Wheel Loaders Doing More: Latest models deliver more versatility through tech, operator comfort

Wheel loaders work in many applications, but mostly they’re production machines – loading trucks, transferring materials. OEMs have taken steps to ensure wheel loaders excel at these core competencies, but they have also expanded their functionality.

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The result has benefited traditional wheel loader customers who use their machines for production work. But it has also helped the smaller percentage of customers who use loaders in less demanding ways.

Such machine advancements include onboard weighing and increased operator comfort, along with improvements in design and technology.

Onboard weighing systems continue to evolve, but the offering is inconsistent and availability remains spotty. Some manufacturers provide proprietary systems on all models of their loaders from the factory. Some offer a third-party system through their dealers. And some offer no system at all from any source.

Why the discrepancies?

Customer acceptance of onboard weighing – which is designed to make work smoother and production data easier to track – is growing and demand is increasing. But it’s still far from universal. OEMs know some customers don’t want onboard weighing and will resent having its cost baked into the initial investment. It could also lead them to switch to a competitor.

Then there’s the risk of offering a brand of onboard weighing incompatible with the customer’s information systems. AEMP telematics standard ISO 15143-3 has been in place for a couple of years and will eventually solve the communication incompatibility issue, but it hasn’t had time to do that yet. And finally, customers who haven’t done an analysis or at least some fundamental research may not appreciate the benefits of onboard weighing.

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