Carving Out New Ground

June 13, 2013

The major equipment manufacturers never rest in their efforts to improve dozers and loaders, and this year is no exception. Here we’ll take a look at the latest models from John Deere, Case, Caterpillar, Doosan, Volvo, Hyundai, and Komatsu.

Within the past year, John Deere has introduced two new crawler loaders: the 110-horsepower 605K and the 145-horsepower 655K models. Both are assembled in Dubuque, IA, and add to Deere’s 755K crawler loader.

The 605K features a John Deere 4.5-Liter Interim Tier 4 diesel engine that delivers a productive combination of power and torque. A key feature of the 605K and the 655K is the hydrostatic transmission, a feature John Deere first pioneered in crawler dozers in North America in 1976. These transmissions provide customers infinite speed control, power management, live power turns, counter rotation while staying in gear, and dynamic braking.

Both new crawler loaders feature Deere’s Quad-Cool system, which isolates coolers from engine heat for increased efficiency and durability. A standard hydraulic-driven, variable-speed suction fan runs only as needed, reducing noise, fuel consumption, and cooling component wear.

Credit: Liebherr
Liebherr’s PR 724 can accommodate machine-control
based on laser guidance, GPS, or robotic total stations.

And just last February, John Deere introduced the 644K hybrid wheel loader. The 644K Hybrid utilizes two sources of energy: diesel and electric. The hybrid loader captures regenerated energy as it is being created and uses it to power the machine.

The 644K Hybrid is equipped with a John Deere 6.8-litre Interim Tier 4 engine that runs at an operator-selected constant speed from 900 to 1,800 rpm. The hybrid boasts a net 229 horsepower and is equipped with all the key features of the conventional John Deere K-Series wheel loader line.

The machine’s hybrid technology delivers performance that is equal to or better than the conventional 644K, depending on the application. The engine’s constant operating speed maintains continuous hydraulic flow at all times, which delivers crisp hydraulic responsiveness and reduces cycle times. The electric motor smoothly delivers torque, resulting in fluid operation and a smoother ride. As a result, the 644K Hybrid delivers optimal performance for novice and experienced operators alike.

Plug and Play From Liebherr
Liebherr offers five models of bulldozers. They are the 161-horsepower PR 724, the 201- horsepower PR 734, the 248- horsepower PR 744, the 335- horsepower PR 754, and the 416- horsepower PR 764. Operating weights range up to 116,150 pounds for the PR 764.

Liebherr says its crawler tractors are “eminently suitable” for the application of automatic grade controls, thanks to their innovative drive system. The hydrostatic drive provides uninterrupted power without the need to shift gears. Due to the long tracks and the match of front attachment, working hydraulics, and base machine, exceptional grading properties are ensured, the company says.

Depending on the type of application and what the end user wants, two models of Liebherr dozers, the PR 724 and the PR 734, can accommodate machine-control systems based on laser guidance, GPS, or robotic total stations. To simplify the installation, Liebherr offers a number of installation kits.

In practice, predominately small or medium-size crawler tractors-specifically, Liebherr’s PR 724 and PR 734-are used for work with automatic grade-control systems. Liebherr supplies installation kits for machine-control systems from three manufacturers: Trimble, Topcon, and Leica Geosystems. These kits, which are preinstalled at the factory, are available as optional equipment and include all the machine preparations required for subsequent installation of an automatic control system. This applies to electrical and hydraulic installations as well as all mounts and plug connections.

With the factory installed pre-installation kit, the mounting of machine controls in the field is significantly simplified. Such respective control components as masts, slope sensors, displays or control unit, GPS antenna, receiver prism, or data transmitters can be simply installed or plugged in without requiring access into the interior of the machine.

Case’s New Wheel Loader
Last February, Case Construction Equipment introduced the 521F wheel loader, offering customers a 12% increase in fuel efficiency over the previous E Series model, while delivering faster acceleration and quicker cycle times. The machine is available in standard Z-bar, extended reach and tool-carrier models, and is the latest offering in the company’s F series wheel loader line.

Case chose selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology for the 521F to meet Tier 4 Interim emissions standards based on the machine’s applications

Credit: JCB
The new model 457 from JCB offers a 16% increase in power and 18% more torque.

and power demands. SCR results in lower temperatures in the exhaust system while optimizing combustion.

