Loaders are heavy equipment machines (primarily used in construction) that is used to load material such as asphalt, dirt, demolition debris, feed, logs, gravel, raw minerals, recycled material, rock, sand, wood chips, etc, onto or into other types of machinery such as dump trucks, conveyor belts, feed-hoppers, rail-cars, etc,.
Loaders are also referred to as: bucket loader, front loader, payloader, front end loader, skip loader, scoop loader, shovel, and/or wheel loader.
Loaders are a type of tractor that use wheels for mobility, and rarely tracked, that uses a bucket that is mounted on the front and is mechanized by two arms (booms) to scoop up and collect loose material from the ground, such as sand, gravel or dirt, to relocate it without pushing the material across the ground. A loader is most often used to move pile of material from the ground level and deposit it into an awaiting dump truck or into an open trench excavation.
The loader bucket and booms can be demountable or come as a fixed unit. The bucket is one of many attachments and, in the case that the assembly is not permanent, other tools can be mounted such as forks for handling pallets and containers and clamshell buckets to have similar functions as bulldozers and scrapers. The bucket attachment can even have an added attachment such as the bale grappler to handle straw and bales of hay.
Loaders are very functional and facilitate material loading, pipe laying, rubble clearing, and digging. A loader is a preferred method of moving earth and “loading” hence the name. The bucket is very deep and can store about 3-6 cubic yards of dirt, which varies with each model. Loaders are not the most efficient machines for digging as they cannot dig too much lower than the level of its wheels whereas the backhoe can.