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Liebherr XPower wheel loaders feature power-split drivetrain technology

L 586 XPower Wheel loader
L 586 XPower Wheel loader

Liebherr’s new generation of wheel loaders – the XPower series – represent a milestone in the technological history of wheel loaders for the company. Due to the wide range of innovations, such as the power-split driveline installed as standard, the company has subjected its new wheel loader generation to much tougher, more thorough and more extensive testing than ever before. Important main components, such as the innovative XPower driveline and the larger axles, were found to be particularly durable in testing over 70,000 operating hours.

Power-split drivetrain

At the heart of the XPower is the Tier 4 Final compliant power-split drivetrain which combines hydrostatic drive – ideal for material loading and travelling over short distances, with mechanical drive – the most powerful and efficient option for travelling over long distances and driving up gradients. The combination of these two drive types in a single wheel loader ensures maximum efficiency and outstanding fuel savings in every situation, enabling operators of the XPower wheel loader to reduce their fuel consumption by up to 30 percent.

The power-split transmission makes it possible to combine the two types of drive. It continuously adjusts the ratio of the two drive paths, always transferring 100 percent of the diesel power; only the ratio of the two paths changes. As a result, the wheel loader is always optimally powered to ensure maximum productivity, adapting to the specific requirements of a task.

Liebherr Power Efficiency system (LPE) plays a key role by proactively controlling all components in real time to achieve maximum efficiency and reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 percent compared to conventionally-driven wheel loaders.

The engines use SCR technology, which is simple, reliable and highly effective for emission reduction system. Diesel particulate filters and exhaust gas recycling are not required. Since there is no filter regeneration, high exhaust gas temperatures are avoided, thereby significantly reducing the risk of fire.

Every XPower wheel loader is also fitted with stronger axles than the previous machine generation, often being fitted with axles from the next model up in the earlier range.

To improve operational productivity, Liebherr has reinforced the lift arm and optimized the lever ratio. The revised Z-bar linkage results in breakout forces that are up to 20 percent higher than those of previous machine generations. Customers can choose between Z-bar linkage and industrial linkage for the XPower L 550, L 556, L 566 and L 580 wheel loaders at no extra cost.

The buckets have been designed to penetrate the material more effectively, to facilitate fast and efficient filling. Liebherr has also reinforced the bearings and the bucket structure. The standard bucket volume varies between 3.2 cubic metres for the L 550 XPower and 6.0 cubic metres for the L 586 XPower, an increase of 0.2 to 0.5 cubic metres. This allows machine operators to move more material with each loading cycle.

Heavy components, such as the engine, have been placed right at the back of the machine, which shifts the centre of gravity towards the rear axle and removes the need for additional counterweight. This ideal weight distribution results in high tipping loads and greater handling capacity per hour of operation.

Larger cab, simple maintenance: focus on comfort

Liebherr developed the cab in close cooperation with wheel loader drivers to achieve the highest standards of comfort with a logically-arranged cab interior that feels spacious and includes handy storage options.

Ergonomics have been thought out down to the smallest detail with the displays, operating elements and driver’s seat forming a single ergonomic unit that can be adjusted by the driver to suit their individual needs. For example, the driver can select one of three adjustment options on the steering column. The movement-following Liebherr operating lever is integrated into the driver’s seat as a standard feature and allows accurate and intuitive control of the working and driving functions.

The glass and window areas are larger and extend further downwards than in earlier wheel loader models, improving all-round visibility. The reversing camera, fitted as standard, is integrated into the touch screen display. These measures – in combination with the slimmer design of the customized engine hood – ensure excellent all-round visibility for maximum safety of the operator and machine.

The engine hood opens backwards, providing quick access to the engine for maintenance work, and a pedestal for comfortable and safe working is integrated into the opened hood. The most important maintenance areas are close to the cab and can be checked with ease. The fuel and urea tank (SCR system) are combined in one place, making refuelling more straightforward.

The radiator is located immediately behind the operator’s cab in the cleanest area of the wheel loader. In this position, the cooling system can aspirate air with a low dust content, which ensures consistent and reliable cooling performance. This intelligent design solution also reduces maintenance and increases the service life of the cooling system. Equipment options, such as a reversible fan drive, fluff filter or a coarse-meshed radiator net, protect the cooling system against pollution during particularly dusty operations.

Wheel loaders put through rigorous testing in various applications

Liebherr deployed the XPower test wheel loaders in various quarries, recycling businesses and sawmills.

Since moving a wide range of materials is one of the basic tasks for a wheel loader, Liebherr tested several machines in this job. A gravel and crushed stone plant, for example, tested an L 580 XPower with Z-bar linkage and 5.7-cubic-metre bucket. The wet raw material, which the company extracts from a lake using a bucket chain, proved to be a particular challenge. With the strengthened Z-bar lift arms providing up to 20 percent more breakout force, the machine operators lifted the wet material without a problem. The optimized bucket design offered improved penetration action for the task. The responsiveness of the XPower driveline was impressive when the loading route had an uphill gradient. The machine operator praised the quiet, comfortable handling and the agility of the wheel loader. Liebherr reports that at approximately 15 litres of diesel per operating hour, the L 580 XPower consumes around 5 litres per hour less than an existing competitive machine undertaking similar activities in the gravel and crushed stone plant.

In another test, an L 566 XPower loaded approximately 1,500 tonnes of recycled building materials. Travelling across the large site, the wheel loader consumed between 14 and 18 litres of diesel per hour. A senior employee at the recycling facility commented: “The thrust force and acceleration of the L 566 XPower are excellent. The machine is very responsive, but still runs quietly. The large cab is particularly comfortable. The driver’s seat is great. I can adjust the steering wheel in three ways and the control elements are arranged so that all the information is available at a glance.”

An L 586 XPower, fitted with a 5.5-cubic-metre rock bucket with Liebherr tooth system, was tested in the quarrying industry by an international cement manufacturer that used it for extraction. Other standard quarrying equipment options, such as a foldable grille for the windscreen, were included on the machine to prepare it for its work at the rock face. The challenging test operation featured routes of up to 400 m and inclines of up to 30 percent. The benefits of the power-split driveline really came into effect under these conditions. The combination of the hydrostatic and mechanical drive ensures that the wheel loader works efficiently on all operations, even on long routes and up hills. The L 586 XPower proved this to be the case. Despite the enormous load, the test loader only used around 22 litres of diesel per operating hour.

L 566 XPower Wheel loader

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