Carrying the Load


January 1, 2009

Big equipment can make a big difference when it comes to increasing production. Here’s a selection of wheel loaders that can help make that difference.

by Kerry Clines, Senior Editor


Designed for quarry work

Caterpillar Inc.’s 992K wheel loader is specifically designed for quarry work. The 801-horsepower machine has an operating weight of 214,948 pounds and a bucket capacity that ranges from 14 to 16 cubic yards. The company says it has been designed to load a Cat 777 off-highway truck in five passes. Features include improved fuel efficiency, a cab designed for all-day comfort, a durable fabricated box boom linkage design with maintenance-free sleeve bearing pins, and serviceability improvements to ensure minimal downtime.


Hydrostatic wheel loader

Liebherr Construction Equipment Co.’s 7.8-cubic-yard L586 is said to be the world’s largest hydrostatically powered wheel loader. It has an operating weight of 71,800 pounds, a tipping load of 45,040 pounds, and a 340-horsepower engine. The “2plus2” gearbox automatically adjusts tractive force and speed to the requirements of the operator – without the need for shifting. Liebherr says its hydrostatic machines are up to 25 percent more fuel efficient than conventional drive machines, and have as much as 25 percent less tire wear and virtually no brake wear. The ergonomically designed cab has a large glass area for good visibility of the work area. A single joystick control lever is used to manage all travel and work.


Improved productivity

Volvo Construction Equipment’s F-series L350 has an operating weight of 110,000 to 119,000 pounds, depending on trim, and comes with a choice of buckets ranging from 8.1 to 16.7 cubic yards. Volvo says the 528-horsepower loader offers improvements in productivity and fuel economy that stem from the new Tier 3 engine, stronger hydraulics, a new Volvo transmission with lockup, and new axles. In addition to more power and torque, more load capacity, and faster cycle times, the L350F has a large cab that retains Volvo’s traditional operator comfort features – air conditioning, insulation from noise and dust, and the use of viscous cab mounts to shield the operator from vibration.


Quarry workhorse

Case Construction Equipment’s 30-metric ton, 7.6-cubic-yard 1221E is designed for quarry work, road construction, and site preparation applications. The loader features a large, isolation-mounted cab with floor to ceiling glass in front and a sloped rear engine compartment for excellent visibility front and rear. Maintenance features include eye-level gauges for service checks and remote drains for coolant, engine oil, and hydraulic oil. The Ride Control option improves productivity through material retention while reducing shock loads on the machine and operator. The 1221E comes in traditional Z-bar and XR linkage configurations.


Technological advancements

Komatsu America Corp. says its WA500-6 employs the latest technological advancements, allowing operators to work comfortably and productively in a variety of conditions. The 332-horsepower wheel loader has an operating weight between 71,585 and 74,010 pounds and is equipped with the Komtrax fleet monitoring system, which sends machine operating information to a secure Web site using wireless technology. Hour meter, location, cautions, and maintenance alerts are relayed for analysis. The machine was designed to provide easy service and maintenance access and is equipped with the Komatsu Equipment Management Monitoring System, which keeps the operator informed of all machine functions.


High breakout force

Kawasaki Construction Machinery Corp. of America says its new 95ZV-2 boasts the highest breakout force in its size class. Bucket sizes range from 5.5 to 7 cubic yards. The Machine Operations Diagnostic Module provides essential operational and diagnostic machine information; a new Efficient Loading System increases rimpull power while demanding less fuel. The machine’s large center pin allows the tightest turning radius in its size class, making it a very agile machine, according to the company. An optional K-LINK system allows location, system alarm sensors, and all major machine performance data to be electronically transmitted to cell phones, fax, and e-mail for real-time equipment management.


Sustainable in tough conditions

Terex Corp. says its TXL500-2 has lift capacities that sustain digging and loading under the toughest conditions. The large 360-horsepower wheel loader has a 6.3-cubic-yard bucket capacity and achieves a breakout force of 61,373 pounds. Its full auto Powershift transmission with four forward and three reverse speeds optimizes cycle times. A 40-degree left/right articulation helps ensure job site maneuverability and stability. The ROPS/FOPS cab provides an exceptional view to the front and rear, maximizing bucket corner and maneuver zone visibility.

John Deere

Smart-shift technology

John Deere’s 844K wheel loader features a bucket range from 7.25 to 8.1 cubic yards with a 47,860-pound breakout force. An enhanced multifunction monitor provides easy pushbutton access to machine information and control. A low center of gravity and optimized fore and aft balance delivers stability and full-turn 44,713-pound tipping load capacity. The powershift torque-converter transmission uses smart-shift technology to continuously evaluate speed and load conditions. Two control options, the single-lever joystick or two-lever fingertip pilot-operated hydraulic controls, include Deere’s Quick Shift feature which allows pushbutton gear changes.

Doosan Infracore

Power Shift transmission

Doosan Infracore’s 6.3-cubic-yard DL500 has a 335-horsepower engine and Power Shift transmission. The loader has more power and a larger cab than its predecessor, according to the company, and improvements to the power train are said to have increased fuel efficiency. In addition to new comfort features, such as a multi-adjustable air-suspension seat, the DL500 has larger front pins and all grease points for pins and bushings are accessible from the ground.


Turbocharged “Extra” model

Dressta says its 560E Extra model features a new Tier 3 turbocharged 427-horsepower engine, joystick boom and bucket controls, hydrostatic steering, and a high visibility cab. The 7-cubic-yard wheel loader has a three-speed, full powershift, countershaft transmission and 92,549-pound operating weight. The machine uses Z-bar linkage for maximum breakout force, and a single bucket cylinder to reduce weight in front of the machine and enhance payload capacity. Oil change intervals have been increased to 500 hours.

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