Compact Equipment

SEP 2018

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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Because compact wheel loaders do mostly loader work (more on attachments further in), these different wheel loader styles often have to do with application. Articulat- ing wheel loaders are great for snow removal and com- mercial scrap and recycling yards. The articulated steering system allows for precise snow removal around islands, cart corrals and other typical parking lot obstructions, and scrap and recycling yards really benefit from improved vis- ibility and reduced tire and fuel consumption. In many construction applications, an all-wheel steer loader is a productive machine — especially equipped with a univer- sal skid-steer coupler, auxiliary hydraulics and optional high-flow packages. Agriculture is the big application for a telescopic loader — think high-lift stuff like silo work — although the benefits apply to lots of similar lift-and- dump height challenges. Telescoping units also require extra safety precautions. "When you fully extend a telescopic wheel loader, you've changed the tipping point and center of gravity of the machine, and extreme care should be taken," sug- gests Dotto. "On Wacker Neuson telescopic machines, the cab has a standard load management monitor that helps the operator understand how the stability of the machine is affected by the position of the boom. A series of green lights let an operator know when they are approximate- ly at 25, 50 and 75 percent of maximum operating load. When the system senses the load exceeding this threshold, the system warns the operator to adjust operation with an amber warning light and audible tone." UNIQUE TECHNOLOGIES AND OPTIONS Wacker Neuson's diverse product offering and its cool load management system create some interesting separa- tion from the competition. For decades, John Deere has also been offering unique technology and options in the compact wheel loader category. Specifically, Articulation Plus is an industry-exclusive steering system that has been the foundation of John Deere units for 20 years. Ar- ticulation Plus allows operators to lift more during turns, add stability and shorten turn radii on the 244K-II, 324K and 344L models. "Instead of the 40-degree articulation we see across the industry, we articulate 30 degrees from that center joint," explains Miller. "With that technology, we get better abil- ity, agility and stability. The ability piece is that greater tip load performance. From an agility standpoint, you have a tighter turning radius, and then from a stability stand- point you look at an operator going into a pile. Typically, we'll talk about your straight tip load at that point, but as you back away from that pile and you start to articulate the machine, you can feel some instability. From a straight tip load to a full turn tip load, the difference in those two numbers is less for us than what we see across standard articulation machines." Other brands have dug their own niches. Case Construc- tion Equipment's F Series compact wheel loaders caught our collective eye for their fast cycle times, maneuverability in close quarters and great material retention. Case has also focused on flexibility and precision with its speed features. Case's inch and brake pedal technology progressively dis- engages the transmission in the decelerating phase while progressively engaging the brakes, allowing power to be di- verted to the loader's hydraulics without disconnecting the drive and still maintaining constant engine rpms. There's also an optional creep speed that allows the operator to in- dependently set engine rpm and ground speed for greater control and performance with various attachments. Despite wheel loaders mostly doing loader work, hy- draulic capability has been a big focus. Small wheel load- ers compete with skid steers and track loaders, which have some of the best hydraulic versatility of any category of equipment. To bridge the gap, Volvo Construction Equip- ment touts two separate hydraulic systems on its L20H and L25H units. One system is for steering and the other is for load-sensing hydraulic pumps. The advantage of this design is that separate pumps ensure full steering power regardless of the load on the main hydraulic pumps. Oil flow on the load-sensing pump also automatically adjusts to match the work demand. So, if an operator is working in tight spaces and wants to articulate, steer and lift, they will always have maximum oil available for steering and for the work hydraulics. "The result is lower fuel consumption during operation and no compromise in performance when operating in tough conditions or demanding applications," says John Comrie, producer manager, compact wheel loaders and 26 Compact Equipment SEPTEMBER 2018 Articulation Plus is an indus- try-exclusive steering system that has been the foundation of John Deere units for 20 years.

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