Wheel loaders are often the best solution for moving large volumes of materials around the site or loading materials into trucks. But the right wheel loader for aggregates use should offer a combination of specs and features that optimize daily operations, including cycle time, breakout force and bucket capacity.
With an operating weight of 73,789 lb. (33,470 kg) and a bucket capacity of 7.3 cu. yd. (5.6 cu. meters), the Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas (HCMA) ZW370-6 wheel loader is a nimble machine, capable of feeding crushers or screeners, stockpiling, loading and handling a variety of other tasks in the quarry.
Designed to handle heavy rock material, the ZW370-6 is the second-largest model in the Hitachi wheel loader line and offers a breakout force of 51,931 lb-ft. (231 kN). It features a 55,446 lb. (25,150 kg) straight static tipping load and 48,303 lb. (21,910 kg) static full turn tipping load with a general-purpose bucket and straight edge with a bolt-on cutting edge.
For demanding applications that require high-capacity capabilities, there is the ZW370-6 HC with an operating weight of 79,010 to 79,200 lb. (35,830 to 35,920 kg) and a bucket capacity up to 16 cu. yd. It features a 62,380 lb. (28,290 kg) straight static tipping load and 53,340 lb. (24,190 kg) static full turn tipping load with a general-purpose bucket and straight edge with bolt-on cutting edge.
The extra bucket capacity can be beneficial when two-pass loading trucks and the tipping load are important considerations when choosing a wheel loader. HCMA Regional Business Manager Dustin Hoogeveen advised, “Review the machine’s tipping load – the weight the loader can support before starting to tip – to ensure the machine can do the intended job as safely as possible.”
While horsepower and breakout force may allow a large amount of material to be picked up, an adequate tipping load is also necessary. Be sure to accommodate for material moisture, as that will have a large impact on material density.
Wheel loaders in quarries benefit from technologies that improve operator comfort, operating efficiency and safety.
An optional comfort-joystick steering system allows the Hitachi ZW370-6 wheel loader to reach high levels of productivity with effortless steering. Operators can customize machine settings through the multifunctional LCD display for optimal performance in a wide range of applications.
Several lift-arm and bucket-control options make the operator more productive. It’s easy to adjust the kickout height for the lift arms in both the raised and lowered positions. The operator can set the kickout for the height of the truck being loaded. At that point, the stick is pulled back and it stops at that precise level.
It’s the same for the lower kickout height. It can be set so the operator doesn’t have to think about it as they go into the pile. A parallel/tandem setting allows the operator to pull both levels back and the bucket and lift arm will function simultaneously.
Hydraulic system response can affect cycle time. A shift delay mode helps speed up the engine, which helps speed up the lift time of the loader arms.
When the wheel loader is used to transport materials, the operator can adjust ride control by selecting the speed where the system turns on. This allows the system to be tuned for the specific application.
Tires represent a large portion of the operating expense. Preventing wheel slip can extend tire life. Traction control on the ZW370-6 derates the engine if the tires spin. When the tires stop spinning, power is restored to normal. The torque converter lockup saves fuel and will keep the engine, transmission and axles running cooler due to the direct drive. This also saves on tires and reduces cuts.
Machine idling on a quarry wastes fuel and contributes to emissions. The ZW370-6 incorporates auto shutdown. Through the monitor, the operator can specify how long the machine can idle before the it automatically shuts down.
Telematic technology offers quarries a chance to increase operational efficiencies. For instance, ConSite can track daily production and the machine’s travel patterns so operators can make adjustments for efficiency. This productivity-enhancing service is provided free of charge for four years.
ConSite also includes machine health monitoring can help increase uptime. The dealer can see any codes the operator sees on the monitor remotely. In addition, a mail setting allows the operator to remotely request fuel, service for maintenance or general assistance through either cell or satellite service, and it goes through Global eService.
Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc., www.hitachicm.us