It’s hard to know exactly where to start with Takeuchi’s first vertical lift compact track loader.
On first glance there seems to be a very interesting mix that has come into play.A bit of an old versus new situation that has seen a commitment to product improvement from previous models along with some very nice innovations. After climbing into the suspension seat I found a beautifully balanced machine that is the largest and most capable track loader available today, which also happens to deliver best in class rated operating capacity.
For those of you who have had your head buried in the sand for the last 55 years and aren’t aware of Takeuchi’s history, they have been manufacturing since 1963 and have been a pioneer in the compact equipment industry from the get go. These guys developed the world’s first excavator in 1970 and again blew the industry away in the mid-80s with the introduction of the first compact track loader.
It’s pretty safe to say that these two developments have transformed the Australian construction equipment markets and have earnt the trust and respect of Australians as a leading provider of top shelf compact equipment. At the end of the day when operators and owners of businesses see such a solid understanding of their needs of machinery in the industry, along with such well executed design and manufacturing processes, it provides a fantastic relationship that sees customer loyalty at all-time highs. This in turn sees customers upgrading to higher capacity machines or purchasing more machines at a later date almost guaranteed.
Piles of Grunt
The TL12V2 is Takeuchi’s first vertical lift compact track loader that has plenty of grunt where it counts with a powerful81.8 kW U.S EPA Final Tier 4/ EU Stage IV emissions compliant engine. This engine delivers very impressive power and torque, which is up to the challenges of the most demanding applications.
Vertical or Radial Arm Path
Some of the features that really stood out to me from the perspective of an operator was the choice of the two models available as either a Radial Arm Path (TL12R2) or the Vertical Arm Path (TL12V2). The Radial Arm Path option is designed for tough excavating and grading applications and is perfect for unloading flatbed trucks with its great mid-height reach.
The Vertical Arm Path option has a very limited change in the loader’s centre of gravity because the load is kept closer to the machine throughout the arm path, making it ideal for loading trucks and hoppers with high sides and provides a better reach at dump height.
Climbing into the cab you instantly feel the amount of space around you. It’s very well laid out and the controls and displays just feel like they have been put in all the right places. I found myself feeling very comfortable in the operator’s station very quickly. After doing some research I found the canopies and cabs on the TL10V2, TL10VR2 and TL12V2 have all been completely redesigned from the ground up. A colour multi-information display provides a big range of the machine’s functions, while the pilot controls were spot on with responsive and crisp performance. In true Takeuchi style these guys have a knack of producing machines that just get it right.
After firing up the machine the hydraulic controls felt like a natural extension of myself and delivered ultra-smooth, responsive and dependable control. Being hydraulic if there is any electrical issue with the machine my hydraulic controls won’t be affected.
The cab was very quiet and super comfortable due to the quiet ride track system. The mandrels and pads have both been updated to contribute to quieter operation. The team at Takeuchi have used pads in place of track bars to improve the ride and noise.
Active Power Control is a great addition on all standard Takeuchi track loaders as a feature to help maintain engine power and efficiency by keeping the engine optimal range for maximum power. Better yet is for experienced operators because it can be turned off easily by a switch on the right side of the operator’s station.
Test of Time
Durability is obviously a key component for any compact track loader and this is an area where Takeuchi get it right by ensuring their undercarriages are purpose built and feature integrated cross members and thick steel reinforcements to ensure these machines can stand up to whatever task is thrown at them for many years to come. The three integration points plus the travel motor are mounted to the frame adding even more durability to the machine.
I can’t imagine the TL10V series losing any arm wrestles on site because its heavy duty arm is constructed from box frame for extra strength and is reinforced with double gussets to create ultimate strength. Also unique to Takeuchi track loaders is their boom large cylinders that provide a larger bucket breakout force that enables a more efficient operator experience.
When it’s time to do those daily service checks the rear heavy duty swing out door enables impressive access to those daily check points. The double element air cleaner is mounted in a filter housing, which provides unobstructed access to the filters.
Last but not least the tilt-up operator’s station really does give excellent access to all of the remote filters. With DOC, DPF and SRC easily reached for maintenance as well as hydraulic working equipment with the control valve and the hydraulic oil tank has been moved to the front of the tilt-up operator’s station.
When you factor in all the new features along with numerous traditional key areas of strength that exist within the Takeuchi machines, I think anyone looking to purchase a compact track loader will find it very hard to go past this machine.