PULLING ITS weight

Earthmovers & Excavators - - REVIEW -

Giant ma­chines are a global phe­nom­e­non, renowned for their high tip­ping load com­pared to their own weight. The re­cently re­leased Giant G5000 is no ex­cep­tion and sees To­broco-giant ac­tive in the five-tonne wheel loader class for the first time. Farm Trader NZ’S Mark Fouhy re­ports

Iset out to see the one of the first Giant G5000s de­liv­ered to New Zealand in ac­tion on a goat farm, where its ver­sa­til­ity saw it quickly added to the ma­chin­ery fleet.

Although the 5-tonne ma­chine is firmly at the top of the Giant wheel loader range in terms of size, horse­power, reach, and lift ca­pa­bil­i­ties, it’s still in­cred­i­bly nim­ble and ver­sa­tile – and best of all, these fea­tures are packed into a ma­chine that man­ages to avoid be­ing un­nec­es­sar­ily large.

It’s a pow­er­ful pack­age, with the tele­scopic boom on the ma­chine we tested ca­pa­ble of reach­ing 4.35 me­tres. With reach like that, the ma­chines are well suited to busy farm life in

New Zealand as well as con­struc­tion and a host of other projects. With such im­pres­sive reach, load­ing the silage wagon is no trou­ble ei­ther, nor are mixer wag­ons; all han­dled with ease and well within the G5000’s reach and lift ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

OP­ER­A­TION

Be­ing a ded­i­cated wheel loader, ev­ery­thing is de­signed for easy ac­ces­si­bil­ity and to make load­ing tasks as easy as pos­si­ble. As you would ex­pect, the joy­stick takes care of all the boom con­trols: to raise and lower the boom and also dump­ing.

Third ser­vice func­tion is con­trolled by a side to side tog­gle switch on the back of the joy­stick. The boom ex­ten­sion/re­trac­tion is con­trolled by an­other tog­gle switch on top of the joy­stick on the right. With all key func­tions so close to the joy­stick, the oper­a­tor can rest their arm on the er­gonom­i­cally-shaped arm­rest. Keep­ing things sim­ple and al­low­ing the oper­a­tor to keep one hand on the steer­ing wheel, the trans­mis­sion has its own joy­stick tog­gle – this one red to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it from the boom con­trols.

When in neu­tral, the park brake is au­to­mat­i­cally en­gaged. This is a handy fea­ture but also ex­plained why I couldn’t find any hand­brake to re­lease when I ini­tially hopped in and started up the Giant G5000.

Driv­ing is nice and sim­ple, thanks to the twospeed hy­dro­static trans­mis­sion. The cen­tral dash in­di­cates which gear you’re in with a green tur­tle or red rab­bit. I found the tur­tle gear good for around the yard and heavy load­ing metal we had avail­able, work­ing com­fort­ably from 0–7km/h. Max speed in this tur­tle range is 10km/h.

The sec­ond range is ideal for get­ting from point A to B ef­fi­ciently, with max speed of 25km/h. You can also spec a 35km/h speed gear­box. How­ever, keep in mind, as with most ma­chin­ery, that the higher the speed, the more the com­fort level tends to de­crease, so un­less it was pretty smooth go­ing, I wouldn’t imag­ine you would be do­ing 35km/h around farm tracks a whole lot.

Giant has cho­sen to go with an ar­tic­u­lated pen­du­lum joint, which helps take care of the bumps and keep all four wheels on the ground

100 per cent of the time. Other spec­i­fi­ca­tions to smooth out the ride in­clude the patented Sta­bilo sys­tem as well as boom sus­pen­sion, both in­creas­ing the abil­ity to op­er­ate safely.

CAB AND OPER­A­TOR ENVIRONMEN­T

Although the G5000 is one of the larger mod­els in the range of Giant load­ers, it still def­i­nitely fits into the com­pact loader mar­ket. This said, I still found the fully en­closed cab spa­cious enough for some­body of av­er­age height (ap­prox­i­mately six foot/1.8m).

Driv­ing po­si­tion is com­fort­able, thanks to the fully ad­justable steer­ing col­umn and the con­ve­nient cen­tral dis­play, which shows all nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion. The dis­play has been up­dated from pre­vi­ous mod­els I’ve driven, with dig­i­tal dis­play for revs, hours and fuel, etc.

Coloured LEDS il­lu­mi­nate for trans­mis­sion func­tions, rab­bit and tur­tle, and park lock, as well as di­rec­tion and diff lock. All these func­tions fall eas­ily to hand, be­ing in­cor­po­rated into the joy­stick con­troller.

