Volvo adds high-speed driveline option to utility wheel loaders

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A new high-speed driveline option on Volvo’s popular utility wheel loaders has been fast-tracked, offering speeds of up to 50km per hour where conditions allow.

The new addition to the L45H and L50H wheel loaders sees top speeds more than doubled – from 20km/h (12mph) to 50km/h (31mph) compared to the standard driveline.

These machines often find themselves travelling long distances between jobsites, where the normal transmission is slow and the alternative of transporting them by truck gets expensive. Some applications – like snow clearing or load and carry – could also benefit from having a higher operating speed. Cycle times can be significantly cut, thereby boosting productivity.

With three driveline speeds now available (there is also an intermediate driveline that boosts speeds up to 30km/h), customers can choose the option that best suits their needs and applications. The high-speed machine doesn’t only travel fast though – thanks to a drive mode selector the operator can adjust driveline behavior to match the work being undertaken.

Believed to be a unique feature on this type of machine, operators can choose between Work, Transport, Comfort or Eco modes. No matter what the application – materials handling with forks, truck loading, road sweeping or general load & carry tasks – there is a work mode suited to the activity, boosting productivity and operability, as well as reducing costs.

In addition to the multi-mode drive feature, a tractive power selector gives operators a choice of five settings that adjust the tractive force to suit ground conditions. What this means in practice is less wheel spin, as well as reduced tire wear and fuel consumption. An optional speed limiter controls maximum speed without losing tractive force.

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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