JCB Loader

Loading equipment are witnessing all-round technological advancements in order to match higher production requirements of the processing plants in mining and quarrying sector to neutralize production losses, P.P. Basistha explicates.

Sustained feed support is the key to ensure optimum capacity utilization of processing units at sites to attain desired production output. The hauling and loading operation will have to synchronize well with the rate of plant utilization to meet the rated production output wherein the equipment features ensure that there is minimum spillage during the entire process of loading-unloading the stockpile materials to the feed unit. Higher and sustained productivity is essential even if the equipment is performing an independent function of clearing the overload or transportation of the materials at road and rail sidings or at port berth side. The performance of loading and hauling equipment at sustained levels is pivotal, as it is the major machinery in the entire mining and quarrying production chain. Inconsistent productivity than the rated levels may disrupt the entire production chain resulting the production cost to unprecedented levels.

Case for having higher and sustained uptime of loading equipment is more at Indian mining sites like coal and iron ore supporting the core industries such as power and steel with strong linkages to the growth of the economy, where one of the major reasons, according to the mineral raw materials supplying sources behind rising production costs is because of lower equipment uptime. Dearth in availability of new advanced equipment, backed by necessary technical support in terms of training, maintenance and parts support for the newer technologically advanced equipment are the added causes.

H. S. Mohan
The higher utilization of wheel loader while carrying its functions, makes it essential that the machine should keep performing during its lifecycle and retires with a decent resale value. "We provide complete support to our wheel loaders from annual maintenance contracts to full maintenance contracts along with complete operational support through trained operators. Our team of experienced service engineers based across seven regional offices, provides the necessary support to the equipment allowing the owners to have higher equipment uptime and sustained return on investments," says Mr. H.S. Mohan, Chief Operating Officer, Doosan Infracore India. According to him, "Doosan makes wheel loaders available in India with GP buckets of 3.9 cu‎m 4.8 cu‎m capacity for iron ore handling. However, the bucket size can be increased for coal handling depending upon the bulk density.

Doosan Wheel Loaders
However, the Korean equipment major is put at disadvantage with import duty and exchange rate difference, thus barring it to make cost-competitive equipment available. Despite this, Doosan will keep importing its equipment from Korean plant. Mr. Mohan says, "The demand volumes are quite modest to make local production viable. The company will also keep importing its acquired Bobcat brand of skid steer loaders. Product positioning of Bobcat's skid steer loaders is based on its higher productivity coupled with flexibility as compared to other products and ability to take multi various loading applications with at least 48 types of attachments."

Sunil Sapru
"The ability of manufacturers to make the wheel loaders available at competitive price counts for Indian quarrying and mining sector claims Sunil Sapru, President LiuGong India. Further he illustrated his views commenting as the owners increasingly tend to look for higher ROI with lower owning and operating costs at par with their global counterparts requires to looked into with the steep escalation of input cost viz steel & fuel. Our products add value to the whole fleet of products with its cost- effectiveness, reliability & durability which in turn provide the "Value for Money."

With a vision & commitment to its stakeholders in offering cost competitive products, LiuGong India will roll out its new Wheel Loaders CLG 816 with payload capacity of 1½ ton from its newly commissioned Pithampur plant near Indore shortly. The loaders will find its application primarily in municipal works, mini batching plants, bail handling and mini crushing plants etc.

Liugong wheel loaders

Further Mr. Sapru exemplifies, "Our wheel loader range comes with various capacities for diverse materials handling requirement." The wheel loaders are our in-house production from our Indore factory. The products have passed our in-house stringent tests besides the field tests & conform to Indian environmental & emission norms. Customising a product based on application needs is a trend where customers have started using product for right applications. So there is a drift from other category machines towards wheel loaders as it is a multi utility product. This shift is really evident in the loaders segment. The design offers exceptional visibility to the bucket edge and its ergonomics. Its features also include priority steering; unload systems, caliper disc/ wet disc brakes, an electrically raised engine hood and low brake pressure warning signal, deluxe operator station. All operator controls are located on a single-lever pilot joystick control. For operators comfort & safety feature includes backup alarm, an enclosed FOPS/ROPS cab, standard heating, air-conditioning, a fully adjustable seat and boom hoist cylinder braces.