For safety rea­sons, there’s a hy­draulic lock over on the right-hand side be­hind the joy­stick to stop ac­ci­den­tal bump­ing. An­other nice fea­ture is the hy­draulic im­ple­ment lock on the Euro hitch car­rier. Again, for safety rea­sons, this re­quires two hands: one to hold the un­lock but­ton on the cen­tral dis­play and the other to work the third ser­vice func­tion, which con­trols the in and out of the lock­ing pins.

One small fea­ture tweak that I think would go well on this oth­er­wise well-de­signed and thought-out ma­chine is a pres­sure re­lease func­tion for the third ser­vice loader at­tach­ments. I must ad­mit we wasted a lit­tle bit of time get­ting the grab bucket back on with pres­sure in the ma­chine. Jig­gling back­wards and for­wards on the joy­stick helped re­lieve the pres­sure and per­haps it was just a sys­tem I needed to get fa­mil­iar with.

This ma­chine has been spec’d with a closed in cab, which was just as well, as we en­coun­tered ev­ery­thing from high winds, rain and sleet on the day we vis­ited. You can also choose from just a rollover pro­tec­tion sys­tem and roof if you pre­fer, but the lux­ury of the cab with air con­di­tion­ing and ra­dio is some­thing I’m sure op­er­a­tors ap­pre­ci­ate.

There is also the pos­si­bil­ity to add re­vers­ing cam­eras and bea­cons as added safety fea­tures in a busy farm environmen­t. This abil­ity to cus­tomise di­rect from the fac­tory to get the fea­tures you re­quire for your sit­u­a­tion is a big plus in mak­ing the in­vest­ment in a new Giant ma­chine work for you.

How­ever, back to our test ma­chine for the day: the tele ver­sion of the G5000, which is re­mark­ably well suited to agri­cul­tural work and more than prov­ing its worth with a wide range of tasks here on the goat farm. It’s also avail­able in two other

vari­ants: Z-bar and X-tra, with more tra­di­tional loader arms, and slightly higher lift­ing ca­pac­ity. This would be ben­e­fi­cial for more in­dus­trial tasks like road­ing, or mu­nic­i­pal jobs like land­scap­ing, demon­strat­ing the depth and wide va­ri­ety of po­ten­tial uses these Giant wheel load­ers have.

BUILD QUAL­ITY

It is hard to fault the Giant loader in terms of build qual­ity. There is a rea­son the brand has such a solid rep­u­ta­tion and aligns with other lead­ers in the field for spe­cial­ist com­po­nents. When pro­duc­ing a new model like the G5000, clearly a lot of thought goes into en­sur­ing the right parts for the ma­chine and its tar­get mar­ket. For ex­am­ple, the axles from Comer are rated for 16 tonnes on a five-tonne ma­chine, and it also fea­tures Bosch Rexroth hy­draulics, the best you can buy, and Kub­ota en­gines, which are well known for their re­li­a­bil­ity in these types of ap­pli­ca­tions. Even after choos­ing the right com­po­nents, Giant still car­ries out its own ex­ten­sive test­ing be­fore re­leas­ing the fi­nal ma­chine to mar­ket.

Qual­ity is also ev­i­dent in the cab, with com­fort­able air seat­ing as stan­dard and much thought clearly given to cre­at­ing a com­fort­able oper­a­tor environmen­t, with ad­justable steer­ing, an er­gonomic arm­rest, and a log­i­cally set up joy­stick, with con­trols well grouped for ease of use.

For the own­ers of this Giant G5000, build qual­ity is one of the key rea­sons be­hind the pur­chas­ing de­ci­sion. Although an­other brand had pre­vi­ously been op­er­at­ing on the goat farm, on­go­ing re­pair and main­te­nance bills were high and care­ful eval­u­a­tion led to the de­ci­sion to in­vest in the Giant G5000.

EN­GINE

For this new­est Giant model, the en­gine pro­duces 75hp (55kw) – the sec­ond-largest fit­ted to the Giant brand of wheel load­ers. De­spite build­ing a larger ma­chine, Giant has stuck with its qual­ity-tested and proven brands. The re­li­a­bil­ity of the small Kub­ota in­dus­trial en­gines has served Giant load­ers in­cred­i­bly well in the past (as well as a host of other brands and ma­chines).

New fea­tures of the Kub­ota V3307 four-cylin­der, tur­bocharged diesel are the cat­alytic con­verter (DOC) and soot fil­ter (DPF), both of which al­low this ma­chine to com­ply with the lat­est EU Tier V clean air en­gine stan­dards.

A key fea­ture here for me is the fact they have been able to achieve this with­out the need for an ad­di­tional Ad­blue se­lec­tive cat­alytic re­duc­tion ex­haust treat­ment sys­tem. Power-wise, the 75hp Kub­ota en­gine seems am­ple for all the tasks we threw at it, in­clud­ing load­ing and cart­ing road­ing metal and feed­ing out an­i­mals.

