A wheel loader is four-wheel-drive equipment used to load loose materials with a front-mounded bucket. A lift-arm assembly raises and lowers the bucket. Wheel loaders have durable tires and use a hydraulic steering system. They have rugged threads or chains tied to the tires. This allows maneuverability. The hydraulic steering system is better than the automatic ones because it allows the front and rear axles to carry more weight. Wheel loaders can be light loaders or heavy loaders.
The light wheel loaders are generally smaller in size and tools can be attached to them for transporting light materials. These loaders are widely used in agricultural industry. They type of wheel loaders available in the market are- Compact wheel loaders and Small wheel loaders.
The heavy wheel loaders have powerful engines and are used specifically for industrial purposes. Some of the large wheel loaders are designed to include backhoe, bucket and scoop loaders and front-end. These are generally used for carrying materials from one place to another or cleaning the debris. Large wheel loaders can also be helpful to clear snow in regions that experience heavy snowfall.
However, the most popular wheel loaders are the medium wheel loaders as they effectively reduce the operating costs, enhance safety and
also increase the ease of operation. They can be customized accordingly, which in turn helps the operators improve productivity.
Specifications and features to consider before buying a wheel loader:
The volume and pressure of hydraulic fluid pumped through a wheel loader’s system regulates what it can accomplish. Flow is measured in gallons per minute (gpm). Many manufacturers offer standard and optional high-flow hydraulic systems. A standard flow (17 to 24 gpm) system will operate buckets and grapples. High-flow systems (30 to 40 gpm) with higher pounds-per-square-inch ratings are needed to run more demanding attachments, such as mulchers and snow blowers. While standard flow hydraulics sometime will give the semblance of operating hi-flow attachments, performance will be disappointing. Know what hydraulic flow you will require.
Buckets are the most common attachment on a wheel loader so knowing the capacity of your loader is important. Capacity usually is rated in cubic yards — the equivalent of material piled a yard high, yard wide and yard deep — or, roughly, nine wheelbarrow loads. Subcompact loaders are limited to a cubic yard of material or less. Compact machines typically can lift two or three cubic yards, while midsize and larger loaders can lift up to 20 cubic yards or more. Bucket size is determined by engine output, hydraulic flow capacity and machine weight. Get a loader with the capacity you need.
Wheel loaders have lift heights commensurate with their size and weight. Compact loaders are designed for relatively short lifts (raising potted plants onto a trailer, loading pallets, hauling and dumping dirt). Larger loaders can extend over the sides of dump trucks, reach high shelving, or lift long upright materials into position. It follows that smaller machines generally can raise a bucket 8 to 10 feet into the air with midsize units going up 12 to 14 feet. Bigger loaders can reach up 25 feet or more. Make sure your loader can lift its arms high enough to perform your desired tasks.
Linkage configuration: Two types of attachment linkages dominate wheel loaders — Z-bar and parallel-lift. The Z-bar has been around longest and is the simplest and most common system for bucket work. It enhances the breakout digging force of a machine; whereas the parallel-lift system gives operators greater visibility and fine-tuned control during a lift. This means a parallel-lift loader is better for fork and grapple work such as handling pallets. Once again, how you will be using the wheel loader will determine which linkage system is best for you. Some hybrids of the systems also are offered.
Rigid or Articulated:
Fixed-frame loaders can do everything flexible-framed loaders can do — but not as nimbly. An articulated loader has a pivot joint in the middle allowing it to “bend” in cornering, thus reducing the turning radius compared to a rigid-framed machine. Some manufacturers offer all-wheel-steering, which lets the rear wheels on a loader turn in tandem with the front wheels. This also reduces the turning radius, at some small cost in stability. If your work site does not require tight turns, the more complex systems are not a factor in your choice of machine.
A few notable wheel loader manufacturers are: Case, Caterpillar, Doosan, Hyundai, JCB, John Deere, Hitachi, Komatsu, Kubota, Liebherr, Takeuchi, Volvo, Wacker Neuson and Yanmar. However, In terms of popularity among the fourteen brands, Caterpillar is the most popular with almost 44% of the market share, while Deere and Volvo round out the top three. The rest of the ten brands, in order of popularity, are: Komatsu, Case, Kawasaki, Hyundai, JCB, Doosan, and New Holland.
How to maintain wheel loaders:
A few things to keep in mind while operating the wheel loader.
Do a check before starting the machine - Check up on the vehicle if any parts are broken, worn-out, leaking or loose. Also, regularly check the pressures; look for any tire damages, battery connections, oil leaks etc. Ensure that the oil levels are intact, and the mirrors are well adjusted.
After starting the machine - Let the engine warm up for at least 10 minutes. This helps in better lubrication between the parts of the engine. Ensure that all the levels of the measurements and readings are in the safe zone. Check for the brakes and other operating components. After you start always working lookout for unusual noises. In case you hear any of these stop the machine and understand the problem. It is necessary to maintain the bucket the capacity and avoiding overloading. Overloading can damage the vital parts of the machine like tires and can also decrease the efficiency of the machine.
Before getting done - The engine should be left like that for a few minutes before shutting it down. Remove the debris and dirt from the machine and fill the fuel tank.
If you are looking for Manuals for your wheel loader, you can browse RepairLoader. We provide PDF downloadable file for Komatsu, Bobcat, Fiat, Volvo etc. etc.