30 October 1998

Counter-attack – tractor loader men take aim

By Ian Marshall

TRACTOR loader manufacturers are fighting back to regain ground lost to telehandler manufacturers.

High spec models now have capacities and lift heights to match the now greater pump outputs of higher horsepower tractors; operator friendliness has been improved by the introduction of quick attachment systems, shock eliminators and self-levelling carriages.

These features, however, do not remove the strain on the operator of having to constantly return the bucket or fork to a set position, manually, when doing repetitive cycle work such as loading grain lorries or manure spreaders.

Problem adressed

But now even this problem has been addressed by French loader manufacturer Mailleux. Distributed in the UK by Chillton Agricultural Equipment the latest development, ACS (Activ Control System), automatically returns the attachment to the position pre-set by the operator.

In operation, the attachment position – the height of the bucket off the ground when loading grain, for example- is set, manually, by positioning the end of a rod indicator on the offside loader arm against a sensor marker.

Once the load has been tipped and the bucket crowded, the operator then depresses a trigger switch on the back of the loader control lever to set the system, which is activated when the lever is pushed forward to lower the arms.

ACS then comes into operation, through the loaders self-levelling system and crowd rams via a combination of sensors, to stop the attachments rotation at the pre-set angle, enabling the operator to concentrate on manoeuvring the tractor.

The system, which makes its UK debut at the Smithfield Show, is available as a factory fitted option across Mailleuxs full range of loaders, adding £535 to the cost of the base unit.