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Yellow wheel loader sitting idle with big boulders in front of it and small rocks behind it
Yellow wheel loader sitting idle with big boulders in front of it and small rocks behind it
The Ultimate Wheel Loader Spec Guide and Size Chart
9 minute read
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Tim Forestell
January 24, 2023

The Ultimate Wheel Loader Size Guide

Whether it's transporting raw materials, clearing rubble, or snow removal, the wheel loader can do it all. With 13 brands to choose from, it's easy to get lost in the sea of spec guides in picking the best model for the job. In this guide, we'll explain how to choose the right size loader for your next project and provide the most important specs for each wheel loader brand.

Choosing the Right Loader Size

Before taking a deep dive into spec guides, there are a few general factors to consider when choosing between wheel loader sizes. The first of which are job requirements which are the main determinant of the loader size you need. The machine you choose needs to perform all the necessary activities you require so overall functionality and performance should be the deciding factor concerning loader size and specifications. Understanding a job's requirements will help narrow down your focus, saving you time and money when renting or buying equipment.

When it comes to size, each brand categorizes its models differently. However, the following guidelines summarize loader sizes nicely: compact wheel loaders weigh between 9,000-20,000 lbs and medium-sized loaders typically weigh between 20,000 lbs and 50,000 lbs. However, some manufacturers categorize loaders weighing up to 80,000 lbs as mid-sized. Any machines weighing over 80,000 lbs are considered to be large loaders.

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Residential construction and landscaping usually only require small and compact wheel loaders on-site, as the bucket size of 1 to 2 cubic yards found on these loaders is sufficient. Medium-sized loaders are more suited for construction sites transporting high volumes of heavy materials. The bucket size on these loaders is generally 3-5 cubic yards. Large loaders with bucket sizes ranging above 6 cubic yards are typically found on large-scale construction projects, mill yards, quarries, and mines.

Important Specs to Consider for Wheel Loaders

The main specifications to evaluate when selecting a wheel loader are bucket capacity, operating weight, horsepower, and static tipping load. These specs vary by size and a best practice is the larger the loader, the greater the spec value.

Buckets are the most common attachment found on wheel loaders but they can be fitted with forks and other attachments as well. Bucket capacity, or the volume of material these attachments can carry, really is the core factor in determining what you can do with a loader. The type of material you're transporting, its volume, and its density should all be considered when selecting the appropriate bucket capacity.

Read our dozer spec guide.

Operating weight measures the total weight of a machine itself as well as the weight of the operator, fuel, and attachments while the machine is in use. If your job site is located on land that can't support significant loads or withstand excessive force, then consider machines with lighter operating weights in your wheel loader rental or purchase decision.

Horsepower is a measure of power. A wheel loader's horsepower indicates the amount of power its engine generates. The higher the horsepower, the more material it can move and transport.

Static tipping load, or lift capacity, refers to how much weight a loader can safely lift at maximum extension. Beyond the maximum point, the loader will tip under excess weight and could roll over. You must choose a wheel loader that can safely support the weight required on your job.

Other Specs to Consider

There are many other specs used to select the right size wheel loader. However, specific job requirements often reveal which ones you should focus on. If you're excavating dense earth or uprooting roots, a loader's breakout force is a valuable spec to consider. Breakout force is the amount of force exerted by the machine at a bucket or cutting attachment's edge, which determines how well a loader can remove objects from the earth.

The type of attachments required, operator skill level, and fuel efficiency are all factors that will refine your search for the right loader size and model.

Wheel Loader Specs for Each Brand

Once you've established what peak loader performance looks like on your construction site, you can consult the following spec guides for specific sizing and feature information. For each of the manufacturers listed below, please note that the tipping load will vary depending on attachments and customizations.

Also, for simplicity, we've only listed the base models in each loader size chart. However, some models listed will be available as waste handlers or with additional features. Feel free to jump ahead to any of the following brands:

Caterpillar Wheel Loaders

Caterpillar (CAT) is one of the most popular wheel loader brands, sorting their models into four size categories: compact, small, medium, and large. CAT provides a ton of range with 48 models with their smallest compact loader weighing 9,414 lbs, and their heaviest loader weighing 540,555 lbs! Within all of their wheel loaders, they have 13 compact, nine small, 14 medium, and 15 large models.

The sheer size range of CAT's loaders ensures that at least one of their models will meet your requirements. You can filter their models by application, including agriculture, sand and gravel extraction, waste handling, road construction, and many others. Their models encompass a range of models ranging from 42 to 1739 HP and 0.8 to 57 cubic yards of bucket capacity.

