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A Shift in the U.S. Mindset Considering Articulating Machines
European equipment technology starting to take off in the U.S.


Part of Avant Tecno's 600 series of articulating loaders, this 635 model is paired with a backhoe, one of the many attachments available.

We have seen a recent trend with European equipment technology starting to take off in the U.S. commercial market. The articulating loader with multi-tool attachment capability is proving very efficient and useful in many applications. A shift in the U.S. mindset from non-articulating loaders is giving landscapers a nice competitive edge economically and a solid alternative.

The articulating machine is generally smaller, lighter weight, and utilizes almost half the horsepower while still performing a similar workload to a traditional machine with a lifting capacity up to 3,800 lbs. There are many advantages to a small lightweight machine that articulates.

• Less Turf Damage: This is probably the most significant benefit in grass & artificial turf applications. A machine that weighs 4,640 lbs. and capacity to lift up to 3,800 lbs. only has a 3.33PSI footprint on the turf. Getting into a backyard to remove a tree, carry material for a patio, or drive across artificial turf doesn't require ground protection anymore.

• Extendable Booms: Booms will reach up to a height of 122" allowing the truck loading task to be performed without additional platforms. Reaching for objects to pick up and stack also makes material handling simple & quick.

• Faster Transport Speeds: Articulating machines have the capability of ground transport speeds up to 19 mph. In some applications the machine can be driven to the job site as opposed to trailering.

• Reduced Tire Wear: Loaders operated on asphalt and concrete will recognize less wear on tires as they articulate and steer.

• Simplified Trailering: The largest machine in this category weighs approximately 4,700 lbs. This equipment can be towed using standard landscape trailers without the CDL requirement in most cases.

• Side Entry: Operators enjoy a safe entry from the side as opposed to climbing over a sometimes wet or slippery bucket.

• Better Fuel Economy: Smaller engines doing the same work in a shorter amount of time equate to big savings in fuel cost.

The price tag is a little higher in some cases, but the efficiency and safety benefits far outweigh the cost. The European "tool carrier" concept offers many advantages that we are starting to recognize in the U.S. markets. This technology is taking off fast around Indiana specifically for snow removal, landscaping, tree/arbor, and artificial turf.

About the Author
McGavic graduated from Purdue University with a degree in electrical engineering. A second generation engineer and a second generation businessman, he has worked with his father, Pat, to grow the family business in Indiana since 1978.

(This article was edited due to space limitations and editorial considerations. The entire original article can be see at: )

One More Benefit of Articulating Machines

The KCM 45ZV features a 61 horsepower engine, a straight tipping load of 8,700 lbs., a breakout force of 7,470 lbs. and a Universal Quick Coupler to allow a wide range of attachments.

According to Sam Shelton, marketing manager for KCMA corporation, manufacturers of KCM articulating wheel loaders, the articulation is a major factor in maintaining required balance on uneven terrain, with a top-heavy load, and with workers working in close proximity as the photo illustrates. "Safety is priority, so balance and visibility are priority," she says.

As seen in LC/DBM magazine, October 2017.

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January 24, 2019, 1:38 am PST

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