PRACTICAL TEST: A 15t loading shovel is becoming the ‘go-to’ size of machine for contractors, so we decided to see how four of the more popular options compare.

This isn’t our first loading shovel rodeo; we ran a comparative test back in 2009 with the focus on the 12-14t bracket. But things have moved on, and, as with most machines, the demand is for bigger kit, so our attention this time is on those with an operating weight of 15t (or so). The four test candidates are:

  • Claas Torion 1611P
  • JCB 435S
  • New Holland W170D
  •  Volvo’s L90H 

Six-cylinders all round

All four test machines have a six-cylinder motor out back. When it comes to maximum power (using the ISO 14396 rating), JCB (6.7-litre Cummins) and Claas (6.8l DPS) churn out an equal 185kW/252hp. Knocking out 145kW/195hp from a 6.7l FPT engine, the New Holland has a lower output. Volvo also sources its motor inhouse, with the L90H mustering 137kW/186hp from a 5.7l lump. JCB deliberately starts with a good dollop of extra power, as the 435S is primarily aimed at pushing silage up a clamp and should have plenty in reserve. Claas takes a similar view, with the P on the end of 1611P denoting it has extra power on tap — an extra 33kW/45hp in fact over the standard 1611 Torion..

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