When moving heavy loads from one construction job site to the next, it’s crucial to work with a suitable loader for the current underfoot and surface conditions. Site preparation often involves moving through dense vegetation, sensitive surfaces, and constricted spaces, so it’s paramount to understand your wheeler loader options so you can ensure its functionality and apt performance.
With that in mind, we’re focusing on the key differences between a compact track loader (CTL) and a multi-terrain loader (MTL), both of which look the same at first glance but are designed for specific purposes and terrains.
What are the Characteristics and Benefits of an MTL?
An MTL is built with rubber-coated roller wheels and lighter-weight components with even weight distribution to ensure it can move steadily across low ground pressure. It can also maintain consistent contact on irregular surface conditions thanks to the MTL’s suspended undercarriage, making it an excellent choice for working on delicate terrains like lawns, sod, and more.
Additionally, the full-suspension undercarriage design allows the vehicle to absorb most of the shock and vibration, making the ride a smoother experience for the operator. The ability to quickly adjust to uneven surfaces enables the MTL to move at a faster pace.
While the MTL moves faster and provides a more comfortable riding experience, it cannot withstand the aggressive nature of rugged surfaces since the rubber-coated tracks lack durability.
What are the Characteristics and Benefits of a CTL?
The CTL follows a rigid-mount undercarriage, which means the distance between the loader lift arms and the carriage is stiffer than the MTL’s suspended carriage. It cannot conform as easily to uneven terrain, but the benefit of going rigid using a CTL is its durability and stability when pushing against harder materials or surfaces.
The pushing ability of a CTL makes it similar to a dozer, while a vertically positioned stop enables it to withstand aggressive surfaces thanks to the design’s excellent transfer of weight and power.
Since it is not as flexible as the suspended undercarriage from an MTL, a CTL can be an uncomfortable ride since every bump on the surface will transfer directly to the operator, though there are accessories such as suspended seats that can help alleviate the discomfort to a certain degree.
The Bottom Line: The Importance of Choosing the Right Loader Appropriate For Your Work
While an MTL and CTL look the same, critical differences will impact the loader’s performance in your specific construction project. The guide above touches upon the basic distinctions, so be sure to choose an appropriate loader for the surface you’re dealing with in your job site.
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