A wheel loader is an essential construction vehicle used to dig and transport materials like dirt, minerals, and sand. The four-wheeled machine, sometimes called a front loader, is made up of an assortment of parts, allowing it to carry out specific tasks.
While you could employ a large workforce to complete the job, wheel loaders drastically improve productivity and efficiency. What's more, this asset's inclusion allows you to assign fewer employees to a specific piece of work.
The first wheel loader, called the H10, came out of the Volvo factory in 1954. These days, you can find a plethora of quality manufacturers who produce both front loaders and their parts. Notable companies include John Deere, Caterpillar, Bobcat, and JCB.
Types of Wheel Loaders and How They Operate
By using a mechanical arm, front loaders can lift or move material depending on the operator's inputs. This action is achieved by the use of a motor or hydraulic system controlling the arm. Wheel loaders fall into four different categories depending on their power and carrying capacity.
What Are the Major Components of a Wheel Loader?
As a sizable earthmoving vehicle, its design consists of many different components. To make things simpler, you can place these separate parts into three main groups, namely:
The majority of the vehicles use a diesel engine. This is because of the low-end torque that the motor produces, giving vehicles the power required to operate in rough terrain. Diesel engines also don't stall as easily as their petrol counterpart, and they offer additional safety as the fuel is less flammable.
The transmission refers to the axles, gearbox, and wheels of the vehicle. Finally, the hydraulic components are made up of motors, valves, and pumps assisting in the operation of attachments such as the bucket, sweeper, and fork.
When Do You Need to Replace Parts on a Wheel Loader?
Some components for this four-wheeled vehicle require regular maintenance or replacement, while others can last for the entire vehicle's lifetime. You'll need to, at the very least, check your front loader's engine annually, replacing serviceable parts like air filters, oil filters, and engine fluids. Other engine components like the belts, seals, and pulleys only require replacement if it fails, or unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise.
The other features of a wheel loader, like its attachments, can go on without ever needing a replacement. This period depends heavily on the intensity of work you intend to perform. Buckets, forks, and grapples can break from time to time. You'll need to either fix or completely replace attachments depending on the severity of the damage.
What’s the Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Parts?
Many people in the construction industry have opposing views regarding the difference between the original and aftermarket components. As production standards improve, more and more dedicated parts companies can replicate a piece of equipment to match the original.
At the same time, you can potentially cause further damage by using a sub-par component, causing an additional delay and expense. To prevent any unnecessary problems, make sure you use original parts or approved aftermarket brands.