A yellow 906H Caterpillar wheel loader loader with fork attachments sitting idle
Caterpillar 906H wheel loader with fork attachments

The CAT 906, 907, 908, 926, 930, and 938 loader models are all offered with Aggregate handler attachments. The 988 and 990 models are offered with mill yard and steel mill attachments. The 950, 966, 972, 980, 982, and 986 loader models also can come with different features.

Regardless of your chosen model, all CAT loaders prioritize safety, precision, productivity, and fuel efficiency. If aren't entirely sure what to look for, the variety of CAT loaders is a great place to start!

CAT Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

Caterpillar Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
CAT 903D0.8 - 1.39,414 - 9,462425,004 - 6,451
CAT 9061.0 - 2.012,346 - 12,75873.2 - 74.76,514 - 9,674
CAT 9071.0 - 2.012,765 - 12,95873.2 - 74.76,569 - 9,531
CAT 9081.0 - 2.014,032 - 14,61773.2 - 74.7NA
CAT 9101.7 - 2.518,102110NA
CAT 9141.7 - 2.519,103110NA
CAT 9201.7 - 2.521,742121NA
CAT 926M2.5 - 6.528,193 - 28,577168NA
CAT 9302.7 - 6.531,382 - 37,713168NA
CAT 938M3.2 - 6.535,778 - 41,794188NA
CAT 9503.75 - 12.041,554 - 42,357225- 25024,262 - 27,494
CAT 962M3.3 - 1244,59125024,262 - 25,926
CAT 9663.75 - 15.551,12432130,072 - 35,233
CAT 9723.75 - 18.2554,85833935,919
CAT 9805.25 - 19.066,87739343,432
CAT 9826.25 - 22.578,26440446,526
CAT 986K6.5 - 13.598,806373NA
CAT 988K6.2 - 17.0112,574541NA
CAT 990K9.7 - 19.5178,517699NA
CAT 99215.0 - 32.0234,430814NA
CAT 99316.0 - 31.0294,6871,039NA
CAT 994K25.0 - 57.0534,8521,739NA
CAT 99522.3 - 57.0540,5551,847NA

John Deere Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

John Deere is another popular manufacturer known for their range of wheel loaders. John Deere's 21 models are easily sorted into compact, mid-sized, and large loaders, which span 61-563 horsepower with 1-10 cubic yard bucket capacities. Their seven compact loaders have a starting operating weight of 10,670 lbs, while the largest loader in the compact class weighs in at 19,533 lbs. Their nine mid-sized models range from 25,814 to 43,783 lbs. The five largest models fall into the 54,920 to 124,614 lb. range.

John Deere's loader models are also offered in three performance tiers: G, P, and X. These tiers are tacked onto the model name, making it easy to see which models are provided in each tier. The "G" Tier is the most basic in terms of features. These machines are economical, yet incredibly productive and dependable.

John Deere 244L compact wheel loader with fork pallets moving big rocks on a job site
A John Deere 244L wheel loader with fork attachments moving rocks on a project

The "P" tier includes additional features that enhance functionality and operator comfort. The "X" tier has the most bells and whistles, including smart tools and a comfortable cab. The tier system is used with other John Deere equipment, but it can be used to help narrow down your wheel loader selection.

Even though John Deere has a wide selection of large loaders, its heaviest machine weighs under 200,000 lbs. If you're looking for a loader equipped to handle even larger projects, then consider brands like Caterpillar and Komatsu, which offer some of the most powerful wheel loaders out there.

