World's first: the very first wheel loader from Liebherr with hydrostatic drive

Two L 531 test machines were built in 1974 at Liebherr's French plant in Colmar. At that time, Liebherr was developing a completely new wheel loader prototype in the shape of the L 531. At 11,000 kg, the L 531 was somewhat heavier and had a greater performance than the LSL 1500 at 87 kW/118 HP; the bucket volume was the same at 2.0 m³.

Up until that point, all wheel loaders had been equipped with torque converters. “Isn't the another, even better drive system?”, asked the engineers at Liebherr. They wanted to find exactly that, and built two test units; one with a torque converter and the other featuring an innovation in the wheel loader sector; the hydrostatic travel drive. Both wheel loaders had to undergo the same endurance tests. After in-depth comparative tests on both these prototypes, a ground-breaking technological decision was made. The result was unanimous and the very first hydrostatically-driven wheel loader in the world was born.

The first small series wheel loaders with hydrostatic drive, types L 531 and L 541 were put into production at Kirchdorf in 1983. In addition to the fuel savings the drive system provided, these units also offered a range of other innovations: this included the single Liebherr control lever for the attachment, the maintenance- and wear-free multi-disc brakes, and the automatic limited-slip differential. The L 531 and its big brother, the L 541, were the first hydrostatically-driven Liebherr wheel loaders to be put into series production.

  • L 531 at work at the quarry face

    L 531 at work at the quarry face

  • The L 531 and its big brother the L 541 were the first Liebherr wheel loaders to be put into series production

    The L 531 and its big brother the L 541 were the first Liebherr wheel loaders to be put into series production

  • The L 531 loading gravel

    The L 531 loading gravel

  • L 531 - the very first wheel loader from Liebherr with hydrostatic drive

    L 531 - the very first wheel loader from Liebherr with hydrostatic drive

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    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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