Sherrie Williams | Industry Trade Show and Association Manager
Small wheel loaders have been widely used in the snow and ice industry for many years. Advanced wheel loaders are being engineered with features and enhancements, specifically with snow and ice management applications in mind. Below, we have highlighted some of the most useful features to consider as you spec machines for purchase or rental this season, as well as seasons to come.
Snow Clearing — Power Train Mode
Some modern front loaders are designed with four power train modes — one of these being ice mode. When the machine is set to this mode, it will limit the amount of torque sent to the wheels, regardless of the throttle position, to prevent the wheels from spinning on icy ground. This mode also changes how the machine slows down when switching between forward and reverse directions in order to maintain good traction with the ground. In certain snow clearing applications, this intelligent engineering of the power train modes can allow operators to run on general construction tires in snow without the need to add expensive tire chains.
Wheel Loader Features for Operator Safety and Comfort
Many small wheel loader enhancements have been designed to improve operator safety, as well as comfort, in wintry conditions. Many of these features are often offered as part of the standard machine package, yet some are optional. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to discuss these configurations with your dealer. We sat down with Cat® small wheel loader expert Scott Britton who shared some of the unique machine features that help keep your employees and customers safe, increase productivity and minimize downtime.
From a fleet management standpoint, an additional feature to look for is a fully integrated tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This system alerts the operator of low tire pressure immediately so they can respond fast — resulting in reduced tire wear, reduced fuel burn and no unexpected reduction in machine stability.
Additionally, an integrated autolube system will ensure that the machine stays greased and the pins and bushes are regularly purged of salt and snow debris. With a run time of 200-250 hours on a full tank, this system provides a huge reduction in daily and weekly maintenance and keeps your operators out of the weather.
As you can see, there are several small wheel loader advancements to consider when spec’ing these machines to your application needs. To learn more about Cat small wheel loaders and the latest machine features that can help your business, visit Cat.com or contact your local Cat dealer.
Industry Trade Show and Association Manager
As a product application specialist, Sherrie Williams has worked to ensure customer voices are represented in the design and product requirements of next generation Backhoe Loaders. She has also spent time coordinating Caterpillar tradeshows and sponsorships, and providing product training assistance to dealers and sales representatives.