Case Studies, Features, Load & Haul, Materials Handling, Mobile Plant, News

The new ol’ reliable mechanical wheel loader


This tried and true articulated wheel loader has been invaluable for an independent contractor in Central Queensland. Ideal for the traditionalist without a second to spare, the YX667 is a well put together machine.

Olympus Equipment Sales has established a specialised loader assembly facility in Loganholme, Queensland, where brands like Cummins, ZF and Meritor are combined for highly reliable machinery.

One of the bright orange workhorses it has sold across Australia’s eastern seaboard is the 20.5-tonne YX667 articulated wheel loader. 

With a rated load of six tonnes and a Cummins 6CTA8.3 engine capable of 179 kilowatts (240 horsepower), the YX667 satisfies every need asked of it by rural contractor Nathan McFadzens.

The one-man show conducts his fair share of gravel work across Central Queensland, digging test holes, clearing pits, stockpiling, and backfilling to bring sites back to a natural state. 

After three years of hard work with the YX667, McFadzens has scarcely had any issues, owing to its simplicity. 

“Reliability is super important to my business,” McFadzens told Quarry. “With the new electronics that have come into all of that top-end machinery, trying to get a service out west is almost impossible.”

As a qualified diesel mechanic, the contractor has made a living off knowing the ins and outs of fully mechanical machinery like the YX667. 

He says the simple mechanical design of this model allows him to maintain uptime working in the remote Queensland outback.

“Of course, the transmission is electronic because there isn’t really one you can buy that isn’t. But motor-wise, for ease of mechanical fault finding, it was one of the best I could find,” he said. 

“If it breaks down, I can fix it on-site in an hour or two. Whereas, if I had a high-end machine with the full electronic set-up out in rural Queensland, I could be down for days.”


McFadzens wasn’t always an Olympus man, though. His business had been loyal to a rival manufacturer for years before he came across the YX667 in March of 2018.

But after plenty of research, he realised his business could improve its bottom line with a switch to this new model. 

“I went looking around at all the loaders from a range of major brands from different countries, but after considering the value for money, set-ups and construction of each, the Olympus loaders were the heaviest machine I could find in that horsepower range,” McFadzens said.

“When you’re contracting in the rural industry as I am, everything is pretty cut-through. You’ve got to do the best quality of work for the smallest amount of money to ensure you can keep operating.”

For fuel economy, the YX667 can manage heavy loads at 24 litres per hour, while general earthworks will use about 20 to 22 litres per hour, according to McFadzens.

If ever an issue occurred in outback Queensland, McFadzens said Olympus general manager Simon Collin and his team had it covered in no time.

“They’re really good to me. I’ve never had a problem with Simon and he seems to be able to get parts out to me pretty well straight away,” McFadzens said. “If not, he can tell you exactly how long they’ll take to come in.

“He also has a spare parts inventory, plus a lot of the parts on this machine are backed by international component suppliers like Cummins, ZF and Meritor.

This means the parts are transferrable with common machines from other manufacturers, making their replacement even easier.”

Adding to its productivity, the YX667 comes with the ability to hydraulically switch attachments in a matter of seconds. 

From one bucket size to another, or maybe a forklift to an auger, depending on the job description, the YX667 powers the bulk of numerous industries. 

This capability makes the unit well suited to quarrying applications or as a rural contractor like McFadzens where jobs can change daily. 

Collin said the fully mechanical design that McFadzens valued allowed the YX667 to cope in the harshest of environments. 

“With optional mechanical or common rail engines, manual or electric transmissions, and with all loaders built with over size cooling systems, they’re well suited to handle our extreme conditions,” Collin said. 

“These loaders are also exported to Saudi Arabia where they work in extreme heat and dirt.”

With warranties from two to five years, owners of the YX667 should have no issue getting a strong life out of their investment.   

This is proven by the breadth of ownership across Australia, Collin said. 

“We assemble and pre-deliver locally for extra product control to assure the loader is always ready to go to work,” Collin said.

“Our products are everywhere from Mt Isa in Queensland all the way down to the Ayre Peninsula in South Australia for grain suppliers, quarries and crushing plants, and land clearing.” •

Source: Olympus Loaders.

For more information about the Olympus YX677 and other articulated wheel loaders, visit

Send this to a friend