Sunday, June 21, 2020

Wheel Loader Operator Tips: How to Load Trucks with Added Efficiency and Productivity oleh -

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As technology in wheel loaders continues to evolve, contractors continue to praise the ability of these machines to make operators of any skill level faster and more efficient. Advanced machines â€" with operators who know how to take advantage of their features â€" can drastically improve profitability and lower total cost of ownership.

If you’re a wheel loader operator and could use some productivity and efficiency tips, this post is for you.

Increasing Your Loading Efficiency

Increasing loading efficiency for a frontend loader Use the functions on the machine designed to improve cycle times â€" that’s why they’re there. Two good examples include boom kickout and return-to-dig. Boom kickout has the boom stop at a predetermined point while lifting. Return-to-dig has the boom stop while lowering, and an auto bucket level levels the bucket from the dump or carry position.

  • The boom kickout is especially helpful if you’re loading a truck at the same height for an extended period of time. On Volvo wheel loaders, the automatic boom kickout position can be set to any position between maximum reach and full lifting height, and it can be done with one stroke of the lever rather than having to hold it.
  • The return-to-dig function helps you return the bucket to the exact same position every time â€" again, with the push of the lever. This function allows you to set a position that the boom will lower to prior to filling the bucket at the pile. 

Using the Y Loading Pattern to Load Trucks

The Y cycle is very efficient. The trick is keeping the trucks in a consistent position as to not make the Y cycle too big or too small. It’s possible to be too close to the truck and the pile, which makes maneuvering at an efficient speed difficult. This can also force you to have to steer more than necessary, which will slow your cycle time.

Using Technology to Improve Your Technique

Operator technique is critical when loading the bucket. You have to know how to set the bucket level when entering, followed by a smooth actuation of the lift and tilt functions to maintain momentum pushing into the pile. When this isn’t done properly, you tend to see the machine bucking violently, or even getting stuck in the pile and spinning the wheels. This can be a complete disruption to the loading cycle, costing time and putting unnecessary wear on the tires and machine.

Several technologies can ease the effort required to load. The first is adjustable lever sensitivity, which allows you to choose the response level of the hydraulic levers to suit your operating style. Volvo wheel loaders have three response modes: soft, active and normal. Soft is meant for a slower or more precise tasks. Active works for fast-response, demanding productivity requirements. And normal is in between.

Rim pull control is another useful feature that allows you to adjust the power being sent to the wheels to compensate for ground conditions. This reduces wheel spin and slippage, thereby reducing tire wear and improving productivity while lowering total cost of ownership.

Another feature on Volvo loaders size L110H up to L260H is the Volvo-patented Reverse-By-Braking (RBB) function, which isn’t found in competitor loaders. Along with new torque converter with lock-up, RBB creates a direct drive between the engine and transmission. The engine’s rpms automatically decrease and the service brakes are applied when it senses the operator is changing the direction of the loader. RBB also uses the standard machine brakes instead of the converter to decelerate the machine â€" putting less strain on the driveline, saving fuel and giving a smoother change of direction.

Finally, if you’re a newer operator, you should take advantage of driveline and hydraulic control intelligence. At Volvo we call this Smart Control, and it comes standard on our L60 through L90 H-Series 2.0 models. It ensures the correct torque in all situations, improving engine and hydraulic harmony, and helps shorten cycle times and conserve fuel. This can effectively lower cycle time by allowing the machine to operate in a smaller area, shortening the Y cycle.

Matching the Loading Tool Size to the Truck

Matching the Loading Tool Size to the Truck

By understanding the correct pass matching between your truck and loader, you’ll get the most amount of material loaded in the shortest period of time. This is especially critical in high-productivity applications like a quarry or plant.

While bucket size and loading height are important, the machine size shouldn’t be overlooked. The loader must be able to handle the volume of material, both in terms of power and stability. If the machine doesn’t feel stable while lifting or traveling with a loaded bucket, it’s not only dangerous, but can also shorten the service life of the machine significantly. This can also have a major impact on your confidence level as an operator. 

Maximizing Loading Efficiency with On-Board Scales

On-board weighing systems improve efficiency by providing you with real-time material weight. This can significantly reduce both machine and truck overloading, which decreases wear on both units and avoids costly issues such as overweight fines and partial dumping. The data the scale provides can also be viewed remotely through the use of a cellular data connection or by USB download.

These scale systems, however, are being developed with more and more capabilities than just weighing material. One example included with Volvo’s Load Assist on-board weighing system is called Operator Coaching. This app provides real-time guidance on idling, braking, accelerator pedal usage and time spent with the transmission in lock-up. It will also identify inefficient behavior such as holding the brakes and accelerator, or running in a fixed gear. Another feature of the app is called active guidance, which will inform you of the function of the switch on the A pillar when it’s pressed. This is a quick way for you to obtain information on the many functions outfitted on the machine. All of this helps you learn how their actions influence the machine, and helps you identify opportunities for optimal machine operation.

Getting an In-cab Assist

Finally, if you’re a Volvo operator, we’ve made Volvo Co-Pilot with Load Assist On-Board Weighing standard on new L150H to L260H wheel loaders (optional on L110H and L120H models). Co-Pilot is our in-cab touchscreen. You can view the data from the On-Board Weighing system on it, allowing you to measure your bucket load on-the go and eliminating any disruption to your workflow. You get +/- 1% accuracy on every bucket, ensuring you’re moving the most optimized loads possible and not wasting time and money by under- or over-loading.

You should also take a look at our three-part series on Volvo Load Assist â€" it provides highlights to better understand how to set it up, plus tips on how to use it to improve your accuracy and productivity.

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