Test: Venieri loaders

By: Ed, Photography by: Ed, Video by: Justin Bennett


NZ machinery distributor Endraulic Equipment has released Italian-made Venieri loaders to the local market. DOW tests two models.

Most of us know that Lamborghini were well-known tractor manufacturers before transitioning across to the more glamorous side of the motoring industry.

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Fiat also started its life in agricultural equipment and tractors, taking over Ford New Holland in the early 90s and then Case Corporation later that decade, so it should come as no surprise that those clever suave Italians know a thing or two about the tractor and machinery business.

One brand that hasn’t, until recently, been well-known in our corner of the planet is the Venieri brand of equipment. Brothers Ferdinando and Carlo Veneri rolled their first crawler tractor out of their workshop in 1948. This was followed by the first wheel tractor in the mid-50s and then earthmoving equipment in 1960.

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By 1985, preferred engine supplier Perkins had delivered their 10 millionth engine to Venieri, and by the early 2000s, the product line-up included a large range of backhoes and wheel loaders, followed by what the company says is the first electric wheel loader in the world in 2007.

These days, Venieri produces a wide range of wheeled machinery, including telehandlers, both under their own name and for some other well-known brands. So Endraulic Equipment has decided to distribute a brand that is both long established and of high enough quality that others want to slap their name on it.

Test site

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For our test runs, we commandeered the services of Wayne Ashford from Auckland’s Rockshop Quarry Products Ltd. Operating out of Rosebank Road, not far from the central city, Wayne and his wife Anna run a busy yard supplying aggregates primarily for commercial projects across the Auckland region. We’ve been here a number of times before to try out machinery under Wayne’s experienced eye.

Machine 1: Venieri 4.63G

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Endraulic gave us two wheels loaders to try out, with Wayne opting to try out the 5.4-tonne (5400kg) 4.63G model. Looking a bit smaller than what most people would consider for a machine of its weight, it features (as seen in all Venieri wheel loaders) a fully hydrostatic transmission with automatic power regulation and closed circuited pumps, operated via a forward/reverse switch on the single bucket/travel direction joystick.

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Engine power is supplied with a 52kW (72hp) Yanmar 4TNV98C engine, which provides a maximum torque of 241Nm, while a set of multi-disc oil brakes on all wheels brings the machine to a halt.

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There are a number of buckets available for the machine, including a multi-purpose (4 in 1), oversize, and pallet forks. When fully raised, it gives a maximum height of 4100mm with a universal bucket attached.

Wayne’s verdict

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Taking advantage of a break in trucks needing to be loaded, Wayne put the Venieri 4.63G through its paces, using the opportunity to tidy up some stacks of aggregate around the yard with the varying weights of different products giving the Italian machine a good hard work out.

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An hour or so later, between the occasional break to climb back in his own machine to load truck and trailers, Wayne returned with his verdict. "It’s a comfortable machine to drive, and the vision is very good, especially over the back. I like the quality of the build and the power is good. I see it being really good in a supply yard that has a lot of domestic buyers, as it is versatile, especially with the quick hitch, so you can quickly change over to pallet forks."

Machine 2: Venieri 1.63C

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I elected to try out the smaller of the two machines to be delivered to Rockshop’s yard. Like its larger stablemate, the 1.63C is also Yanmar-powered, this one producing 36kW (50hp) from the four-cylinder direct injection diesel engine.

While there is no multi-purpose bucket available for this size loader, it comes with a universal bucket, an oversize bucket, as well as pallet forks to help adapt it to a number of other uses.

Likewise, it also comes with fully hydrostatic transmission, enabling—shall we say—less mechanically-minded operators to use it comfortably.

With an operating weight of 3100kg, the Venieri 1.63C provides a dump height of 2295mm when fitted with a universal bucket, which is more than adequate to load small- to medium-sized trucks. Its lifting capacity of 2170kg at maximum height should also make it helpful for drainage work, such as positioning manholes in the right circumstances.

Randolph’s verdict

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I hadn’t intended on climbing aboard any of the machines but couldn’t resist the temptation in the end. Much like riding a bike, it took a couple of minutes before I was back in my happy zone and used the 1.63C to move some product around before earning a few dollars for the Rockshop and loading out some small customers.

Even though I haven’t been on a wheel loader for a while, the Venieri 1.63C was intuitive to use and had plenty of power to boot. Agreeing with Wayne, this machine also would be ideal in the hands of a contractor or domestic supply yard. It is a versatile machine and well worth looking at when considering a purchase.

Summary

Venieri loaders are available in sizes right up to 22 tonnes, so the brand is a serious player in the market. Like we’d expect from an Italian manufacturer, the thought that has gone into design and styling make a lot of other brands look somewhat antiquated.

Endraulic Equipment says they can customise models to specific buyer requirements and view Venieri as a brand that will gain traction in the marketplace, especially for companies who want to keep valued employees by putting them into a good machine.

For more information, contact 0800 468 782 or visit endraulic.co.nz.

Watch the Venieri loaders in action

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