On-Site Magazine

Hitachi targets comfort in wheel loaders

By Adam Freill   

Construction Equipment

(Photo courtesy of Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas)

Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas recently introduced its ZW-7 generation wheel loaders, putting an emphasis on comfort, versatility and safety. The manufacturer says this generation of machine offers larger, quieter cabs with improved ergonomics and panoramic visibility to provide a new level of operator comfort.

“Operator comfort was a key design priority with our new wheel loaders series. A lot of work went into the cab to make it more comfortable to operate. For instance, improved sealing increases cab pressurization. This translates into a quieter cab, a more comfortable cab and a cleaner cab,” said Matt Koester, the company’s wheel loader product manager.

Machine features include a standard fully adjustable heated air ride seat that incorporates a seat-mounted armrest with electric-hydraulic controls and ergonomically located switches. The armrest and controls adjust 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) forward or reverse to comfortably accommodate operators of all sizes.

The company’s ZW-7 generation wheel loaders range in size from 3 cubic yards to 5.5 cubic yards (2.3 m3 to 3.8 m3), with most models offering either a standard-lift or high-lift configuration. There are also models with a parallel-link front arm configuration that is suited to fork and tool carrier applications as it keeps attachments parallel with the ground as the loader arms move up or down.

Power is provided by Cummins engines that conform to Stage V emissions regulations, and the ZX-7 generation wheel loaders feature an enhanced power up mode that increases hill-climbing performance by identifying slopes and adding power to prevent the engine speed from dropping when traveling uphill.

“The new technology on the ZX-7 generation wheel loaders allows operators to adjust machine settings for enhanced efficiency. A new sub-monitor provides a way for them to interact with this technology and select their preferred settings,” said Koester.

A standard eight-inch (20.3-cm) anti-glare LCD sub-monitor allows operators to interface with integrated machine settings, a payload weighing system, rear object detection and a rearview camera display.

The payload weighing system uploads productivity information to the ConSite telematic system. Operators can check the weight of the load in the bucket from the inside cab monitor and log the material loaded. The payload weighing system offers four modes — tip-off to truck, tip-off to pile, auto-add and manual-add. These modes allow the system to manage loads according to their application. In addition, the unit is equipped with a warning function that reacts when the bucket is overloaded, improving safety during operation.

The position and design of the cab pillars, as well as the layout of the monitor and switch panel have been improved to ensure a wider field of view from the cab. This generation of wheel loaders also feature the Aerial Angle peripheral vision camera system, which provides a wide 270-degree bird’s-eye view of the machine’s immediate environment. Aerial Angle includes three cameras mounted on the rear of the machine. Operators can see both the left and right sides of the machine on the monitor inside the cab.

An optional rear obstacle detection system provides visual and audible alarms based on the distance to the object. The ZX160-7 wheel loader is also available with rear object detection with automatic deceleration to automatically disengage the accelerator.

The machines are also equipped with a standard premium LED lighting package on all models and intelligent automatic reversing hydraulically driven fans and wide-fin radiators which prevent clogging.




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