One of the most important machines on the farm, loaders are constantly evolving to meet the needs of modern day farming.
Alex Heath summarises what is currently available from the major manufacturers...
SINCE Claas announced its partnership with Liebherr in 2015, there has been much interest in what the collaboration will offer.
On the wheeled loader front, the range comprises five models, from the 12,620kg Torion 1177 with 140hp under the bonnet, through to the 19,500kg Torion 1914 capable of a fully articulated tipping load of 12,400kg.
The three smallest machines all use 4.5-litre, four-cylinder Deere Power Systems engines, tuned to produce a different level of power for each of the loaders. The 1914 and 1812 make use of Liebherr’s own engines; an eight-litre producing 228hp and a sevenlitre producing 195hp.
Transmission of choice for the smaller models is a hydrostatic, while larger models get the firm’s Cmatic continuously variable transmission. This split power transmission allows for highly mechanical drive when pushing up clamps, or hydrostatic drive when in transport, Claas claims.
Taking over from Kramer in the telehandler sector, the new Scorpion range (pictured above) now comprises seven models.
Leading the way in capacity is the Scorpion 756, capable of lifting 5,600kg to seven metres and packing 156hp from a 4.1-litre Deutz engine under the hood.
Just below it, the 746 has a tonne less payload. It gets a 3.6-litre Deutz engine, as does the rest of the range. All models get a hydrostatic transmission.
On top of this, the 756 gets a second, swivelling variable displacement motor, which the company says delivers more power across the whole operating range.
The volume sector is covered with three models all capable of reaching more than 6.9 metres with capacities of 3,200kg, 3,600kg and 4,100kg in the 732, 736 and 741 machines.
For those that need extra reach, the 1033 is able to reach 9.75m and carry 3,300kg. The baby of the group is the 635, getting just over 6m with 3,500kg.
MODIFIED from the firm’s construction machines, the farmprepped versions of the 906M, 907M and 908M all have the Ag Handler behind their model numbers. Power is supplied by a 3.3-litre Cat engine, producing 68hp for all three.
Drive is through a hydrostatic transmission capable of 35kph.
Modes can disassociate engine rpm and ground speed, useful when running a feeder or sweeper bucket.
Hydraulic functions are fed through a series of pumps which as standard deal out 85 litres/ min, or as an option 130 litres/min.
There are individual pumps for the lifting apparatus, steering and propulsion, which means every system always has enough oil flow to function at its peak, according to the company.
Caterpillar’s Z bar and parallel lifting afford the smallest machine, the 906M, 3,034mm at maximum lift, while the larger 908M can reach to 3,143mm. Straight tipping load for the smallest machine is 4,390kg, while the bigger loader can muster 4,721kg.
Standard spec includes air conditioning, LED work lights and low effort joystick.
The manufacturer’s range of telehandlers designed for farm work also carry the Ag Handler designation behind their model numbers TH357D, TH408D, and TH3510D, capable of lifting 3,500kg to seven metres, 4,000kg to 7.6m and 3,500kg to 9.8m respectively.
All three models use the 111hp Cat 3.4-litre engine as standard, but for applications requiring more power, the Cat 4.4-litre engine, rated at 124hp is an option. The TH408D and TH3510D can be fitted with the 4.4-litre engine and 142hp.
A six-speed power-shift transmission transmits drive to the wheels. A load-sensing axialpiston pump provides the necessary power for hydraulic functions at 95 litres/min.
The firm’s pit loader is the 930M Ag Handler. Weighing in at nearly 14.5 tonnes, power comes from a 7.1-litre Cat engine, developing 164hp. Straight tipping load capacity is 7,453kg and load over height is 3,550mm.
JCB launched its TM420 at Agritechnica in 2017.
More than a beefed-up TM320, the 420 will lift 4.1 tonnes to 5.45 metres. While the powertrain is shared with the TM320S, including the 4.8-litre own brand engine producing 145hp, coupled to a six-speed torque converter transmission, much of the steel work has been re-designed.
The chassis and boom have been subjected to extensive modification, reducing weak spots and adding extra steel to hold the machine together.
Every pin on the machine is larger and supported by selflubricating bronze bushes featuring graphite nodules. The extra metal has made it 1,400kg heavier than its little brother.
Up top, the TM420 shares the same cab structure, layout and controls as the TM320S.
On the hydraulic-side of the machine, the same 160 litres/min pump is used, but large bore pipes are used to offer less restriction of oil flow, ideal for short cycle handling work.
The bigger machine also gets regenerative hydraulics, using gravity to lower the boom, leaving hydraulic power to retract the boom and crowd the headstock.
Also launched in 2017 at SIMA, the company’s 419S replaced its 418S. Aimed at mid-sized contractors and large farms, the 419S slots just underneath the company’s clamp bashing 435S.
Powered by a 6.7-litre, six-cylinder, Cummins engine, it develops 183hp and 841Nm of torque.
The company’s torque converter transmission features torque lock in every gear, making it more than able to climb steep clamps, and a 48kph road speed means it is no slouch moving either, says the manufacturer.