We have in place proven wheel loader CLG 856 BS-III loaders with 5 ton payload capacity powered by US cu‎mmins engine. The equipment finds in use in various its application besides coal and iron ore handling with a standard bucket size of 3.0 cu‎m with optional bucket size of 1.8 - 4.5 cu‎m & with a gross power of 220 hp at 2,200 rpm. The wheel loader is manufactured at LiuGong's Pithampur plant with 40% being indigenised & the other components are sourced from abroad.

Mass selling newly launched wheel loader CLG 835 BSIII is completely being manufactured at Pithampur (Indore) plant & fitted with LiuGong's in-house transmission systems and engine from cu‎mmins India delivering gross power of 125 hp at 2200 rpm. The loader has a payload capacity of 3.2 tons with heavy duty bucket of 1.5 cu‎m and coal bucket of 2.5/3.0 cu‎m and general purpose bucket of 1.7 cu‎m/2.0 cu‎m.

LiuGong also has wheel loader offering for special applications comprising CLG 842 with 4 ton payload capacity, CLG 862 with 6 ton pay load capacity and CLG 888 with 8 ton payload capacity. The loaders are suitable for coal, stone aggregates, fertilizer and timber handling applications. The special application wheel loaders are imported from LiuGong's plant in China. The products in our offerings are the "State of Art" products complying with advanced technical features/ latest generation & fuel-efficient engines. The products are built with the internationally known components which enhances the productivity & life. Our in-house R&D adds in meeting the stringent conditions & product customisation for different applications in time. "Whenever it comes to the very stringent & difficult conditions everybody thinks of LiuGong".

According to Mr. Sapru, "To provide backup technical support to the wide range of wheel loaders, we have in place a complete training facility at Pithampur for the customers. Besides, we also provide full fledged operators training while service support in terms of maintenance backup is provided by our 16 dealers having 30 sales and service outlets across the country together with LiuGong Product Support Department. Parts support to any working locations of the loaders is rendered through our Pithampur and Chennai warehouses, besides dealerships outlets."

LiuGong India Plant has an installed capacity to annually produce 3000 units of earthmoving equipment. LiuGong India has converted its warehouse at Pithampur into central warehouse owing to its strategic location so as to logistically enhance support for its equipment working in various parts of the country."

Amit Gossain
Wheel loaders with lower operating costs are claimed to be made available by JCB. According to Mr. Amit Gossain, VP, Marketing and Business Development, JCB India, "we have recently launched 430ZX machine which comes with JCB ecoMAX CRDi engine, known for its best in class efficiency. It also provides the best in class road speed of 28.3 kmph and also has the most rugged and reliable world class ZF transmission and axles. Lowest operation cost – up to Rs.2 lakhs savings every year is another notable product characteristic of the wheel loader. It offers 1000 hr change interval for transmission filter."

jcb wheel loaders
Mr. Gossain adds, "Higher uptime of the equipment and commensurate reduction in operating costs is further ensured by our strongest and largest distribution network in India. As of today, we have 56 dealers and over 450 outlets. Currently, we have over 5500 people who have been trained by us and are employees of our dealers for selling and servicing these machines, providing complete back up support to the equipment being closer to the customers."

JCB offers 3 Wheel loader models (two variants of 430 ZX, 432 ZX). The two models of 430ZX are 3.3 tonne payload and the 432ZX is for 3.6 tonne payload for the Indian market. Out of the two 3.3 payload variants of 430 ZX; the first one comes with JCB common rail BSIII complaint 130 hp engine, the second one comes with Ashok Leyland BS-III complaint, 130 hp turbo charged engine.

