By Tarren Bolton
Plant Equipment & Hire focuses on pushing the limits with graders and dozers in this month’s product feature.
Whether it’s in the fields of agriculture, general construction, road construction, or mining, graders and bulldozers push to get the job done. Here, we take a look at the companies that provide total solutions, by meeting customers’ demands through fast and efficient performance in even the most demanding locations. See what they have to share in terms of design, technological innovation, upgrades, or new product lines.
A CASE of improved performance
Available locally from CASE Construction SA, the CASE 885B series motor graders have the latest technological and design features for improved performance and enhanced productivity.
“Enhancements to this range include the flexibility of a torque converter lock-up system for efficient transmission, a roll-away mouldboard plough for lower fuel consumption, and a redesigned cab, with a larger field of vision for enhanced safety and greater operator comfort,” says Ross Collard, managing director of CASE Construction SA, part of the Capital Equipment Group (CEG) of Invicta Holdings Limited.
CASE 885B series graders have low fuel consumption, turbocharged, high-performance Common Rail Tier 3 engines.
Torque converter lock-up system
CASE offers the ZF transmission, with a torque converter lock-up system, which provides an increase in torque of up to 70%. This feature is suitable for heavy tasks requiring extra traction and can be locked for less demanding work.
When lock-up is engaged, the transmission operates in direct-drive mode, with electronic shift change for the six forward and three reverse gears. This mode, with increased fuel efficiency, does not require extra torque and is therefore ideal for levelling and spreading.
When lock-up is disengaged by the operator at the push of a button, the transmission reverts to working with the torque converter.
Lock-up engages automatically to match torque and engine speed — as long as the pre-set electronic transmission module parameters are met.
The de-clutch system
The CASE de-clutch system, which is activated when the operator applies the brakes, improves handling speeds for tools, including the blade, ripper, and scarifier.
This de-clutch system directs all engine power to the hydraulic system from the moment that the engine is disengaged from the transmission. As a result, loss of power during operation is prevented and fuel economy is improved.
Another advantage of this transmission system is the option of operating in automatic or manual mode. The operator is able to manually shift gear or opt for automatic control — with manual mode generally selected when fine grading is done or more power is required to do the job at hand.
The transmission control unit (TCU) manages all the input of data provided when the transmission is operating and ensures optimum performance, extended service life of the machine, and improved operator comfort. “The TCU is a pre-set unit that is programmed with the parameters of the transmission at the factory; it will detect speed and control transmission gear shifts, for example. There is no operator intervention in this,” says Collard.
The transmission also has a diagnostic system that detects potential problems and displays them as error codes on the panel or via a laptop connection. Collard adds, “The diagnostic codes will be generated when any problem is detected in the transmission; these are displayed by way of a dedicated code for the technician to identify and act on the problem. The codes range from simple filter restrictions to operational problems like overheating.”
CASE 885B series grader axles have been designed for improved traction on the ground. The front axle has a welded steel structure with high-resistance cast iron components. The straight-line geometry offers 580mm ground clearance over the machine’s entire length. The wheel lean angle is 12 degrees to the right or left, with up to 15 degrees of oscillation to be able to cope efficiently on irregular terrains. The cast iron tandem type rear axle has a welded steel plate structure that enables safe operation in difficult conditions. Tandem oscillation is 20 degrees to each side.
Precision of movement
The hydraulic system of this series is designed for complete precision of movement and blade control. When ground resistance is high and the hydraulic system pressure needs to be increased, the load sensing system reduces hydraulic flow. “Load sensing hydraulics are sensed and flow is adjusted to ensure adequate flow is available to perform the task, ensuring optimum hydraulic power at all times,” explains Collard.
Brakes are oil bath cooled self-adjusting, multi-discs with one circuit to each side of the rear axle. This ensures precise stopping power and extends service life of components.
The orbital valve hydrostatic steering is powered by a gear pump and provides a steering angle of 48 degrees to both sides. The turning radius is 7 250mm, which enables the operator to perform tasks efficiently in restricted areas, with faster steering.
Safety and protection
The ROPS/FOPS feature offers maximum safety and protection against roll over and falling objects. Closed cabs are mounted on the rear chassis, which enables manoeuvring from the rear, as well as direct control over the degree of frame articulation.
The new design of this series is more rounded, with an improved glassed-in area that provides greater all-round visibility. The spacious cab has redesigned ergonomics for more space and improved comfort. All controls are positioned for easy access and fast control.