John Deere Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

John Deere Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
John Deere 184 G-Tier0.9 - 1.410,670444,542 - 5,114
John Deere 204 G-Tier0.9 - 1.411,508626,504 - 7,716
John Deere 244 P-Tier1.0 - 1.412,258717,893 - 8,951
John Deere 304 G-Tier0.9 - 1.413,051727,275 - 8,796
John Deere 324 P-Tier1.0 - 2.114,110716,812 - 8,466
John Deere 344 P-Tier2.0 - 2.619,53310312,588 - 13,757
John Deere 444 P-Tier2.5 - 4.525,81412414,386 - 19,586
John Deere 524 P-Tier2.5 - 4.528,931 - 29,01815214,088 - 22,702
John Deere 544 G-Tier2.75 - 3.028,646 - 29,88616814,974 - 24,735
John Deere 544 P-Tier2.5 - 4.530,520 - 30,59816615,007 - 24,557
John Deere 624 P-Tier2.5 - 5.2534,715 - 34,81019217,838 - 29,113
John Deere 644 G-Tier4.0 - 4.7539,537 - 41,649227 - 23125,774 - 32,072
John Deere 644 P-Tier4.0 - 4.7541,246 - 41,32424918,148 - 33,079
John Deere 644 X-Tier4.0 - 4.7541,571 - 41,64923117,699 - 32,072
John Deere 724 P-Tier4.0 - 5.043,707 - 43,78326823,724 - 36,167
John Deere 744 P-Tier5.0 - 5.8554,920 - 58,70931629,961 - 43,846
John Deere 824 P-Tier5.0 - 6.7558,334 - 61,95234332,904 - 46,420
John Deere 904 P-Tier9.3 - 9.880,050 - 80,31842946,059 - 60,157
John Deere 944K8.5 - 10.0119,607 - 124,61453665,989 - 86,886

Volvo Wheel Loaders

Volvo categorizes their wheel loaders by compact and large models. They have six compact loaders ranging from 9,877 to 20,944 lbs. Their large category includes 11 loaders weighing between 24,251 and 123,459 lbs with the majority of loaders in this category around 40,000-80,000 lbs.

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Many loaders in the 50,000 to 70,000 lb range have surprisingly large bucket capacities, reaching a maximum of 20.9 cubic yards. One of their models, the L200H is offered with a high lift attachment. Overall, Volvo offers a large variety of efficient, high-quality models suitable for multiple projects.

Volvo Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

Volvo Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
Volvo L20H0.99,87764.46,614 - 7,496
Volvo L25H1.3110,84764.46,724 - 8,157
Volvo L30G1.312,125747,826 - 9,590
Volvo L35G1.613,448748,708 - 10,913
Volvo L45H1.8319,1141009,524 - 13,095
Volvo L50H2.120,94411610,824 - 14,462
Volvo L60H2.1 - 6.524,251 - 29,98316416,530
Volvo L70H2.4 - 8.427,556 - 34,71217018,680
Volvo L90H2.7 - 9.231,968 - 38,14018422,620
Volvo L110H3.2 - 12.439,680 45,63525626,470
Volvo L120H3.2 - 12.445,635 - 47,62027228,000
Volvo L150H4.4 - 18.353,130 - 56,44029535,210
Volvo L80H4.8 - 20.959,525 - 62,61033041,580
Volvo L220H5.6 - 20.968,780 - 72,97036746,110
Volvo L260H6.9 - 13.374,957 - 85,98041656,590
Volvo L350H8.1 - 16.6110,231 - 123,45953276,677

Komatsu Wheel Loaders

Komatsu sorts their 21 models into six mid-sized, 10 large-sized, and five surface mining loaders. They specialize in loaders equipped to handle large-scale projects in multiple industries, including mining, forestry, industrial and waste management, and heavy construction. Their surface mining loaders peak at 2300 HP, with a 53 cubic yard bucket capacity, and 590,000 lbs.

The WA200-8, WA270-8, WA320-8, WA380-8, WA475-10, WA480-8, and WA500-8 can all be customized with a waste handling attachment, giving some versatility to the equipment.

Komatsu WA320 wheel loader with a bucket attachment sitting idle on a site with trees in the background
Komatsu WA320 wheel loader with a bucket attachment

Komatsu loaders are better equipped for mid to large-sized projects, as the smallest loader offered is 25,827 lbs. All Komatsu models are powerful, efficient machines that'll serve niche sizing needs better than the majority of loader manufacturers.

Komatsu Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

Komatsu Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
Komatsu WA200-82.6 - 3.125,827 - 26,48912612,558 - 19,235
Komatsu WA270-82.5 - 3.528,208 - 29,07914918,761 - 22,774
Komatsu WA320-83.0 - 4.234,128 - 34,98716516,998 - 25,353
Komatsu WA380-83.5 - 4.340,532 - 41,93219122,943 - 34,039
Komatsu WA475-105.5 - 6.056,240 - 60,40029034,238 - 45,283
Komatsu WA480-86.0 - 7.257,232 - 61,31129936,299 - 46,947
Komatsu WA500-85.9 - 8.276,897 - 77,85635354,622 - 60,363
Komatsu WA600-88.4 - 10.2122,136 - 126,76852971,964 - 95,383
Komatsu WA800-815.0254,700854139,817 - 157,631
Komatsu WA900-815.0 - 19.0256,618899128,089 - 158,380
Komatsu WE135030.0428,0001,676NA
Komatsu WE185040.0 - 43.0590,0002,000NA
Komatsu WE235053.0587,0002,300NA

CASE Wheel Loaders

Another popular manufacturer of small and mid-sized loaders is CASE. Their loaders are organized into two groups: compact and full-sized loaders. They have four compact loaders spanning 10,913-13,303 lbs. Despite their size, these machines have strong breakout force and lift capacity, as they have a lower center of gravity and can navigate tight spaces easily.

