Cover Story: Lovol FL958H wheel loader

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Lovol’s FL958H wheel loader brings heavy earthmoving construction gear to everyone, with fewer electrical items and a down-to-earth pricing package

The Lovol FL958H wheel loader is a favourite for construction, contractors and large farming
The Lovol FL958H wheel loader is a favourite for construction, contractors and large farming

Machines designed for work in the mining and construction industries are typically sturdy and hard-wearing; able to work long hours without spending days in a maintenance workshop.

But when it comes to name-brand earthmoving equipment, the high cost means smaller players such as farmers and independent contractors are often locked out, Toowoomba-based Equipment Specialists operations manager and heavy diesel mechanic Lawrence Perkins says.

"So they buy cheap rubbish or second-hand gear that is already worn out, because that is what they can afford – but that comes with the massive expense of calling dealers out for breakdowns due to electrical faults," he adds.

"Well, we have got a machine that is in line with big name brands, but at a reasonable price with many problematic items eliminated, especially for Australia."

The machine in question is the Lovol FL958H wheel loader, a favourite for construction, contractors and large farming, and available for $162,000 plus GST.

The Lovol FL958H engine bay
The Lovol FL958H wheel loader has extra large engine covers to allow for better engine access

Built tough

With a 5.5 tonne lift capacity, the model is a recently upgraded centre-point in the Chinese manufacturer’s H series wheel loader line-up, which ranges from the three-tonne lift capacity Lovol FL936H to the seven-tonne capacity Lovol FL976H.

Equipment Specialists sells the Alfa tractors and telescopic handler range in Australia, alongside TYM and Arbos tractors, but Perkins sys the company started selling Lovol Construction Machinery after being impressed by the quality control and high standard of its product range.

 "We have sold these machines to people who have put a couple of thousand hours on them…  in logging, in quarries and in farming, with rippers on the rear for de-silting dams, bulk buckets and stick rakes – and we’ve had no warranty claims on the machines to date," he says.

"It’s an unbelievable record, as our heavy repair workshops are regularly repairing near new equipment from all brands."

But Perkins says it matches some of the reports he has had from his South African counterparts – of FL958Hs working 22,000 hours and 29,000 hours in construction without the need for a major component rebuild – a trait he says is very rare for late-model machines.

Perkins says this is due, in part, to the fact that the Australian models do not come equipped with excess electronic computer units, Adblue, diesel particulate filters or exhaust gas recirculation valves.

Maintenance is straightforward, with extra-large side engine covers allowing for easy access to filters and check points, while grease lubrication points are handled by auto greaser units or grease banks for quick and easy routine maintenance.

A two-stage air dryer system reduces moisture and maintenance on the brakes, while a single-layer radiator cooling system incorporating engine, transmission, hydraulic and air conditioner cooling is  a non-blocking and easy-cleaning design suitable for farmers and feedlots.

The Lovol FL958H wheel loader interior
The operator cabin offers panoramic view, an air suspension seat, air conditioning and radio

Big unit

With an operational weight of 18 tonnes, the FL958H is heavy enough to compete with its better known rival brands for engine and torque power, load handling and reliability.  

Its high-torque 238 horsepower (178kW) Deutz Weichai Tier 2 Engine and German ZF 4WG200 transmission allows it to reach a top speed of 38km/h.

The engine is matched with a constant variable hydraulic system, with variable displacement Danfoss pumps and Rexroth steering orbitals using its high load-bearing pressure to stay consistent.  

Lovol’s hydraulic system filters 99.5 per cent of impurities from the pilot oil circuit, making the system cleaner, more reliable and longer lasting.

It comes equipped with a reinforced chassis frame verified by over 5,000 hours of impact fatigue experiments under industrial conditions.

The housing of the Meritor and Lovol axles has also been improved with the outer bearings enlarged – lifting the bearing capacity of the front axle to 40 tonnes alone.

Multifunctionality is important to Lovol’s range of wheel loaders – as they can be equipped with attachments such as a hydraulic quick hitch, bulk grain bucket, gorilla plated rock bucket, log grab, pallet forks and four-tine hay spike forks, making it a versatile machine on any farm or feedlot.

Operator comfort  

The FL958H comes equipped with a ZF auto change powershift transmission, making it reliable and comfortable to operate for all.  

The vehicle’s KD shifting function allows for loading with only the tap of a button, with the vehicle resuming second gear automatically when reversed out with a full bucket. 

The FL958H comes fully rollover and falling object protection system-certified as standard, with panoramic views, an air suspension seat, air conditioning and radio as well as a rear monitoring system on an 18cm screen.  

As the exclusive importer for both Australia and New Zealand, the models Equipment Specialists imports match Australian demands with fewer electronics, only branded main pumps and driveline and all high spec options available including quick hitch, Perkins says.  

"With its quality, toughness and reliability at the forefront of Lovol’s business here in Australia; less breakdowns, more operating hours means it will make you money rather than costing you," he says.

"Lovol really is a big-name brand machine - just not known here yet! Time is proving this and at a reasonable price many have become believers."

With dealers and service agents across Australia and New Zealand and so many parts off the shelf from trusted suppliers, Perkins says it won’t take long for Lovol to become one of the big names here too.

You can contact the team at Equipment Specialists at 1300 378 478 or at https://equipmentspecialists.com.au/. The company offers 24/7 field service and heavy repair from its workshops in Toowoomba and Chinchilla, Queensland. 

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