LiuGong Demonstrates Tough Performance in Tough World

From the “Roof of the World” in Tibet to the snow-covered Antarctic, LiuGong machines have left their mark irrespective of the weather conditions.

Tue April 05, 2016 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

From the “Roof of the World” in Tibet to the snow-covered Antarctic, LiuGong machines have left their mark irrespective of the weather conditions.
From the “Roof of the World” in Tibet to the snow-covered Antarctic, LiuGong machines have left their mark irrespective of the weather conditions.

From the “Roof of the World” in Tibet to the snow-covered Antarctic, LiuGong machines have left their mark irrespective of the weather conditions. Not only have they helped to advance construction in the plateau area, but they also have contributed greatly to the progress of scientific research in the South Pole.

The railway stretching from Lhasa to Nyingchi along the Yarlung Tsangpo River is 270 mi. (435 km) in length. More than 90 percent of it lies at an elevation of more than 9,842.5 ft. (3,000 m) above sea level. With tough natural conditions such as thin air, high altitudes and a complicated geological landscape, these regions pose many challenges to the construction of tunnels and bridges, resulting in a sparse infrastructure network. Benzhongshan Tunnel is one of the 47 tunnels currently under the charge of EPC, contractor of China Railway 17th Bureau Group. Chengdu Haofeng Labor Service Co. Ltd. (Chengdu Haofeng) is undertaking the construction of one section of this tunnel.

Gao Yunjiang, general manager of Chengdu Haofeng, owes the company's winning bid to its construction capability and equipment. The LiuGong 50CN wheel loaders complete with side dump high capacity buckets have proven to be a dependable workhorse for the heavy earthworks and pick and carry applications.

“Since 2006, we have used LiuGong wheel loaders for tunnel construction. This time in Tibet is no exception. These machines play a significant role in these types of projects and have never let me down,” Gao said.

“Unlike in other conditions, tunnel construction is subject to strict requirements on operational efficiency, stability, durability, and dust resistance. Actually, I started using LiuGong wheel loaders based on the advice of my fellow villagers. As far as I know, among my fellow villagers that have also engaged in tunnel construction, 90 percent of them are using LiuGong wheel loaders. My experiences confirm that LiuGong wheel loaders are indeed endurable, efficient, practical for heavy loads, and completely suited for tunnel construction under severe conditions.”

Gao's rapid career development is a strong validation of his choice. With the support of his LiuGong equipment, Gao has managed to, within a short space of time, establish his own labor service company, which has since undertaken projects nationwide and built a solid foundation in the field of tunnel construction. Following the development of his business, Gao has purchased more LiuGong wheel loaders.

“A few years ago, when we were constructing tunnels in Guizhou, we ordered 10 LiuGong wheel loaders at once. Up to now, I have bought at least 70 LiuGong wheel loaders in total.”

In 2015, Gao's business reached Tibet after his company won the bid to construct the Benzhongshan tunnel. Even in this harsher environment, he still chose to use LiuGong equipment. Gao revealed that the Tibetan Plateau poses higher requirements on machines like wheel loaders due to the thin air, lack of oxygen, large day-night temperature difference, and wind-blown sand. As tunnel construction places special emphasis on the timely delivery of results, wheel loaders must be efficient, competent and equipped for continuous operation.

“Since April, these LiuGong 50CN side-dump wheel loaders have operated for almost 24 hours every day. They have never failed in close to 2,000 hours. Moreover, it is noteworthy that even in the difficult plateau regions, LiuGong wheel loaders are still able to maintain their high standards of efficiency, especially in the case of heavy loads.

“As you know, this tunnel is quite remote and transport networks are not very extensive in Tibet. If our equipment should fail, maintenance will surely be a thorny problem and the whole schedule will be disrupted. LiuGong wheel loaders are our lucky stars. Without them, we will not be able to complete the job on time.”

