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Wheel loaders are pieces of heavy machinery used primarily in the construction industry. Essentially they're a variation on tractors. But, the large tires and heavy tread make them ideal for large, tough jobs.
Wheel loaders are used for scooping, digging, dumping, and transporting all kinds of construction materials. They can also be used in farming and for snow removal.
About Wheel Loaders
All wheel loaders feature a square bucket known as a loader. The loader is fixed either to the front or the back of the machine and can be maneuvered from side to side using the machine's flexible arms.
Wheel loaders are available in a variety of sizes and configurations. There are compact loaders, small loaders, mid-size loaders, and large loaders. Skid steers and backhoe loaders are also considered wheel loaders. In the case of backhoe loaders, the machines have a bucket in the front and a backhoe in the rear.
The biggest advantage to wheel loaders is the power they provide. However, wheel loaders tend to have limited dig depths, so they're only suited for shallow excavation jobs.
Wheel Loader Average Costs
The price of a wheel loader depends largely on its size and features. However, some brands are pricier than others.
- Compact wheel loaders with less than 110 horsepower usually sell for anywhere from $40,000 to $130,000.
- Small wheel loaders with less than 180 hp usually cost $120,000 to $180,000.
- Mid-size wheel loaders with less than 350 hp can run $150,000 to nearly $500,000
- The largest wheel loaders with more than 500 hp can run up to $1 million. However, these provide more power than most construction companies need.
In general, for the most common wheel loader applications, you can find a quality machine in the $100,000 to $200,000 price range.
Paying for Your Wheel Loader
If you can't afford to spend $100,000 or more upfront, consider financing your wheel loader. Most manufacturers offer financing to well-qualified buyers. Or, you can pursue a private loan through your bank or lending institution.
Leasing is another option. You can lease a machine for little or no money down, spreading the payments over a matter of months spanning one to five years. When the lease ends, you can purchase the machine, return it or trade it in for a newer model.