In 2017, Wacker Neuson introduced a new line of four medium-frame skid-steer and two compact track loader models to the North American market that are designed and built at the company’s Menomonee Falls, WI facility. The new machines were developed from the ground up to specifically meet voice of customer requirements. Many key performance characteristics, such as lift height, engine power, push force and operator comfort, were a priority for the design team.
"We started from 'dead scratch' with an open template," says Brent Coffey, product manager for loaders, Wacker Neuson. "The new machines are a brand new platform for the company... to provide a design specific for the North American market."
The SW16 and SW17 radial lift and SW20 and SW21 vertical lift skid steers are slotted into the highly competitive 1,600- to 2,100-lb. rated operating capacity range, while the ST28 radial lift and ST31 vertical lift compact track loaders have rated operating capacities of 2,800 and 3,100 lbs. (50% tipping load). Bucket breakout force is 5,300 lbf. Power is supplied by a 55-hp Kohler 1903 three-cylinder diesel (SW16 and SW20) or 74.3-hp Kohler 2504 four-cylinder diesel engine with diesel oxidation catalyst aftertreatment; no diesel particulate filter or regen are required. Maximum torque of 221 ft.-lbs. provides the power to deliver improved ground-engaging performance in various terrain. A class-leading four-year/4,000-hour transferable engine warranty is standard.
Vertical lift models provide an impressive 124-in. hinge pin height for optimal loading and unloading capabilities. Category-leading hydraulic horsepower (38.6 hp) is standard or optional high-flow (57.2 hp) enables the loaders to easily power high-performance attachments. The 33-gal. fuel tank gives operators 30% more time in the cab and less time refueling.
The extra-large, pressurized cab incorporates ergonomic controls with pillar-mounted switches, an automotive-style HVAC system, seat-mounted joysticks, high all-around visibility, easy entry and exit and a three-point seat belt in place of the lap bar. Mechanical hand-foot and selectable electric-hydraulic options (ISO/H-Pattern) ensure operators with varying experience levels can efficiently operate the machines.
"We have an industry-leading cab for this size class," Coffey asserts. "It's a cab layout and dimension that you'll see on large track loaders and skid steers but it's on a medium-frame chassis."
A one-piece pod-style design allows the entire cab to tip forward. "This is the only forward-tipping cab that allows you to tip the cab with the arms down," Coffey points out. This allows for complete access to all maintenance components. "There's not going to be any machine out there that has more accessibility, both in the engine compartment as well as under the cab."
The undercarriage on the compact track loaders was also designed completely in house. It features Rexroth T-series drive motors with internally mounted drivelines. "The whole area underneath [the track] is wide open for easier cleaning," Coffey notes. "It is very accessible for daily maintenance. The compact track loader also has more track on the ground to lower ground pressure and provide more traction."
In addition to a slew of standard features, the loaders are offered with an optional variable-speed fan, optional stackable counterweights and available dealer install kits. "Any factory option is available as a dealer install kit," says Coffey. This allows company dealers to upfit an existing machine to meet customer needs after the sale or prior to resale.