On the Roof of the World, LiuGong's Wheel Loaders Operate Perfectly

LiuGong started upgrading its machines in 2014 in response to the new Stage III emission standard for non-road mobile machinery. Building on existing Stage II models, LiuGong replaced outdated engines and engaged in the overall upgrading and rebuilding of its products, with the aim of laying a solid foundation for the future Stage III machines.

As soon as LiuGong's new wheel loaders, which come equipped with Cummins Stage III engines, were completed, they were put to nationwide tests. These were meant to test their reliability in the plain areas, and the quality of the machines was proven after they endured over 11,000 hours' worth of tests.

As a leading loader brand, LiuGong aims to manufacture the perfect products and technologies.

Recently, a team consisting of members from the LiuGong Loader Research Institute and Cummins's technical departments, was established. They went to Qinghai, Tibet and other regions on the Roof of the World to conduct pre-release plateau tests for LiuGong loaders equipped with Stage III engines.

The purpose of plateau tests is to measure the technical parameters of engines and loaders in challenging conditions such as a lack of oxygen, low air pressure, cold climate, or tunnels, and to verify their working performance under these circumstances. This is a traditional aspect of LiuGong's new product development. From their release of the world's first plateau loader ZLG50G in 2000, LiuGong loaders have received widespread commendation for their high applicability and tough performance.

The test items included smoke intensity, driving fuel consumption, driving heat balance, operating fuel consumption, operating heat balance and the engine's free acceleration performance, to name a few. After one month of tests, it was shown that the new wheel loaders equipped with Cummins QSL9.3 electrical Stage III engines registered perfect performance across all indicators in line with design requirements. Furthermore, their engine power loss was not more than 10 percent when above 14,764 ft. (4,500 m).

LiuGong's 'Three Musketeers' Are Competent to Handle Heavy Responsibilities

Li Chuanhong still holds vivid memories of the CLG856, the first LiuGong wheel loader to be used in the Antarctic. He was a technical service specialist during LiuGong's 29th Antarctic expedition. The wheel loader CLG856 and excavator CLG920D were Li's companions for almost 500 days at Zhongshan Station. According to Li, he felt quite relieved after the arrival of these two machines, not only because he was familiar with the operation and maintenance of LiuGong equipment, but also because the existing machines were in need of urgent technical repairs. As a result, LiuGong equipment was used for infrastructure construction and material transportation upon their arrival.

In 2014, LiuGong's TC250-4 crane truck appeared at Zhongshan Station. On Nov. 7, 2015, a second crane, the TC250-4, set out for the Great Wall Station in Antarctica on the Xue Long. With the clustering of these four pieces of LiuGong equipment in the Antarctic, great developments in scientific research were made possible by virtue of their excellent performance and abilities. These machines were adapted to the extremely cold environment and, due to their high adaptability and maneuverability, could be used to complete any kind of task. Hence, LiuGong wheel loaders, excavators, and cranes have become the main forces for facilitating all kinds of projects and material transportation in the Antarctic.

The excellent performance of LiuGong machines was quickly recognized by the local research team. According to Li, the local environment at the time was proving very tough. Temperatures could drop to as low as minus 48.1C, and wind speeds reached 121 ft. (37m/s), stronger than that of Class 12 winds. Sometimes, it seemed that even the buildings were shaking. Under such conditions, the LiuGong wheel loader worked for more than 600 hours, performing tasks as diverse as generator room construction, road construction and snow removal.

“Most memorably, around October 2013, we planned to clear the snow around the station for the next unloading of the Xue Long. Thanks to our LiuGong equipment, the clearing was completed nearly 10 days in advance. Unfortunately, when the operation came to an end, it then snowed heavily. Since time was limited, we had to work more than 10 hours a day to remove the extra snow. Eventually, there was nowhere left to store all the cleared snow. Luckily, we finished the task on time.

“Even though we worked in such extreme conditions for more than 10 hours a day, our equipment still didn't break down. Many team members had high praise for our equipment.”

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