The German company Thaler, a manufacturer of yard loaders, gave the University of Economics and Environment in Nürtingen-Geislingen, Institute of Technology, two yard loader models (the 3448T and the 3448T-5A) for the opportunity to carry out stability tests for over a period of six weeks.
The model 3448T is an articulated loader and the advantages are well known. Nevertheless, the 3448T-5A is a forward-looking development. The addition to the model’s name 5A is the abbreviation for 5-axle steering, articulated steering and all-wheel steering in one device. At the push of a button, before and during the operation, you can determine which type of steering is more suitable for the work required.
The new steering system offers more safety for the operator and machine, because the 3348T-5A enables the choice of the individual types of steering: all-wheel steering, front-axle steering, crab steering and articulated steering alone or an interaction of the articulated steering with the all-wheel steering to gain manoeuvrability.
Petra Konheiser drove both models and had the opportunity to gain from her own impressions of the steering systems. Even as a novice driver, she could tell the difference between the 3448T and the 3448T-5A.
As a beginner she quickly got to grips with the articulated steering, but it was not that easy with the 3448T-5A. She tried all 5 types of steering. Understandably, as a beginner, she felt most comfortable with front-axle steering and all-wheel steering. Driving with crab steering was something different. She’d better leave that to the professionals, who know exactly the advantages of crab steering in difficult situations. With the articulated steering, the curves were a child’s play for her.
As the highlight of her test drive with the 3448T-5A, she had 2 square straw bales with a weight of approx. 900 kg on the fork, she could extend the arm completely and was able to drive an astonishingly small turning circle with the combination of articulated steering and all-wheel steering.