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Chinese wheeled loader 40 not out!

Digger Blogger | 20:44, Wed August 29 2012

A loading shovel produced by Chinese manufacturer LiuGong, is still working on a daily basis some 40 years after it rolled off the production line.

In 1961, the central government of China formulated a master plan to develop the country’s construction equipment industry. In this plan it was proposed that LuiGong, along with Xiamem’s and Chengu’s construction machinery plants, would all focus on the production of wheeled loaders.

In 1966, LiuGong developed the Z435 which was the company’s first model of wheeled loader. This machine was based on a Japanese design, was powered by a 135hp engine, had an operating weight of 3.5 tonnes and had a bucket capacity of 1.7m3.

In 1971, the machine was joined by a larger articulated wheeled loader model, the 220hp Z450, however LuiGongs first generation of wheeled loaders were only ever produced in relatively small numbers. As you can see here, this early version of the Z435, which is 40 years old, is still working on a regular basis to this day. Although it leaves a lot to be desired cosmetically, the machine is still more than capable of putting in a day’s work for its owner.

LiuGong has gone on to become one of the largest wheeled loader manufacturers in China. In recent years, LiuGong has gone on to extend its product portfolio to include compaction equipment and crawler excavators.

The Liugong Company traces its history back to 1958, when it was named Liuzhou Metal Structure Plant and made steel components for the oilfield development in the adjacent Guangdong Province. 

In 1960, LuiGong developed small crawler dozers and tower cranes, which were company’s first entry into manufacturing construction equipment.  The annual production of crawler dozers stayed at under 200 units until the early 1970s, when it turned focused its attention to wheeled loader production.

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