Every time something is added or taken off, the machine should be re-counterweighted, he advises. This includes adding a hammer, changing a general-purpose bucket to a 6-in-1, adding [an extendible dipperstick], etc.
To help achieve optimal balance, John Deere provides a counterweight chart that recommends the right amount of counterweight based upon the options chosen when you order a machine. For example, you would need more weight on the front if you were going to use a hammer with an extendible dipperstick, notes Tyler, but less weight on the front if you require a multipurpose bucket on the loader and a standard dipperstick behind.
makes a difference
If you anticipate significant loader use or roading of the machine, then a powershift transmission may be the answer. One advantage to a powershift transmission is that the operator is able to smoothly transition speeds, says Wade.
Other advantages include improved load retention and greater overall productivity. Powershift transmissions make changing gear a lot easier for the operator, says Blower. Anything that makes the job easier for the operator leads to more productivity.
JCB offers an Autoshift transmission as an option on its backhoe-loaders. According to Blower, the operator can select second gear to increase cycle speed for truck loading. Then, as the machine approaches a pile, a button on the floor can be depressed to kick the transmission down to first gear to load the bucket. Once the machine is put into reverse, the transmission reverts back to second gear to maintain cycle times.
The Autoshift transmission can also be put into a fully auto mode for roading applications, he adds. A locking torque converter maintains the road speed when traveling between jobsites.
Shuttle shift transmissions can also be very beneficial. Shuttle shift transmissions mean the machine can be shuttled from forward to reverse without grinding gears, says Blower. It is accomplished through hydraulic clutch packs.
Having to reach over and change gear on every cycle when truck loading would be very fatiguing, says Tyler. A powershift transmission that includes a shuttle shift (or FNR lever) allows easy gear changes by simply rotating the collar on the FNR lever ? no need to bend forward to reach a gear lever or pull and push it in or out of gear.
Retain the load
Ride control is a valuable asset for load and carry or road transport applications. Ride control will allow the backhoe to travel across the jobsite more quickly without spilling material, say, from the gravel pile to the trench, says Tyler.
When ride control is engaged, an accumulator is brought in to the loader hydraulic circuit. The loader arms then act as shock absorbers, leveling out the bumps across the jobsite, he explains. This also makes roading faster. The backhoe can ride through undulations in the road without slowing when transporting between one jobsite and the next, for example.
Of course, ride control does add cost to the base machine, so you need to perform sufficient loader work to earn a return on investment.
Other features can further adapt backhoe-loaders to load and carry applications. Take hydraulic self-leveling. Hydraulic self-leveling loader control valves improve pallet work and are easily shut off, with a conveniently located lever, for loader work, says Rohrbacker.
True parallel-lift loader arm designs are another example. A parallel-lift loader arm configuration gives you self-leveling and more reach when dumping into a truck, says Wade.
All JCB 3CX and 4CX machines come standard with a parallel-lift loader, says Blower. When used in a fork application, the forks will stay parallel to the ground through the whole lift and lower cycle.
John Deere?s TMC backhoes rely on electrohydraulics vs. mechanical linkages to provide the parallel-lift function. TMC machines have the ability to turn parallel lift off and re-engage self-leveling, says Tyler. This is so the parallel lift action is not fighting the desire to have the bucket fully curled to keep contents from spilling, while retaining the bucket self-leveling action near full height when truck loading.