The Latest Developments in Loading and Hauling Technology From the Industry’s Top Manufacturers.
By Mark S. Kuhar and Josephine Smith
CASE Construction Equipment announced that its 621F and 721F wheel loaders now meet Tier 4 Final emissions standards. Like the Tier 4 Interim models, each model is equipped with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) solution that treats emissions separately with Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) and does not require the engine to re-circulate exhaust gas.
This proves extremely practical, as it improves fuel efficiency (up to 20 percent greater than previous solutions), lowers exhaust temperatures and fuel consumption, and provides excellent throttle response and simplified maintenance without sacrificing power. It also requires no diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration or maintenance – optimizing uptime for greater productivity.
Each new Tier 4 Final wheel loader delivers best-in-class horsepower with a 6.7-liter engine. The 621F and 721F wheel loaders produce 162 and 179 net rated horsepower (121 and 133 kW), respectively. Both machines are also available with XT (tool carrier) or XR (extended reach) linkage and specialty configurations for even greater versatility and productivity.
The Case for SCR
With SCR, these machines achieve lower temperatures in the engine exhaust system while optimizing combustion to achieve greater fuel economy and peak horsepower. The SCR design on the 621F and 721F also contributes to machine uptime by eliminating the need for manual diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration and the associated downtime that occurs with wheel loaders that use cooled exhaust gas recirculation (CEGR) technology.
SCR also results in extended time between service intervals as lower ambient temperatures result in slower degradation of lubricating oil. Additional fuel savings can be achieved with a standard engine shutdown feature found on each model that allows the operator to limit engine idle time.
Engineered for Productivity
As with previous models, the 621F and 721F wheel loaders feature powerful and quick hydraulics, and four programmable power modes that allow users to match the machine output to available engine power. The loaders include heavy-duty axles with auto-locking front and open rear differentials for optimal traction in virtually all conditions. The axle design also helps reduce tire wear, especially on hard surfaces. The 621F and 721F also offer an optional “Efficiency Package” that includes a five-speed transmission with lock-up torque converter for even faster road travel speed, acceleration and shorter cycle times, as well as axles with auto locking differential and advanced system programming. The optional five-speed transmission includes the CASE PowerInch feature that lets operators approach targets quickly and precisely regardless of engine speed. It ensures there is no rollback even on steep slopes, making it easier and quicker to dump into a truck.
Both models are also available as waste handlers, featuring 16 guarding points, a high-efficiency mid-mounted cooling cube, a slanted hood and Sy-Klone ejective air pre-cleaner, and heavy-duty axles and solid tires.
The 621F and 721F wheel loaders feature cabs with full climate control, as well as an award-winning joystick steering option that helps reduce operator fatigue. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide excellent visibility to attachments. All service points are easily grouped and located throughout the machine for easy access. Additional options, such as a rearview camera and a heated air-ride seat, make operation even more easy and comfortable.
The Cat 336F L XE Hybrid excavator features an integrated design that conserves fuel, optimizes performance, and captures and reuses energy. The machine delivers an estimated fuel savings of up to 20 percent compared with its standard 336 counterpart with no compromise in performance and no added maintenance costs, the company said.
The new Cat Production Measurement system adds even more value by enabling operators to load trucks with just the right weight while allowing managers to remotely monitor the machine’s productivity.
The 308-hp (230-kW) C9.3 engine meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emissions regulations without interrupting the operator or the job. Proven electronic, fuel, air, and aftertreatment components ensure customer expectations for productivity, fuel efficiency, reliability and service life are met. The inherent fuel efficiency of the C9.3 is further enhanced with automatic engine speed control, a programmable engine idle shutdown feature, and an ECO mode that allows operators to tailor machine performance to the application. The engine also runs efficiently on biodiesel blends up to B20.
Building Block Technologies
The 336F XE uses three building block technologies to deliver outstanding fuel savings and performance. The Cat Electronic Standardized Programmable (ESP) pump smoothly transitions between the hydraulic hybrid power sources, the engine, and the accumulator to conserve fuel. The Cat Adaptive Control System (ACS) valve optimizes performance by intelligently managing restrictions and flows to control machine motion. Instead of wasting kinetic energy during swing braking, the Cat Hydraulic Hybrid Swing System pressurizes the accumulator to stop the machine and then uses that pressure when needed to accelerate the machine later.
The key ingredient is the ACS valve, which can be found only on the Cat brand. It is the “brain” of the system – one that independently controls machine functions and directs hydraulic energy where operators need it precisely when they need it. Because the ACS valve is fully integrated with the pump and hybrid system, operators will experience the same extraordinary control, hydraulic power and lift capacity they get from traditional Cat machines with the added benefit of dramatically reduced fuel consumption. That’s why the valve is now standard on larger machines like the 374F and 390F.
