New Wheel Loader Technology: Doosan Transparent Bucket Enhances Operator Visibility and Productivity
As technology evolves, heavy construction equipment manufacturers continue to develop tools and machine accessories that allow operators to move about a worksite more safely.
One standout safety feature that was introduced in 2021 is the Doosan Transparent Bucket, an exclusive technology from Doosan Infracore North America. This technology is currently available for new Doosan -7 Series wheel loaders.
Increased safety comes from enhanced operator visibility, and the Transparent Bucket allows the wheel loader operator to see directly through the bucket and to the area in front of the machine. This is achieved through camera technology that projects a supplemental view from the bucket to a monitor inside of the wheel loader cab.
Despite what the name may imply, the Transparent Bucket isn’t actually transparent.
“It’s not made of glass or clear acrylic,” says Bill Zak, Doosan wheel loader product manager. “Rather, it incorporates technology that gives wheel loader operators an unobstructed view in front of the wheel loader bucket, allowing them to see objects or challenging terrain in front of and beside the machine. The bucket will virtually disappear. This is done through the work of two cameras that use a curved projection method to show the combined image on the in-cab monitor.”
Between other equipment, people and extracted material, construction jobsites can present many obstacles for operators. A traditional bucket can obstruct the view of these obstacles.
“A Doosan Transparent Bucket enables operators to move the wheel loader on the site more confidently, leading to more efficient work and greater machine uptime protection,” Zak says.
Why a Transparent Bucket?
When someone hears about the Transparent Bucket, they may wonder why such an option would be necessary. After all, traditional buckets have been used on wheel loaders for decades.
Manufacturers have made strides in recent years to increase overall visibility from the wheel loader cab. These improvements have ranged from increasing the amount of glass in a cab structure to installing additional mirrors and rearview cameras.
“No matter how much glass is in the cab, or how clean the glass is kept, the bucket will always be in an operator’s line of vision,” Zak says. “This can be an issue for multiple reasons.”
One reason is that an operator may not be familiar with the worksite. For example, an operator may have never worked at a jobsite before or is still relatively new to using heavy equipment. With other equipment, trucks and workers, a jobsite can be intimidating to an inexperienced or new operator.
“A newer operator may move across a site more cautiously than more experienced operators or crane their neck from the cab to ensure they are in full control of the bucket and there’s nothing in front of it,” Zak says. “While this may not be the most pressing issue, or even something an operator would classify as an issue, it can still eat into productivity. That’s where a Transparent Bucket comes into play.”
Doosan Transparent Bucket technology consists of an in-cab monitor, two cameras with protective guarding and a video controller. One camera is mounted high, while another camera is mounted low on the front of the machine.
“The reason for two cameras is that a bucket moves up and down,” Zak says. “When the bucket is low, the view of the bottom camera is being obstructed. Similarly, when the bucket is high, the top camera’s view is obstructed. With two cameras, each bucket movement is recorded.”
The system’s processor automatically combines the camera inputs into a single image that makes the bucket appear transparent on an in-cab monitor. This also assists with operator visibility.
Transparent Bucket Benefits
Often, a wheel loader is moving forward and reverse multiple times in its work pattern. When operating a wheel loader, an obstructed view can develop in the front of the machine. It’s best for an operator to have an unobstructed view of their surroundings.
These obstructed views are especially noticeable when raising or lowering a bucket. With the Transparent Bucket, these areas are minimized.
Maximizing visibility allows a wheel loader operator to move about their worksite more confidently. This confidence translates into a more productive workday. The ability to “see through” the wheel loader bucket allows operators to efficiently dig into and precisely place material where it needs to go. This innovative technology from Doosan helps maximize productivity even on the busiest jobsites.
This article was written by Rachel Ori, Two Rivers Marketing, Des Moines, Iowa, on behalf of Doosan Infracore North America, Suwanee, Georgia Tags: Doosan Construction Equipment, September/October 2022 Print Issue