“SCR was the obvious choice for the 521F, because a wheel loader’s tasks are more variable, creating inconsistent engine loads and power demands,” said Rob Marringa, brand marketing manager, Case Construction Equipment. “Rather than compromise power, we let the engine do what it does best-run at peak performance-and then use an aftertreatment for emissions.”

The new 521F wheel loader offers optional heavy-duty axles, enabling it to perform more tasks such as operating in scrap yards or recycling centers. These axles, with autolocking front and open rear differentials, have the same design as the larger F series wheel loader axles, including metal face seals and sintered bronze brake linings. They offer outstanding traction in all conditions, especially on uncompacted surfaces like gravel, and help reduce tire wear when working on hard surfaces.

“The heavy-duty axles have superior sealing capability and longer service lives, improving owner and operator costs,” Marringa said. “In addition, they can accept higher load capacities, allowing operators to configure the unit with solid, foam-filled or chain-wrapped tires.”

Three New Cat Dozers
The new Cat D3K2, D4K2, D5K2 dozers deliver finish grading performance and improved fuel economy. A new Stable Blade feature utilizes technology that complements operator blade control input. Eco Mode improves fuel economy up to 25% for lower operating costs. Using a more powerful Cat C4.4 engine that meets Interim Tier 4 emissions requirements, the K2 models feature hydrostatic drive with Traction Control, which reduces track slip at maximum load. New in-cab amenities such as ventilated seat and heated control handles improve operator comfort. New Power Pitch allows the operator to control blade pitch fore/aft for maximum productivity in various material conditions.

The K2 models blend these new features with the basic field-proven design of their K Family predecessors. The K Family design includes single-lever travel/steering control, standard air conditioning when cab-equipped, single-lever blade control, Cat Sealed-and-Lubricated Track (SALT) or a Cat SystemOne undercarriage for lowest undercarriage cost per hour.

Credit: CASE
CASE’s new 521F wheel loader offers optional heavy-duty axles, enabling it to perform more tasks.

Net power ratings are increased by more than 8% from 74 to 80 horsepower for the D3K2, and from 84 to 92 net horsepower for the D4K2. The D5K2 gets a power boost from 96 to 104 horsepower. The new C4.4 ACERT engine features air-to-air charge-air cooling, the Passive Plus Regeneration system for emissions control, and a new electric fuel-priming pump.

Cat’s new Eco Mode system for the K2 models can improve fuel economy by up to 25% by reducing engine speed when maximum rpm is not required. Eco Mode has two settings-Forward/Reverse or Reverse Only-that are selected via the rotary throttle. Once set, Eco Mode automatically controls engine speed at optimal levels, delivering maximum engine speed and power when required.

Separately, Caterpillar announced that it has shipped 500 electric-drive D7E dozers from the company’s facility in East Peoria, IL. The Cat D7E features a first-of-its-kind electric drive system that boosts productivity and efficiency while lowering operating costs and dramatically reducing fuel consumption. D7E dozers are hard at work in a wide range of applications throughout North America, Europe, and Australia.

K&E Excavating of Salem, Oregon purchased a D7E earlier this year to replace a D7R. “We like to operate with the latest technology, and the D7E fits right in,” said Kerry Kuenzi, president of K&E. In their applications, Kuenzi says they have found the D7E to be quicker and more powerful than their D7R, and in their own carefully measured side-by-side comparisons, “…the new D7E burns half the fuel of our D7R.”

Pre-production studies suggested that the D7E would provide 10 to 30% better fuel economy over the previous D7 model, depending on the

Credit: Volvo
A Volvo L50G demonstrates a good departure angle under the counterweight.

application. According to Cat telematics data, customers using the D7E have already saved more than 1.4 million gallons of diesel fuel as compared with the previous D7R model.

“With diesel fuel over $3.50 a gallon in the US and even higher in Europe, that’s several million dollars going directly to our customers’ bottom lines,” said Scott Johnson, worldwide tractor product manager. “This financial benefit, as well as the corresponding reduction in emissions, will compound as field population continues to grow.”

Doosan Powers Up
Last January, Doosan announced its 3.7-cubic-yard DL250-3 wheel loader. The machine has been reintroduced as a 172-horsepower Interim Tier 4 wheel loader-up from 163 horsepower in its previous design. It is engineered with a breakout force of 27,120 pounds, a full-turn tipping capacity of 20,680 pounds and a dump height of 9 feet 2 inches. For those requiring additional dumping capabilities, the DL250-3 is also available in a high-lift configuration, extending the dump height 18 inches above the standard DL250, to 10 feet 8 inches.

