Dani Watson | Construction Marketing Consultant
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.