• 4/2/2024
  • By William Zak, Wheel Loader Product Manager

A DEVELON -7 Series wheel loader with bucket raised dumping material into the bed of an articulated dump truck.

Advanced wheel loader technology is helping to make job sites safer. And it’s increasing operator productivity.

Several such wheel loader safety features can be found on DEVELON -7 Series wheel loaders.

These innovations aim to improve operator visibility and reduce accidents. New wheel loader technology can also customize machine output based on job site requirements.

Additionally, proper operator work style can maximize performance from the machine. This includes understanding the machine’s working range and utilizing it to accomplish tasks efficiently.

Here’s what you should know about wheel loader safety technology from DEVELON.

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.

Don’t worry: The bucket itself is not invisible.

The system operates by using two cameras mounted on the wheel loader. A camera is mounted on the front axle, down low, with another camera mounted on top of the cab. The cameras are calibrated and positioned to face the front of the machine.

As the bucket rises 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 expands the operator’s visibility forward and lets them see what is in front of the bucket.

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

In 2023, the DEVELON-exclusive Transparent Bucket technology became a standard feature across all -7 Series wheel loaders in 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. We demonstrated this future technology in a DL320-7 at the CONEXPO 2023 demo area.

A view of the new DEVELON Transparent Bucket safety feature technology, as seen on a monitor in the cabin.

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 working in challenging environments.

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

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.

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. The symbol color will depend on the proximity to the wheel loader: red, yellow or green.

With AVM cameras, Transparent Bucket technology and 14% more glass within the cab, -7 Series wheel loaders prioritize safety in every aspect. 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.

A red rectangle flashes around a possible hazard as seen on a monitor as part of the DEVELON object detection safety feature

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.

For example, when the operator is about to shut down the machine, a message may appear on the monitor indicating that they were riding the brakes too 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.

Additionally, Situation Awareness Technology in the wheel loader can help provide better savings for companies.

As the wheel loader operator is running the machine, the technology senses how hard the operator is working the machine.

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

Less used energy results in better fuel efficiency for your company.

Monitor showing the new Smart Guidance System technology with Operational Efficiency, Fuel Economy and Equipment Durability.

Want to learn more about our wheel loader features and technology? Explore -7 Series wheel loaders.

In 2023, the DEVELON-exclusive Transparent Bucket technology became a standard feature across all -7 Series wheel loaders in North America.
William Zak, Wheel Loader Product Manager, DEVELON