Wheel loaders are common on construction sites but they can suffer from one problem, the larger vehicles can be cumbersome and difficult to maneuver in tight situations. This led to the introduction of what we call an articulated wheel loader.
An articulated vehicle is simply a vehicle that has been ‘broken’ into two separate pieces. The vehicle is then rejoined using a system similar to attaching a boat trailer to a car – only on a much larger scale and a little more involved. Like a boat trailer, an articulated vehicle swivels on a central point with each half able to move back on themselves.
This is the principle of articulation. You see it more frequently with large truck and trailer combinations. The benefit of articulation is that it can maneuver in much smaller areas than traditional wheel loaders. Where articulated wheel loaders are different to other forms of articulation is that steering is handled through the rear wheels rather than the front wheel. This leaves the front of the vehicle free to do what it does best, scoop material up and transport it where it needs to go.
We are entering an interesting time when it comes to the demand for heavy equipment operators. With so much construction happening around the country the demand for operators is on the increase. This includes loader operators, particularly wheel loader operators.
Wheel loader training is undertaken as part of a broader heavy equipment training program. This provides skills in a range of heavy equipment including wheel loaders. Once training has been completed, operators can choose to specialize as wheel loader operators if they choose. The demand for operators is there, we just need fill those vacancies with suitably qualified operators.