Hitachi designed its new ZW550-6 wheel loader for toughest, heaviest jobs

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Updated May 11, 2019

Hitachi ZW550-6 wheel loaderHitachi’s ZW550-6 wheel loader is designed for the heaviest applications, including tough rock and high volumes of dirt, the company says.

The 104,000-pound loader runs on a 512-horsepower Isuzu engine that meets Tier 4 Final emissions requirements with no diesel particulate filter, instead using selective catalytic reduction with a simple diesel exhaust fluid system, according to Hitachi. The SCR system does not require high engine temperatures, and it reduces fuel consumption. The SCR’s design also opens more space in the engine compartment for service access. Operators can further save on fuel with auto-shutdown and the lock-up transmission.

For additional power, the ZW550-6 has a new Power Mode that with the flip of the switch on the steering joystick boosts engine rpms by 10 percent. The feature comes in handy when needing extra rim-pull and breakout force for digging in heavy piles. It also gives extra power for climbing steep grades with a full load, faster bucket lifts and faster acceleration on flat surfaces.

Hitachi ZW550-6 wheel loader moving rocksThe wheel loader is steered by joystick. Hitachi eliminated the steering wheel for better operator visibility. Further contributing to the 360-degree cab view, Hitachi relocated the exhaust stack to open up the rear view and added a rearview camera as standard. The cab also comes with several storage compartments.

For safety, the loader gives an audible and visual alert to warn of stationary and moving objects out to 20 feet away.

The ZW550 is equipped with an 8.2- or 9-cubic-yard bucket. The loader features Parallel Tilt & Lift that delivers simultaneous movement of the bucket and lift arm to smooth out digging operations. The loader also provides quick automatic return to dig. The low-mount lift arm reduces twisting on the front of the frame, which can occur with uneven loads.

Hitachi ZW550-6 wheel loader carrying bouldersTo protect from dust, Hitachi added a reversible cooling fan on the radiator that automatically comes on every 30 minutes or can be activated manually. The radiator also features aluminum cooling cores and a protective rear grille.

The loader comes with Hitachi’s Global eService telematics for remote monitoring of machine performance. It also delivers daily operational reports, performs remote diagnosis and sends service reminders. The company’s ConSite program automatically sends monthly email summaries of the telematics data.

Trimble’s Loadrite L3180 SmartScale onboard weighing system is an available option for the ZW550-6. It uses artificial intelligence for faster, more precise loading.