Milking over 200 cows in a spring calving operation in Carnmore, John Carr is located just 10km from Galway city.

Despite being a stockman at heart, John has always had a keen interest in farm machinery. Having used tractors with front-end loaders all his life, he bought his first wheel loader just over a year ago.

“I always liked the idea of a wheel loader, but we always had two tractors on the farm with front-end loaders, and they were doing the job for me. We do a considerable amount of roadwork feeding cattle, so I had never really looked at buying a loader.

“Last year, I looked at upgrading one of my John Deeres for a new tractor. I was going to have to back the tractor with €70,000, which got me thinking. I decided to look into the loader market and see what value was out there,” he explained.

“I looked at centre-pivot, fixed frame four-wheel steer and side-boom machines. Between demoing and going to see machines, I looked at four brands, namely JCB, Kramer, New Holland and Weidemann.

"After trying them all out, my opinion is that side-boom machines are more suited to tillage farms and the construction industry.

“Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the fixed frame four-wheel steer units either. I like the vision and the higher seating position you get with a centre-pivot machine; I knew it was ideal for what I was after. This narrowed the choice down to two options: JCB or Weidemann. I liked both, but then it came down to price.

"I like the vision and the higher seating position you get with a centre-pivot machine".

“Our local Weidemann dealer, Kirrane Machinery, had a Weidemann 3080T in stock at an old price. It is a smaller machine than the JCB TM 320s I had priced, but it was coming in at €44,000 less.

"I was afraid that the 3080T might have been too small for what I was after, but after I got a demo last July while feeding cows during the drought, I was converted,” said John.

Engine and transmission

The 3080T is powered by a 75hp (55.4kW) four-cylinder Deutz Stage V engine.

View from the cab. The seating position and control layout are two standout cab features for John.

Manufactured in Germany, this engine is married up to a hydrostatic transmission. With two ranges (low and high), the loader features a top forward-speed of 30km/h. Meanwhile, a 40km/h option is available on the larger models.

“I find that the loader rarely lacks power. You’d easily forget that it’s only putting out 75hp. I also find the loader isn’t that demanding on diesel, while the tank could maybe do with being a little bigger.

John was impressed with the overall build quality of the machine, and in particular the greaseable pivot point.

“If I had the option, I would be fitting it with a revisable fan. The hydrostatic transmission is something that I was hugely fond of since the first time I drove the machine. It shifts between the ranges very smoothly and it’s a gift to operate around the yard.

“I’m a big fan of the inching pedal, and how it restricts the oil flow,” stated John.

Features

“The Weidemann is very well built, you really get the German quality from it. Its design is well thought out.

“A few examples include the hydraulic hoses. They come in short sections, which makes them easy to replace if necessary, and the fact the cab can be tilted over to access the main components underneath,” explained John.

John had a reversing camera retro-fitted, something he finds hugely useful.

A unique feature offered by the German manufacturer is the ability to tilt the cab over to one side.

This can be done by simply opening two 24mm nuts and pumping the built-in jack and, within a few minutes, the cab is tilted to one side to provide easy access to the engine bay, the hydraulic system and electrics.

A unique feature offered by the German manufacturer is the ability to tilt the cab over to one side.

With a tipping load of 2,815kg, the 3080T comes with an unladen weight of 5,400kg. Weidemann Ireland specify all machines as standard with the 103l/min hydraulic pump option (74l/min standard), 550/45 R22.5 tyres, boom suspension, LED lights and a beacon.

With a tipping load of 2,815kg, the 3080T comes with an unladen weight of 5,400kg.

Weidemann have the advantage of being able to offer wider wheels to some other brands, while keeping a similar overall width.

With a wide array of attachments already on the farm, John opted to stick with the euro-type headstock. He noted that he likes the auto-latching hitching system.

With a wide array of attachments already on the farm, John opted to stick with the euro-type headstock.

John has been using a 1.5m shear grab on the 3080T, but plans to upgrade to a 1.75m or 2m unit shortly.

