Avant’s battery-powered loaders are ideal for indoor use where ventilation is limited. They can work at full power without exposing the operators and their co-workers to dangerous exhaust emissions, says Joe Spencer.
Avant’s new e-series loaders are available in two models: the Avant e5 and Avant e6. These have almost identical operating specifications: a working speed of up to 10km/h, a lifting height of 2 790mm and tipping load of 900kg.
Both use a hydrostatic transmission and are fitted with 23×10.50-12 tyres. The e6 is about 100kg lighter and 80mm longer, and comes with a lithium ion battery.
The quick-attach system and the multi-connector for the attachment of hydraulics are the same as on other Avant models, so the manufacturer’s full range of attachments can be used on the e-series.
Lead acid unit
The Avant e5 is fitted with a 240Ah lead acid battery unit of the type found on most electric fork-lifts.
It has two electric motors: 6kW for driving the machine and 2kW for loader boom operation and auxiliary hydraulics, which have a 30ℓ/ min hydraulic flow. This enables the machine to operate attachments such as a hydraulic hammer and grapples.
The e5 offers low running costs with zero emissions and extremely low noise levels. Yet, it has essentially the same technical capabilities as the diesel engine Avant 500-series.
Operating time depends on the type of work.
It takes about five hours to charge the battery to 100% capacity, and about three hours to charge it to 80%. Each loader has an integral battery charger, which makes recharge possible wherever a 230v/16A power outlet is available.
Lithium technology: longer-lasting & lighter
The first loader in the world to be equipped with lithium ion battery technology, the Avant e6 will be in production later this year. Its 288Ah lithium battery provides significantly better performance than that of a lead-acid battery.
In light use, performance is approximately 30% better; in heavy-use, operating time is up to three times longer.
Another feature of the lithium battery is quick charging. The battery pack of the Avant e6 can be completely recharged on a rapid-charge station in just an hour, allowing this to be done during the lunch break.
Weight saving is yet another advantage: a lithium battery unit is 30% lighter than a lead acid battery pack. This helps to increase payload and also results in lower ground pressure, an important factor when working on construction sites, floors or roofs, where
This helps to increase payload and also results in lower ground pressure, an important factor when working on construction sites, floors or roofs, where weight of machinery is often a consideration.
Both models are equipped with a certified rollover protection system safety canopy and falling object protection system safety roof as standard.
Avant Techno is a Finnish company. Local distributors are Avant SA, with its head office in the Western Cape and a branch in Gauteng.
Joe Spencer is the mechanisation editor of Farmer’s Weekly.
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