Swedish loader manufacturer Alo – best known for its Quicke and Trima handling equipment – has unveiled a tougher, more user-friendly Q-series loader for tractors from 60-300hp.
The redesign has seen the angled “knee” section dropped 10cm lower to improve visibility, while the cross-tube has also been shifted further down the frame and twisted towards the tractor by an extra 15deg.
There’s also a new-style headstock that is claimed to be stronger, despite the removal of its centre bar to maintain a good line of sight from the driver’s seat.
See also: Farm Handling Experience
Durability was the other main focus of the change and Alo claims to have extended working life by as much as 50% by beefing-up components across the board.
Each arm has been widened by 10mm and the metal is both thicker and higher quality than previous models, while fatter 40mm pins should stand up better to the challenges of farm life.
Hydraulic flow in and out of the arms has also been improved by opting for thicker half-inch hoses. The suspension system has been uprated, too, with pressure drops reduced by a claimed 50% to improve the smoothness of the ride.
Elsewhere, lift height has been upped by 7-14cm depending on models and new high-hoisting versions and a steeper crowd angle make it possible to load lorries without problems.
Currently, the brackets, hitching system and controls are identical to the previous machines so, for users with a new-ish Quicke loader, the new arms should slot straight into place along with a flash ECU.
As part of the update, the traditional grey colour scheme has been ditched in favour of a matte black finish that looks pretty smart when parked next to the outgoing model.
The development process involved putting all of its rivals loaders through rigorous testing to see how and where they’re likely to break. The company also handed a prototype to a hard-driving Canadian farmer doing 1,200 hours of loader work annually.
Alo says it has taken its first step to making its loader high-tech with the introduction of the Q-Companion – a retrofit sensing system to monitor headstock position to help line the bucket up with the ground, on-board scales and service reminders that take into account used hours and calendar time.
The company claims it can be fitted in under an hour by bolting on various sophisticated sensors in pre-determined locations and running a cable through the arms in a ready-fitted tube.
Although currently not available through Isobus, the system comes with its own in-cab monitor. An ECU is fitted within the cross tube of the loader so it will work no matter which tractor it is mounted to.
Longer term, Alo wants to see just how popular the techy stuff is before it rolls out anything else. Monitoring and control systems are a big part of this, and the company says it is edging towards remote control units and recordable functions similar to headland management.
The manufacturer continues to claim a large chunk of the tractor loader market through its various brands, with over 35,000 loaders and 45,000 attachments delivered to customers worldwide last year to make up its £200m turnover.
The Trima brand coins over 98% of the market in its Scandinavian home, but from next year UK buyers will only be able to buy the Quicke-branded version.
First orders for the new loaders will be taken at the Sima machinery show in France for deliveries in April. No prices are available yet, but the company promises they will be competitive. It says it wants Q-Connect to be the most popular system of its kind, and price is one of the biggest factors in any buying decision.