Backhoe Loader Basics: Engine & Software
"Backhoe Loader" most people would scratch their heads wondering what you are talking about, it takes a picture for them to realize that they know exactly what you are talking about. While the BHL is commonly recognized and appreciated, most people are unaware of the amazing engineering that goes into a BHL. While the BHL with its hardware has already stormed the construction industry, combining it with the latest in software technology raises the BHL to a whole new level. The building construction equipment manufacturers in India have recently started investing in combing the best of both technologies to build better machines.
A powerful diesel engine at the heart of it and amazing hydraulics are what make the BHL so popular. The diesel engine creates power while the hydraulics amplify it. The BHL is a very powerful equipment but the secret behind such power is relatively simple- Hydraulics. A hydraulic system for machines is usually a set of pistons filled with an uncompressible fluid. The hydraulic system transmits force from one point in the fluid to another. The denser the fluid, the higher the rate of transfer of the original force. Usually oils are used as hydraulic fluids of various kinds. The whole math of it lies between force and distance.
The application of this concept in a BHL is nothing short of genius. The boom, stick and bucket are connected at 3 joints like a human arm and are powered by the cylinders in the BHL which are synonymous to the muscles on the arm. Each cylinder can either push or pull various parts of the BHL towards or away from one another. The BHL has a complex system of hydraulics to enable it to dig and perform various heavy duty tasks while maintaining the range of movement. A joystick is usually used to maneuver this complex system to make heavy duty work seem much easier and effortless than it actually is.
The power of the diesel engine and the capacity of the hydraulic systems differ from variant to variant. For Eg: A backhoe designed for use at residential construction sites would usually have a digging depth of 13-16 feet and anything between 70-85 horsepower. A BHL designed for more commercial and industrial tasks will pack more than 100 horsepower and have a dig depth of 5 meters or more.
Building construction equipment manufacturers in India are coming up with newer and innovative ways to improve the BHL in every way possible, software integration being one of them. In developed countries GPS and internet are used to keep an eye on every move of the machine. GPS and remote sensing are used to survey the job site and formulate a plan for maximum efficiency, decide positioning of the machinery for the job at hand, provide real time feed about the completion of the job. Data is created and analyzed to increase efficiency of the machine. Software’s track when the machine has either been turned on or off, location on where the machine is operating, how much fuel is remaining, the fuel consumption rate of the machine, oil and pressure checks, energy costing, load calculation etc. making things easier for the operators and owners.
This kind of software integration ensures safety of the equipment, reduces chances of fuel theft, misuse of machinery by operators, saves time and money, helps optimize the machine and increases ROI. All data regarding the machine at all times can be made available for the owners with the help of GPRS, internet, cellular network, bluetooth, etc. The data for the machine can be tracked on laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets etc. While the tech has benefits it becomes redundant when there is poor network or no internet connection.
That being said, such advanced technology is yet to be used in India due to lack of connectivity infrastructure. Despite India being one of the major markets, only SMS and emails are used to keep a track of the machine as of today. However with the advent of Digital India and the IT boom, it is not going to be long before the face of Indian construction and construction equipment manufacturing industry changes again!