To assist customers in managing the 336F L XE for optimum return on investment, Caterpillar offers several connected technologies as standard. Grade technologies provide real-time bucket tip elevation guidance to help operators stay on grade and finish work more quickly, accurately and productively.
The latest technology addition is payload, and it provides real-time weighing as the boom swings for fast, efficient loading and optimum payloads. Operators can view load weights on the in-cab display and know when target payload is achieved, maximizing the productivity of the entire fleet. Productivity can be tracked from the cab – with quick access to payload weights, load and cycle counts, and daily totals. Site managers can wirelessly access payload data and machine operating data such as location, hours, idle time, fuel usage and events via Link technologies through the VisionLink web portal to measure production, monitor efficiency, and optimize performance.
The 336F L XE’s massive frame, heavy-duty extended-length undercarriage, and standard and heavy counterweight options combine to form an exceptionally strong, stable work platform for digging, lifting or attachment use. The heavy-duty reach boom can be paired with either a 10-ft., 6-in. (3.2 m) stick or a 12-ft.,10-in. (3.9 m) stick. A mass boom and 8-ft., 4-in. (2.55 m) stick combination are also available. Additional options include multiple Cat Work Tools and a state-of-the-art tool control system designed specifically to help customers get the most out of one machine.
The 184-hp Doosan DX255LC-5 crawler excavator has been added to the Tier 4-compliant lineup, featuring improved performance, operator-focused comfort, fuel economy and jobsite durability. The Tier 4-compliant model replaces the interim Tier 4 (iT4) DX255LC-3.
The machines feature:
- Smart Power Control. A new selectable feature, Smart Power Control (SPC), consists of two systems – Variable Speed Control and Pump Torque Control – that work together to improve machine efficiency while maintaining productivity and reducing fuel consumption. The engine control unit (ECU) automatically manages SPC when SPC is engaged. Each of the four power modes will function with SPC engaged or disengaged; however, SPC can be active only in the digging work mode.
- Variable Speed Control. Reduces engine rpm during low workload requirements such as during the swing portion of a dig cycle. This reduces the total energy required to perform a task and improves fuel efficiency up to 3-7 percent.
- Pump Torque Control. Efficiently matches hydraulic pump torque and engine response to the task, preventing engine overload and excess fuel consumption, improving efficiency.
- Display enhancements. An improved 7-in. LCD screen allows operators to continue monitoring the excavator parameters while viewing the rearview and/or side-view camera image. Critical machine data appears next to the camera view. With an optional side camera, a split screen allows both camera displays to be viewed at once. New additions to the monitor include the DEF gauge and improved fuel efficiency.
To help save valuable diesel fuel, Doosan added auto-shutdown to its excavators to help owners save fuel during non-working conditions. Operators can configure the idle time from 3 to 60 minutes.
When enabled, the feature will shut down the excavator’s engine when the preset idle time is met. This is particularly helpful in California where state regulations require idling for only five minutes for off-highway machines.
Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment, www.doosanequipment.com
Hitachi Construction Machinery – Americas announced that it has upgraded two models of its successful utility-class excavator line to meet EPA Final Tier 4 (FT4) emission standards. The two excavators – the ZX210-6 and ZX210LC-6 – are equipped with a powerful EPA FT4/EU Stage IV Isuzu engine that provides operators with integrated, effective engine technologies and does not require a diesel particulate filter.
“With the upgraded ZX210LC-6 and ZX210-6, operators get the quiet, powerful performance that Hitachi is known for with the added bonus of cleaner operations,” said Mark Wall, excavator product marketing manager for Hitachi Construction Machinery – Americas. “Extremely efficient combustion and an improved piston design allow the Isuzu engine to burn particulate matter in cylinder. This eliminates the need for a diesel particulate filter.”
Maintenance on the FT4 excavators is minimized to help increase uptime and reduce operating costs. Upper-structure handrails provide added safety when servicing the engine compartment, and a larger hood offers better engine accessibility. A battery disconnect switch, located in the rear door behind the cab, is easily accessible and extends battery life. In addition, engine oil, fuel and hydraulic pilot oil filters are all located on the same side of the machine at ground level for easy servicing.
The two upgraded excavators feature a new, fuel-efficient 160-hp, FT4 Isuzu engine that is simple and efficient.