The chassis is 300mm longer than its predecessor, while operating weight has risen to 10,343kg. Oil flow is 180 litres/min, with a straight tipping load of 7,810kg and a maximum load over height of 3,447mm.
BEND in the middle specialists Schaffer offers 25 pivoting models, starting at 1,400kg operating weight and rising to 13,000kg. The latest product to be launched is the T9640, a telescopic pivot steer.
Lift capacity on this machine is 4,200kg and it can reach up to 5.4 metres.
Power comes from a fourcylinder Deutz unit, developing 136hp, coupled to a two-stage hydrostatic transmission. Adding ballast can alter the working weight between 8,400-9,700kg.
Schaffer also boasts having the highest lifting telescopic pivot steer with the T9660, capable of reaching 6.1m. Lift capacity is 5,300kg and maximum operating weight is 13,000kg. This loader is again powered by a Deutz engine, developing 157hp, and has loadsensing hydraulics pushing out 230 litres/min.
The manufacturer has also developed its own electric loader.
Targeting the intensive livestock sector where emissions in sheds are a concern, the 23e offers near silent operation and crucially zero emissions.
A single or double battery pack can be specced, with the single providing four hours of work, taking up to four hours to charge via a 230V outlet.
Its lithium-ion batteries are guaranteed for five years, says the manufacturer.
Two electric motors power the machine – a 28hp for the drive line and a 13hp for hydraulic functions.
Lift capacity is 1,700kg and lift height is 2.88m.
The machine weighs in at 2,300kg and working width can be as narrow as 1,020mm, ideal for getting through tight doorways.
CNH Industrial’s telehandler offering is shared between its two brands Case IH and New Holland, with all but the smallest model designed and built in-house.
The blue range, now liveried in yellow, is called the TH, while the red range goes by the Farmlift name. All model numbers are shared across the two brands’ ranges.
The six-model range spans from the 525 capable of putting 2,500kg to 5.78 metres, to the 7m reach 742 which lifts 4,200kg, to the lofty 935 capable of 3,500kg to 9.1m. For the five models built by CNH, power is derived from a 4.5-litre, four-pot FPT.
Three models in the range, the 636, 737 and 742 have the option of extra power at 146hp and are branded ‘Elite’ when in New Holland colours. The other three have 133hp to play with, while the 525 has 74hp.
Powershift transmission is fitted in all the machines bar the 525, which has a hydrostatic box and a hydraulic circuit of 80 litres/min.
All models have a variable displacement pump putting out 140 litre/min, bar the ‘S’ spec models which have a gear pump capable of 120 litres/min.
MERLO’S latest developments to come out of the Italian stable is the pint-sized P27.6, replacing the P25.6.
As the model number suggests, lift capacity is 200kg more than the model it replaced, enabling it to lift a total of 2,700kg to 5.9 metres.
Designed for tight spaces its compact dimensions include a width of 1,840mm and height of 1,950mm, enabling it to fit in most traditional builds and poultry sheds, says Merlo.
Operator comfort is not compromised, sharing the same cab as its bigger brothers, and operating weight tips the scales at 4,850kg.
Power comes from a 3.4-litre Kubota engine, developing 74hp. This is connected to a hydrostatic transmission, capable of 40kph.
Hydraulic performance is dealt with by a 94-litre/min pump operating at 210 bar.
Also recently launched is the company’s Turbofarmer II 42.7 CVTronic. The machine utilises two hydrostatic motors for low down grunt, dropping to one motor when torque is not required, up to the top speed of 40kph.
This setup develops 12 per cent more torque compared to a traditional hydrostatic setup, says the company.
Sitting in one of the most popular size sectors, power for the TF42.7 comes from a 156hp, 4.1-litre Deutz engine. A mechanical PTO is an option for driving implements such as a mixer wagon or straw blower.
Maximum lift height is 7.1m, while lift capacity is 4,200kg, serviced by a 178 litres/min loadsensing pump.
SEEN at the Royal Highland Show earlier this year, Dieci has made some serious modifications to its T60 pivot steer loaders, as a result of customer feedback.
Biggest of the updates is the change in the engine bay, with the old Yanmar engine giving way to a Kubota powerplant. The 3.3-litre, fourcylinder produces 73hp and is Stage 4 emissions compliant, crucially without the use of diesel exhaust fluid.
Maximum load capacity is 2,250kg and the boom will reach 4.7 metres. The machine weighs in at 6,020kg and features a 101 litres/min pump looking after the hydraulics.
In the cab, Italian flair has taken over, with lashings of carbon fibre and soft touch materials, along with a new steering wheel, steering column and side console.
In the telehandler sector the company has been busy making cosmetic changes to most of the range (pictured above). The biggest visible change is significant proportions of the line up now feature the Guiguaro Design Studio cab, initialled GD.
The cab has had the aesthetics and ergonomics reworked, with soft touch materials throughout. Most notable is the seven-inch screen, allowing loader functions and set up to be adjusted.