Sam M Vedhakumar
At par with placing technologically advanced wheel loaders, equipment performance monitoring support is one of the key services manufacturers need to ensure for the loaders, so as to have higher equipment uptime, minimal owning and operating costs and higher safety at job sites. According to Mr. Sam M Vedhakumar, Sales & Support Manager, Caterpillar, "performance monitoring is carried out through a machine idle time and fuel usage, avoiding machine breakdowns, extension of machine life through proactive maintenance, knowledge on site progress and machine location, utilization levels, geographic fencing, operator gaps etc for our wheel loaders." He further mentions, "To complement higher equipment performance, our dealer, Gmmco and Tractors India, offers multiple business solutions for our customers. This includes, addressing requirements of availability, productivity, product health monitoring through customized service support agreements, risk management through extended warranties, scheduled oil sampling, customer operator training, site supervisor training, job site analyses and other value added services."

Caterpillar wheel loaders
Caterpillar manufactures wide range of wheel loaders available based on the material that needs to be loaded, its wet & dry density, fragmentation levels, underfoot conditions at site etc. Depending upon their site conditions and productivity, Cat wheel loaders options consist of, 950H with 115 net hp, 962H with net 211 hp, 966H with 262 net hp, 972H with 287 net hp, 980H with 349 net hp and 988H with 532 net hp engines. Bucket sizes vary from 2.5 cu.m to 7.7 cu.m on these models. Apart from these, Cat wheel loaders, Hindustan 2021 with 115 net hp is also available.

Mr. Vedhakumar claims, "Our wheel loaders score on higher performance as compared to contemporary products offering based on its host of advanced technological features. The major features according to the sources are, 'precision fuel delivery' supported by Cat ACERT™ engines that can match engine output based on the job requirements with the highest possible efficiency. The other feature, 'engine idle management software' ensures the engine should run at the minimal rpm when the wheel loader is idle, adds value to performance. This system reduces fuel consumption by up to 40%, apart from emission. The idle speed can be adjusted to the working conditions or the tools used. In addition, other noted feature is 'planetary transmission'. It allows the operator to choose manual or auto shift mode, allowing higher cycle time and productivity." All models of Cat H-Series wheel loaders are equipped with planetary transmissions.

He further mentions, "our wheel loaders also feature best in class operator's comfort and ease of operations given their largest and most ergonomic cab in the industry. The standard air suspended comfort seat is fully adjustable to fit any operator's preferences and reducing any excessive machine vibrations on the operator. The standard electro-hydraulic controls provide the operator with an unmatched feeling and control of the implemented function. The electro-hydraulic fingertip controls are integrated and suspended with the seat platform to provide consistent and comfortable operation. At all times, the controls are in the same position relative to the operator."

Equipment integration is another major feature that allows higher cycle times to its wheel loaders, Caterpillar sources claim. According to him, "we offer wide range of purpose-built, high performance buckets, designed to function as an integral part of the wheel loader. The combination of the right bucket with the Cat wheel loader provides the best possible performance in a particular application. All Cat buckets are designed and built to exacting specifications. High-strength, tempered steel provides additional durability without requiring thicker, heavier plates, resulting in longer life and larger payloads. Choosing the correct bucket, can reduce cycle and loading times, lower operating costs by up to 20% and eliminate unnecessary stress and fatigue for the machine, bucket, and operator."

He adds, "Cat ground engaging tools further offer reliable tip retention due to superior retainer locks, quicker tip change-out due to a convenient twist-on design and increased tip life of 10-15% with sharper and better penetrating tips resultantly enhancing machine productivity and protect expensive structural components."