The Isuzu engines employ cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR). Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is injected into the exhaust stream of the engine, runs through a catalyst, and turns the NOx in the exhaust into harmless water vapor and nitrogen gas. The EGR is specifically tuned to further reduce NOx (compared to EPA Interim Tier 4 [IT4]/EU Stage IIIB engines) to meet new emission standards with minimal use of DEF. Additionally, an improved piston design allows particulate matter to be burned in cylinder, so there’s no need for a diesel particulate filter (DPF).
D-channel side frames house and protect the highly efficient coolers and FT4 engine. Booms, arms and mainframes are so tough, they’re warranted for three years or 10,000 hours, whichever comes first. With large idlers, rollers and strutted track links, the sealed and lubricated undercarriage is built for the long haul.
With heavier operating weights of 47,245 lb. (ZX210-6) and 48,238 lb. (ZX210LC-6), these excavators take productivity to a higher level. The hydraulic boost system and enhanced boom recirculation generate aggressive boom and arm speed – returning the arm to dig faster allowing for more dirt to be moved per day. The pressurized fuel system improves fuel injector operation, and the fuel recirculation system helps prevent fuel gelling in cold climates so maximum productivity can be maintained.
The ZX210-6 and ZX210LC-6 are offered with new options that make it even easier for Hitachi customers to get the most out of their machines. These models can be equipped with a grade reference-ready package that features sensor-mounting brackets that are welded to the boom, arm, dogbone, counterweight and main-frame of the excavator at the factory. This reduces system installation time by half by eliminating the need to grind, weld and re-paint a machine. The brackets are compatible with Topcon, Trimble or Leica grade reference systems.
Both excavators also come with an optional auxiliary function lever that provides proportional control for auxiliary hydraulic attachments to help improve productivity on the jobsite.
Hitachi Construction Machinery – Americas, www.hitachiconstruction.com
Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas has launched its new HL900 series line of Tier 4 Final-compliant wheel loaders, now available for sale throughout the United States and Canada. These new wheel loaders are designed for maximum performance, productivity and efficiency, and have been proven to deliver as much as 5 percent greater productivity and 10 percent lower fuel consumption than the previous 9A series loaders.
The first models available for sale include the HL940, HL955, HL960, HL970 and HL980. Additional wheel loader models, including the HL935, and special model configurations like the popular Tool Master (TM) and Extended Reach (XT) models, will be available in the fourth quarter of 2015.
“As the workhorses in the industry, Hyundai wheel loaders are found all over North America in severe-duty applications like road building, sand and gravel pits, quarries, mines, recycling yards, lumber yards, feedlots and more,” said Corey Rogers, marketing manager, Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas. “Our customers tell us they like Hyundai machines for their power, productivity and ease of operation. The newest generation, our HL900 series, continues that legacy while adding a myriad of creature comforts, productivity enhancements and additional efficiencies that make these machines the best value on the market.”
Cab and Productivity
The cab on the Hyundai HL900 series wheel loaders is up to 10 percent larger than previous models, and has been reconfigured for additional floor space and improved visibility. For added operator comfort, in-cab sound levels were reduced by 3 dB, making this one of the quietest cabs in the industry.
The cab is equipped with features that enhance operator productivity, including a larger 7-in. interactive touch-screen monitor, optional finger-tip controls, fully adjustable and heated air-ride seat, and centralized control switches for added convenience. The enhanced climate control system, which features high-capacity filter and additional airflow vents for optimum cooling and heating efficiency, is conveniently positioned for easy service access on the right side of the cab.
An optional Smart Start ignition system for password- or Bluetooth key-enabled machine start is also available on the HL series, as is a new automatic weighing system with improved functionality for more efficient production management. The HL955 and larger models feature optional front locking differentials for improved tractive effort and added machine control. Another Hyundai innovation that enhances productivity is the newly designed bucket, with a deeper profile, curved side plates and a larger spill guard, for improved bucket fill and material retention.
Efficiency and Engine Technologies
Hyundai HL900 series wheel loaders incorporate new engine technologies for Tier 4 Final compliance and include many new features that contribute to overall fuel and production efficiency. Cummins engines power the smaller HL935, HL940, HL955 and HL960 models. The larger models, including the HL970 and HL980, are powered by Scania engines. Cummins and Scania engine technologies both achieve Tier 4 Final emissions compliance through a combination of SCR (selective catalytic reduction) and DOC (diesel oxidation catalyst) systems using DEF (diesel exhaust fluid).
HL900 series loaders are up to 10 percent more fuel efficient than 9A series models, as a result of such features as Hyundai’s Eco Pedal, programmable auto-engine shutdown (available with the smart key option), optional fingertip controls, Eco Gauge, and a five-speed direct drive lock-up clutch.
