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On-test: Wheeled loaders cycle time test

Insights

While it is not a representation of clamp work, as there is no uphill pushing involved, we were keen to see how the machines compared on fuel use.

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Wheeled loaders group test

To find out how the latest crop of large wheeled loaders compare, Farmers Guardian teamed up with the Irish Farmers Journal and pitted four monster movers against each other. Find out more...

For this test we set out a 250 metre course with twists and turns, around which they had to pickup, haul and then drop off a bucket of woodchip along the way. Each machine was then given 30 minutes to see how many loads of woodchip they could haul. To find out fuel use, each machine was brimmed at the start and brimmed at the finish, with the difference being the fuel use which was accurately metered into the machines by a fuel bowser.

 

As we found, the machines behaved quite differently to how they did on the clamp with some much more at home handling materials on the flat. The test was also a good indication of how the boom suspension behaved and how nimble the machines are at darting around a yard.

 

Each machine was essentially driven like it was stolen to maintain the same driving style for each, however there will inevitably always be slight variables.

 

Different characteristics

Different characteristics

 

While the JCB is king of the clamp, on the flat around a twisty course its permanently engaged limited slip differentials did provide more resistance in the steering, especially compared to the light as a feather steering of the Volvo.

 

New Holland put in a respectable performance and we would say this machine is more of an all-rounder compared to the other three, being competent on the clamp and quite happy to handle materials around a yard.

 

However, when it comes to materials handling on the flat, it was the Cat and Volvo which managed the course with ease, displaying what these machines were intended for, but not to say that they are no good on the clamp. The Volvo and the Cat also turned out to be the most frugal at this task.

 

It would have been good to measure fuel use on the clamp as we reckon the results may have been the complete opposite to the ones gained from a flat course. However, this is very difficult to do given the constant changing nature of clamp conditions – just too many variables.

 

Overall, we can definitely see that some machines are more suited to certain applications than others, but at the end of the day are all quite capable.

 

The results

Model

Load count

Fuel used (litres)

Fuel used per bucket full (litres)

Cat 924K

24

10.1

0.42

JCB 435S

21

10

0.48

New Holland W170C

25

11.5

0.46

Volvo L70H

26

10.2

0.39

 

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