Highly-Maneuverable Compact Wheel Loaders to Score over Skid Steer, Compact Track Loaders in 2019
As the construction industry continues to expand at an unprecedented pace, globally, the technological revolution is projected to sweep across several segments of construction equipment, triggering demand for compact designs with superior durability and efficiency and multiple applicability across different industry verticals. Top compact construction equipment OEMs are keeping pace with the constantly evolving construction landscape with new technologies more efficient, more productive and more sensitive to ROI consideration.
In-Focus: Safer, More Comfortable Compact Wheel Loaders
Compact wheel loaders—designed for high flexibility in confines spaces among other compact construction equipment types such as the telescopic handlers and skid steer have come a long way, adding value through fuel efficiency and performance. An analysis of the compact wheel loaders landscape projects a promising landscape for compact wheel loaders as manufacturers introduce more weight options to their product offering and upgrade machines with advanced hydraulics. Compact wheel loaders are also getting safer, comfortable, and more ‘connected’ with telematics, ergonomics, enhanced visibility, and cameras with warning systems. Apart from the telematics technology, operating with a payload system in compact wheel loaders will ensure the right amount of materials being moved, while reducing the instances of over-excavating and overloading.
However, while the overall machine versatility and productive remains a key force behind innovations, operator performance and experience are also top of mind for manufacturers of compact wheel loaders, as the focus shifts to user-friendly controls and cab comfort—aimed reducing fatigue levels of operators.
Design Considerations for Efficient Turning Performance
Compact wheel loaders makers often rely of two critical design features—articulation and all-wheel steering (AWS). While articulated compact wheel loaders help in easy maneuverability when working in confined areas with uneven terrain and tight turns, the AWS-powered compact wheel loaders having a one-piece, robust chassis prevents shifts in center of gravity at full turn—offering maximum stability and maneuverability.
For instance, John Deere’s 244L and 324L compact wheel loaders uses the Articulation Plus™ steering system and 324L High-Lift configuration—allowing nearly 30 degrees of movement, with exceptional maneuverability and sure-footed stability—all at a desired speed. Apart for that, its fixed rear axle cuts down on complexity, creating room easy repair. Similarly, Mustang 608 and 708 and Gehl 650 and 750 articulated loaders bring extra capacity and high breakout forces, in addition to approximately 10 degrees of chassis oscillation and 45 degrees of articulation.
However, while the tight turning capabilities of compact wheel loaders may not be as efficient as compact track loaders and skid steer, its superior maneuvering capability given an advantage in loading and placing. In addition, its straight-line speed put compact wheel loaders well ahead of skid steer and compact track loaders.
Adding Extra Attachments to Compact Wheel Loaders
The provision to expand use of attachments will remain a key factor in positioning compact wheel loaders as tough competitors in the market, mostly captured by skid steer and compact track loaders. Since, most compact wheel loaders have a choice of couplers, typically including tool carrier type—best suited for forks and buckets. In addition, growing demand for hydraulic and electrical attachments at the rear, will rev up the sales of compact wheel loaders—attributable to better rear visibility compared to skid-steer and compact track loaders.
Future Market Insights (FMI), a market intelligence firm delivering insights on the global construction equipment industry, spots lucrative opportunities in the developing markets of Asia Pacific region, considering the expanding infrastructural landscape and favorable government initiatives supporting the same. China and India will remain at the center of heightened demand for compact wheel loaders, projects FMI in its report.
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