Shown at Agritechnica last year in the standard guise, the Agri Star 35.6 Evo 2 and Agri Plus 42.7 VS Evo 2 are now available exclusively in the ‘GD’ styling.
The Agri Star will lift 3,500kg to 6.4m and has a 4.4-litre FPT engine producing 143hp. Hydraulic performance is 205 litres/min.
The Agri Plus model will lift 4,200kg to 6.9m and has the same FPT engine, but this time producing 153hp. Hydraulic capabilities are dealt with by a 230-litre/min pump.
The company’s telehandler offering tops out at the Agri Max 75.10, capable of 7,500kg to 9.65m.
WEIDEMANN offers a complete range of material handlers from mini wheel loaders to telehandlers and telescopic wheel loaders.
The offering kicks off with the Hoftrac. Designed for tight manoeuvring, the range has a low centre of gravity enabling width to be kept to a minimum.
The smallest machine, the 1140 has a width of 850mm and weighs 1,630kg, with a straight tipping load of 846kg, loading more than 2,405mm.The 1880, the largest in the range, has a width of 1,214mm and weighs 3,400kg. It can reach to 2,885mm and has a straight tipping load of 2,289kg.
Its new wheeled loader, the 9080 pivot steer is available in 136hp or 156hp variants, with a straight tipping load of 5,300kg and an operating weight of 10,720kg.
It can reach more than 3.9 metres and has a 150-litre/min hydraulic pump, with the option of 180 litres/min.
MASSEY Ferguson and Bobcat have collaborated to produce the latest range of telehandlers.
Available in red or white, model numbers are broadly the same, but we will use the Massey Ferguson for this round-up.
Beginning with the TH.6030 lifting 3,000kg to six metres, it extends to the TH.8043, capable of lifting 4,300kg to 7.5m. The series uses a 3.4-litre, four-cylinder Doosan engine delivering 100hp on the TH.6030, TH.7030 and TH.7035, and 130hp on the TH.6534, TH.7038 and TH.8043.
Drive is through a two stage hydrostatic box, capable of 40kph with a creeper. Hydraulic options are 100 litres/min and 190 litres/min.
The smallest models are available with a low position cab, enabling them to fit through and under a 2.1m space.
AFTER the collaboration with Claas ended at the start of this year, Kramer has been going at it alone and recently teamed up with John Deere, using its dealer networks to push its loaders.
The company has been busy developing new products to fill gaps in its product range, including two new telehandlers and a wheel loader, that uses its signature four-wheel steering method.
Aiming squarely at the straw handling market is the KT429, capable of lifting 4.2 tonnes to 8.75 metres. This machine shares many components with the larger KT559, but sees the removal of the rear counter weight, and the fitting of lighter axles, engine and gearbox to weigh in some 1,000kg lighter than its big brother.
Power comes from a 3.6-litre Deutz engine, producing 136hp, mated to a GKN-manufactured hydrostatic transmission. Two transmission options are available, including the firm’s EcospeedPro system, designed for improved controllability and high tractive force, up to 40kph.
Also new is the compact KT407. Based on the smaller KT357, 230kg of extra weight has been put at the back of the machine. As the model number suggests this enables it to put 4t to 7m.
The KT407 also features the 3.6-litre 136hp Deutz powerplant, mated to the firm’s Ecospeed hydrostatic transmission. Hydraulic flow is 140 litres/min.
The KL55.8T telescopic wheel loader uses Kramer’s signature four-wheel steer, said to be more stable and manoeuvrable than a pivot steer.
It can hoist 4.2t to 5.2m and can be specified with either the 136hp Deutz engine or the 156hp 4.1-litre block also from Deutz.
EcospeedPro transmission is also an option on this model. Hydraulic capacity is up to 180 litres/min.
As the steering is done by turning the wheels rather than pivoting, three steering modes as found on a side boom machine are available.
MANITOU finally launched its MLA-T533-145V+ earlier this year.
This pivot steer telescopic loaderis a direct competitor to JCB’s TM320S and should give some competition in the market which the French company has been absent from for five years.
Its credentials are nearly identical to the yellow competitor, beating it on lift capacity at 3,300kg, the same on lift height at 5.2 metres and just a smidge less in power at 143hp.
Power comes from a fourcylinder, 4.1-litre Deutz engine, directed through a CVT made up of Dana Spicer and Rexroth components. When extra torque and power are needed, two hydraulic motors power the transmission.
Above 20kph and when high torque is not needed, a single motor provides propulsion.
Keeping on top of hydraulic demand is a 158 litres/min pump, and the loader features regenerative hydraulics for quicker lowering of the boom. The cab is brand new but shares plenty of parts with the rest of the company’s offerings, including the unique JSM joystick.
The MLT NewAg telehandler range has nine models, with four different transmissions, but just one engine option. A 3.6-litre Deutz unit provides four different power levels, matched to the various drive lines.
CVT is only available on the largest models in the range, 635, 741 and 940, while a simple power shuttle is available on the smaller 630 and 733 models. The range covers 6-9m lift heights and 3,000-4,100kg lift capacities.