The 885B series grader mouldboard, which is manufactured from score resistant, high carbon content steel, is shaped for material roll-off. The design of this robust mouldboard, with a multi-radius roll-away profile, minimises mechanical load, ensures effortless cutting, lower fuel consumption, and extended component life. The blade circle has an unrestricted 360-degree rotation angle for optimum flexibility during operation.
This series has been designed for minimal downtime and reduced maintenance requirements.
CASE Construction SA supports its range of loaders, backhoe loaders, excavators, telehandlers, skid steers, and graders with a technical advisory and maintenance service throughout the country. Operator and mechanic training is also provided.
Maximum levelling performance
Goscor Earth Moving (GEM), official distributor of SANY, has added the high-performance SMG200 motor grader to its line-up.
The SMG200 offers maximum power and superior levelling performance, without compromising on safety and comfort. Another feature is that the cabin has been optimised for 360-degree all-round visibility and easier access to controls, enhancing operator comfort and boosting productivity. The cabin has also been engineered with a 75dB Silent Mode for noise cancellation.
A highly responsive load-sensing hydraulic system ensures high-precision motion control. The system regulates the flow volume automatically according to the load, conserving engine power and reducing fuel consumption.
The robust Cummins QSC 8.3-C205 Tier 3 engine delivers 205h.p. maximum power, along with significantly reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions. A smart fan-cooling system conducts real-time system-temperature monitoring. A hydraulic motor controls the fan’s rotating speed, lowering both power consumption and noise.
The direct-drive power shift transmission allows for smooth, responsive shifting for added manoeuvrability. Variable power technology applies specific power curves to various work conditions, increasing engine fuel efficiency. Other key specifications are a blade length of 4.27m, an operating weight of 16 920kg, and an overall length of 8.89m.
What makes the SMG200 ideal for arduous African operating conditions is the durable exterior, with strong slewing ring bearings providing added strength for improved serviceability. Ease of maintenance is critical, and here SANY has positioned all filters centrally for quick accessibility. A well-designed handrail makes it easy to carry out routine checks.
SANY enters 2019 on the basis of strong growth in the mining and construction industries and is set to entrench itself even further as a market leader going forward. “SANY is a major powerhouse, with impressive technology. Coupled with Goscor and the Bud Group, that makes for a formidable combination,” GEM managing director Barry Owen stresses. GEM’s strategy for 2019 will continue to focus on its main areas of excavators, front-end loaders, graders, and rollers as the ideal equipment range for Africa.
Established name in dozers and graders
More than just functionality, LiuGong focuses on the wants and needs of its customers.
LiuGong’s range of dozers provides a variety of options for agriculture, forestry, and other light-material soil with its medium-sized 160C model — with 4.5m3 standard bucket capacity, 17 tonnes operating weight, and an optional three shrank back ripper.
LiuGong’s 230C, with its 7.8m3 bucket capacity, shifts expectations higher for preferred use in coal mines.
The C320 is powered with 257kW Cummins engine, is equipped with 10.3m3 blade capacity, and comes with an optional back ripper. The C320’s load-sensing hydraulics delivers high drawbar pull forces with precise control to deliver power where the operator really needs it.
All LiuGong dozers have the option of stage 2 and 3 engines, from single to three shank ripper or hydraulic winch and different blade options fit-to-purpose. All LiuGong dozers are available with a ROPS/FOPS Standard Cabin, with optional additional applications such as a cooling system for working in extreme heat, and fuel heating for cold environments.
LiuGong has offered a wide range of products in Africa for both road maintenance and construction for many years. With a good reputation in mining, quarrying, and agriculture, LiuGong’s reputation surpasses them when it comes to reconstruction of roads in Africa. The 4215 and 4230 models are the worthy successors to the 418 and 422 models, and are the preferred graders for road maintenance and continuous maintenance works for municipality roads, opencast permanent haul roads, general road construction, and maintenance of dirt and gravel roads. The 4215 and 4230 are similar in operating weights as 16.5 tonnes and 16.7 tonnes, respectively, with the 4230 slightly more powerful with 6CTA8.3-C215 230-II Cummins engine power.
LiuGong’s 425 is the bigger, more popular highway road-building model, with 19.5 tonnes operating weight. It is powered with Cummins 6LTAA8.9-C240 engine — a maximum of 240 rated HP. This heavy-duty road construction machine with excellent accuracy comes standard with a balance box, enabling the four rear wheels to swing up and down by ± 15 degrees.
Powered with ZF transmission and ZF wet axle with ‘no-spin’ differential lock as a standard offer, it offers both 4 × 4 and all-wheel-drive options. LiuGong graders’ modern design enables perfect articulation on all models with cabins filtered against noise, dust, and UV.
