It’s critical we offer customers several sizes and options to fit their needs,” says Mike Ross, national product and training manager for Takeuchi. “We’re looking at compact wheel loaders as another high growth market,” he says, a market in which 4,500 units will be sold this year and as many as 9,300 units in 2010.
According to Ross, Takeuchi also entered the compact wheel loader market because it complements their compact excavator and compact track loader lines. “We believe there is a lot of opportunity in the market, and our philosophy has always been to provide our dealers and customers with products that are capable of handling the toughest jobs,” he says. “And our loaders have numerous standard features – such as the 100 percent hydraulic inching pedal and the automatic bucket positioning – that cost extra on competitive machines.”
Ross says contractors should consider four things when selecting a compact wheel loader: breakout force, lifting capacity, axle strength and traction forces. “Compact wheel loaders provide the lifting capacity, maneuverability and speed that skid steers just don’t have for material moving applications,” Ross says. “They are going to take away part of the skid-steer market.”
40-degree articulation ensures high maneuverability
Ideal for maneuvering on small jobsites or in compact situations, the wheel loaders feature forward, neutral and reverse functions that are controlled on-the-go with a joystick-mounted thumb switch. Center pivot steering allows maneuverability with 40-degree articulation left or right, while ensuring that the rear tires follow the same track as the front tires.
All of the wheel loader models – the TW50, TW60, TW65 and TW80 – come standard with a hydraulic quick attach coupler, making attachment changes more efficient. Available attachments include augers, root rake grapples and angle brooms.
There are two bucket options for the TW50, TW60 and TW65: the 1.05-cubic-yard construction bucket and the 1.11-cubic-yard general purpose bucket. The TW80 has a 1.3-cubic-yard general purpose bucket. All loaders can also be ordered with either heavy-duty construction tires or flotation tires.
Breakout force, lift kinematics improve efficiency
A Perkins 404CT-22 diesel engine powers the TW50 and TW60 (same engine, but the TW60 has a Turbo) models, giving them 8,992 and 11,600 pounds of bucket breakout force, respectively. The TW65 and TW80 have a Deutz F4L 2011 engine, which translates to 11,600 and 15,287 pounds of breakout force, respectively. All machines have a maximum travel speed of 12.4 mph.
A 100-percent hydraulic inching pedal separate from the brake system allows reduced travel speed while providing full power to the hydraulic system, which in turn means less heat on the brakes and longer component life.
Automatic bucket positioning keeps the bucket at the same angle throughout the lift pattern, and 100-percent differential locks are standard on front and rear axles. The TW50 and TW60 come with four-post, open-canopy operator compartments, while the larger TW65 and TW80 models are equipped with heated cabs. The cabs offer controls designed to minimize fatigue and feature full suspension seats and logically placed entry and exit grab handles and steps.
The TW60, TW65 and TW80 are all equipped with Z-pattern lift linkage, “which provides exceptional bucket and lift arm breakout forces,” Ross says. “We anticipate the TW50 to be one of our best sellers with its parallel lift linkage, which makes it easy to load and unload pallets of block and brick on jobsites.”