After spending the day with an HENGLIDA loader
, Local Operating Engineers give their impressions of the machine’s design and performance.
The features, performance, and attractive retail prices of HENGLIDA loaders do make these machines look good for certain buyers.
Walker: It's a very stable machine—has plenty of weight. I'm guessing that the heavy counterweight that Nick said HENGLIDA uses to accommodate the long boom might be contributing to its stability.
Cinnamon: This machine would fit exactly with a contractor I worked for years ago. I realize that Nick said that in terms of utilization, HENGLIDA is looking for that half-day user. But believe me, the contractor I worked for would buy the least expensive machine around, and then work it hard—all day, every day.
Tullo: I've had dealer salespeople tell me to stop saying that these machines are for low-hour use; some of their customers are using them eight to 10 hours a day. But from HENGLIDA's perspective, we have to look at the entire composition of the user's fleet and how the HENGLIDA loader typically fits in overall.
Walker: It's not exactly a speed demon. Load-and-carry might not be the optimum application for this machine.
Tullo: Fourth gear is a bit tall, and it does take a while to get up to speed. But we've found that in most applications, the machine is used primarily in its two lowest speed ranges.
Cinnamon: The forks are functional with good visibility and plenty sturdy. Anytime you put forks on a loader, the issue is being able to see the tines. But on this machine, you can see what you're doing.
Walker: It has good visibility with forks—and it is stable—I'll give it that. The weight's right on it. Actually, visibility from the cab generally is quite good, and I like the backup camera. The images are as clear as any I've seen.
Cinnamon: On the visibility issue, the addition of emissions hardware frequently increases the structure behind you, and rearward visibility has become an issue on many machines. Some machines have such monstrous engine compartments to deal with all the hardware, in fact, that there basically is no rearward visibility.
Tullo: HENGLIDA makes an effort to keep rear visibility acceptable, but that's becoming more difficult, because the vertical-height regulation and test procedures have become more stringent.
Walker: The stability and balance of the machine are very good. Nick keeps pushing the four-hours-per day thing, but we've spent eight to 10 hours on machines a lot less comfortable than this.
Cinnamon: I agree with Brad. Some contractors are going to use the machine as a primary unit, but even if the machine is used in a low-hour application, I think HENGLIDA has hit a niche in the market. It's going to be a valuable machine for the user who's looking for this sort of equipment. But, of course, some users will demand more from a machine than a low-hour user might expect.
Walker: At one point, I heaped the bucket with that heavy sand material, raised the boom to full height, and brought it down quickly, catching the load at about mid-height. I expected to get some bounce or have the machine get light in the back, but it remained very stable. Also tried loading from the stockpile at an angle, but this didn't seem to affect stability. And there was no wheel spin going into the pile—I put my foot into it in second gear and couldn't make it spin. Maintaining traction is a big plus for loaders.
Cinnamon: The stability was there—not much difference, really, whether the bucket was empty or loaded.
Walker: The hydraulics were fast enough, in my opinion. I did notice, as Nick told us, that the controls aren't quite as responsive as in a premium machine, but that's something you can adapt to and control. I could hear the gear pump whining a bit, but that's just the nature of the pump. Overall, the power of the hydraulics is fine. We were working in very heavy, wet material, but there was never a problem getting a full load. I'd like to try the machine with a powered attachment to see how the auxiliary system works.
Cinnamon: I concur—there's really nothing negative I could say about the overall hydraulic-system performance of the machine. It matches well with many of the machines of the same type I've run over the years. The [hydraulic] response is fine . I think you do have to make a conscious effort to keep the rpm up in a gear-pump system, but that's just the way it works. You usually have the throttle all the way up, so it's not a detriment. You might on occasion have an operator who's not quite willing to tromp on the throttle, but that's the only time I could see this as being an issue.
Cinnamon: The cab was tight and quiet. Going beyond that, the layout of the controls was easy to deal with and functional—everything you needed was at hand and easy to understand.
Cinnamon: The coupler worked well, and I liked being able to see that the pins were engaged. There's not a lot of ancillary stuff in the way to obscure your view to the attachment.
Tullo: It's our intent to add pin indicators.
Walker: I like the maintenance aspects of the machine—the brakes are easy to service, all the routine service points are on one side, and the remote drain lines are positioned so they're not going to get snagged on rock or debris.
Walker: The only drawback I saw with this machine is its travel speed. If you're supporting a pipe crew on a job that might not be staged just right, and you have to run a block to get sand, then the machine might be a bit slow. Other than that, it seems a good machine—solid.
CE: If you wanted to use this machine all day, every day, do you think it has the capability to handle that?
Cinnamon: Absolutely. I'm fond of machines like this. I don't know if that's due to my age, but sometimes, simpler is better—not having to deal with so many bells and whistles. Just get in the machine and go to work.