Advanced Compact Loaders: Increase Your Workload Capacity with a Limited Fleet

Dani Watson | Construction Marketing Consultant

Today’s advanced compact loaders are helping contractors further increase their workload capacity by performing a diverse set of tasks in an efficient manner. From innovations in equipment design to advancements in machine operating software, there is a range of options available to enable you to bid on the jobs you want and get the most out of your machine. We caught up with our compact track loaders product group to learn more.

Utilize Attachments to Tackle Numerous Tasks with One Machine

A common concern throughout the industry is having the capacity to complete a variety of tasks with a limited number of machines. With the right attachments, a single piece of equipment can carry out tasks that would normally require multiple machines. Today’s advanced attachments can help you carry out all phases of a construction project, from site prep to clean-up.

Application

Relevant Attachments

Capabilities

Site Prep

Brushcutter

Mulcher

Grapple bucket

Grapple rake

Stump grinder

Mowing, mulching, moving material and grinding stumps

Flatwork and Foundation

Bucket

Hammer

Pallet fork

Blade

Drum compactor

Smoothing dirt, spreading gravel and transporting palletized cinder block

Structure and Utilities

Bucket

Pallet fork

Trencher

Backhoe

Moving structural materials, trenching, digging for underground utilities

Landscape

Pallet fork

Auger

Power box rake

Landscape rake

Landscape tiller

Leveling dirt, removing rock, setting sod, planting trees

Clean-Up

Angle broom

Utility broom

Bucket

Grapple bucket

Sweeping and collecting debris, dumping scrap material

Performance Matching Your Machine and Attachments

Without a doubt, you are going to get the greatest productivity out of your machine and attachments when the equipment is performance matched. To performance match your equipment, it is recommended to use attachments engineered by the same manufacturer as your machine because the tools are specifically designed to fit and maximize performance on the manufacturer’s compact loaders.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to consider features that are designed to increase efficiency and ease-of-use for the operator. For example:

  • Return-to-dig and work tool positioners allow operators to pre-set the attachment angle and automatically recall that setting when requested. This helps create easier loading cycles, reduce cycle times, and judge proper depth and back drag angles.
  • Electronic dual self-leveling helps keep the attachment level and prevents it from tilting forward when lowering the lift arms. Without this feature, operators would have to manually adjust the work tool angle each time they lower the lift arms and attachment.
  • Creep mode gives operators the ability to adjust ground speed independent of engine speed. Traveling at a slow ground speed with full engine horsepower and hydraulic flow is especially useful for rotary tool applications such as trenching and brush cutting.
  • A high hydraulic flow and high pressure option comes in handy when you are working with attachments that require both speed and torque to maximize performance and production, such as mulchers and cold planers.
  • Electronic couplers allow operators to change out attachments using controls from within the cab and in a shorter amount of time than with manual couplers.
Advancements in Machine Control Pattern Options

Since different operators have different control pattern preferences, it’s good to know that some manufacturers offer more than one control pattern option for their compact machines. Today’s control pattern options include:

  • ISO pattern controls which employ one hand drive and one hand operation of the implements.
  • H-pattern controls which employ two hand drive and two hand operation of the implements.
  • Hand and foot controls which employ two hand drive and two foot operation of the implements.

Advanced control features let you customize the controls to your preference, allowing you to tailor the drive and implement response to your experience level or task. Additionally, advancements in joystick controls inside the cab are helping to improve operator comfort and reduce fatigue.

Cab Design that Increases Operator Comfort and Safety

Operators are often exposed to potentially harmful particles in the air on the job site. Fully sealed and pressurized cabs can help minimize inhalation of particles and dust that mix in with the air during everyday operations. Sealed cabs are also quieter, which allows operators to focus on the tasks at hand and reduces their fatigue at the end of a long day.

These cabs are designed to improve visibility. Rearview cameras with in-cab display are now being installed in newer model compact loaders—allowing operators to be fully aware of their 360-degree surroundings without having to turn their head.


On The Level: Construction

On The Level: Construction

Dani Watson

Dani Watson

Construction Marketing Consultant

Certified in 6 Sigma Black Belt and Change Management, Dani Watson not only helps manage projects efficiently within Caterpillar, but is an expert communications strategist for Caterpillar’s marketing communications needs.