Compact Equipment

JUN 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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14 Compact Equipment JUNE 2018 Yet another variation — multi-purpose buckets, as op- posed to general purpose buckets — are gaining popularity, according to Vincent. "They enable an operator to gain ad- ditional functionality out of one tool. They offer excellent versatility. They are ideal for handling, clamping, leveling and grasping irregularly shaped objects such as stumps and debris." The Wacker Neuson 4-in-1 bucket functions as a scoop, grader, grapple and drag-leveler. Coffey says it is increasing- ly popular. "We see them growing rapidly in the skid steer and compact track loader market and expect to see the same for compact wheel loaders," he says. "And it isn't cheap. A general-purpose bucket is $1,000 or $1,200, but a 4-in-1 can cost three or four times more. People who use the value proposition in buying attachments find it way more practi- cal to get a 4-in-1." SDLG released the 74-hp L918F compact wheel loader in 2017, with a rated capacity of 4,000 lbs. The new model loader can be equipped with either an ISO skid steer coupler (with a 1.0 yd3 general purpose bucket) or an ISO compact loader coupler (with a 1.3 yd3 general purpose bucket). The choice of couplers enables end-users to select from a wide assortment of extra attachments. This is impressive, given that the L918F is available for the price of a large skid steer, but it also raises an important question for customers. "When working in the compact loader range, you have two options," explains Nick Tullo, sales manager of SDLG North America. "You can either make your machine more versatile with skid steer attachments, or you can move up to an ISO compact wheel loader coupler for added lifting capacity, since the bigger coupler is stronger and can ac- commodate a larger bucket. The L918F enables end-users to go either route, but not all machines offer this versatility, so customers need to find out which couplers are available when choosing a machine." Another factor in selecting a compact loader bucket is di- mensions. Obviously, the lighter the material to be loaded, the larger a bucket can be employed. "We size our com- pact loader buckets the same way we do our larger loader buckets," says Sam Shelton, marketing manager for Hitachi Loaders America. "There is a rated or target payload that the machine is designed to handle. That determines what the bucket size should be based on the material being handled." Shelton offers a formula for calculating appropriate bucket size according to bucket capacity: Divide a rated load by ma- terial density. Wacker Neuson has created a guide for its buckets to help shoppers match a bucket to a compact machine. Coffey says buyers should pay attention to it. "You can take a loader and stand it on its nose because you have too much bucket. You can't even back it up." He adds that a lot of people don't consider the weight of the bucket itself in calculating what a compact wheel loader can lift. That's a mistake. Coffey has seen a compact loader designed to use a 1.5-cu-yd bucket fitted with a 3-yd bucket. "The bucket was about as big as the machine, but what it was carrying didn't really weigh anything." AT T A C H M E N T C E N T R A L KAWASAKI VS. HITACHI BUCKETS? Hitachi Construction Machinery Loaders America is on the brink of introducing their four new Hitachi branded compact wheel loaders to market, including the compact ZW120-6. If you own a Kawasaki compact wheel loader, you might ask if a new bucket from Hitachi Load- ers America will fit your older machine. There are two answers to that question: "Yes" and "soon." If the twin answers wedge some uncer- tainty into your mind, relax. The confusion is a consequence of an ownership change involving Hitachi Construction Machinery and Kawasaki Construction Machinery. In 2010, the two com- panies entered a joint venture to further develop wheel loader products. Six years later, Hitachi bought out Kawasaki. This year, Hitachi Loaders America will formally enter the North American market with its branded compact wheel loader line. Soon. "The Hitachi brand compacts have not yet made it to the USA," says Sam Shelton, market- ing manager for Hitachi Loaders America. She adds, "As a matter of fact, the new Hitachi brand compacts haven't been introduced anywhere else in the world." A quick visit to their website ( hitachicm.us/ USAProducts.aspx ) reveals the specifications and a quick glimpse of what is to come. But back to the original question: Can that ZW50 bucket be coupled to its counterpart in the Kawasaki line, the 42ZV-2? Yes, it can, Shelton confirms. "KCM buckets are interchangeable with the Hitachi loaders."

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