Here Are Summaries and Specs for 14 Different Compact Wheel Loader Lines (Courtesy of the 2021 Spec Guide)

Hitachi wheel loader

Compact wheel loaders continue to grow in popularity with American equipment pros, and why not? These impressive loader tool carriers beat almost every other compact machine in visibility, speed, tire longevity and fuel efficiency, but yeah, also cost (they are not cheap). Compact wheel loaders can go from $30,000 skid-steer-sized models to $100,000 little big loaders (check out an SDLG or larger Cat variant). Units can be found operating in everything from dedicated snow removal to do-it-all nursery work.

Let’s recap the sales pitch for compact wheel loaders. For starters, operators sit up higher, giving better visibility to the attachment and job at hand. That means more safety. It’s also much safer to enter and exit the machine than a skid steer or track loader (unless maybe it’s a JCB one-armed skid steer), where you must climb over an often dirty and gnarly-looking hydraulic attachment to sit in a moderately comfortable operator’s compartment. Also, compact wheel loaders articulate or use all-wheel drive which is: A) easier on tires; B) easier on turf and other surfaces; and C) better on fuel efficiency. And while compact wheel loaders are typically 20 to 25 percent higher in initial cost than a similarly sized skid steer, and definitely lacking in similar hydraulic attachment power, they save up to 30 percent on fuel, and the tires can last up to five times longer.

Other advantages include faster ground speeds, serious ground clearance, longer wheelbases for better ride quality, greater lift capacities and higher lifting ability. On the other hand, size can be a little intimidating. There seems to be no across-the-board definition of a compact wheel loader. Some are categorized by horsepower (typically anything under 80 to 100 hp) and bucket size, which is measured in cubic yards (1 to 3 cu yds). Boasting big ranges of operating weights between 7,000 to 20,000 lbs and lifting capacities from 3,000 to 14,000 lbs, compact wheel loaders can cover a wide range. Luckily, a slew of big brands are releasing lots of cool products in the United States — Caterpillar, Kubota, Hitachi, SDLG, Takeuchi, Wacker Neuson, John Deere, Gehl, Case and Mustang by Manitou for starters — and you can read about all those product lines in this section. Check out the listings below or in the magazine version right here.

Case Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
Caterpillar Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
Gehl Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
Hitachi Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
JCB Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
John Deere Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
Kubota Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
Mustang by Manitou Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
New Holland Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
SDLG Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
Takeuchi Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
Volvo Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
Wacker Neuson Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide
Yanmar
Wheel Loaders Summarized — 2021 Spec Guide

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, please click here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,