CASE also has seven loaders in the full-sized category, which range from 24,203 to 61,650 lbs. All seven models are part of the G-Series, which have cool features like adjustable hydraulic controls, an optional payload system, and high fuel efficiency. CASE's models are great options for smaller projects that don't require the force of an 80,000 lb loader.

CASE Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

CASE Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
CASE 21F0.65 - 1.0510,913585,287
CASE 121F0.78 - 1.4411,023645,265
CASE 221F0.92 - 1.5712,547748,317
CASE 321F1.05 - 1.713,303748,354
CASE 521G1.77 - 2.024,20314210,215 - 12,326
CASE 621G2.56 - 4.528,15917213,913 - 16,044
CASE 721G2.6 - 5.532,63319513,005 - 16,155
CASE 821G3.41 - 4.2540,05723018,692 - 22,138
CASE 921G3.25 - 4.7545,07025523,404 - 26,882
CASE 1021G4.56 - 5.556,36531827,705 - 31,048
CASE 1121G5.25 - 6.2561,65034531,128 - 32,710

Hyundai Wheel Loaders

Hyundai doesn't sort their 20 current models by size. Instead, their models are organized by their main design feature: models with a Z-bar attachment, extended reach, and a Tool Master boom-like design. These machines are generally suitable for mid-sized construction projects like snow removal and material clearing and range from 25,595 to 60,175 lbs.

In addition to the standard Z-bar attachment, the 930A, 940A, 955A, 960A, 970A, 975A, and 980A are all offered with the extended reach feature. Loaders with extended reach are particularly helpful on job sites requiring a higher dump height. Only three models are available with the Tool Master Boom: the HL930A, HL940A, and the HL955. All Hyundai loaders have a distinguishing bucket design for increased capacity, which ranges from 2.1 to 7.3 cubic yards.

Hyundai Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

Hyundai Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
Hyundai HL930A2.1 - 2.525,595 - 25,79513015,655 - 18,125
Hyundai HL940A3.029,985 - 30,56015415,545 - 19,850
Hyundai HL955A3.735,490 - 36,35519717,970 - 22,945
Hyundai HL960A4.342,880 - 44,71022224,495 - 31,750
Hyundai HL965A4.745,70026930,810
Hyundai HL970A5.554,455 - 55,12032230,755 - 37,240
Hyundai HL9756.358,430 - 60,17533137,015 - 40,455
Hyundai HL980A7.369,120 - 69,45035141,230 - 46,895

Wacker Neuson Wheel Loaders

Similar to Hyundai, Wacker Neuson's loaders aren't sorted into separate size categories. However, their eight models could all be considered small or compact as they weigh between 6,040 and 22,899 lbs.

Included in the eight models is one of their best-performing models, the 8085T Telescoping Wheel Loader, which provides 360-degree visibility from the cab and increased reach and stacking. Overall, Wacker Neuson wheel loaders are viable options for small-scale projects.

Wacker Neuson Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

Wacker Neuson Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
Wacker Neuson WL280.556,041NA3,975
Wacker Neuson 50550.717,936464,365
Wacker Neuson WL380.849,260NANA
Wacker Neuson WL340.819,48075NA
Wacker Neuson 80851.1210,472747,363
Wacker Neuson WL521.2411,244NANA
Wacker Neuson WL601.3113,007122NA
Wacker Neuson WL952.022,900NA12,672

New Holland Wheel Loaders

New Holland loaders are classified as compact and full-sized. There are three compact loaders in the 10,000- 13,200 lbs range with bucket capacities of 1 to 1.4 cubic yards.

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Their four full-sized loaders are powerful machines able to handle smaller agricultural tasks like loading grain. These models have significantly higher horsepower than the three compact models. While their full-sized models weigh in at 11,303-19,270 lbs, these models would also be considered small by other manufacturers.

