Volvo wheel loaders get a technology facelift

  • 21-Mar-2011 02:43 EDT

Volvo's new G-Series loaders—the L150G, L180G, and L220G—are claimed to be designed and built for "optimal machine and operator performance" for a wide range of jobs including rock loading, logging, and material handling.

Volvo Construction Equipment says it is leveraging over half a century of experience and innovation in bringing into the market its next-generation G-Series wheel loaders, which it claims incorporate technology for productivity and efficiency while ensuring ease of operation and maintenance.

The newest Volvo G-Series loaders—the Volvo L150G, L180G, and L220G—are claimed to be designed and built for "optimal machine and operator performance" for a wide range of jobs including rock loading, logging, and material handling.

L150G's breakout force is 45,187 lb (20 kN) and its bucket capacity is 5.2 yd³ (3.9 m³). The L180G has a breakout force of 50,537 lb (22.5 kN) and a bucket capacity of 6.3 yd³ (4.8 m³). Volvo describes the L220G as the toughest of the G-Series line for extremely rugged work conditions, featuring a breakout force of 51,301 lb (22.8 kN) and a bucket capacity of 7.3 yd³ (5.6 m³). These forces are all generated from Volvo’s new rehandling buckets, specifically designed for easier pile penetration to increase fuel efficiency and performance.

All three wheel loaders are equipped with Volvo D13 Tier 4 Interim engines that feature Volvo Advanced Combustion Technology (V-ACT) for compliance with U.S EPA legislation. V-ACT provides the engine with higher torque at lower speeds, leading to higher fuel efficiency. These six-cylinder Volvo turbocharged engines also operate with low levels of noise and exhaust emissions with transparent regeneration.

New OptiShift transmissions fitted to the G-Series increase fuel efficiency and lower fuel consumption. The system functions smoothly in a dynamic and powerful unit where all components are matched to work together efficiently. The driveline includes a torque converter with lock-up and free wheel stator, as well as the Volvo-patented Reverse by Braking (RBB) function, which the company says provides reduced fuel consumption and increased operator comfort.

Volvo points out specifically that the G-Series features Volvo-designed and -manufactured drivetrain and hydraulic systems. Automatic power shift selects the right gear for the job immediately, adding to improved fuel economy. The intelligent load-sensing hydraulic system provides exact distribution of power when needed for increased productivity and low fuel consumption.

The G-Series wheel loaders provide 20% more lift force and 10% more breakout force than previous models along with an increased fill factor, due to the hydraulics and new variable displacement load-bearing axial piston pumps. The hydraulic system puts all the power and flexibility of Volvo in the hands of the operator, for improved control of attachments and heavy loads with optimized lift and tilt functions.

A new Eco-pedal ensures fuel efficiency during operation and also helps decrease the spin when operating in slippery conditions. Brakes are self-adjusting, and the Volvo-developed declutch is adjustable in four different levels, helping the operator choose the best declutch setting depending on applications and customizing operator preference on the job.

With an addition of a new steering valve and load-sensing steering, the operator can expect smooth steering that requires less effort. Standard electrohydraulic operator controls allow for smooth operation with a return-to-dig feature, boom kick-out, bucket leveler, and end-stroke dampening at the top of the lifting range. These controls also allow the operator to set the bucket and boom positions from inside the cab by engaging switches on the control panel.

The Volvo Care Cab is ergonomically designed with improved sound and vibration dampening. The machines come equipped with rear-view cameras with color monitors as standard to enhance safety around the machine while operating.

New styling on the three models enhances maintenance of the wheel loaders through a new rear opening hood for easy service access as well as good visibility for the operator. Centralized filters are accessible on the right side of the engine under the hood and include the engine oil check and fill, engine oil filters, engine air filter, primary and secondary fuel filters, axle oil filter, and diesel tank breather. Location of the battery, disconnect switch, and engine hood switch also provides easy maintenance access.

Volvo's CareTrack telematics system is standard on the machines. Using GPRS (mobile network) or satellite technology to send information, data is directed securely and instantaneously to any remote online connection.

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