This wheel loader’s new auto-idle feature provides additional noise reduction and fuel savings by reducing the working idle of the wheel loader from 950 rpm to a standby idle setting of 750 rpm when the machine is inactive for a short period of time.

Designed with improved lifting performance, the DL250-3 offers operators the ability to set upper and lower limits for both the lift arm and bucket stop positions from inside the cab. Better lifting capabilities improve cycle times in digging and loading applications, while providing better control of the lift arm and bucket positions. An optional fourth spool control valve provides operators the capability to use an attachment that requires an additional hydraulic function, e.g., some snowblowers and snow blades.

Credit: Doosan
This DL550 wheel loader from Doosan includes improvements ranging from more engine horsepower to increased driving power and steering capabilities.

To keep the wheel loader running at optimal performance in dirty and dusty conditions, the DL250-3 incorporates a new automatic-reversing cooling fan. The operator can manually reverse the fan via a switch, or set it to automatically reverse on a preset time frame. Each time the fan reverses, it will run in reverse for a few minutes to clean the cooling system. This results in longer working hours and shorter maintenance time to clean the cooling system.

Several performance, comfort, and reliability enhancements accompany Interim Tier 4 (iT4) compliance on the Doosan DL550-3 wheel loader, which replaces the DL500 loader model. Improvements ranging from more engine horsepower to increased driving power and steering capabilities highlight the 7.5-cubic-yard wheel loader.

The 380-hp DL550-3 is the largest wheel loader in the Doosan line. With an operating weight of 69,655 pounds, breakout force of 58,450 pounds, and a full-turn tipping capacity of 48,061 pounds, the DL550-3 is designed for larger material handling applications, such as quarries, mines, and manufacturing operations.

The engine in the DL550-3 uses selective catalyst reduction (SCR) and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) to comply with iT4 emission regulations. Engines with this configuration are optimized to reduce particulate matter (PM) by operating at higher combustion temperatures and to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOX) with exhaust aftertreatment using SCR technology. Additionally, SCR systems offer increased fuel efficiency due to the engine optimization, which improves fuel burn.

The 775-cubic-inch engine features a high-pressure common-rail design with direct fuel injection, electronic control, and four valves per cylinder. The

Credit: Caterpillar
Pre-production studies have suggested that Caterpillar’s D7E will provide 10% to 30% better fuel economy over the previous D7 model, depending on the application.

high-pressure, common-rail system increases the efficiency of fuel delivery by increasing the pressure up to 34,000 psi. The increased pressure allows the injector to inject a finer mist into the engine, which results in a more efficient combustion that in turn produces more torque and improved fuel economy, less noise, lower operating costs, and cleaner exhaust.

Compact Wheel Loaders
Volvo’s new L45G and L50G compact wheel loaders feature the latest emissions-compliant engines and Volvo patented TP Linkage, ensuring high breakout force and parallel movement throughout the entire lifting range. This combination gives high tilt-back torque and lifting power, increasing productivity when loading or rehandling. The progressive lift helps retain loose bucket material and minimizes disturbing the load when lifting pallets.

The breakout torque is also useful if a log grapple is fitted, giving complete load control in all positions. The combination of stable load and high-reach linkage design allows for dumping into high-sided trucks.

Smaller in size than many competitor machines, these Volvo models’ compact dimensions come from the shorter frame as a result of the transversely mounted engine. This combination allows high maneuverability in restricted work areas.

These new machines meet the requirements of the Tier 4 interim (Tier 4i) emissions legislation. The L45G and L50G are fitted with the Volvo D4 four-cylinder turbocharged off-highway diesel engine, which features cooled gas recirculation and a particulate filter with active regeneration. The diesel particulate filter temporarily holds the particulate matter and then incinerates it, further reducing emissions. This process is conducted without any loss of performance during operation.

Volvo says the D4 engine produces between 98 and 114 horsepower and leads the industry in terms of fuel efficiency, reliability, and quietness. The production of torque and power at low engine speeds, combined with load-sensing hydraulics, promotes work at a lower rpm-extending engine life, lowering fuel use, and reducing noise. The engine cooling fan allows the engine to reach optimum working temperature faster and operates only when needed. The fan is also reversible, automatically blowing air back through the cooling pack in order to remove debris drawn into the radiator.

