innovative iron awardsThe Coolest and Most Creative Compact Equipment of the Year

Exploration is the engine that drives innovation, so let’s go exploring. Let’s search through a year’s worth of creative ideas in the off-highway equipment industry and see if we can benchmark the innovative exploration of the American machine market. Over the last 12 months, global manufactures from Case to Kubota have released compact machines that have set new standards for power, versatility, efficiency and design. Our editors have traveled across the country to meet these manufacturers, operate their new products and give detailed reports and opinions both in print and on our website (compactequip.com). We sifted through the hundreds of models and brands released in 2017 and picked 25 units that set the new bar for innovation. With this article, we salute those companies that have changed the commercial equipment market over the last year with their unique, interesting and innovative machines, engines and technologies.

Keith Gribbins is associate publisher of Compact Equipment.

Rolling Large: Volvo’s L20H and L25H Wheel Loaders

volvo

The newest models of Volvo compact wheel loaders — the L20H and L25H — are designed to meet the latest emissions regulations but also innovate with value, versatility and efficiency. The new machines eliminate the need for Tier 4 regeneration and additives, but they also have 5 percent greater fuel efficiency and 8 percent more horsepower than their predecessors. To improve cycle times, the automatic hydrostatic drive has two speeds, with the ability to reach 18.6 mph. Standing at a height of 8 ft, 1 in. with a turning radius of 26 ft, 11 in., these H-Series wheel loaders offer excellent maneuverability. The L20H and L25H feature an articulated oscillating joint and operator-activated 100 percent differential locks on both axles. They even take skid steer attachments with optional high flow (2,900 psi/29 gpm). For more info, visit volvoce.com/na.

Tool Carrier: Wacker Neuson’s TH627 Telehandler

wacker neuson

The TH627 is a telehandler that’s not afraid to dig, and that tells you right up front this is not your average pick-and-place machine. At CONEXPO-CON/AGG, Wacker Neuson released the second model in the manufacturer’s line of unique ground-engaging telehandlers that are a versatile three-in-one machine concept. Designed with a hydraulic universal attachment plate (skid steer compatible), the TH627 can be used with ground-engaging attachments and work like (1) a wheel loader to dig and carry, (2) a skid steer with a compact foot print capable of using multiple attachments and (3) a telehandler with a lift height of 18 ft, 7 in. and 5,500 lbs of lifting capacity. The TH627 features a Load Management System that maximizes performance and minimizes tipping situations. For more info, visit wackerneuson.us.

Want more innovation? We have plenty more Innovative Iron Awards here.

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