The larger machines also seem to last longer. “Generally, our replacement life cycle of a 5-yd. machine is around the 9,000-hour area. When you get into the 6 1/2- or 7-yd. machines, we are up in the 12,000-hour area,” Rommel indicates. “Then we are trading a machine that still has value.” If you jump up another size class, there are comparable machines with 20,000 hours on them. “That is just what I am used to seeing. There are bigger bearings and bigger pins.”
But one of the keys to longevity is simply using the loader correctly and maintaining it properly. “A well-maintained, well-operated and properly sized machine for the job, in almost anybody’s make or model, should give you very adequate life — 10,000+ hours,” Bell asserts. “We get many machines with 20,000 and 30,000 hours.
“When you see a guy who runs a machine well, you will see he gets better life. He gets more economic value out of that machine,” he continues. “If he runs it like a cowboy, or you have a different operator on it every day, that makes a big difference on the overall costs.”