Under the moniker “Project Minotaur,” engineers from CASE Construction Equipment (www.CaseCE.com) have developed what is said to be the first-ever fully integrated compact dozer loader. Currently in the concept phase, the DL450 machine reportedly brings together the footprint and performance of a compact track loader with the true power and dozing characteristics of a bulldozer.
According to Scott Harris, vice president – North America, CASE Construction Equipment, the DL450 compact dozer loader represents “an exciting new platform that provides a real benefit to contractors – from landscapers looking to step up their grading and earthmoving game, to residential and commercial contractors looking for versatility and dual-function in a single footprint.”
The DL450 provides the power and performance of a small dozer in a platform that also serves as a loader and runs various attachments for skid steers and compact track loaders. The core feature of the DL450 is a C-Frame dozer interface that pins directly into the chassis of the machine. This provides the stability and smooth operating plane of a CTL, and ensures that all operating power and stresses are channeled through the machine’s chassis and not its loader arms.
The C-Frame can then be unpinned from the chassis and disconnected like any other attachment, allowing the machine to perform like a standard CTL.
“The problem with dozer attachments common with CTLs and skid steers – while effective in specific operations – is that they channel all operating stress through the coupler and the loader arms, and are really only suitable for ground-line work,” says John Dotto, brand marketing manager, CASE Construction Equipment. “This affects performance and adds wear/stress to those components. The operator gets true dozing performance with this machine – no arm float, a consistent plane and true 6-way blade performance through the machine’s new controls.”
The machine has an anticipated drawbar pull of around 21,000 pounds. The cab and controls inside of the machine will feel familiar both to operators of CTLs/skid steers and dozers. Counterweight has been added to the machine, and the undercarriage features steel tracks and grousers, a fifth roller for better traction (compared to the standard four on a CTL) and greater ground clearance to reduce the likelihood of drag. The design also includes a rear, integrated ripper.
Komatsu America (www.komatsuamerica.com) introduced its new HB365LC-3 hybrid excavator. It features improved hybrid and total-vehicle-control systems, to help reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%, depending on the application, while reportedly maintaining or exceeding operating performance, compared to its 36-ton, non-hybrid excavators.
“The new 36-ton-class HB365LC-3 excavator is built for power and production first, with the considerable fuel savings an added benefit,” said Kurt Moncini, Komatsu America senior product manager. “We applied everything we learned when we debuted the HB215LC-1, the world’s first fully-electric hybrid excavator in 2011. Now, we have the perfect balance of performance and fuel efficiency,” Moncini said.
Komatsu’s fully-electric hybrid system uses an electric swing motor, which captures swing deceleration energy that would normally go unused, and makes it available to do work. The energy captured during each swing cycle is stored in an ultracapacitor, which provides energy for the swing system. The diesel engine also has a motor/generator for fast charging the capacitor when required, and to rapidly increase engine RPM from an ultra-low idle, for quick hydraulic response when boom, arm and bucket controls are activated. The 100% electric swing system means that hydraulic power normally needed by the swing system is now completely available for boom, arm and bucket power, helping to improve digging cycle time and production.
The Tier4f 8.85 liter, Komatsu SAA6D114E-6 269-hp engine is used with a diesel particulate filter aftertreatment system to reduce particulate matter, and a selective catalyst reduction (SCR) system, with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) injection, to help reduce NOx emissions. Auto idle and auto shutdown systems reduce fuel consumption and provide better management of nonproductive extended idle time.
An optional auxiliary hydraulic attachment circuit includes a return filter, accumulator and programmable flow through the monitor that can store up to 10 individual flow settings and customize attachment names. Two-way attachments can also run in economy mode.
Liebherr (www.liebherr.com) presented XPower, its new generation of large wheel loaders that feature an integrated, machine concept that is said to improve fuel efficiency and performance. The loaders use a proprietary power-split Stage-IV-/Tier-4f-compatible drive train that combines the advantages of a hydrostatic drive and a mechanical drive. The new power-split transmission makes it possible to combine the two types of drive. It is variable and continuously adapts the mixing ratio of the two drive paths without noticeable switching and without interrupting traction power.
Thanks to the power-split drive, the wheel loaders are powered to maximize productivity, whatever the application.
The hydrostatic drive is most efficient for material uptake and traveling over short distances, and the mechanical drive is the more efficient and powerful option for long distances and for driving uphill. This gives the operator the ability to work in a variety of applications from maintaining material stockpiles to hauling and loading crushers and trucks with greater speed and improved fuel efficiency. The combination of these two drive types in a single wheel loader helps increase efficiency and provide outstanding fuel saving. Depending on the application, Liebherr XPower wheel loader can reduce fuel consumption by up to 30%.
Five different versions offer load capacities from about 27,000 to 48,000 pounds. The L 586 XPower, for example, has an operating weight of 71,870 lb, and a tipping load of 47,620 lb.
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