A M Muralidharan
Equipment performance monitoring is claimed to be offered by Volvo. According to Mr. A.M.Muralidharan, President, Volvo Construction Equipment India, "high equipment uptime for our wheel loaders is ensured by 'CareTrack' – Volvo's telematics system that allows remote monitoring and machine diagnostics by using exclusive Machine Tracking Information System (MATRIS). CareTrack can also help in reducing overall fuel consumption by identifying that which machines are idling excessively, or are otherwise consuming more fuel per hour than others."

Volvo wheel loader
However, Mr. Muralidharan claimed that it is the advanced features of the wheel loaders that ensure higher cycle times, precisely its engine. Volvo's diesel engine is at the heart of the company's range of products. Based on well-proven, robust technology, Volvo's V-ACT engine range meets the needs of Indian customers by providing increased machine performance along with reduced emissions.

According to Mr. Muralidharan, "we are constantly innovating to make equipment fuel-efficient while reducing emissions and environmental impact – Opti Shift is a prime example of this. Volvo's unique OptiShift technology consists of two important features – A torque converter with lock-up and free wheel stator and Volvo's patented Reverse by Braking (RBB) function. The combination of this technology has reduced fuel consumption by up to 15% as well as increased machine performance of wheel loaders." Opti Shift was first launched as an option of Volvo wheel loaders in 2009 and since 2011, it has been a standard feature on the larger machines – the L150G, L180G, L220G, and L250G.

He says, "Higher equipment performance is complemented through onsite operator training and also at our customer center in Hoskote near Bengaluru. Our distributors provide onsite service which includes service mechanics, parts at customer site for key customers and fleet owners. For other customers, parts and mechanics are available through our distributors at the sites of their respective areas and territories."

Volvo supplies 3 and 5 tonne wheel loaders to the Indian market through its Chinese joint venture entity SDLG and Volvo's Swedish factory. The 3 tonne and 5 tonne wheel loaders can find their usage for handling stone aggregates, coal, limestone and sand.

According to Mr. Muralidharan, "L220G features an engine and driveline system that improves fuel efficiency, productivity, smoothness, serviceability and operator comfort. It is one of the latest wheel loaders from Volvo Construction Equipment to enter into the Indian market. The L220G engine is joined with a drive train, hydraulics and lifting systems that are all designed and produced by Volvo to work in productive harmony. The improvements in lifting and breakout forces coupled with the Volvo patented TP linkage ensure smooth, full buckets loading– resulting in faster cycle times and increased productivity."

Upgradation & Advanced Products

Pankaj Kumar
Higher productivity with lower operating costs is also the focus of Kawasaki. The Japanese company which markets its wheel loaders in the country through exclusive distribution tie-up with Dozco India, has recently carried out technological upgradation in its wheel loaders. According to Mr. Pankaj Kumar, VP, Equipment Sales, Dozco India, "Upgradation has been carried out by Kawasaki in its Z-IV series. Current series of loaders are upgraded with increased Operating capacity, increased power, tractive force, hinge pin height etc. to make Kawasaki, a product of superior quality in the market. Besides, modifications have also been done towards better operator's comfort which will result in better productivity. The upgraded versions of the wheel loaders will now be categorized as 'V-2' as compared to earlier identified series 'IV'. Kawasaki wheel loader with bucket capacities of 3.2–10.3cu‎m comes with advanced engineering to deliver higher productivity. The machine has a direct injection, turbo charged engine for low fuel consumption and comes with a load sensing steering system, ensuring that only the required oil quantity is supplied to the steering circuit (takes priority over loading circuit) so that the light touch steering is ensured even at low engine speed. When steering is not required, the full discharge from the steering oil pump is applied to the loading circuit so that the powerful bucket loading can be ensured for energy savings."

Dozco wheel loaders
He adds, "The loader has an exclusive z-bar linkage which ensures powerful breakout force. In addition, it has also a 50-degree tilt back angle with powerful breakout force and tractive effort which simplifies loading and carrying without spillage. Automatic transmission automatically selects optimum speed from second to fourth gear and vice versa to facilitate scooping and carrying. Kawasaki claims to be competitive due to its simplified maintenance and inspection mechanism with the critical points such as radiator water level, air cleaner and greasing can be checked easily. To facilitate cleaning of the radiator, the radiator grille can be opened at the top."

