Wheel loaders are extremely versatile machines because they can go from dirt work to snow removal as quickly as the snow can fall. For contractors and landscapers who face constant climate changes, wheel loaders are ideal for moving all types of material including snow. They can offer up to 30-percent fuel savings and up to 75-percent reduction in tire wear versus skid steers. There are other benefits besides economics that make wheel loaders an alternative to skid steers for snow removal including operator comfort and performance. Operator comfort can easily equate to productivity. Wheel loaders have heated cabs, offer plenty of legroom, adjustable seats, ergonomic controls and excellent visibility which all contribute to a comfortable working environment allowing the operator to work for longer periods of time, increasing productivity.
Operator safety is another top concern as snow removal can occur in sloppy weather conditions. Features such as the machine’s side door allow an operator to enter and exit the unit easily and safely, in addition to improved traction in snowy and icy conditions, wheel loaders have an on-demand differential lock that prevents tire slipping. Another big differentiation for wheel loaders from skid steers in snowy conditions is the excellent visibility they provide. Excellent 360-degree view plus working lights make them ideal in low light situations. Snow removal often takes place before sunrise and during the night, so adequate lighting is essential especially in parking lots and while backing up where there is a threat of hitting parked cars which can cause damage and add cost to the contractor’s bottom line. Wheel loader working lights provide excellent lighting reducing the chances of expensive accidents. Working lights also make it easier for drivers to see snow removal operators increasing operator safety.