Load 'Em Up

Sept. 1, 2000
Utility-size wheel loaders offer a variety of attractions for rental customers.Originally intended for digging or loading applications, wheel loaders

Utility-size wheel loaders offer a variety of attractions for rental customers.

Originally intended for digging or loading applications, wheel loaders have evolved into rugged, four-wheel-drive, articulated tool carriers to improve versatility and productivity.

Utility-size wheel loaders with less than a 2.3-cubic-yard capacity are used primarily in digging and loading applications for which other loaders are too large. Fully articulated steering systems enable smaller wheel loaders to negotiate many hard-to-reach places smoothly and efficiently.

Those wheel loaders can be used for:

- Fertilizer mixing/loading applications inside small storage buildings. Here, the operator uses a larger-than-usual bucket to load lighter materials, increasing efficiency.

- Removing spoils with buckets and bringing in new materials with pallet forks or buckets in structures where larger loaders do not fit.

- Sweeping, plowing, loading and moving snow.

Wheel loader attachments Attachments for utility-size wheel loaders are smaller versions of those used on larger loaders. They are closer to skid-loader-type attachments.

For example, switching the standard bucket to a four-in-one multipurpose bucket makes for easy loading, dozing, grappling, backfilling and scraping at construction or demolition sites. By switching to pallet forks, a wheel loader operator can move welding or generating equipment, tools, rebar and other items. A loader also can be used to put away tools and other equipment or, after switching to a sweeper, rockhound or broom, to help clean up the site.

Utility companies use wheel loaders for repair crews. Users mount a hammer on the front end to remove blacktop or concrete, a backhoe on the rear to uncover the leak, a bucket to move the spoils and backfill, and then sweep up.

Nursery, landscaping and golf course maintenance applications use not only buckets but pallet forks, tree booms and augers. Trees can be loaded on the flatbed with the tree boom, and load fill or landscaping material can be placed into the truck bed with the bucket. Use a trailer to transport the loader to the site, punch holes with an auger, drop the trees in the holes with the tree boom, backfill the holes with the four-in-one bucket and use bark chips to complete the job.

Recycling plants also use a variety of buckets, pallet forks and scrap grapple buckets.

Why stock loaders? Adding utility-size wheel loaders to its inventory offers a rental center many advantages. They are compact, easy to learn to operate, and rugged, durable and reliable. Customers will find that they are easy to maneuver, with superior handling and an unobstructed view. Quick couplers and auxiliary hydraulics (front and rear) provide maximum versatility, improving productivity, while the load-sensing transmission automatically changes from high speed/low torque to low speed/high torque as load conditions vary.

A travel-speed limiter switch in the loader control lever increases safety and productivity when reduced travel speed is required but high torque is still needed. Tire options combined with modern traction control systems provide tremendous traction as well as excellent flotation on sensitive surfaces. Wheel loaders also are equipped with a frame-rocking mechanism that allows the operator to keep the frame horizontal even when the frame rocks.

For operator comfort, utility-size wheel loaders have low noise levels, a weight-adjustable suspension seat, suspended foot pedals, easily viewed instruments, ergonomically positioned controls and reduced engine vibration.

John Deere

The 324H four-wheel-drive loader, the newest addition to John Deere Construction Equipment's H-Series wheel loader line, features an 80-horsepower Powertech engine and stereo steering that combines articulation with rear-axle steering and allows the unit the shortest turning radius in its class, according to the manufacturer. The 15,000-pound unit features a choice of a mechanical or hydraulic coupler to handle a variety of attachments.

Kubota Tractor

The Kubota BX-Series, available in models BX1800 and BX2200, features a three-eighths-inch ladder-type chassis with a 55.1-inch wheelbase. Kubota Tractor equipped each unit with four-wheel drive, a two-speed hydrostatic transmission and a three-cylinder, liquid-cooled Kubota E-TVCS diesel engine. Other features include a 48-inch bucket that can haul up to 460 pounds and a 5.5-gallon fuel tank.


The multipurpose 621C wheel loader from Case provides 130 horsepower, and a breakout force of 26,311 pounds. The unit is equipped with a proportional-shift transmission that has manual, automatic and custom-program modes. The straight tipping load capacity is 20,696 pounds, and the bucket capacity is 2.75 cubic yards.


Daewoo Heavy Industries America designed the Mega 160 wheel loader for smaller, tighter jobs. The unit has a bucket capacity of 2.1 cubic yards, an operating weight of 19,220 pounds and a Daewoo diesel engine. Additional features include pillarless front windows, a flexible rubber mounting system designed to decrease operator noise and minimized T/M gearshift shock.


The operator cab of Yanmar's V4-3 mini-wheel loader is available enclosed or with an overhead canopy. The four-wheel-drive unit features a standard bucket capacity of 0.65 cubic yards, a lifting capacity of 3,671 pounds, a maximum dumping height of 8 feet and travel speeds up to 11.2 mph. A 37-horsepower Yanmar 3TNE84T engine powers the unit.


The WA250-3 Avance Plus, the latest addition to Komatsu America International's line of small wheel loaders, offers 131 horsepower, the highest in its class, the company says. Other features include a bucket size of 3 cubic yards, four-speed automatic transmission, four forward and four reverse speeds, travel speeds up to 23.5 mph and a wet disc brake.


Designed for small and midsize wheel loaders, the Michelin XLD 70 low-profile radial tire increases productivity in construction, quarry, sand and gravel, the company says. The tire features increased working deflection and reduced sidewall height to maximize shock absorption. The XLD 70 is available in six sizes and adapts to all existing loaders.


The Swinger 3000 articulated wheel loader is a four-wheel-drive unit with a 3,000-pound capacity. The unit features an 80-horsepower John Deere diesel engine, articulated steering, an Eaton hydrostatic system and a quick-attach mechanism that accepts most skid-steer attachments. With a breakout force of 8,500 pounds, the Swinger 3000 can lift to a dump height of 105.5 inches.

New Holland

The midsize LW130TC tool-carrier wheel loader from New Holland Construction features a quick-attach coupling system, allowing attachment changes to be made within minutes to accommodate several applications, the company says. Attachments made for the machine include utility forks, extendable booms, brooms, log and lumber forks, loader rakes with hydraulic clamps, and specialized buckets. The operator's cab features air conditioning.


The HL750 wheel loader from Hyundai Construction Equipment has a 140-horsepower Cummins 6BT5.9-C engine and a breakout force of 30,270 pounds. The operating weight is 28,110 pounds, and the bucket capacity is 2.75-3.38 cubic yards.


Terramite's T7 tractor loader backhoe comes standard with a 20.3-horsepower Perkins diesel engine, center-mount steering, Super Terra Grip front and rear tires for increased traction, dual front curl cylinders and extended-reach arms for an 8-foot dump height.


Volvo's line of compact wheel loaders features articulating-oscillating steering, hydrostatic transmissions, low-emission engines and automatic drive. The loaders also are equipped with quick-change attachment brackets that can accommodate more than 60 attachments. The operator can change attachments from the cab, the company says.