The swing loader concept was created by German manufacturer Ahlmann in 1953 and it was somewhat revolutionary, introducing unprecedented manoeuvrability. Mecalac (Mécanique du Lac) acquired Ahlmann in 2002 and has not stood still with the concept.
It has now expanded its swing loader series from four models to seven.
All are designed on the basis of a rigid chassis, with three standard steering modes – two-wheel, four-wheel and crab steering. Whatever the bucket lifts at the front, once the rear axle is blocked, it can lift it safely through 180°.
The swing loader, thanks to its arm, pivots instead of moving. According to its advocates, this makes it more efficient, quieter and safer.
The new models are the AS750, AS850 and AS1000. They join the existing AS600, AS900tele, AS1600 and AS210. Collectively, the range of seven machines offer bucket capacities from 600 to 2,100 litres.
The AS750 (above) is the big sister of the Mecalac AS600 swing loader, wider and with an increased wheelbase (1,870 mm) for more stability. The engine power has been increased to 45kW / 61hp to provide more lifting and loading capacity, while the ‘P-bucket’ kinematics offer add to precision during handling operations, Mecalac says, particularly with the pallet lift or load hook.
The AS850 (above) is all about productivity, the manufacturer says, and is available in a 40 km/h option for faster transfers. In addition, a new arm and ‘Z- bucket’ kinematics offer what they reckon to be the best compromise between digging power and precision.
The AS1000 (above) is a more powerful version of the AS850, with a four-cylinder 55.4 kW / 75 hp high-torque engine (375 Nm). The option of a high-flow hydraulic line offers up to 120 l/min for handling hydraulic attachments.