Dozco provides back support to the equipment through annual maintenance contracts on hourly basis where customers are charged according to the minimum equipment utilization. The company also provides operators training support through its engineers both at job site and classroom. DOZCO has a wide spread network of 19 branches with corporate office in Kolkata and central warehouse in Visakhapatnam to support its customers in terms of technical services and spares back-up.

Hyundai wheel loaders

Dheeraj Panda
Upgraded version of wheel loaders has also been made available by Hyundai Construction Equipment India Pvt. Ltd. "We have recently launched our new generation 3 and 5 ton wheel loaders. This is a value for money proposition, where the loader is much economical on fuel consumption, safety, reliability, and higher uptime. The higher sustained uptime to the equipment is ensured through our comprehensive onsite as well as factory training programme. Sales, Service and Parts support are ensured through 25 dealer outlets having 95 touch points. Timely Parts support to the equipment for reduced downtime is ensured though our mother warehouse in Pune and four regional warehouses, all of which are connected to our global sales and service network. Hyundai Wheel Loaders are developed as per customer feedback. Our SL series of Wheel Loaders have been designed according to the same," says Mr Dheeraj Panda, Head, Marketing and Key Accounts, of Sales, Hyundai Construction Equipment India Pvt. Ltd.

Dheeraj Panda
terex skid steer loaders
The intention of equipment manufacturers to introduce higher capacity wheel loaders is based on the emerging requirement of the mines and the quarry owners to have compressed loading and transportation time to bring production cost down. Based on the criteria, Terex also plans to introduce its high capacity wheel loaders for the Indian market. "Currently, we are undertaking tests and trials for our TL 210, 4 ton wheel loaders with 2.1-3.5 cu‎m bucket capacity before introducing it to the Indian market. Post introduction, the loaders will be imported from Terex's manufacturing unit in Germany. The wheel loaders have hydrostatic automated transmission systems and are driven by 160 hp fuel efficient German cu‎mmins engine. The added feature of the machine is its compactness. Besides, with heavier pay load, the machine requires lesser turning radius," says Mr. Dinesh Nain. Based on the nature of demand, Terex will look to indegenise the equipment in near future. Currently, Terex manufactures TXL 70 wheel loader with 1 ton pay load having 1 cu‎m bucket capacity at its Gautam Budh Nagar plant near Delhi for the Indian market.

The construction equipment conglomerate also intends to strengthen its footprint in the Indian mining, construction and aggregate sector, through its 'Heman' series of skid steer loaders. According to Mr. Nain, "the Heman series of skid steer loaders score high on productivity with higher tipping load at 1500 kg and competitive pricing as the equipment are being locally manufactured fitted with Indian Simpson engine and 90% local components." Terex has a network of 53 dealers with 10 outlets for extending support to its equipment. The company claims to have 25% share in skid steer loaders.

hitachi hydrodynamic wheel loaders
Decent return on investment is also claimed to be made available by Telcon through its wheel loaders. According to a company spokesperson, "Our various models suited for different loading applications in construction and mining, offers right return on investments through their high productivity. Tata TWL 3034, a 3.3 ton payload hydrostatic wheel loader is fast gaining acceptance in Indian market, comes with higher fuel efficiency in comparison to traditional hydrodynamic wheel loaders. TWL 3034 has its distinction as India's first hydrostatic wheel loader. The other all new Tata TL360Z has been designed to be the fastest and most productive wheel loader in its class while delivering the lowest cost per ton to improve customers' profitability. Few of the key features of TL360Z are high driveline reliability, better braking efficiency, reliable electricals, ease of serviceability and higher operator comfort.

