Pioneer and prototype – “Elephant type 90”, the very first Liebherr wheel loader

It's hard to believe that the photos of the first Liebherr wheel loader are now over 60 years old. The “Elephant”, as the very first wheel loader was affectionately called, represented the early years of the Liebherr wheel loader in the 1950s.

The first Liebherr wheel loader was designed and built in Kirchdorf in 1954. The “Elephant Type 90” was the first powerful prototype with a bucket volume of 1.25 m³, 66 kW or 90 HP engine output and an operating weight of 12,000 kg. The modern design was ahead of its time. To steer the wheel loader pioneer, both pairs of wheels were braked in opposing directions, like in a “skid-steer loader”. However, the “Elephant” never went into series production and served exclusively as a test unit for further development. The Liebherr engineers developed a second, larger variant alongside the test vehicle, the “Mammoth 90”.

  • Both prototypes, the “Elephant Type 90” and the “Mammoth 90” reflect the early years of the Liebherr wheel loaders in the 1950s

    Both prototypes, the “Elephant Type 90” and the “Mammoth 90” reflect the early years of the Liebherr wheel loaders in the 1950s

  • The "Elephant Type 90" was the very first wheel loader produced by Liebherr

    The "Elephant Type 90" was the very first wheel loader produced by Liebherr

  • The “Mammoth 90” being tested

    The “Mammoth 90” being tested

  • Liebherr-Werk Bischofshofen GmbH as a centre of excellence for wheel loaders

    The anniversary underlines the sustainable development of the Liebherr-Werk Bischofshofen GmbH, the world's centre of excellence for Liebherr wheel loaders. Liebherr has been developing, manufacturing and selling wheel loaders in Bischofshofen since the end of the 1980s. Find out more about the centre of excellence for wheel loaders here. more

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