PRACTICAL TEST: Four loading shovels from Claas, JCB, New Holland and Volvo: Four in action. After discussing the performance stats of our four loading shovels in the April issue, it’s now all about operation and handling.

With all of the measurements and specifications boxed off in part one, we can now switch our test attention to what these machines are like to use and live with. Our comparison is not just a ‘what’s good and what’s bad’, but we also delve into what different agricultural end users will find important. After all, an ag contractor wanting a clamp climber will have different needs to an AD plant, whose loader requirement is more lift, shift and dump.

Getting to work

In most cases on a farm you are going to be hopping on and off several times during the day, so reasonable steps and handles are a must. Access to the cab is very convenient on the Volvo: the lowest step is tilted out 15°, offering an easy climb and surefootedness. Three steps lead up to the cab, and there are good handrails. The steps on the Claas Torion are nice and wide with proper handrails. The journey to the seat on the JCB is too steep, and the door restricts the space on the left side. The New Holland cab is easily accessible, the climb is not too steep, and it has good handles. Once seated, it is time to get to grips with the controls, especially those constantly used for the boom and the shuttle.

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