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Loaders boosted by quick coupler system

 

Liebherr has expanded the application of its quick coupler system LIKUFIX to most of its XPower large wheel loader range.

The automatic, hydraulic coupling system was designed to increase efficiency and productivity, making operators’ jobs easier by keeping attachments connected. 

Not even a hydraulic line or a misaligned bucket could give an operator cause now to leave their seat, as LIKUFIX separates and re-engages attachments fully automatically. 

With the press of a button and the turn of a joystick, wheel loaders can become forklifts or sweepers or grapplers in seconds. 

From 2021, this capacity has been made available to an even wider range of vehicles. XPower large wheel loaders up to the L 580 will now benefit from the technology. 

Liebherr Australia and New Zealand’s earthmoving division national sales manager Noel Tosolini said the expansion met every expectation – for now. 

“The customer requirements were and are that wheel loaders can change tools fully hydraulically and automatically,” Tosolini told Quarry. “We can now meet this requirement completely. This means that Liebherr has exhausted the potential for this product – but the company is watching the market and, as with any other product, will continue to develop and generate maximum customer benefit.”

LIKUFIX can even be fitted to other manufacturers’ hydraulic excavators, meaning there’s no corner of Australia’s extractive industry that the system can’t touch. 

The technology builds on the preceding capabilities of Liebherr’s mechanical coupling system and the hydraulic coupling system – both borne of the ethos that swapping attachments can save time and money. 

Tosolini explained the applications where LIKUFIX might be used to save time. 

“In civil engineering or at sewer or road construction job sites, larger wheel loaders might work with high dump buckets, screener crusher buckets, pipe grabbers or concrete mixer buckets,” he said. “In recycling yards, changing between high dump buckets and hydraulic forks on a regular basis might be necessary. In all these applications, LIKUFIX can save time and reduce risk.”

Not only can the LIKUFIX save money in uptime but through the purchases of fewer vehicles for any given job. 

“Several customers in Europe have given us the feedback that thanks to LIKUFIX, a Liebherr wheel loader or excavator can complete the work of two machines in one,” Tosolini said.

For minimal maintenance on the coupling system and sustainable practices, Liebherr has produced a tight and reliable design. 

Tosolini dived into the ins and outs of what makes the system so effective. 

“The LIKUFIX system is designed for tough construction operations,” he said. “The coupling block is spring-mounted. Therefore, the forces acting on the hydraulic quick hitch do not transfer to the coupling system.

“Even on long operations, the connections between the hydraulic circuits are completely sealed. No dirt can penetrate the system and no oil can leave the hydraulic system. 

“To make maintenance easier, all individual moving parts on the LIKUFIX coupling system are easily accessible. 

“Customers are able to easily complete cleaning and simple maintenance activities themselves, such as changing a seal.”

Since 1954, Liebherr has been developing its excavation technology to reach this point, when simplicity and productivity can combine.

LIKUFIX has peaked – for now – and met the needs of the industry. But Tosolini said his company will be ready for the next step in technological advancement when the time comes. 

“Depending on customer requirements, add-on features can certainly be investigated and, if necessary, developed,” he said. “Liebherr has the advantage here that a great deal of know-how has already been acquired in the field of quick coupling systems over the last 20 years and synergies can certainly be used here. The primary goal is always to maximise customer benefit.”•

Further information about the LIKUFIX can be found on the Liebherr website: liebherr.com/en/aus/products/attachments/quick-couplers/likufix/likufix.html

This article appears in the October issue of Quarry Magazine.

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