Wheel Loader Succeeds Motor Grader for Township Work

Seward Township, located in the state of Illinois, has replaced their motor grader with a new Hitachi ZW180-6 wheel loader.

“We bought the Hitachi loader last summer after months of researching what our needs and budget would fit,” said Anne Vickery, road commissioner, Kendeall County, Illinois.

According to Jason Vickery, the township’s road supervisor, the decision to dispose of their motor grader and replace it with a new equipment was driven by the loss of gravel roads in the township.

“When we bought the grader, we had more than 58 km of gravel roads that needed attention. Now, we have only 1.6. The grader got a lot of use for a while, however, in 2003, our township experienced significant growth and we began to pave our roads. Grader use fell year over year,” said Mrs. Vickery.

In the winter of 2019, the township began searching for a more versatile piece of equipment. They put out an RFQ (request for quote) to 4 heavy equipment manufacturers. In the end, they purchased a loader from Illinois Truck and Equipment located in Morris, Illinois.

Seward Township uses the ZW180-6 for snow plowing, truck feeding, lift and carry, and light earthmoving applications. A hydraulic quick coupler allows for the quick exchange of attachments.

Shortly after acquiring the ZW180-6, the township added another and unexpected application to the machine’s repertoire—rescue.

Flood waters swept a car and its driver into a creek. “The young man was standing on top of his car while it was still moving through the water,” recalls Anne Vickery. “Our township’s Emergency Services contacted Jason who was able to pluck the young driver off the top of his car with the bucket. Now that's versatility!”

“The machine’s new Tier 4 final Cummins engine does not require a diesel particulate filter, thereby reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs,” said Nick Stipanovich, sales representative for Illinois Truck and Equipment. 

The machine’s SCR system uses a simple DEF system for efficient operation without high engine temperatures. Eliminating the DPF components with the SCR system also opens up working space in the engine compartment for easier access.

An automatic power-up function responsively increases engine rpm when the loader slows down due to uphill travel. An auto shutdown feature provides fuel and emissions savings. Overall, the Dash 6 model boasts a 7% fuel reduction in V-shape loading and 5% fuel cost in load-and-carry operations.

The transmission is automatic and features a proprietary excavator style load-sensing system. This feature, coupled with a work mode selector, helps deliver the right amount of power for the application. A shift-to-hold switch provides extra traction or torque by overriding automatic transmission settings to maintain the current gear until the switch is pressed again.

“A standard limited slip rear axle helps the operator maintain constant control of the machine and focus on the task at hand,” added Mr. Stipanovich. 

The loader’s ROPS, enclosed cab with sound suppression features great visibility, market-leading technologies and intuitive controls.

The single, pilot-assisted control lever and an auxiliary function lever plus the in-cab operator-friendly LCD color monitor provide intuitive controls. The monitor displays useful information at a glance, such as fluid levels, oil temperature, power mode, and images captured by the rear-view camera.

Since snow removal is the primary application that the wheel loader is expected to perform, it was really important to the township that the machine be optimized for working in the snow. The Hitachi ZW180 excelled at meeting this criteria, too.
The machine comes equipped with a strong heater, an optional heated seat, and optional cold start feature via an air intake heater. Front and rear wipers and washers keep glass clean in snowy weather. “Plus, large, heated mirrors give a better view even in winter,” says Jason Vickery.

Machines engaged in snow removal applications work morning, noon and night. Seeing and being seen are essential to safe, efficient operation. “We added additional lighting for safe operation at night and in low light environments. Drivers and pedestrians need to be able to see us and extra lighting is a great help,” says Mr. Vickery.

To clear roads from snow, Illinois Truck and Equipment introduced the township to AMI Attachments Reactor Wing Blade. The attachment features a quick attach on both the front angle blade and wing blade so each blade can be used in tandem or individually – an industry first.

Source: Hitachi

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