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Maximizing performance in tough conditions

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  • SIMA
- Posted: October 2, 2018
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We all know how unpredictable the weather can be, especially when it comes to snow storms. Being prepared and efficient while running equipment can be a challenge. When looking to purchase equipment, such as a wheel loader, to help plow and remove the snow efficiently during the toughest snow storm, here are some aspects you should consider.

1. Machine Productivity: When operating your machine in tough conditions, it is important to look for machines that have items such as transmission de-clutch. This mode allows the operator to disconnect the power to the transmission by way of the brake pedal, which allows the machine to provide more engine power to the pumps to increase boom raise speed and increase overall dump cycle performance. Buying a machine with an auto-locking front differential and a limited slip rear differential helps the operator avoid excessive skidding so they can maintain focus on pushing snow and avoiding obstacles, while the machine provides positive tractive effort and limited wheel spin.

2. Efficiency & Productivity: Another feature to look for is a machine that has an automatic engine shut down mode. This can be selected by the operator, so depending on the work condition and the amount of idle time, the engine will automatically shutdown to maximize fuel efficiency. Operators should also consider a machine with multiple engine power modes like Power, Standard or Economy. These engine efficiency options allow operators to take control of the machine settings to maximize engine performance. A well-balanced machine with a heavier counterweight and smooth open-center hydraulic functions are necessary for picking and carrying heavy loads. Also, picking the right-size bucket with wear-resistant steel at all ground-engaging areas and other features like curved side plates and enhanced spill guards will insure a longer lasting bucket with maximum load retention.

3. Operator Comfort: While the machine needs to run well to be productive, it is also important to find a machine that allows your operator excellent visibility while staying comfortable during the long hours in tough conditions. Make sure to get a loader with standard-equipped features like a heating system or even a 6-way position heated air-ride seat with hydraulic controls that move with the seat for optimum ergonomic comfort, joystick steering, single or dual lever controls, and a rolling proportional 3rd spool valve feature to adjust hydraulic blades and plow on the go. A comfortable cab leads to happier, more productive operators.

Quick Tips, powered by Hyundai Construction Equipment, are quick, easy tips on highly specific topics in snow management. Read all Quick Tips at www.sima.org/quicktips.
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