Grading solutions from Bobcat
Bobcat offers a wide range of grading solutions based around the company’s compact loaders and grader attachments.
The expanded range of grading equipment is designed for use by asphalt and concrete contractors for excavating and grading work for new roads, pavements, concrete flatwork, tennis courts, utilities, and landscaping projects.
Loader-mounted Bobcat grader attachments can now be combined not only with a comprehensive choice of Bobcat laser grading equipment, but also the Bobcat sonic tracer kit — the first sonic tracer system of its kind for compact loaders, to provide automatic grade control in applications where lasers may not be suitable.
Laser grading requires the job site to be on a plane, whereas the sonic tracer can follow nearly every terrain. The sonic tracer also provides an advantage when grading inside buildings with obstacles where the laser beam could be interrupted. The system offers the advantage that if the user already has a laser system mounted on the grader, they can also mount the sonic tracer on the blade, allowing them to switch between using the grader with the sonic tracer or the laser system.
The Bobcat sonic tracer kit is designed for use with the 244mm and 274mm-wide heavy-duty grader attachments from Bobcat.
The 274mm-wide heavy-duty grader attachment is approved for use on the Bobcat S770 and S850 skid-steer, T770 and T870 compact tracked, and A770 all-wheel steer loader models. The 244mm-wide grader attachment covers the same models with the addition of the smaller T650 compact tracked loader.
The graders feature a six-way blade plus hydraulic side-shift of up to 33cm left or right, both of which are fingertip controlled so that the operator can grade nearly any surface without needing to take their hands off the control levers. There are four two-way hydraulic functions, including left side up/down; right side up/down; blade rotation left/right, and blade side-shift left/right.
The hydraulic side-shift allows the blade to get further into corners when working in confined areas. It also allows grading right up to an obstacle (such as a pole or structure inside a building), side-shifting to get around it, and then side-shifting back to continue working. This minimises hand labour to clear the area around these objects.
The oscillating front bolster provides 12 degrees of oscillation to either side, minimising the effect of dips and bumps on how quickly or how much the blade needs to respond in these circumstances. Wide flotation tyres on the grader ensure the attachment rolls smoothly across the site.
Easy-to-convert to laser
The graders can be converted from standard units to laser graders quickly and easily. The operator only needs to mount the receiver poles, clamp the newly enhanced Bobcat laser receivers onto the poles, and plug in the harnesses. Designed to operate using CAN-bus communication, the Bobcat laser receivers are easier to mount and dismount and offer several features and benefits.
For example, the receivers have a longer photocell to follow the laser signal for a longer distance from grade. A super-bright grade display with green ‘on-grade’ LEDs provides superior depth/elevation indication, and a built-in anti-strobe feature reduces the influence from unintended signals that can be caused by strobe lights on construction equipment.
The receivers retain the indication arrows that visually inform the operator if they are above, below, or on grade. Single click ‘on/off’ of the automatic laser also remains unchanged, and operators can still momentarily override the automatic system.
For compact loaders with Bobcat selectable joystick controls, there is an added feature with additional buttons on the joysticks. The grade can be changed at the receiver by 2.5mm increments, up or down, ± 50mm in either direction. This allows the operator to change grade elevation from within the cab using fingertip controls.
Complementing the laser receivers are the laser transmitters from Bobcat: the model GL412, a single-slope version; and the GL422, a dual-slope transmitter that comes standard with a handheld CR600 receiver. The latter forms a cost-efficient alternative to Bobcat’s other dual-slope transmitter, the GL722, which forms the deluxe model in the range.
Sonic tracer grading system
Installed on the blades of the 244mm and 274mm heavy-duty grader attachments, the sonic tracer emits ultrasonic signals to maintain a set distance or elevation from an object, surface, or the ground, allowing the graders to be used to grade, level, and backfill on a multiple slope terrain when following a string line, kerb stone, the gutter, or even a previous pass as a grade control. Grade accuracy is 6.4mm, and the detection range of the sonic tracer is from 200mm to 1 300mm.
The Bobcat system comprises a sonic tracer, two slope sensors, and one rotation sensor, all of which are high-quality Trimble components. The sensors communicate directly with the Bobcat attachments control device (ACD). To be fully operational, the Bobcat loader must be equipped with the Deluxe control panel, allowing the operator to control the grade from within the cab. The operator can set the desired grade and tracer offset, while getting a readout of the actual grade and graphical feedback on both grade and tracer offset.