The eight-hour run time and three-hour recharge on UHI’s new U50 electric loader make it an excellent option for a wide range of applications, while the option of the pallet tines and 4-in-1 bucket makes it a brilliantly versatile unit ideal for use on both worksites and in factory and warehouse settings. The standard configuration with a quick hitch and electric joystick means easy operation and fast changes of attachment.
Dual motors provide power to front and rear wheels independently, and we were surprised at what we could lift, push and handle with the 500kg maximum lifting capacity.
It was impressive to say the least.
For those looking to use the U50 to dump into vehicles or bins, there’s a maximum lift height of 2100mm and dump height of 1350mm, providing plenty of clearance, and as the images here show, as well as using the U50 to move material like soil, mulch and general green waste, we also picked up some pretty impressive branches and sections of logs.
There are five 150Ah battery groups powering the U50, each of which can be independently replaced if needed, and the hydraulic system is powered by the HL-60 (60V) motor, producing 1200W of power.
There was only the regular tyre option available in NSW at the time we tested the UHI, and it wasn’t an ideal situation in the muddy and sloppy conditions at our test site. Traction was difficult and the wheels were spinning under load. There is an all-terrain tyre option available which would be far more suitable for general outdoor work, and having the choice between the two options is great.
The machine has an articulated steering system that makes the loader fairly agile, so manoeuvring on work sites or down the sides of houses or commercial sites is very easy.
For our testing we enlisted the help of landscaper Kelly Burton from KBL Landscapes. Kelly’s spent decades working on everything from residential projects to large commercial sites.
Ease of use
As far as controls and operation go, you won’t find a more straightforward machine. The on/off control is a pull-out knob on a panel below the seat. Forward/reverse selection is via a switch on the joystick control, while the power control is a knob beside the steering column. Chatting with Kelly about the ease of use, he told us, “You can jump straight into this U50 loader and safely operate the machine in minutes after familiarising yourself with the control layout. The joystick controls are intuitive, and if you have had any other experience with similar machines, you will take to this like a duck to water.
“Even first-time operators in this type of machine will be up and running in no time.”
Power and precision
The lifting capacity for a small-sized machine is impressive. Those onsite while filming this review were quietly appreciative at the size of the logs the U50 could scoop up and move around.
“I started moving around mulch and garden waste and did it with ease,” said Kelly. “The U50 would be perfect for general-material handling.
“Then, as we slowly ramped things up, we picked up and drove around with some very decent-sized logs, which would have been right up there towards the limits of the 500kg rating. The U50 didn’t seem to struggle at all with these bigger challenges and took in its stride everything we threw at it.”
For those looking for a near-zero-maintenance loader option with an eight-hour runtime, the U50 could just be just what’s needed. It’s nimble, has plenty of lifting capacity and suits a wide range of outdoor and indoor working scenarios. With just a three-hour charge time and 1350mm dumping height, it’s no surprise these loaders have been selling like hotcakes!
* Electric loader
* AC battery system
* 8 hours runtime/3 hours recharge
* 500kg lifting capacity
* Small size so can work in limited space
* Articulated steering system
* Joystick controls
* 2100mm maximum lifting height