New Loader Lines From Hyundai
Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas Inc. has introduced two wheel loader lines-the HL740-9 and the HL757-9. Both the HL740-9 (145 gross horsepower) and the HL 757-9 (173 gross horsepower) are powered by Cummins Tier-III QSB6.7 engines that are electronically controlled for optimum fuel-to-air ratio and clean, efficient combustion. Operators will appreciate the flexibility of three engine modes (Power, Standard, or Econo) which range from full power to reduced fuel consumption.

Both the HL740-9 and the HL 757-9 offer the following specialized models:

Tool Master is appropriate for jobs requiring special attachments, such as forks, log grapples, or hay handlers. Extended Reach (XTD) are for projects requiring a higher dump height, such as loading material into high-sided dump trucks or use in feed lot applications.

Operator comfort, reduced stress, and improved efficiency all played important roles in the newly designed cabins of the HL740-9 and the HL 757-9.

Credit: Hyundai
Operator comfort, reduced stress, and improved efficiency all play important roles in the newly designed cabin of Hyundai’s HL 757-9.

Advanced color monitors with 5.7-inch-wide color LCD screens, mounted on adjustable swivel-mounts for reduced glare, allow the operator to easily control the machine. Special attention was given to a comfortable and convenient interior with many standard amenities such as automatic AC/heat, heated rear-view mirrors, hands free phone, personal storage space, and AM/FM radio/MP3 interface/USB ports.

Both the HL740-9 and HL 757-9 come standard with Hi-mate, Hyundai’s proprietary remote management system that provides operators and dealer service personnel access to vital service and diagnostic information via an online portal. Hi-mate saves time and money for the owner by promoting preventive maintenance and reducing machine downtime.

Flagship of the Line
JCB has unveiled a new wheel loader model equipped with a Tier 4 Interim-compliant engine offering increased power and torque and reduced fuel consumption. The company says improved transmission options, upgraded axles and robust styling combine with a revised interior to provide a faster, more productive machine.

The new model is the flagship of the range, the JCB 457, and offers a number of new machine features:

  • A 16% increase in power and 18% more torque for the range-topping 457 model
  • Intelligent Clutch Cut-Off, allowing maximum hydraulic power at low travel speeds
  • A five-speed transmission option with lockup facility for faster acceleration and improved ride and carry performance
  • Automatic locking differentials for improved tractive effort

The JCB 457 takes over at the top of the company’s wheel loader lineup, replacing the 456. The machine is powered by an 8.9-liter engine delivering 250 horsepower, an increase of 16% from the previous model. With a variable geometry turbocharger, high-pressure common rail fuel injection, and a diesel oxidation catalyst with diesel particulate filter (DPF), this powerful engine also provides an 18% increase in torque, at 800 lb-ft, yet meets the requirements of the EPA Tier 4 Interim emissions regulations.

Extensive Customer Input
Komatsu America Corp. has introduced its new line of D37-23 and D39-23 crawler dozers, developed using extensive customer input. Komatsu further refined the dozer design to meet EPA Tier 4 Interim regulations using smart engine technology while maintaining the same high horsepower. Long track-on-ground standard (EX) and low-ground-pressure (PX) models are available to offer customers flotation and weight distribution options to best match their applications. Operating weights range from 18,386 to 21,363 pounds depending on the configuration and model. At 2,200 rpm, the new models push with a net 89 HP and 105 HP, respectively.

Credit: Komatsu
This low-ground-pressure dozer from Komatsu offers a flotation and weight distribution to match the application.

The steeply sloped engine hood and forward cab design provide more room for operators while moving them closer to the blade, for improved blade visibility, ride quality, enhanced grading ability and overall comfort. The cab also has an integrated ROPS / FOPS structure and is designed using large glass windows for better visibility.

Komatsu’s newly designed power-angle-tilt blade with a highly durable box structure and good curvature rolls material efficiently and improves productivity. Standard adjustable blade pitch allows the operator to adjust the aggressiveness of the cutting edge for varying applications. The new hydraulic blade angle toggle switch improves ease of blade operation.

Komatsu’s new WA250PZ-6 wheel loader has improved visibility and increased loading power and performance. The WA250PZ-6, with an operating weight of 26,808 to 27,778 pounds and a heaped bucket capacity of 2.5 cubic yards to 3.0 cubic yards, gets its power and productivity from a Komatsu SAA6D107E-1 engine. This engine has a net horsepower of 138, is EPA Tier 3 emissions certified, and provides high productivity with low fuel consumption and low noise. The WA250-6 is equipped with the latest Komtrax technology, which sends machine operating information to a secure website by means of wireless technology.