South Africa lacks the skilled labour required to operate capital equipment machines safely and efficiently and construction companies often do not take the time to provide the necessary training before entrust- ing costly equipment to unskilled and untrained labour, says capital equipment supplier CSE divisional manager Alex Ackron.
CSE offers training on equipment maintenance through trainers who provide operator training as well as daily maintenance training as a value-added service with every machine bought from the company, says Ackron.
He says while an increase in demand for operator training is not evident in the industry, CSE has identified this as an important aspect and, therefore. is focusing on providing training to its customers.
“The reliability of the machines is dependent on the way it is operated. In addition, unskilled operators can decrease the life of machines and cause increased maintenance costs.
“Machine maintenance is crucial to ensure improved levels of efficiency and productivity and to increase machine life,” says Ackron, who points out that wheel loader prices range from R1.2-million to R2.5-million, depending on exchange rates.
Construction equipment provider Case Con- struction launched its F Series wheel loaders in November 2012. The range is available to the Southern African region exclusively through CSE, part of Invicta Group, and offers substantial fuel savings and greater lifting capacity and breakout force.
The F Series wheel loaders are mostly used in high-production applications in the Southern African environment and have received a positive response from the region, Ackron tells Engineering News.
He notes that the machines can assist in increasing productivity on construction sites and offer fuel savings of up to 10%.
Four models in this range are locally avail- able – the 621F, 821F, 921F and 1021F – and each one is designed for efficient and safe operation in construction, quarrying, mining, waste hand- ling and related applications, says Ackron.
“Case wheel loaders are fast, powerful and agile, while also proving to be reliable and efficient,” states Ackron.
The F Series incorporates a power inch de-clutch facility, which provides continuous short cycles for fast performance and high productivity, CSE explains in a media release.
The F Series models 621F, 821F and 921F are manufactured with a 6.7 ℓ engine, while the 1021F model is manufactured with an 8.7 ℓ engine, offering high horsepower and torque ratings to deliver power in demanding conditions. The standard four-speed version of the 1021F model is enhanced by a lock-up torque converter that ensures total control, even in arduous conditions.
The 1021F wheel loader maintains precise control of the oil temperature in its axles to ensure dependable operation in the most diffi- cult applications and a newly designed cooling box keeps the temperature of cooling fluids in the front and rear axles constant.
It is also equipped with a torque-sensing AutoShift transmission to boost productivity. The operator chooses the working mode from within the cab, or the autopower facility can be selected to automatically match the power curve to each application. For increased performance, demand is constantly monitored with engine output and torque is continually adjusted by the operator.
CSE notes that an open differential component on the front and rear axles of the F Series prevents the machines from overheating, while a differential lock on the front axles provides effective grip control on any surface, particularly on soft soil, where greater resistance is needed.
The system can be automatically or manually controlled by the operator’s left foot, Ackron explains, adding that special, solid foam-filled tyres and tyre chains can be fitted to the F Series wheel loaders for demanding applications, such as the handling of scrapped materials like iron, wood, glass, plastics and civil organic waste.
The F Series also incorporates a common rail electronically controlled certified diesel engine to provide operators with four work modes (economy, standard, automatic and full power) for increased efficiency in any application, resulting in better use of available power, lower fuel consumption, reduced wear on the engine and drive line, lower noise levels and, overall, reduced emissions.
Improved operator comfort and safety is ensured by the F Series’ low-vibration cab. Advanced sound-insulation materials and the electronic injection engine reduce noise levels, while a low-effort, single-lever loader control joystick ensures a quick shuttle switch for faster, more precise operations.
“All controls have been designed to be highly responsive to commands and digital displays enable clear reading in all lighting conditions,” Ackron states.
Further, engine diagnostics are undertaken inside the cab, enabling quicker detection of service needs. “Maintenance-free wet disc brakes and components designed to provide an extended service life also contribute to a faster service time.”
To ensure increased safety and durability, the cabs of the F Series wheel loaders are roll-over-protection-structure certified and CSE’s national technical advisory and maintenance services are equipped to maintain Case Construction equipment, which includes backhoe loaders, compact track loaders, excavators, telehandlers and skid steers.