The spokesperson adds, "Hitachi ZW220 wheel loader with its powerful isuzu engine is ideal for mining and port application. ZW220 is packed with numerous innovative technologies and mechanisms. Total control of engine and pump torque is an industry's first. Three work modes and three driving modes help enhance operating ease and yield high production. What's more, lots of advanced designs give power and speed for loading and travel. The ZW220 will set a new standard of productive, easy-to-operate wheel loaders."

case skid steer loaders
Skid steer loaders which are multipurpose material handling equipment in its entity, find their application at mining, aggregate and construction sites with paucity of space for loading sand and other construction raw materials. They are seen as a potential market by acclaimed equipment manufacturer. Case New Holland Construction Equipment India has recently launched its new two variants of skid steer loaders SR 130 and SR 150, which will be imported from the company's plant in US. Case will also introduce its other variants of skid steer loaders in phases in the Indian construction equipment market in near future.

D V Junnarkar
According to Mr. D. V. Junnarkar, Head Marketing, CNH Construction Equipment India, "the design of the new variants of skid steer loaders have been fully customized to suit Indian applications. The equipment have higher pin height, better operator comfort, spacious cab with 25% more interior width and serviceability, higher buckets heights for easy loading in Indian tipping heights. Added features include more glass surface area to provide 360 ovisibility." The new skid loaders come with new power stance chassis with up to 21% longer wheel base and 30/70 front/ rear weight distribution enabling the equipment to lift and haul more materials. Operating weight of SR 130 is 2270 kg with bucket cylinder of 18.5 kn. Tipping load for the equipment is 1179 kg. Gross engine horse power of SR 130 is 46 hp (34 kw) @ 2900 rpm. Peak torque of the skid steer loader is 130.5 nm @ 1750 rpm. SR 130 is fitted with ISM 420/ M3 engines.

SR 150 comes with ISM 420T/ M3 engines having gross hp at 52 hp (39kw) @ 2900 rpm. Operating weight of the skid steer loader is 2400 kg with bucket cylinder of 18.5 kn. Tipping load of SR 150 is 1374 kg.

Present market size of skid steer loaders in India in terms of volume is estimated to be about 600 units which is expected to expand to 1100-1500 units by 2015.

Value in Extraction & Loading

One of the key strategies to increase production volumes at mines coupled with clean extraction of pay minerals, is understood to be through better economies of scale which can cut down on production costs during extraction and transportation of the mineral resource. According to officials of Wirtgen India, "Its surface miners are the products that can fulfill the purpose. The machine is a compact entity in itself. It is able to provide economical solutions as it enables selective mining and also cuts down on traditional drilling, blasting hauling and crushing methods requiring additional tools to perform the same, thereby bringing production costs down and also resulting in lesser down the line processing costs needed to clean th cut material.

According to Wirtgen officials, "optimum productivity in surface miners is ensured through its cutting tools and cutting drums, which is the most integral and critical component of equipment. Scheduled maintenance of the milling drums and rebuilding of the cutting tools is vital to ensure optimum productivity of the equipment. This is essential to reduce downtime of the miners. For high uptime of the surface miners, Wirtgen is well positioned to offer complete technical support by rebuilding the surface miners through its service support locations. Wirtgen has designed new variant of HT-15 tools, advancement from the earlier HT-14 one, which have minimum change over time and less prone to damage."

Wirtgen surface miners

Wirtgen surface miners comprise their models SM2200 and its variants, SM2500 and SM4200 for coal extraction and other application. More than 120 machines are working across India in Coal and Limestone. These Surface Miners are compatible to work with 50-120 ton heavy haul articulated tipper trucks. Officials say, "Good numbers of machines are working at various open cast coal mines in India." The German construction and mining equipment company also has its largest 4200 surface miners for iron ore and coal application. The equipment which has cutting depths based on the characteristics of the mineral strata and is capable of a cutting performance of upto 3000 ton/hour. They can be used with 240 ton articulated tipper trucks, making it suitable for heavy mining applications.
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