At this year’s NSSGA AGG-1 and World of Asphalt 2015 show and conference in Baltimore, Volvo Construction Product Manager, Danny Freeman, gave us a walk-around tour of the company’s LH 250 heavy duty wheel loader, a versatile and efficient unit for heavy construction, mulch and composting, and quarry applications. It didn’t take long for us to learn about the attributes of this innovative machine.
“Volvo offers a lifetime frame warranty on the LH250,” he said. “With this new design, we also offer a Fuel Efficiency Guarantee. If you purchase a new Volvo excavator, articulated haul truck or wheel loader and activate the free CareTrack® subscription that comes with each unit, the owner will receive the Fuel Efficiency Guarantee. What that means is if the machine’s fuel efficiency and productivity do not meet the rated levels for that machine, Volvo will reimburse a portion of the additional fuel (within certain limitations).”
Freeman said this kind of guarantee is achievable because of the engineering and new technology that has gone into the LH 250. For example, The loader comes with Volvo’s OptiShift technology which combines with their patented Reverse By Breaking (RBB) technology and a lock-up torque converter that creates a direct drive between engine and transmission, which eliminates power losses and lowers fuel consumption by 18%. He said The RBB feature has become so popular that most operators have learned how to go from forward to reverse and vice versa, using only RBB and not even relying on the brakes much at all. By allowing the technology to do the rev lowering of the engine, the breaking and the shifting to the other direction, the operator takes the guess work out of attempting to be more efficient and allows the equipment to do the work. Additionally, the Eco Pedal, Volvo’s unique design for helping reduce fuel consumption, pushes the operator’s foot back on the accelerator if the accelerator is used excessively or when the engine revs are exceeding the economic range for that operation. The back pressure encourages the operator to ease off the pedal without them having to look at gauges or shift levers.
“With the new, 389 HP, V-ACT Stage IV/Tier 4F 13 liter, 6-cylinder straight turbocharged diesel engine, the operator has more torque at lower RPMs,” he said. “The redesigned buckets allow for easier material pick up and the buckets are matched to the loaders for more efficient material handling. Combining those features with the improved engine efficiencies, and the operational savings are significant. We also offer a standard or long reach boom for easier loading.”
Freeman said that the design engineers had less down time in mind when it comes to equipment serviceability. The tilt cab easily tilts up to either a 35-degree or 70-degree angle for easy access to equipment beneath the cab. Additionally, the creature comforts for the operator whose “office” is the cab of one of these loaders, are designed for safety and comfort. Not only is it ROPS and FOPS compliant, but the cab has added sound proofing, all sorts convenience items like adjustable steering wheel, tinted glass, cup holders, reverse camera monitor, window washers and for those who don’t want a steering wheel, an optional joy-stick controller. The list goes on and on!
The engine compartment is equally accessible with all of the fluid filters reachable at ground level and all on the same side of the engine. [Ed Note: I thought that was pretty cool, and I don’t even drive heavy equipment! Wish my cars would have had that.] The Seal-on pins on the lift arm system are virtually maintenance free with the optional automatic lubrication system. Interestingly, the hydraulic lines are located well above ground between the front and rear sections of the loader. This helps prevent damage when working in rough terrain.
For more information on the Volvo LH 250, visit the Volvo website at www.volvoce.com.