with maximum bucket capacities from 2.8-6.4m3. This boosts productivity for a wide range of material-handling applications.
The Z-kinematic lift arm delivers high breakout forces and lifting capacities, especially for heavy materials, and a large dump angle for efficiently unloading sticky materials. An optional high lift arm is available where higher dump heights and increased versatility are required.
The DL-7 loaders are also said to have smooth and responsive hydraulics and auxiliary hydraulic connections. All of the new DL-7 wheeled loaders are equipped as standard with a third spool valve with settable flow and detent function, providing a constant flow for hydraulically driven attachments. Of note too is that these wheeled loaders can be ordered with a choice of different counterweights.
The load isolation system (LIS) provides a smoother ride, as well as higher productivity due to improved stability when moving. The lift arm is cushioned by a hydro-pneumatic accumulator linked to the lift hydraulic system, acting as a shock absorber. This lowers cycle times, increases performance and improves fuel efficiency for load and carry applications.
With automatic five-speed powershift transmission, heavy-duty axles as standard and good traction with differential hydraulic lock, the DL-7 models are said to operate well in high-load environments. Optional independent oil cooler circuits for the front and rear axles ensure low oil temperatures for demanding applications, such as long-distance load and carry in high ambient temperature conditions.
With power provided by new Doosan and Scania Stage V six-cylinder engines, the DL-7 wheeled loaders provide up to 5% greater fuel efficiency than the previous generation machines. The new engines meet Stage V emissions regulations without the need for exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), through the use of selective catalyst reduction, diesel oxidation catalyst and diesel particulate filter (DPF) aftertreatment technologies.
The DL-7 wheeled loaders are factory-installed with the latest DoosanCONNECT TMS2.0 wireless fleet monitoring system. This tool provides comprehensive information about machine performance and offers a web-based fleet and asset management solution for managing machines and promoting preventative maintenance.
Meanwhile, the introduction of a new wheeled loader model featuring a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is an important development for Hyundai Construction Equipment in Europe. The HL975A CVT wheeled loader is the first Hyundai wheeled loader to combine the benefits of a conventional automatic transmission with a hydrostatic transmission.
The sophisticated ZF CVT-transmission offers optimised power for all applications, optimising performance and boosting working efficiency. This improves response in all duties, while also minimising fuel consumption. The CVT matches ratios depending on load and speed to keep the engine in a low rpm range.
Compared to a conventional transmission, the new CVT system allows fuel savings of up to 30%, depending on the application. Traction control, intelligent inching, and automatic differential lock management further help the operator to cope with a range of working conditions and duties. Power for the loader comes from a Cummins diesel rated at 250kW which meets Stage V emissions requirements. The machine weighs in at 26.5tonnes and is available with buckets from 4.6-5.2m3.
The firm says that its sophisticated onboard weighing technology is integrated as standard on this machine, while the firm adds that it has prioritised durability throughout the development of the HL975A CVT.
The machine is available with optional extra safety features like the advanced around view monitoring (AAVM) system, which secures the field of 360° vision. This system also includes intelligent moving object detection (IMOD). In addition, the HL975A CVT also comes with an optional radar system that detects obstacles behind the machine.
All of the firm’s A-series wheeled loaders will benefit from several new service features that have been developed and tested with the aim of boosting machine uptime. The firm’s sophisticated machine diagnostics package, Hi-MATE, is installed and provides a remote management system with access to service and diagnostic information for Hyundai machines. The user can gather and analyse various data on the machine performance remotely, helping boost uptime.
The report generated by Hi-MATE allows for better fleet management as it sends out monthly e-mail reports. The data provided includes a summary of the operation and the fuel consumption analysis, so that managers can highlight issues both with particular items of equipment as well as operators requiring additional training. In addition, Hyundai’s new Mobile Fleet app provides the customer with information that allows users to operate fleets efficiently and economically. Based on telematics, this solution is said to use simple graphics and key performance data to further optimise fleet management tasks.