Identifying which machines to stock your fleet with—and how many of each—can be a tough question. That’s especially true for smaller construction companies with limited budgets, storage and hauling capacities, or ability to insure and keep up with preventive maintenance. And, just to further complicate matters, you also have to decide between owning and renting heavy equipment.
Of course, there are no one-size-fits-all answers, as each company’s situation and needs are different. But there are compelling reasons to have a compact wheel loader (or more than one) in your fleet. It’s one of the most useful machines to include in your core lineup of heavy equipment.
For clarification, a compact wheel loader is a wheel loader with 80 horsepower or less, typically weighing between 11,000 and 14,000 pounds. Its bucket capacity is usually between 0.9 cubic yards and 1.7 cubic yards, and its dump heights generally range from 7 feet to 9 feet.
Advantages of Owning a Compact Wheel Loader
- It’s a middle ground between skid steer loaders and large wheel loaders. Compact wheel loaders safely and efficiently handle a variety of applications that skid steer loaders are too small for, but that full-size wheel loaders are too big for. Maintain a small footprint while getting better lifting capacity and reach with a compact wheel loader.
- It keeps fuel costs down. Compact wheel loaders are more fuel efficient than their larger counterparts. And, because of their small engines, they’re also more fuel efficient than many large skid steer loaders. Machines like CASE Construction’s Tier 4 Final compact wheel loaders offer the best fuel efficiency, plus they don’t need extra fluids or filter replacements.
- It keeps tire costs down too. Skid steer loader tires must be selected properly, and the cost can become significant, especially with wear and tear from skidding. Compact wheel loaders don’t skid, though; they turn. This—along with their articulated front-end steering—is much better on the tires and provides a much longer life.
- It offers useful roading capabilities. Compact wheel loaders travel from 10 to 20 mph and, as mentioned above, drive with minimal wear on tires. In terms of productivity, this makes them superior to skid steer loaders (which move at 7 to 11 mph) at job sites that require some travel from place to place.
- It improves visibility, and therefore safety and productivity. The added height and front design of a compact wheel loader offers greater visibility as compared to a skid steer loader. Rear visibility is better as well. This makes operation safer and more efficient for a wide range of applications and in all sorts of job site environments.