New Holland Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

New Holland Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
New Holland W50 C1.010,913 - 11,111587,194 - 8898
New Holland W80 C1.413,184748,652 - 10,197
New Holland W110 C2.22 - 2.7511,303 - 11,431106 - 1446,781 - 7,896
New Holland W130 C2.62 - 3.013,305 - 13,482128 - 1748,011 - 9,497
New Holland W170 C3.12 - 3.5315,291 - 15,494145 - 1978,708 - 10,271
New Holland W190 C4.19 - 4.4519,270 - 19,540172 - 2349,560 - 11,980

JCB Wheel Loaders

With 13 models that range from 11,486- 47,357 lbs, JCB wheel loaders fall into the small and compact loader weight categories. Despite the lack of variety in sizing that other companies provide, these models are suitable for most small and mid-sized projects.

All models listed below are available with attachments fit for agricultural tasks to provide more versatility.

JCB Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

JCB Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
JCB 4071.0 - 1.811,200 - 11,486647,333
JCB 4091.3 - 2.113,070 - 13,296748,042
JCB 4111.819,22910912,017
JCB 4272.5 - 3.130,600 - 31,65617918,966
JCB 4373.1 - 3.535,000 - 35,27418321,175
JCB 4573.1 - 4.647,35725829,626 - 30,181

Develon Wheel Loaders

Develon's twelve 7-series models range from 26,224 to 79,572 lbs. With bucket capacities spanning 2.6 to 8.4 cubic yards, these mid-sized models are well-equipped to handle large volumes of material for agricultural, construction, and scrap handling jobs.

Develon Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

Develon Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
Develon DL200-72.6226,224 - 26,559142.119,705 - 22,315
Develon DL220-73.0128,922159.620,461 - 23,210
Develon DL250-73.2730,527 - 31,592171.721,134 - 23,973
Develon DL280-73.6634,552189.123,856 - 27,064
Develon DL320-74.543,50627130,461 - 34,496
Develon DL380-74.8444,91927131,963 - 36,198
Develon DL420-75.551,55334537,686 - 42,719
Develon DL480-76.358,35434540,021 - 45,323
Develon DL550-76.870,59938047,042 - 53,273
Develon DL580-78.479,57239453,462 - 60,550

Takeuchi Wheel Loaders

Takeuchi only manufactures three loader models: the TW60 Series 2, TW80 Series 3, and the TW95. Takeuchi classifies these machines as compact wheel loaders, whose rated operating capacities fall between 2,953 and 6,326 lbs. With high hinge-pin heights, these models are well-suited to smaller projects that require tight space navigation and high reach.

Takeuchi Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

Takeuchi Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
Takeuchi TW601.1910,69261.25,906 - 6,689
Takeuchi TW8012,700738,602 - 9,742
Takeuchi TW952.018,18811412,652 - 14,307

Bobcat Wheel Loaders

Bobcat has two compact wheel loaders: the L65 and the L85. For loaders only weighing 9,944 and 11,164 lbs, respectively, these machines have large bucket capacities and lift heights over ten feet. They're a great option to consider for smaller projects that don't require hefty lift capacities.

Bobcat Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

Bobcat Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
Bobcat L650.789,944555,236 - 6,266
Bobcat L851.011,164686,515 - 7,947

Mecalac Wheel Loaders

Similar to Bobcat, Mecalac only offers two two-wheeler models, the AF1050 and the AF1200, which would be considered compact wheel loaders weighing in at 12,786 and 13,230 lbs, respectively. Both models are included in Mecalac's Boosterline Series which uses a mono boom and enhanced kinematics to increase breakout force.

Mecalac Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes

Mecalac Wheel Loader Specs and Sizes
ModelBucket Capacity (cubic yds)Operating Weight (lbs)Engine Power (hp)Static-Tipping Load (lbs)
Mecalac AF10501.4 - 2.012,78675
Mecalac AF12001.6 - 2.613,23075

Renting A Wheel Loader

From general factors to precise specs, there's a lot that goes into selecting a wheel loader that fits your needs. However, understanding your project's size, the attachments you'll need, bucket capacity, operating weight, static-tipping load, and horsepower will help you choose a loader that fits your needs.

With DOZR Marketplace, you can search for wheel loaders by bucket capacity to find the perfect option for your next job.

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Tim Forestell
Tim Forestell is one of DOZR’s co-founders and CCO. Tim got started in the industry as VP Operations for Forestell Landscaping before founding DOZR with Kevin and Erin. Aside from the amazing team at DOZR, his favourite thing about DOZR are the customers. Working with DOZR renters every day gives him a peek at the evolution of different projects and hearing stories about projects being developed from start to finish.
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