Eco Pedal automatically detects foot pressure and adjusts power modes according to job demand. The electro-hydraulic fingertip control, available on select models, provides additional precision and reduces operator fatigue. The dynamic color-changing Eco Gauge provides the operator with a visual reference of fuel efficiency, total fuel consumption and average fuel data. Machines can be equipped with a standard four-speed automatic transmission or an optional five-speed automatic transmission with a lockup clutch, which improves efficiency and minimizes heat.
Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas, www.hceamericas.com
John Deere continues to update its K-Series wheel loader lineup to adhere to Final Tier 4 emissions standards and better meet the needs of today’s operators. The 444K, 524K and 544K utility-class wheel loaders are designed for jobs that demand extra agility and ability on the jobsite.
“The goal in updating our K-Series utility wheel loaders was to build upon the reliable platform of the previous models, while offering more customer-inspired productivity features to increase uptime, including easier daily checks and maintenance access and the ability to work in all areas – regardless of air quality conditions,” said Chris Cline, product marketing manager for utility wheel loaders, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “Whether you are a road builder, site developer, landscaper, or running a cattle or a small quarry operation, the new utility loaders provide best-in-class stability and hydraulic controls, maximum uptime and unmatched serviceability. Our customers can do more with these machines.”
The implementation of a John Deere PowerTech EPA Final Tier 4 (FT4)/EU Stage IV diesel engines enable operators to work anywhere, even in nonattainment areas. The PowerTech engine delivers impressive torque, 444K (124 hp), 524K (141 hp), 544K (163 hp), to help maintain good boom and bucket speed in and out of the pile for heaped loads, even in wet or hard-packed material.
The K-Series loaders implement excavator-style hydraulics that sense the load and deliver the flow needed for smooth combined functions and fast work cycles. A PowerShift torque-converter transmission employs Smart-Shift technology to continuously evaluate speed and load conditions. The 544K’s new standard five-speed transmission with lockup torque converter in gears 2–5 offers increased acceleration, speeds cycles, and optimizes power and fuel efficiency during transport, roading and ramp climbing.
John Deere understands operator comfort is critical to productivity, which is why the three models come standard with several features to make the operator’s job easier. These improvements include an enhanced multifunction monitor with diagnostic and maintenance information, tinted glass and a Level 1 sound suppression package that reduces engine noise heard by the operator and bystanders, thus decreasing operator fatigue and increasing productivity on job sites that are in or around areas that have noise restrictions.
Similar to other John Deere construction machines, operators will find comfort in the high-back air-ride seat of the K-Series. A keyless start and effortless push-button operation of a number of machine functions allows the operator to get extra productivity from their wheel loader. Operators will also have two optional radio offerings – an AM/FM/WB with auxiliary port or an AM/FM/WB and XM Satellite Radio with auxiliary port, USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
John Deere, www.JohnDeere.com
Komatsu America Corp. introduced the new WA380-8 wheel loader. With a 6.69-liter, 191-hp Komatsu SAA6D107E-3, variable geometry turbo charged and after cooled Tier 4 Final certified engine, the WA380-8 uses up to 6 percent less fuel than its Tier 4 Interim predecessor.
Komatsu’s SmartLoader Logic software combines with a lockup torque converter, which activates in second, third and fourth gears. Together, the system provides optimal engine torque for improved acceleration, hill climbing, a higher top speed and fuel savings.
“With one of the highest breakout forces in its class and excellent balance, this machine is made for tough digging tasks,” said Craig McGinnis, Komatsu America product manager. “The WA380-8 is ideal for carrying pipe, sand and other aggregates, site clean up and support, digging into piles and backfilling.”
Komatsu designed the machine’s Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter (KDPF) and other aftertreatment components to work in harmony with the engine for efficiency and long life. A Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) assembly is incorporated to further reduce NOx emissions using diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). The engine uses an advanced electronic control system to manage the air-flow rate, fuel injection, combustion parameters and aftertreatment functions to optimize performance, reduce emissions and provide advanced diagnostic capability.
In-cab enhancements and features include:
- A new, air-suspension, high-back, heated seat that softens machine vibrations for operator comfort, and cast frame members for increased strength.
- Seat-mounted electronic pilot control levers with F-N-R switch for operator comfort and convenience.
- Pioneering KOMTRAX telematics system and monitor that provides key machine metrics, including KDPF status, DEF-level data, fuel consumption, plus performance information collected and sorted by operator ID.
- Komatsu Auto Idle Shutdown to reduce idle time and save fuel.
- Auxiliary jack and two 12-volt ports.
- A 7-in., full-color, high-resolution monitor with ecology guidance to support more efficient machine operation.
