Selecting the Best Wheel Loader for Your Project

What should you look for in a new wheel loader?

Wheel loaders primarily scoop, lift, move and load sand, soil, gravel, rocks, and other loose material at construction sites. They are also used for digging duties, rubble clearing and other tasks. Given this, bucket capacity, lift capacity and breakout force are important factors to consider when selecting a new wheel loader.

As for the bucket, what kind of material will you be working with and how heavy is it? How many loads will your wheel loader be handling each day? Besides the bucket, what other attachments do you think you will need for your project (grapples, pallet forks, snow pusher or blower, etc.)?

Breakout force and lifting specs should obviously be considered, but don’t overlook serviceability. Are the internal components on the wheel loader easily accessible for routine inspection and servicing? Does the manufacturer have a reputation for building durable construction equipment?

Cab comfort shouldn’t be neglected either. Operator fatigue will be reduced if the cab has user-friendly controls, an ergonomically arranged interior and climate control. An alert operator will be more productive and less prone to getting into an accident.

Kubota has two impressive, new R40 Series wheel loaders that meet many of these prerequisites: the R540 and R640.

The R540 is 17 feet nine inches long, with a dumping reach of two feet, seven inches, maximum lifting height of 13 feet five inches and a digging depth of 6.1 inches. The machine has a bucket capacity of 0.85 cubic yards, a lifting capacity of 6,767 pounds at ground-level and 7,761 pounds (34.5 kN) of breakout force.

The R540’s 50.9 hp direct-injection engine comes with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) muffler for reduced maintenance. The rear engine bonnet opens fully, and internal components are within easy reach for maintenance and servicing. A completely enclosed glass cabin and powerful LED work lights enhance operator visibility. Air conditioning and a spacious interior add to operator comfort.

The R540 has six tie-down points and can be quickly secured to a truck bed if you want to move it to another site. At eight feet one inch tall, this model can be safely transported under bridges.

The R640 is 18 feet long, with a dumping reach of two feet eight inches, maximum lifting height of 13 feet eight inches and a digging depth of 5.1 inches. The machine’s bucket capacity is 0.94 cubic yards, with 8,161 pounds of lifting capacity at ground-level and 8,526 pounds (37.9 kN) of breakout force.

The R640 has a 64.3 hp direct-injection engine and glass enclosed cabin for maximum visibility. Full-suspension seats, an adjustable right wrist rest and air conditioning enhance operator comfort.

The rear engine bonnet and side panels on the R640 open fully, for fast and convenient inspection and refuelling. The model also features bright LED lights and a differential lock system (upon activation, the front and rear wheels instantly engage to prevent the machine from slipping).

For what you want in a wheel loader, Kubota’s new R540 and R640 are your top choices.