AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle

AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader
AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader
AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader
AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader
AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader

Not since the invention of the four-in-one bucket has there been a piece of equipment that can perform so many tasks. Also, a four-in-one bucket is just one of a hundred or so attachments that are custom-made to fit on an AVANT machine.

AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader
AVANT 528 articulated telescopic loader

In fact there are so many individual attachments for the machine that it would be too confusing to try to mention more than a handful at a time.

The machine has applications in six major categories, namely:

  • buckets and material handling;
  • property maintenance;
  • ground care;
  • landscaping;
  • digging and construction;
  • and farming.

With so many varied applications in so many diverse sectors, AVANT agents, Glenbrook Machinery of Pukekohe arranged for DOW to run a test on an AVANT 528 at a nearby horse stable. The owners had recently purchased the machine, along with a four-in-one bucket, a general bucket, a pallet fork, a rotary broom with collector box and several augers of varying sizes.

I spoke with landscape manager James White, whose decision it was to purchase an AVANT machine in preference to an excavator, an item that had been previously considered.

One of the major reasons behind the decision was the AVANT 528 has a top speed of 12km/h. White says with around two hundred acres of property to work, it was important to him to be able to get a machine to the furthest corner of the property as quickly as possible, without putting it on a trailer.

He says that after a period of trialling the unit, it very quickly became apparent that with such a variety of attachments available for the machine, all of which can be changed in a matter of minutes, it made total sense to purchase the AVANT.

When asked how a typical day's work for the machine would pan out, White says it would be possible for him or one of his operators to be working the machine inside a barn or stable using the general bucket to scoop up all types of residue at the beginning of the day.

By mid-morning the machine would have been finishing the job off with the boxed sweeper, then after fitting forks to the machine they could be delivering palletised goods to another part of the farm and stacking it in racking, in between taking a few moments to fit one of the purpose-built augers to plant a tree or two.

After lunch, the four-in-one bucket could have been attached and the machine would happily spend the rest of the day loading and levelling basecourse. The AVANT 528, he says, took it all in its stride.

White says both the owners and himself are extremely happy with the purchase and the service they receive from Glenbrook Machinery. He also says they would possibly add more attachments to their inventory in the future.

The AVANT 528 is a mid-range machine from the 500-series however, the range starts from the 200-series and goes up to the 700-series.

AVANT articulated telescopic loaders are hydrostatically driven, which allows the operator to change from a forward motion to reverse, simply by removing his or her foot from the right-side pedal and applying pressure to the pedal beside it, thus reversing the machine.

I found the machine very easy to learn to use, even though I restricted myself to changing a couple of attachments and operating it with the four-in-one bucket attached. Having said that, realistically I would have needed a day or two on the job to become proficient in operating the unit.

One of the machine's many features I found to be of immediate benefit upon taking the controls was the telescopic boom. This function allows the operator to extend the reach by a further 600mm at the push of a lever.

The benefit of this is a load may be carried close to the machine's natural centre of gravity while travelling but allowing a greater lift in a situation such as having to clear high-sided trucks and trailers.

The maximum height gained by using this function is almost 2.8 metres.

I found there was ample room in the cab, although it's fair to say that I'm no giant. However, somebody three times my size would be totally comfortable in the operator's seat, which is heated I might add.

AVANT loaders come with four different cab options and the one I tested was fitted with the standard ROPS safety frame with a tinted plexiglass canopy.The operator position is ideal as it is positioned in the front portion of the machine and the seat is as close to the attachment as it can possibly be, giving the operator an unrestricted view.

Taking a couple minutes to change from the pallet-fork attachment to the four-in-one bucket, this process is aided by a specially-designed multi connector.

This innovation required an effortless single-hand movement which automatically released the pressure and not a single drop of hydraulic fluid was spilt.

From my own point of view, I felt myself wishing these machines were around twenty years ago. If they had been, I probably could have saved the money I've spent over the years for treatment of a bad back - a result of many hours peering over the hood of a front end loader and twisting to operate a grader blade attached to the rear of the machine.

For more information contact Philip Pinker, Glenbrook Machinery Co, 8 Nelson Street, Pukekohe. Phone 09 238 6955 or 021 228 3833 or visit glenbrook.co.nz.

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