Liebherr received the 2018 German Design Award in the “Excellent Product Design” category for its T46-7 telescopic handler and its XPower® L 550 to L 586 wheel loaders. The expert judges were impressed by the optimal visibility and the dynamic appearance of the telescopic handler, as well as the intelligent and functional design of the XPower wheel loaders. The German Design Award is one of the most highly recognised design competitions worldwide.
The German Design Award sets the highest possible standards when it comes to selecting its prize-winners. Over 5,000 submissions are observed during a two-day judging session. The T46-7 telescopic handler and the XPower large wheel loaders succeeded in impressing the expert panel and were awarded this renowned prize. With regard to the T46-7 model, Liebherr presented one of its eight new telescopic handler models that are available now in a total of 26 different versions. With the iF and Red Dot prizes already under its belt, the German Design Award is the third prestigious design prize that has been awarded to the latest generation of large wheel loaders from Liebherr.
Liebherr telescopic handlers: Optimal visibility with a dynamic appearance
The application-specific demands required by telescopic handler operators resulted in the final design criteria for the new Liebherr telescopic handlers. The Liebherr developers placed the main focus on creating optimal visibility as well as intuitive and convenient operation.
The overall machine design was aimed at ensuring maximum visibility of the load at the front to give enhanced productivity, as well as to the side and rear, for maximum safety. This was primarily achieved thanks to the very low pivot point of the telescopic boom, as well as the sloping sides of the handler and an engine hood that follows the line of sight. With its continuous windscreen and internal slim-line ROPS/FOPS grid, adapted to the operator’s sight line, the cab design also helps ensure maximum visibility of the load.
Additional design focus was placed on intuitive operation, comfort and ergonomics. The 5-in-1 joystick fitted in the Value models and the multifunctional joystick in the S-models, make it possible to perform all essential work functions with single-arm operation. This means the left hand stays securely on the steering wheel at all times, which is important in guaranteeing safe and efficient work.
XPower large wheel loaders: Where performance and design come together
The XPower wheel loaders differ from conventional wheel loaders not only in their innovative technology but also in their design. The design development phase focused on a powerful appearance and particularly on functionality and user friendliness. Even at first glance, it is clear to see the XPower wheel loaders’ dynamic proportions and modern design elements, which are consistently implemented from the lift arm, to the comfort cabin, right through to the rear end. The silhouettes looks compact; even while standing still, they create an impression of innovation and power.
The rear end is characterised by striking lines, which not only appear aesthetic but also offer functional advantages. The tapered engine hood provides the driver with maximum visibility towards the rear and increases safety in the immediate proximity of the wheel loader. Liebherr installs heavy components such as the engine right at the back of the rear end so that there is no need for any additional counterweights. This ideal weight distribution results in high tipping loads and an increased handling capacity per operating hour.
The radiator is located directly behind the operator’s cab, the cleanest area on a wheel loader. In this position, the cooling system can take in dust-free air, which ensures a consistent and reliable cooling performance. This intelligent design reduces maintenance hence increasing machine availability.
Sophisticated details that fit harmoniously into the appearance of the wheel loader make servicing easier for the machine operator. The engine hood opens backwards, which provides unobstructed access to the engine for all maintenance work. A platform is incorporated into the open engine bonnet for comfortable and safe working. The most important maintenance points are in close proximity to the cab and can thus be more easily accessed. The fuel and hydraulic tank are in close proximity which makes refuelling easier. A step at the cab facilitates safe cleaning of the windscreen and is also used to hold the driver’s door in position.