Developments within the loader market have seen a host of models added either side of the traditional three-tonne, six-metre sector, with manufacturers upping the power at the top end and offering more compact models at the lower end. Alex Heath looks at some of the options.
A staple on most farms these days, the loader has developed to be a multifunctional and integral machine, be it on livestock, arable or energy generation units.
As a result, manufacturers are increasingly developing specialist machines, with most recent developments happening either end of the power scales.
At the top end, loaders have been given greater power, lifting credentials and reach, with AD units, large livestock units and grain stores the destination for the four-tonnes-plus lift capacity machines.
At the other end, compact loaders are still a popular choice for those with narrow and old building to deal with and manufacturers report an increasing demand for multiples of smaller machines on dairy farms for pushing feed and scraping slurry.
While almost all loaders now feature emission compliant Stage 5 engines, there is also a noticeable shift towards the electrification of these yard based machines, with smaller electric models now being offered by several manufacturers.
JCB has given the TM420 the ‘S’ treatment, following in the footsteps of the TM320S. The new TM420S features the same lifting parameters as the TM420, 4.1 tonnes to 5.45 metres, however, it features a significant power increase at 173hp. This is developed from its Stage 5, 4.8-litre engine.
Power-to-weight ratio stands at 17hp per tonne, while torque is 690Nm. It can now also be specified with 26-inch wheels and has a heavier duty chassis and axles, compared to the standard TM420, to deal with the increased power.
In addition, an eight speed powershift transmission features, with torque lock up in every forward gear and capable of 50kph. It can be operated manually, shifting through the gears using joystick buttons or by switching to automatic power-shifting for gears five to eight.
The new Command Plus cab features a one-piece windscreen, offering an increase in forward visibility by 13 per cent, according to the manufacturer. Internally, a simplified control layout can be found, with most functions accessed through a switch panel on the right-hand pillar.
We recently got the chance to test the new TM420S during first cut. Find out how it performed here.
Manitou has launched two new larger models in its NewAg range, the MLT 841 and MLT 1041.
The new models which both have a lift capacity of 4.1 tonnes, are the first to enter the manufacturer’s NewAg XL line-up - a new heavy-duty platform based on performance and comfort.
With a lifting height of 7,600mm for the MLT 841 and 9,650mm for the MLT 1041, both models are fitted with a Stage 5 Yanmar engine producing 141hp, which the manufacturer says has 12 per cent more torque while reducing fuel consumption by 11 per cent compared to previous models.
A torque converter with automatic powershift gearbox is capable of 40kph. Maintenance features have been addressed too, with a two-part opening of the engine bay, centralised greasing points and a new hatch in front of the radiator for quicker cleaning.
Hydraulic flow from the load sensing pump is 200 litres/minute.
Find out what we thought of Manitou's MLT 841 here.
Merlo has introduced the TF65.9TCS170-HF to its heavy-duty range of telehandlers, designed with handling a high volume of materials such as grain stores and AD units.
Offering a maximum lift capacity of 6,500kg and a maximum lift height of 8,800mm, it is powered by a four-cylinder, 4.5-litre FPT engine producing 170hp. The Stage 5 engine is equipped with both diesel particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction.
A 40khp hydrostatic transmission is fitted as standard and comes with electronic transmission control, which controls the engine response whilst using the hydraulic functions. Hydraulic output is 160 litre/minute from the variable displacement pump.
Bobcat has entered the compact wheeled loader market with the L85, the first of a range of pivot steer loaders that it is set to introduce.
Featuring a 2.4-litre, four-cylinder engine from Doosan, developing 68hp, the L85, has a tipping load capacity of 3,100kg and can lift to a height of 3,250mm. Its operating weight is 5,091kg and it can be fitted with buckets of 0.8 to 1.2cu.m. Hydraulic performance is 75 litres/minute and up to 103 litres/minute with the high flow option. Drive is via a 20kph hydrostatic motor, while 30kph road speed is and option.
Standard spec includes a cab, with suspended seat with integrated armrest for the operator. Other features include automatic park brake, rear view camera and diff lock.
Kramer has added two compact models to its wheel loader range, the KL12.5 and KL14.5.
Using three-cylinder engines from Yanmar, the former has an output of 25hp while the latter has 39hp. Both models have a width of 1,260mm and height of 2,170mm and wheelbase of 1,525mm although the KL14.5 is slightly longer. Drive is through a 20kph hydrostatic transmission, with a 30kph option on the larger model.
While the smaller model has an operating weight of 1,920kg the larger model sits at 2,070kg. Because of this the larger model has a tipping load of 1,400kg, compared to 1,140kg on the smaller.
Both measure 2,800mm to the headstock pivot point and use Z-kinematics for higher tearout force.
The latest addition to Claas’ Torion range is the 956 Sinus.
Like the previously launched 738T Sinus, the loader not only pivots in the middle, but also has a rear steering axle. The rear axle has a turning angle of 25 degrees, which combined with the 30 degree angle of the middle pivot, results in an outside turning radius of 4,450mm.
The nine-tonne loader has a straight tipping load rating of 6,095kg and reaches 3,730mm to the bucket pivot point. Power comes from a 4.5-litre, four-cylinder Deere Power Systems engine, developing 106hp. Axles are driven via a two-speed hydrostatic transmission, capable of 40kph.
Find out what we thought of the baby Torion Sinus, with its novel steering method here.
Weidemann has updated its 13 Series compact wheel loader with a choice of engines and driving functions.
The 1390 has three, three-cylinder Stage 5 Yanmar engines to choose from: 25hp, 45hp or 54.5hp. The smallest engine has a 1.2-litre displacement, while the larger two options feature a 1.6-litre version.
In addition, the manufacturer has included ecDrive, an electronic control of the hydrostatic transmission, allowing four drive modes to be used. These modes can be selected to alter how the power is delivered to the machines components, such as, forward speed against hydraulic performance. There are four hydraulic pump options, up to 84 litres/minute.
The loader is available with a platform or cab and can lift and has three headstock kinemetic options. As a result, the maximum height to bucket pivot point is 3,200mm while tipping load is up to 2,100kg.
New Holland has upgraded its D Series loading shovel range with improvements focused on the operator’s experience and cost of ownership savings.
The four model range which spans operating weights from 11,303kg to 19,540kg has had plenty of refinement in the tech department, with an eight inch touch screen added which can also be operated through configurable buttons mounted on the armrest. A self-levelling mode has also been added, which orientates the fork or bucket to be parallel to the floor. Other features designed with productivity in mind include a weighing system, tyre pressure monitoring system and an optional 43,000 Lumen LED lighting package.
The manufacturer also claims the latest generation has 10 per cent lower fuel usage while service intervals have been extended from 500 to 1,000 hours, offering a 20 per cent saving on service costs.
The Elise 900 from Slovakian company Kovaco and is now being imported into the UK.
Said to be the world’s first electric skid steer, lead acid batteries are used for ballast, with two capacity options; a 240Ah version or 400Ah unit. The former provides power for up to six hours of operation and provides the equivalent of 30.8hp (23kW), while the latter has a run time of more than eight hours and a power output equivalent to 52.3hp (39kW).
Charging times are said to be just over five hours for full replenishment, while topping up to 80 per cent from flat is about three hours.
It features three electric motors; a pair provide traction, while the third is for hydraulic operation. Rated power for each is 13.4hp (10kW) with peak power topping out at 36.2hp (27kW).
Depending on battery size, lift capacity is either 900kg for the smaller battery or 1,400kg for the larger. The loader has a pin pivot height of 3,637mm.