A wheel loader is a heavy equipment vehicle used for construction, farming and landscaping jobs. It can perform four general tasks: scooping, digging, dumping and carrying. In construction, it can be used to load materials such as bricks, sand or asphalt onto another machine or vehicle. In farming, it can be used to carry and transport hay, distribute feeds or spread fertiliser. In landscaping, it can be used to clear away brush and other debris from a work area.
A wheel loader has durable tyres with large and rugged thread that allows for manoeuvrability. Most of the modern makes and models also use a hydraulic steering system, which allows its front and rear axles to bear more weight than automatic steering systems. This feature is especially useful when this heavy equipment vehicle needs to work with heavy and dense materials.
With the variety of tasks it can perform and its range of practical features, there is no doubt that a wheel loader is a versatile machine. However, not all of these vehicles are built alike. In this article we discuss their different types. Understanding their design and functions can help you decide which one best fits your requirements.
Heavy wheel loaders
There are various makes and models of loaders, which can be categorised into heavy and light wheel loader.
Heavy loaders can weigh over 50,000 pounds and provide horsepower of over 230 hp. These heavy industrial designed loaders include front end, backhoe, bucket and scoop loaders. A heavy scoop shovel may be added to either end of the loader for carrying and transport of materials, clearing debris and digging. In regions where snow is experienced during winter, a heavy loader can be used for clearing large amounts of snow as they are able to thread through thick levels of snow. Other implements or tools may also be attached to make it perform a wider range of tasks.
Light wheel loaders
Light loaders are much smaller and lighter than their heavy counterparts with horsepower that range from 18 to 50hp. They include mini and compact utility loaders. They are commonly used by farmers, ranchers and private owners because of their compact size and versatility. A mini loader can even be used inside buildings! Some implements and tools may be attached to it to make it perform more tasks including carrying and transporting of light materials, transporting hay bales, lifting pallet crates, distributing feeds for livestock and landscaping jobs. It is a versatile machine that can adapt well to different tasks.
Some final words
While heavy wheel loaders are more expensive than their lighter and smaller counterparts, all types are a significant investment so make sure you select the best make and model that fits your purposes. Take your time to do the necessary research and look at all available options before making a decision to purchase. Some dealers may provide loaders for rent but in the long run, your total spend on renting can cost even more than when you purchase one for your use. It can help to discuss your requirements with a trusted dealer as they can give you advice on which type will be a smart and worthwhile investment.