KCMA built special logic into the powertrain that avoids upshifting as the operator approaches a truck, or that allows the operator to use both boom and bucket functions simultaneously while digging to improve control and performance.
Advanced electronic controls often imply there is a level of difficulty. “However, many of the functions are engineered to be intuitive, reducing the input from the operator and allowing the loader to run at maximum productivity as it adapts to the environment and application,” notes Sam Shelton, marketing manager, KCMA.
For example, KCMA uses electronic controls to improve loading efficiency. “KCMA has developed a system we call Intellidig that balances the hydraulic power and rimpull so that the loader can dig through materials more effectively,” Shelton indicates. “We also built special logic into the powertrain that avoids upshifting as the operator approaches a truck, or allows the operator to use both boom and bucket functions simultaneously while digging to improve control and performance.
“Advancements in the KCM wheel loaders, like the ‘efficient acceleration’ feature, will make an operator more fuel efficient without requiring operator input,” she continues. “The automatic reversible cooling fan is another feature the operator never has to think about, but it is engineered to improve machine performance.”
Tier 4 engine technologies are another area that may require a learning curve for operators. Depending upon the solution used, operators may require additional training.
The use of diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and regeneration add to the knowledge required by an operator. “As you get novice operators into the machine, they might not have heard of Tier 4,” Stemper comments. “If they have, they might not be fully aware of the different types of systems. With the inclusion of more complex technologies, they could have multiple signals informing them of DPF regeneration, DEF fill and additional maintenance.” In many cases, the operator may have to watch for items such as combustible material buildup on the machine.
Case has addressed this learning curve with an SCR-only solution for Tier 4. “By going that SCR-only route, we have eliminated a great deal of extra needs the operator would need to be aware of,” says Stemper. “The machine is a much simpler machine.”
There is no DPF. “There is no forced regeneration, active or passive. There is no additional concern for combustible materials piling on the machine or coolers,” Stemper points out. “The only thing operators really need to worry about on our full-size Tier 4 Final wheel loaders is they need to have the DEF tank topped off at the beginning of the day.”