Loader (equipment)

A wheel loader (in Swiss German: Trax ) is a construction machine for loading and transporting goods over short distances. Equipped with a bucket as a loader for earthmoving operations is appropriate. There are wheel loaders, weighing less than 2 tons and up to a weight over 200 tonnes.

Closely related to wheel loaders, front loaders. Basic units here are mostly tractors and Unimogs, which are provided with a rocker. These machines are also called front-loading tractors.

A smaller type of the equipment on the skid steer loader. It is characterized by reduced dimensions and high maneuverability.

A special type of wheel loaders are the LHDs used in underground mines, which are characterized by low overall height.

Wheel loaders can be equipped with a scale to determine directly the mass of the load during loading.


The first wheel loader emerged in the 1920s and 1930s from agricultural tractors, received the cable actuated loading shovels. It developed in the 1940s and 1950s, independent construction machinery, which were soon produced by many domestic and foreign manufacturers in series. In the 1960s and 1970s, sat down opposite the rear - and all-wheel steering, the articulated steering which is now divided into front and rear chassis frame halves by.


A wheel loader essentially consists of these components:


The parameters range is very wide for wheel loaders since there are many different sizes. So Kleinlader have a capacity between 20 and 60 kW and a large loader power 70-590 kW. The operating weight can in the small devices up to 7.5 t, be of larger machines up to 90 tonnes. The loader bucket holds 0.8 to 10.5 m³. In charging mode the speed is depending on the model at 15 km / h when running light, the wheel loader reaches up to 40 km / h


  • Standard bucket for bulk materials such as gravel or topsoil
  • Light materials with more capacity for light goods such as grain
  • Kombi-/Klappschaufel with hydraulic front flap for easy recording of goods
  • Paletten-/Ladegabel for palletised goods
  • Sweeper for cleaning of roads
  • Mixing tub for mixing concrete
  • Stone Fork for picking up stones
  • Snow Blade (hydraulic) for clearing strengthens snowy roads and trails
  • Snowblower
  • Tree spades for cutting larger plants


The largest wheel loader in the world right now is the LeTourneau L -2350 with an operating weight of 262.174 tons and a payload of 72.574 t, of a power of 2300 hp and a standard bucket capacity of 40.52 cubic meters.

This wheel loader is used in open cast mining in the North Rochelle Mine Triton in the U.S. Gillette. The LeTourneau machines are diesel-electric driven, which is a special feature for wheel loaders.


The steering wheel loaders usually takes the articulated steering. The joint is located approximately in the center of the machine and is driven hydraulically. The driver usually sits on the rear car, rare on the front of the car. The driving experience is quite different in each case.

Kramer wheel loaders have no articulated steering, but the steering is via a four-wheel - axle steering. This principle is characterized by a higher stability in be deflected state, but has the disadvantage that the steering movement affects only while driving. When Knicklenker can any one side in stand the spoon. Another disadvantage of the four-wheel steering is that the loader - arm front moves out when cornering from the turning circle, whereas a wheel loader with articulated steering, so to speak " around the curve bends ", which facilitates especially the work in cramped conditions rapidly, with all-wheel drive wheel loaders have a smaller turning circle.

The stereo steering Liebherr combines both principles.

The skid steer skid steer loader has the disadvantage that the appliances churning up the ground when changing directions. Their use should therefore be limited to paved areas, where they can do no harm and easier to turn. However, one must then take a fairly high tire wear in purchasing.


  • In Germany an annual U -VV review according to the guidelines of the professional associations is required for wheel loaders.
  • A certificate of competence (ticket ) for guiding construction machinery wheel loaders in Germany is a prerequisite for the proper use of all power-driven machinery in accordance with the guidelines of the professional associations.


Wheel loaders are manufactured by a variety of companies around the world. Below are a manufacturer who specialized in the construction and development of special wheel loader structures. Among the companies that produce wheel loaders include about Gehl, Kramer, Caterpillar, Liebherr, Volvo, Atlas Weyhausen, Terex, Komatsu, Hitachi, Orenstein & Koppel, Wacker Neuson, Weidemann, Case or BelAZ.