Watch Liebherr restore its oldest wheel loader in existence

Virtually 60 years after its debut, Liebherr has restored one of many first wheel loader prototypes from the company group’s early years: the LSL 1500. This specimen is the oldest preserved Liebherr wheel loader in existence. Liebherr has invested about 650 working hours within the restoration of the classic loader which is now used as an exhibition piece within the Liebherr Bischofshofen manufacturing unit.

“When growing wheel loaders, we take care of the most recent applied sciences and developments each day. Nonetheless, we additionally respect our roots. And this wheel loader right here reveals that Liebherr was getting revolutionary machine ideas off the bottom even six many years in the past,” explains Martin Gschwend, who’s managing director of the Liebherr Bischofshofen plant and chargeable for the worldwide distribution of Liebherr wheel loaders.

On the Bischofshofen facility, he’s inspecting a selected rarity: a Liebherr LSL 1500 wheel loader from the early Sixties. It’s the solely remaining instance of a pilot sequence of solely 5 machines. The wheel loader specialists in Bischofshofen have absolutely restored the machine over current months.

Six many years of wheel loader historical past at a look: The virtually 60-year-old LSL 1500 with a Liebherr stereoloader L 514 of the most recent era.

From scrap steel to an exhibition piece

The wheel loader veteran has had a really full life. After a couple of years at a gravel manufacturing unit within the Biberach space, the machine arrived on the Fried-Sped company group in Ummendorf circa 1980. The LSL 1500 served the logistics specialist reliably for round 20 years. Initially of the 2000s, with the shovel loader already round 40 years previous, Liebherr took the prototype again and preserved the now decommissioned wheel loader.

Nonetheless, this storage location was to not be the ultimate resting place for the historic wheel loader. In 2019, Liebherr-Werk Bischofshofen determined to totally restore this final remaining LSL 1500. The ravages of time, significantly within the type of rust and frost harm, had taken their toll on the machine.

Present and retired staff of the Liebherr Bischofshofen facility (Austria) in entrance of the restored wheel loader LSL 1500.

The undertaking started within the spring of 2020 on the Liebherr Bischofshofen plant. The wheel loader consultants refurbished every particular person a part of the LSL 1500 all the way down to the final screw. For the staff, the renovation meant far more than mere nostalgia: “A number of apprentices labored on the restoration. For them, this was a uncommon alternative to watch and perceive the expertise of earlier occasions,” explains Andreas Scharler, who ran the restore centre for a few years.

In lots of locations, technical ability and improvisational expertise have been required. “If you begin the diesel engine, the working voltage instantly switches from 12 to 24 volts. We first needed to analyze this course of accurately so as to have the ability to begin the wheel loader efficiently. It was a splendid second after we heard the highly effective six-cylinder diesel engine working for the primary time,” says Scharler, who, together with his staff, invested about 650 working hours on this classic wheel loader.

Lovingly and absolutely restored: The LSL 1500 shovel loader is the oldest preserved Liebherr wheel loader in existence.

A chunk of wheel loader historical past

Within the Nineteen Fifties, Liebherr was already experimenting with wheel loaders, a kind of machine nonetheless in its infancy and underdeveloped on the time. Liebherr’s first two prototypes, the “Elephant” and “Mammoth” fashions, nonetheless had to deal with elevated tire put on and modest traction.

Within the early Sixties, Liebherr then managed to create a dependable wheel loader prototype with the LSL 1500, weighing round ten tonnes and with 108 hp. Leibherr produced a pilot sequence of 5 models. The LSL 1500 had a inflexible body and hydraulically supported rear wheel steering which was luxurious for the time. The load transmission was achieved by a torque converter and a four-wheel drive, which might optionally be switched off.

The brand new kinematics offered a dumping top of round three metres and allowed for the loading of building website autos with bigger aspect heights. For poor climate, an all-weather cowl with sewn-in clear home windows and heating was obtainable for the operator’s platform, which was nonetheless open at the moment. With delight, Liebherr described its LSL 1500 in an information sheet as a “new design primarily based on a few years of expertise within the building of earth-moving machines.”

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