Liebherr has started the introduction of a new range of telehandlers with the first units gaining broader appeal through a dual branding agreement with Claas, Nick Johnson reports.
Equipment manufacturer, Liebherr is increasing its focus on the waste and recycling industry with specially tailored machines to suit different types of scrap, waste handling and recycling work.
True, in the past, the company has also supplied telescopic handlers for waste applications – but now this capability is greatly enhanced as a result of the introduction of a ‘new generation’ of machines.
The first Liebherr telescopic handlers appeared in 2006 with maximum lift heights of 10.0 and 13.0 metres. They were heavy-duty models that proved to be particularly suitable for waste work. Subsequently, the range was extended by the addition of 7.0 metre machines designed to have wider appeal.
Now Liebherr has started introducing new generation machines with engines that meet the latest Stage IV engine emissions requirements. A big factor in the development of these new machines is the OEM partnership agreement signed in March 2015 that enables Liebherr to produce machines for the Claas Group to market into the agricultural sector.
Previously Claas had sourced its telehandlers from Kramer. But this latest deal means that Liebherr can provide not only its own yellow variants for construction and industrial applications, but also build lime green machines for Claas to sell to farmers.
The new Liebherr-built Claas branded ‘Scorpian’ telehandlers were officially launched at the ‘Agritechnica’ exhibition in Hannover last November – shortly after the Liebherr-branded construction/ industrial models were unveiled. Whatever the branding, the new machines are all made at the Liebherr factory in Telfs, Austria.
The first of the new models having lift heights of 6.0, 7.0 and 10.0 metres. But during this year, Liebherr intends to launch further models. Interestingly, these machines will be available with two levels of specification – enabling customers to choose between a simpler, cost-optimised ‘value’ machine – or a better-appointed and faster machine (denoted by an ‘S’ suffix in its model designation).
For waste work the higher-spec S-models will be most appropriate – they can also be fitted with special waste protection packages.
The first Liebherr-liveried S-version telehandlers unveiled in September last year were the ‘T32-7S’, ‘T36-7S’ and ‘T41-7S’.
As may be deduced from their model designations, this trio provide maximum lift capacities of 3,200 kg, 3,600 kg and 4,100 kg respectively, together with a maximum lift height of around 7.0 metres (actually 6.925 mm). Respective maximum forward reaches are 4,100 mm, 3,980 mm and 3,980mm.
December 2017 saw the introduction of the 6.0 metre ‘T35-6S’ and the 10.0 metre ‘T33-10S’. The next introductions are scheduled to be the 7.0 m ‘T46-7S’ in March, the 7.0 metre ‘T55-7S’ in July and the 9.0 metre ‘T60-9S’ in November.
For these new generation models, Liebherr has selected the latest high-torque Deutz diesel engines. Depending on the telehandler model, they have a displacement of 3.6 litres with power ratings of 74 kW (100 hp), or 100 kW (134 hp) – or a displacement of 4.1 litres with a power rating of 115 kW (154hp). These side mounted engines comply with Stage IV emission standards by using a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology.
The versions with a 4.1 litre displacement are also additionally equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) as standard, but this can also by offered as an option for engines with a displacement of 3.6 litres making them especially suitable for indoor operation in waste recycling sheds.
NO MORE RUNAWAYS
Liebherr has long been a big fan of hydrostatics, so it is not surprising that the new telehandlers utilise hydrostatic drive with electronic control that produces a maximum traction of up to 70 kN, depending on the engine power available.
Maximum travel speed is 40 km/h on the S-models. A useful feature is ‘Liebherr Hill Assist’ (LHA) which, automatically applies the park brake when the machine stops on a slope.
All the S-models feature high-performance hydraulics with a load-sensing hydraulic pump producing an oil output of up to 160 litre/min. The control block provides load-independent flow rate distribution to enable more rapid multi-function operation.
Machine manoeuvrability is aided by the choice of steering modes – front wheel steering, four wheel steering and crab steering. An LED informs the operator of the neutral position of the wheels.
The new Liebherr telehandlers have a distinctive new cab with a rounded front windscreen and a slim-line upper level ROPS/FOPS grid shaped so as not to impede the operator's forward line of sight. Good visibility to the offside and rear is aided by having a low boom pivot point and sloping bodywork.
Inside the spacious cab there is a tilt-able steering wheel, a fully adjustable seat and well placed visual indicators and control switches. The multifunctional joystick integrated into the S-models, enables all essential operating functions to be carried out using the right hand, so that the driver's left hand remains safely on the steering wheel at all times.
Factory fitted options include ‘Liebherr Comfort Drive’ (LCD). This utilises a driving vibration damper, a manual control package, a camera system, lubrication systems and different lighting packages. The special waste package for all S-models includes a reversible fan for cleaning the radiator and additional safety guards or covers to protect the drivetrain and mainframe.
These new machines can also be fitted with an automatic pressure relief system for the working hydraulics in order to make changing over attachments simpler. Other options include an additional hydraulic circuit for actuating further functions on the boom head and a separate control option for the hydraulic oil flow rate in the work hydraulics.
To aid customers switching to the new Liebherr handlers whilst continuing to use existing attachments, the latest T-series models can be supplied with different quick couplers. So, as well as using the Liebherr design, there are also quick couplers that are compatible with the machine hitches from the other manufacturers including Manitou, Kramer, JCB and Volvo.
ALREADY A WINNER?
Even before the official product launch, the new T46-7 model had won two design awards.
The German Design Council named this new telescopic handler as the winner of the ‘German Design Award 2018’ in the transportation category with the judges commending its optimal visibility and a dynamic appearance. The machine has also won the ‘Red Dot Product Design Award 2017’.
So, thanks to this award-winning design and the cost benefits derived from the greater production volumes generated through the Claas dual-branding deal, Liebherr should be in a much better position to gain a larger share of the telehandler market.
In the past, units from the company’s in-house rental operation were supplied into the waste sector and this route could again prove very useful in getting the newcomers established in the demanding conditions found in the waste industry, by giving potential customers a chance to ‘try before you buy’.