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The latest Liebherr crawler excavator line runs from 24 to 50 tons. (SAE/Jennifer Shuttleworth)

ConExpo 2020: Liebherr equips latest crawler excavator with Leica 3D integrated machine control

New collaboration for digital machine control enhances Liebherr’s latest generation of wheeled and crawler excavators.

Liebherr recently launched R26 crawler excavator is now equipped with a Leica-supplied Geosystem machine-control system. The Leica-equipped Liebherr excavator is being displayed for the first time at the ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020 in Las Vegas. Liebherr and Leica Geosystems have formed a strategic partnership in the field of machine control solutions.

“The release of our latest-generation crawler excavators coincides with the announcement of Liebherr’s partnership with Leica Geosystems to introduce 2D and 3D machine controls,” said Peter Mayr, managing director, Liebherr USA, during the company’s conference press event. “Controls can be optionally mounted to generation-6 and -8 wheeled and crawler excavators and use real-time data for precise, fast and effective processing of construction projects.”

Machine control solutions
In the digital era, assistance systems such as machine-control solutions for construction machines will become increasingly important. Liebherr says they rely on Leica Geosystems in order to be able to offer customers a complete solution for machine control straight from the factory. Leica Geosystems is part of sensor, software and autonomous-solutions provider Hexagon and specializes in advanced machine control solutions.

The 2D and 3D machine control systems from Leica Geosystems will be available for Liebherr wheeled and crawler excavators as equipment variants from the factory for the mono boom as well as two-piece boom versions. Hydraulic tilt buckets and tilt rotators also can be integrated into the machine-control solution. For the wheeled and crawler excavators as well as crawler tractors, ex-works pre-arrangements are available, which makes it possible to retrofit machine-control systems from different providers.

Now in production at Liebherr-France SAS in Colmar, the 8th generation is made up of seven models ranging from 24 to 50 tons (22 to 45 t): R 922, R 924, R 926, R 930, R 934, R 938 and R 945. The company said the lineup is built to offer customers high performance and greater comfort, with highlights including increased engine power and digging forces and enhanced tractive forces of the undercarriage, as well as higher swing torque of the uppercarriage. These combine for a markedly higher level of performance on site, Liebherr said, as well as reduced fuel consumption and – thanks to a heavier counterweight – larger bucket capacities.

The generation 8 is characterized by a new design that was first presented at Bauma in 2019. The team of developers from Colmar completely revised the basic excavator concept to further increase comfort, safety and performance, and to achieve even better operational ergonomics.

The R 926 equipped with a Leica 3D Grade control system on display at ConExpo is based on a specific platform developed by Liebherr. The R 926 has an operating weight between 28 to 34 tons (26 and 31 t) and a power rating of 150 kW (204 hp); it is available in stage V and Tier 4f. The backhoe bucket capacities vary from 1.15 m3 to 1.75 m3 on the R 926.

A wide range of equipment and tools makes the R 926 versatile for earthmoving, levelling, digging, loading and even lifting tasks, the company said.

Earthmoving equipment moving forward
According to Mayr, the earthmoving equipment and material-handling product area is an important one for Liebherr USA. The company has increased its footprint, from covering a few states on the East coast to nationwide coverage of nearly 100% today. He told media gathered for the press event that the company hopes to continue to expand in 2020 “with the equipment and innovations we’re presenting today.”

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