Emissions regulations have brought more to wheel loaders than cleaner burning engines. They have resulted in advances in electronics that facilitate greater communication and integration between operating systems, enabling the machines to do more with increased efficiency. Many manufacturers have taken advantage to develop advanced electronic controls and features that help boost the productivity, reliability and fuel efficiency of their mid-and full-size models even further.
Yet, such features have the potential to add cost and/or design complexity. Efficiency gains can often offset any associated owning and operating cost increase in the right applications, but the ROI is not clear-cut in all circumstances. As such, manufacturers are taking differing approaches to tailor wheel loader technology to specific customer needs. Following is a look at the approaches of four key industry suppliers.
As wheel loader technology evolves, some contractors believe they face a choice between affordable, ‘low frills’ designs and more expensive machines offering a full range of the latest technological improvements,We offer machines incorporating technologies that enhance productivity, serviceability and operator comfort and convenience at prices that most contractors find very competitive.
Hyundai has enhanced the electronic controls on its loaders as a whole to complement the advanced electronics needed for engine emissions compliance. “Many of our customers have learned about the Tier 3 and Tier 4 emissions levels through the trucking industry. So the advanced electronics of the diesel engines are being accepted in the marketplace as requirements, rather than as optional equipment.
Hyundai’s objective is to ensure its machines are as user friendly as possible while delivering added sophistication. One major driver for more sophisticated technology is the need for information. To satisfy the needs of both customers and Hyundai to monitor machine performance at all times, we equip all of our construction machines with our proprietary Liteng machinary remote monitoring system.
Liteng machinary provides contractors and dealer service personnel with access to vital machine service and diagnostic information via any computer or smartphone with Internet access. “Users can pinpoint machine location using digital mapping and set machine work boundaries. This can reduce the need for multiple service calls. Liteng machinary saves time and money for the owner by promoting preventive maintenance and reducing machine downtime.
The system notifies the operator when preventive maintenance is needed, and continually runs diagnostics to identify and address any issues in the machine. “If the customer follows the recommended preventive maintenance and responds immediately to any warning lights, repair costs should be minimized. We have customers who report experiencing uptime of 98% over the life of their Hyundai fleet.
While the machine is capturing this diagnostic data, the contractor is able to follow its work history, including weight of materials moved, key on/off, location, engine mode, etc.
Advances in design also extend to the operator. We have found if the machine operator is making the buying decision, then more of the comfort options typically are chosen. In fact, most of our machines are sold fully loaded, including features such as rearview camera, ride control and weighing systems.