by Colleen Suo
On October 11, CASE Construction hosted a product launch for a number of industry media representatives at their dealer training center in Tomahawk, WI. There, they introduced their new G Series Tier 4 compliant family of wheel loaders. These new machines range from 141hp on the model 521G that has a bucket capacity of 2.1 – 2.6-cubic-yards, to 347 hp on the model 1121G featuring a bucket capacity of 5.26 – 6.25-cubic-yards. These new wheel loaders are designed with break out force that runs from 20,937-pounds to 56,245 respectively. Contractors and municipalities alike will find this new lineup offers an appropriate machine for site prep or other jobs. Wheel loaders have come a long way since CASE’s first articulated design was released in 1967.
During a formal presentation, Andrew Dargatz, brand-marketing manager explained how CASE’s engineering and design team took a different approach to resolving the Tier 4 emissions requirement. Instead of viewing it as a mandate, Dargatz said they looked at it as a challenge and used this opportunity to re-evaluate the interaction between machine, operator and maintenance crew as a whole. Although the initial goal was to meet the new engine standard ahead of schedule, the end result was pretty much a total redesign of the machine.
Dargatz went on to explain how this approach enabled them to offer their customers a more positive ROI for the owners while at the same time providing increased productivity and comfort for the operators.
Dargatz said CASE used the science of ergonomics to their advantage in improving operator comfort — which always translates into increased productivity. This advanced technology is intuitive and practical and the cab’s interior has been engineered to be more reflective of automotive styling.
CASE has achieved greater cab visibility with a new, one piece rounded windshield and a rear grid defroster. The side mirrors have been redesigned and repositioned which may sound insignificant, but if an operator is twisting and turning throughout the day to make sure he’s got maximum clearances, he will become fatigued more quickly. With the new side mirror positioning, there is less operator movement.
Additionally, an 8-inch LCD monitor provides more comprehensive information giving the operator an advantage of the functions and activities of the equipment. Displays can be changed easily for day or night operation; parameters such as fuel levels, temperatures and pressures, trip information can be monitored and an optional integrated rearview camera engages when the machine is operating in reverse. This helps the operator to achieve maximum production.
When the loaders are engaged in repetitive motions — such as loading the same height dump trailer or container — the operator can set detents on the membrane keypad for actions of “height control, return to dig and return to travel.” Using these detents is helpful to improve cycle times on a job site, significantly.
For example, when loading a consistent size truck all day long on a site prep job, during the very first bucket load the operator can set the bucket height detent to the minimum height required to clear the side of the truck to dump the material. Using this detent throughout the day on subsequent loads will minimize excessive time-height energy (raising the bucket higher than necessary as you approach the truck). Saving a few feet of loader arm movement may not seem like a lot, but when you are operating a machine all day long, all week long, all month long on a job, any excess time, energy and hydraulic flow and horsepower adds up and affects the overall amount of production generated within a day or per job.
Dargatz stated all seven models offer a number of tire and axle options for customizing the machine to be job or site specific. If your operations are primarily on soft or unprepared ground, the 521-821G models feature standard limited slip differential that equally supplies torque to each side of the axle. The larger models, 921 through 1121G’s are equipped with a heavy duty axle that features an open differential, which is ideal for operations on packed or improved surfaces — especially when coupled with solid tires.
CASE also offers optional heavy duty axles on all seven machines that include an auto-locking front differential. Dargatz explained that what makes this option unique for digging and loading applications is when the machine is going into the pile or into a bank in first gear (its expending 25 percent of its tractive force), the differential automatically locks up the front wheels transferring the tractive force from those wheels to the rear ones, improving the loading. That makes it much easier to fill the bucket while maintaining loading and operating speeds. Of course, the operator can engage and lock the front differential at any time by simply depressing an actuator located on the floor of the cab.
Any of the G Series models can be customized to suit the owner/operator’s needs in order to tailor make their machine based on not only the application, but also the region of use. This will allow them to create a machine to maintain high levels of production.