NewsBattle of the Fuel Efficiency: Front End Wheel Loaders Face Off

Battle of the Fuel Efficiency: Front End Wheel Loaders Face Off

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Key Indicators of Wheel Loader Efficiency

One common question in the industry is how to determine the efficiency of a wheel loader. As the product manager for wheel loaders at Volvo, this is a question I frequently encounter.

The efficiency of a wheel loader can be measured by its ability to reduce costs and increase material moving capacity per cycle simultaneously. If a machine can achieve both, it will lead to noticeable cost savings in terms of operation.

To illustrate this concept, we conducted a comparison of various-sized Volvo wheel loaders with equivalent models from a different brand, revealing some compelling findings.

Test Scenario 1: Volvo L150H Wheel Loader vs. Leading Competitor

In the initial test, we pitted our Volvo L150H loader against a prominent competitor to assess fuel efficiency and material handling capabilities.

During this head-to-head comparison of front-end wheel loaders, two operators operated each machine over a two-day period. The operators underwent a short-cycle loading task and an uphill load-and-carry exercise, switching between machines in the morning and afternoon sessions. Both loaders were equipped with identical tires. Strict data collection and analysis procedures were implemented to ensure unbiased results.

Additional details of the test included:

  • Material: Gravel with an estimated density of 1.3 t/yd3 (1550 kg/m3)
  • Fuel: Ultra-low-sulfur diesel
  • Weighing equipment: Mettler Toledo

Test Results

  • In the short-cycle loading test, the Volvo L150H demonstrated:
    • 35% higher fuel efficiency
    • 28% lower fuel consumption
    • 20% increased productivity
    • 4% reduction in cycle times
  • In the load-and-carry test, the Volvo L150H exhibited:
    • 25% improved fuel efficiency
    • 23% lower fuel consumption
    • 10% higher productivity
    • 5% shorter cycle times

Two Volvo L150H rehandling wheel loaders load and haul aggregate.

Interpreting the Metrics

Although the percentage improvements appear significant, it is crucial to translate these figures into actual cost savings based on estimated or projected data to fully comprehend the financial advantages.

For instance, with the Volvo loader, potential savings of 2 cents per ton may seem insignificant initially, but the yearly accumulative savings paint a different picture:

Est. Hourly Production
600 tons/hr

Hours Worked per Day
x 8

Est. Daily Production
4,800 tons/day

Production Savings
$.02/ton

Daily Savings (x 4,800 tons)
$96/day

Weekly Savings (x 5 working days)
$480/wk

Weeks Worked per Year
x 48

Total Yearly Savings
$23,040

It is noteworthy that both loaders had a similar-sized rehandling bucket from respective manufacturers, with Volvo’s design featuring a longer bucket floor for improved stockpile penetration. Additionally, the bucket’s convex sides aided in retaining materials, enhancing loading efficiency.

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