A wheel loader is a heavy equipment machine used in construction to move or load materials such as soil, rock, sand, demolition debris, etc. into or onto another type of machinery (such as a dump track, conveyor belt, feed-hopper, or railroad car).
There are many types of loader, which, depending on design and application, are variously called a bucket loader, front loader, front-end loader, payloader, high lift, scoop, shovel, skip loader, wheel loader, or skid-steer .
A loader is commonly used to move a stockpiled material from ground level and deposit it into an awaiting dump truck or into an open trench excavation.
Loaders are used mainly for loading materials into trucks , laying pipe, clearing rubble, and digging. A loader is not the most efficient machine for digging as it cannot dig very deep below the level of its wheels, like a backhoe or an excavator can. The capacity of a loader bucket can be anywhere from 0.5 to 36 m³ depending upon the size of the machine and its application. The front loader's bucket capacity is generally much bigger than a bucket capacity of a backhoe loader.
Unlike most bulldozers , most loaders are wheeled and not tracked , although track loaders are common. They are successful where sharp-edged materials in construction debris would damage rubber wheels, or where the ground is soft and muddy. Wheels provide better mobility and speed and do not damage paved roads as much as tracks, but provide less traction.
In construction areas loaders are also used to transport building materials such as bricks, pipe, metal bars, and digging tools over short distances.
Front-loaders are commonly used to remove snow especially from sidewalks, parking lots, and other areas too small for using snowplows and other heavy equipment. They are sometimes used as snowplows with a snowplow attachment but commonly have a bucket or snow basket, which can also be used to load snow into the rear compartment of a snowplow or dump truck.
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