NORFOLK, MA — With the unique ability to pivot its bucket 90 degrees to either side, the AS1600 — and all models in the AS Swing Loader Series — represent a departure from traditional wheel loader design for superior performance on any jobsite. A rigid frame and 4-wheel steering provide industry-leading productivity and stability while driving, operating and unloading in virtually any condition or terrain. The AS1600 provides game-changing space management, requiring only half the space of conventional loaders for tasks such as loading trucks or discharging materials into trenches with a standard 2.1-cubic-yard (1.6-cubic-meter) bucket.
“Mecalac understands that on today’s crowded jobsites, space management is vital for safety, productivity and efficiency,” said Peter Bigwood, general manager for Mecalac North America. “Contractors are trying to fit all the equipment, vehicles and personnel they need into a very limited space, leading to congestion and sometimes dangerous conditions. Our engineers are always looking to optimize equipment utilization, providing the solutions that let operators do things that they cannot accomplish with other machines.”
The key to the 12-ton (10,920-kilogram) AS1600’s appeal, like all models in the AS Series, is its innovative design, giving it the ability to swivel its fully loaded bucket 90 degrees on either side. This opens up a number of opportunities to approach jobs differently – taking up just one lane of traffic, for example, on a road job, rather than the two necessary for operating traditional loaders — and transforms space management and logistics.
The equipment features three steering options — 2-wheel, 4-wheel and crab — which offer further flexibility for congested jobsites. Operators can simultaneously drive, pivot and maneuver, increasing productivity and safety and making common tasks such as backfilling a trench easier and more efficient. After loading material, operators can simply back up, rotating the bucket in the process. Materials can then be discharged over the side while the machine reverses along the trench, streamlining operations and reducing unnecessary downtime, noise and environmental impact.
The AS1600 also provides increased stability over traditional articulated loaders. An automatically engaging rear axle allows operators to pivot the bucket up to 90 degrees in either direction without reducing overall stability. This is a significant improvement over traditional equipment that can become unstable with only a 45-degree turn. Stability combined with industry-leading maneuverability results in a small turning radius — a 20% smaller footprint than regular loaders — to maximize mobility in even the most confined spaces.
“Every aspect of the AS1600’s design focuses on a real-world application to increase efficiency by reducing unnecessary movement and optimizing the use of space,” Bigwood said. “That is what sets Mecalac apart from our competitors. Each design starts with a question — how can we make this safer, faster or easier for the operators in the cab?”
Bucket capacities range from 2.1-3.3 cubic yards (1.6-2.5 cubic meters) to give contractors options for projects of all sizes.