• 6/15/2023

The around view monitor camera system is shown on a DL250TC-7 wheel loader.

New wheel loader technology is helping to make job sites safer. And its increasing operator productivity.

We asked DEVELON product manager Bill Zak about three wheel loader safety innovations that aim to improve operator visibility and reduce accidents. He also discussed new technologies developed to customize machine output based on job site requirements.

Additionally, Bill shared advice about operator work style and how you can maximize performance from the machine, including understanding the machine’s working range and utilizing it to accomplish tasks efficiently.


Superior Visibility: Transparent Bucket Technology

In 2021, we introduced our Transparent Bucket technology with the goal of improving operator visibility and enhancing job site safety, resulting in fewer accidents, increased productivity and lowered operating costs.

“Our Transparent Bucket is not invisible,” jokes Bill. “That was a common misperception when we introduced the technology.”

The system operates by utilizing two cameras mounted on the wheel loader.

“We have a camera mounted on the front axle, down low, and there’s another camera mounted on top of the cab,” says Bill. “We calibrated the cameras and positioned them to face the front of the machine.”

Bill goes on to say, “As the bucket raises through the operator’s field of vision, the system will stitch together the camera videos to show the operator what is beyond the bucket. It takes the operator’s visibility forward and lets them see what is on the other side of the bucket.”

Operators are able to view a unified image displayed on a monitor located inside the cab.

The Transparent Bucket technology is a DEVELON-exclusive feature that is standard across all -7 Series wheel loaders produced in 2023 for North America, ranging from the DL200-7 to the DL580-7.

Upcoming modifications to the Transparent Bucket technology may include colored symbols to indicate the proximity of the object in front of the wheel loader. Bill demonstrated this forthcoming technology in a DL320-7 at the CONEXPO demo area.

The wheel loader operator demonstrates the object detection system.


AVM Camera System Offers 270-Degree Views

An around view monitor (AVM) camera system is a newly introduced safety feature offered as an optional upgrade for all -7 Series wheel loaders.

Our engineers have developed the wheel loader AVM camera system to enhance visibility beyond what is provided by our rearview camera. The system effectively reduces blind spots, resulting in increased productivity and improved maneuverability.

At the rear of the wheel loader, we mounted three cameras on the top of the metal: one on the left, one in the center and one on the right. This configuration offers a visibility range of up to 270 degrees behind the machine. Operators can access the AVM camera system view on the monitor inside the wheel loader cab.

The AVM camera system has valuable applications in industries such as construction, forestry and recycling, where front-end loader operators often navigate tight spaces or operate in close proximity to other machines and personnel. This system not only enhances operator visibility but also contributes to operator comfort by reducing the stress of operating in challenging environments.


Object Detection Alerts in an Instant

The new object detection system for -7 Series wheel loaders enhances safety by providing operators with alerts regarding nearby objects, thereby helping to prevent accidents and potential damage.

Here’s how it works: Ultrasonic proximity sensors installed on the wheel loader notify operators if an object is within a range of eight to 12 feet behind the machine. In such cases, a green box flashes along the perimeter of the LCD screen.

“The green box alerts wheel loader operators that someone or something is behind the machine,” says Bill.

If the object is located between four and eight feet behind the wheel loader, a yellow box will flash around the perimeter of the screen.

When an object comes within four feet of the machine, a red caution box will flash around the screen. Additionally, the system will emit a beeping sound and provide an audio alert to the operators.

“A future version of object detection in development will include a triangle over the object that appears on the screen,” says Bill. “The symbol color will depend on the proximity to the wheel loader: red, yellow or green.”

We demonstrated this coming feature live at CONEXPO.

“With around view monitoring cameras, Transparent Bucket technology and 14% more glass within the cab, -7 Series wheel loaders prioritize safety in every aspect,” says Bill. “By investing in these cutting-edge features, customers can mitigate risks, reduce downtime and ultimately save on costs. The safety factor that we’re adding to the industry and for the customer is pretty incredible.”

The Smart Guidance System is shown on the LCD monitor inside the wheel loader cab.


Awareness Tech Adjusts Engine Output

As the wheel loader operator is running the machine, Situation Awareness Technology senses how hard the operator is working the machine.

“If an operator is moving light material, like wood chips or light snow, and not requiring a lot of energy from the transmission and the engine, it is sensed, and the wheel loader computers will adjust engine output accordingly to conserve fuel,” says Bill.

Less energy results in better fuel efficiency and more savings for your company.


Smart Guidance Gives Real-Time Feedback

Feedback can help all of us improve our work — wheel loader operators, too. That’s why we’ve introduced the Smart Guidance System to the -7 Series machines.

“The system provides operators with a report card on how well the individual is operating the machine,” says Bill.

“For example, when the operator is about to shut down the machine, a message appears on the monitor, such as ‘You were riding the brakes pretty hard.’ This instant feedback guides the operator on what to change in their operation.”

Providing regular feedback in the workplace can contribute to a culture of continuous improvement and lead to higher employee retention rates.

Learn more about the features of our -7 Series wheel loaders.

The safety factor that we’re adding to the industry and for the customer is pretty incredible.”
Bill Zak, Wheel Loader Product Manager, DEVELON