The latest addition to the Quicke loader family - the Q Series - has hit Irish shores. Designed and built by Alo AB, it's claimed to be the "strongest and most advanced" loader in the world.
Undoubtedly, the all-new loader has big boots to fill as it aims to pick up from where Quicke's Dimension Series - a loader that proved popular with Irish farmers - left off.
One area where the Q Series outperforms its older sibling is strength; this simply didn't happen by chance.
Back in 2012, the R&D (Research & Development) team at Alo AB set out to create a "robust and reliable" loader.
The fruits of a five-year development, which culminated at the loader's launch at this year's SIMA Show, resulted in a "50% increase in overall strength"; this was achieved through the use of cast and forged steel.
The addition of forged rear-arm parts and cast knee and front components is also said to give the latest member of the Quicke family "extra strength and durability".
Design and visibility
From the outset, a new modern design was to the forefront of the development team's thoughts. A major focus was also placed on maximising operator visibility.
The introduction of an even lower cross-beam was one such move made to improve the operator's view - allowing the user to see "everything from the driver's seat".
In addition, the company says there are no pipes or hoses to distract or limit the operator's view, as they are protected "well within the loader's arms".
Also, the Q Series comes equipped with “fully integrated smart sensors that monitor the operator’s every move”.
A clever companion for the Q Series?
The Q Series also claims to be the "first digital loader" to hit the market. These loaders can be specified with Q-Companion – a digital screen and smart-sensor system that allows the operator to “weigh as you lift”.
This device does away with the need of having to move to a separate station to weigh the contents of the bucket.
Alo AB claims that this weighing feature has been developed and tested specifically for routine farming jobs, such as scooping and handling of pit silage, bales and pallets. The device can be calibrated for up to 10 different attachments.
Q-Companion also lets you export your data on an included USB memory stick for “administration or future reference”.
Meanwhile, the Q-companion monitor displays the height and angle of the attachment at any given time.
Controlling the attachment position helps to find the right angle at the first attempt, says Alo AB, thus reducing the need for corrections. Reference positions can be stored for each attachment, making the next job “even more efficient”.
Displaying the current and remaining (available) lift capacity, using the same view, is another claimed benefit. This helps the operator to “avoid overloading”.
Q-Companion is also equipped with two individual maintenance indicators, which inform the operator of when to lubricate and when to tighten the sub-frame bolts. The maintenance reminder uses true working hours, rather than tractor clock hours, to ensure reminders happen when they are needed.
Where is the Q Series available?
Farmhand is now stocking these loaders; they are available from dealers nationwide.
Farmhand has been the Quicke importer since 1962. It claims to have sold as many as 35,000 units in this time.
Sales director at Farmhand, David Borland, said: “The Dimension Series was renowned for its longevity; this [new] loader promises to be an improvement on this.
"Stronger, better visibility and longer service intervals? It’s a win-win for the farmer," he said.