The large hy­draulic pump en­sures move­ment of the boom is nei­ther laboured nor slow, even when

hy­draulic power is re­quired for mul­ti­ple tasks, such as driv­ing and steer­ing the ma­chine while load­ing. This makes it some­thing of a joy to op­er­ate.

The only time you may like a lit­tle ex­tra horse­power is if you were util­is­ing the rear tow hitch to bring a trailer load of bales back form the pad­dock for stack­ing.

For daily checks, the one-piece lift-up rear cover makes things sim­ple. The diesel filler is sit­u­ated on the door side of the ma­chine, with a 77-litre tank and hy­draulic oil with 80-litre ca­pac­ity is on the far side. The ra­di­a­tor is po­si­tioned at the back off the ma­chine, which al­lows easy ac­cess to blow out any build-up of ma­te­rial, dust, grass or wood chip. The car­tridge-type cy­clonic air fil­ter is on top of the en­gine for easy clean­ing and po­si­tioned up be­hind the cab to try and get the clean­est air to the en­gine as pos­si­ble.

HY­DRAULICS

When you’re run­ning hy­dro­static trans­mis­sion as well as other high de­mand hy­draulic cir­cuits of a loader, hy­draulic flow is a key fac­tor in over­all per­for­mance.

Giant uses an 80-litre oil reser­voir to cope with these de­mands on the G5000 mod­els. As stan­dard, this model has 145L/minute hy­draulic flow avail­able for driv­ing along 78L/minute for work­ing hy­draulics.

Qual­ity Ger­man Bosch com­po­nen­try is used in the hy­draulic de­part­ment. Like the rest of the ma­chine, you can up-spec things with 122L/ minute avail­able for work­ing should you have an at­tach­ment that re­quires higher flow rates.

I found the stan­dard hy­draulics more than ad­e­quate, even while do­ing more than one task at the same time. Ex­tra hy­draulic out­lets can be added front and rear. Our test ma­chine had two at the front and none at the back.

One down­side I found was no pres­sure re­lease valve to make life eas­ier when chang­ing be­tween im­ple­ments con­nected to the third ser­vice valve, although, it may well be avail­able as an op­tion. The two-speed hy­dro­static works well and is easy for any­body to op­er­ate.

VERDICT

Giant has hit the mark with its lat­est G5000 model. The power of­fered in such a com­pact size is backed up with in­cred­i­ble ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity, per­fect for those work­ing in tight con­fines of sheds (like goat farms). The 75hp Kub­ota en­gine pro­vides plenty of power in terms of 4WD trac­tion with the lock­able elec­tric dif­fer­en­tials. Hy­dro­static four­wheel drive with au­to­mo­tive con­trol and 100 per cent switch­able locks on both axles en­sures the ma­chine al­ways has enough grip, a lot of pulling force and smooth move­ment.

With lift ca­pac­ity stretch­ing out to 4.35m and hy­draulic ca­pac­ity with a flow rate of 145L/minute (for driv­ing) and al­most 80L/minute flow rate (for work­ing tasks), there’s cer­tainly noth­ing lack­ing here. With this G5000, Giant once again proves it knows how to pro­duce a pow­er­ful com­pact loader, ver­sa­tile enough to cater for agri­cul­ture, hor­ti­cul­ture, viti­cul­ture and con­struc­tion.

*Delta Equip­ment Pty Ltd is the Aus­tralian dis­trib­u­tor of TO­BROCO-GIANT prod­ucts.

Above: Boast­ing a Giant reach of 4.35m with the tele boom

2 1. The G5000 with a 5.2-tonne ser­vice weight is the largest wheel loader avail­able from Giant 2. The rear hood with gas struts pro­vides easy ac­cess for clean­ing, fu­el­ing, and ser­vic­ing

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3. Hy­draulic lock­ing pins on a Euro hitch head­stock are a key fea­ture 4. Large pivot pins for longevity of the sin­gle arm tele boom 5. A rear tow hitch as stan­dard adds an­other layer of ver­sa­til­ity to this ma­chine 6. The air cleaner in­take is mounted up be­hind cab, out of the dust 3 5 4 6

7. Hy­draulic lines for third ser­vice func­tions are mounted neatly to avoid po­ten­tial dam­age 8. Cab com­forts in­clude a com­fort­able seat with a reach and tilt ad­justable steer­ing col­umn 9. The multi-func­tion joy­stick makes op­er­at­ing the Giant loader a breeze 7

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Above: Multi at­tach­ments are avail­able for dif­fer­ent tasks, although, the grab bucket is very handy

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