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Years ago, contractors may have pinched pennies by cutting out creature comforts and upgrades on a machine, but that doesn’t make sense anymore. These days, small investments in comfort, visibility, hydraulics and ease of maintenance produce big returns in uptime and productivity.
Estimated read time: 5 minutes
Certain machine enhancements like powered mirrors and auxiliary lights may seem like throwaway items that won’t make a big difference in your operations. But those smaller expenditures can drastically affect operator comfort and safety. And when operators are hard to find, every creature comfort can contribute to them wanting to stay or leave.
Here are some optional equipment and technology upgrades on Cat® medium wheel loaders that will pay for themselves many times over.
A comfortable operator is a productive operator, and as any athletic trainer will tell you, when your body’s not warm, your mind isn’t sharp.
Seat heaters become essential equipment when the mercury drops. Don’t lose those first 15 minutes of operational time with a shivering and distracted operator when a warm seat could help them relax and start the morning out strong.
Heated mirrors are popular on today’s premium trim cars and trucks, so why not your wheel loader? Early morning fog and condensation render any mirror useless and make a machine unsafe to operate. Heated mirrors take just seconds to clear.
The construction season has been getting longer for years as contractors push to get more done in late fall and early spring — when daylight is scarce. Supplement your standalone jobsite lighting with auxiliary lights on your wheel loader to direct beams in the direction of travel.
Four additional cab-mounted auxiliary halogen work lights.
Two additional auxiliary front LED and two additional auxiliary rear LED cab-mounted work lights with two LED work lights in the radiator grille and LED front turn signals.
You can also replace the four standard halogen cab-mounted work lights with four LED work lights.
Extra safety lighting on your wheel loader includes:
Amber warning strobe beacon
External seat belt indicator light
Another way to improve safety and eliminate rearward blind spots is to spec an object detection system. The sensors are mounted on the rear of the loader and use radar to detect smaller objects in the mirror’s blind spots — such as tools or debris on the ground or a worker kneeling to pick something up. Adjustable mounting brackets allow you to fine tune the area of coverage. Like an automotive system, the rear object detection system will give you an audible warning in the cab if something or someone is in the rearward path of the machine.
COLD START PACKAGES
Cold starts can be hard on your engine and hydraulic system and warming up an engine and components can rob you of as much as 10 to 15 minutes every day — more if you have to shut the machine off and return to it later. A cold start package gets your wheel loader up and running efficiently when the temperatures drop below freezing. Packages can include things like
Coolant heater for temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit
At temperatures below minus-23 degrees Fahrenheit (-30.5 Celsius), talk to your Cat dealer for additional solutions.
The daily walk-around inspection is standard procedure for any machine. But if grease is needed — and it usually is — that can turn into a 10- to 20-minute job. With the Automatic Lubrication System, an electrically actuated pump pushes out a measured dose of grease to all the fittings on the machine at timed intervals. The intervals are customizable (low, medium and high) depending on the severity of the application.
Today’s Cat wheel loaders can tap into a wide variety of attachments, making them true multipurpose machines. When equipped with auxiliary hydraulic controls, your operator can easily change hydraulic flow requirements on the third and fourth auxiliary circuits to match the needs of the attachment and enable the attachment and the loader to work as one.
Select flow settings by simply pressing the + and – buttons on the monitor. A detent on the joystick roller can be set to OFF to allow you to control flow with your thumb or set to continuous flow for high-demand applications such as running brooms.
Want to see more available options for your machine? Talk to your Cat dealer or check out standard and optional equipment lists by machine.
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