- A dedicated, full color, 7-in., rear-view monitor is standard.
Robust designs make the large Liebherr wheel loaders (L 550 to L 586) particularly well suited to quarrying operations. Using more than six decades of experience, Liebherr has developed and constructed key components for these machines including engines, hydraulic cylinders and electronic components.
As a result, Liebherr is able to guarantee manufacturer quality in every aspect. In addition to this, Liebherr wheel loaders can be set up for intensive mining operations with a variety of equipment options including specialist tires with tire protection chains, windscreen guards, and special rock or HD variant buckets.
Liebherr engineers in Bischofshofen, Austria, have developed a clever solution for engine installation by installing the engines in the rear of the machines. The center of gravity is moved to the rear of the wheel loader so that the diesel engine and the variable displacement pump counterbalance each other. This means that Liebherr can dispense with any ballast, which achieves lower operating weights and higher tipping loads.
For example, when handling heavy rock material, a high tipping load is an advantage as this enables contractors to use larger buckets and move larger loads. The lower operating weight also reduces fuel consumption.
The Liebherr customer, Southern Screenworks from Christchurch, New Zealand, was won over by these advantages. The company operates a quarry on New Zealand’s South Island with 10 mobile crushing and sieving plants.
Directors Brett Swain and Alan King purchased their first Liebherr wheel loaders in 2007. Three more followed as a result of their positive experience with the machines. Today, a fleet consisting of an L 564, L 566, L 576 and L 580 moves more than 1,500 cu. meters of rock material per day. This is equivalent to approximately 3,000 tons. “Before we buy a new machine, we compare efficiency, performance and reliability. We opted for Liebherr, because other suppliers had nothing on Liebherr in terms of these criteria,” explained Swain.
Liebherr wheel loaders are driven hydrostatically – a real plus in terms of efficiency. Under the same working conditions, they consume up to 25 percent less fuel. Swain was impressed by the hydrostatic driveline, commenting, “Our wheel loaders work for 12 hours per day at the quarry face. The tear-out force of the machines is enormous, and this is achieved even with very low fuel consumption. This is due to the hydrostatic driveline which is not only efficient, but also improves the level of comfort for our operators due to its quiet operation. We also have virtually no brake wear due to the hydraulic braking action of the drive.”
Volvo Construction Equipment
Equipped with a Tier 4 Final Volvo D4 engine, the new Volvo EC140E crawler excavator features a 5 percent increase in engine power and 10 percent improvement in fuel efficiency versus previous models, helping customers minimize their fuel cost, while delivering the performance and reliability they expect from Volvo, noted the manufacturer. The increase in engine power and pump flow ensures highly responsive operation and travel speeds, as well as faster cycle times and improved productivity.
The hydraulics system, electronic control system and advanced ECO mode have been optimized to match engine power and reduce power losses. The redesigned main control valve and new software builds on the hydraulic control system, improving fuel efficiency and controllability.
A boom float function allows pump power for boom lowering to be transferred to other functions, while the auto engine shutdown feature further helps to reduce fuel consumption by automatically switching off the engine after a pre-set amount of time.
“The EC140E is a versatile machine that can tackle any job – ranging from general earthmoving and trenching to road building and excavation projects,” said Matt McLean, product manager – excavators, with Volvo Construction Equipment. “With the improvements to power, fuel efficiency and cab design, this new E-series delivers higher productivity with greater comfort and lower operating costs.”
Volvo Care Cab
The exceptionally comfortable, spacious cab helps operators work more productively. All machine interfaces – including the joysticks, keypad, panel and LCD monitor – have been ergonomically designed for optimum control and efficiency. The number of switches has been reduced by more than 50 percent, and climate control has been integrated into the keypad for ease of use. For added convenience, functions such as the windshield wipers, cameras and audio mute can all be assigned a shortcut button on the joystick. This allows the operator to select a function during operation without disruption.
Along with the rear view camera, the EC140E also offers an optional side view camera to cover the visual blind spots. Both views can be displayed on the 8-inch color monitor, promoting a safer working environment for both the operator and personnel on the ground.
Designed for Durability
The reinforced steel structure of the ROPS cab ensures the operator is protected at all times. The idlers, track links, and upper and bottom rollers on the undercarriage are built to withstand tough terrain, while the intelligently designed X-shape lower frame enables balanced weight distribution, increasing stability and durability, and preventing damage from rock and debris. The robust boom and arm design of the EC140E includes internal plates designed to help disperse the stress from high-pressure areas of the boom and arm, to provide maximum productivity year after year.
Volvo Construction Equipment, www.volvogroup.com