Keen to get that little bit more from the machine, John fitted additional weights to the rear of the machine. They slotted very neatly on the underside of the chassis at the rear, but are not visible from the exterior.

John was also very impressed with the overall build-quality of the machine, and in particular, the greaseable pivot point. He also had a reversing camera retro-fitted – something he finds hugely useful.

Cab

John was quick to point out the positives of the cab, which include the central and high seating position and the control layout, noting particular attention to the well laid out joystick.

All major functions are carried out through the joystick.

All major functions, including the forward/reverse shuttle, headstock movements, telescoping of the boom and third-service functions, are carried out through the joystick.

Additionally, there is a switch to the back of the joystick which, if pressed, completely locks up both the front and rear differentials.

Unlike a number of competitors, Weidemann uses open differentials as opposed to a limited-slip differential (LSD). This way, both the front and rear differential can be fully locked up for maximum traction, instead of partially locked up with an LSD.

“I’m happy I made the move to a loader. It's at least 50% quicker at tasks, such as loading and unloading bales, compared to a tractor and front-end loader".

John’s machine was a dealer stock unit, which wasn’t ordered with an air seat, but instead a sprung seat. If ordering again, he noted that he would definitely be ticking the box for an air seat for more comfort.

He also noted that the standard lighting package is quite limited, and he will be fitting the loader with more lights going forward.

Verdict

After 13 months and over 700 hours clocked so far, John is more than happy with his decision to buy the Weidemann. Although it’s a smaller machine than he had intended on buying, it has completely surpassed his expectations.

“I’m happy I made the move to a loader. It’s at least 50% quicker at tasks, such as loading and unloading bales, compared to a tractor and front-end loader.

“I am very happy with the 3080T, its build quality and the control layout,” John said.

Few minor gripes

“I have a few very minor gripes. The front number plate was originally positioned on the mudguard. It was getting covered in muck, so I repositioned it.

With two ranges (low and high), the loader features a top forward speed of 30km/h.

“Secondly, when reversing, muck would fly out over the mudguard and cover the windscreen. I would like to see mud flaps added to it. I moved the bottom step outwards a little, which I feel makes it easier to access the cab. Finally, I see a bit of the paint is beginning to flake off the grill,” he said.

“Aside from those few bits, the loader has exceeded my expectations. It’s user-friendly and very manoeuvrable. The driver has a great central and high seating position, with good visibility. The controls are really well laid out, and I really like the joystick.

Weidemann offers the 3080T on 550/45 R22.5 tyres and ZF axles.

“The hydraulics are reactive – the only time they will die back is if you’re using two functions at the same time.

“Other than that, engine power is never found wanting, and it has good reach and lift capacity for its size. If it stays going as it is, I would consider upgrading it again for another Weidemann in the future,” concluded John.

Likes

  • Very easy to use.
  • Ease of product placement.
  • Joystick is very well laid out.
  • Ability to tilt cab over.
  • John noted that the standard lighting package is quite limited, and would be fitting the loader with more lights going forward.

    Dislikes

  • Would like to see mud flaps on the mudguards.
  • Paint on grill beginning to flake.
  • Would like more adjustment on steering wheel.
  • The spec

  • Engine: 2.9l four-cylinder Deutz.
  • Horsepower: 75hp (55.4kW).
  • Transmission: 30km/h two-speed hydrostatic.
  • Hydraulics: 74l/min (83-103l/min optional).
  • Lift capacity: 2,250kg.
  • Max reach (headstock pivot pins): 5m.
  • Fuel tank: 82l.
  • Tyres: 550/45 R22.5.
  • Tipping load with bucket: 2,815kg.
  • Unladen weight: 5,400kg.
  • Starting list price: €79,300 plus VAT.
  • List price as reviewed: €90,270 plus VAT.
  • The handler has a maximum reach of 5m.

    After 13 months and over 700 hours clocked so far, John is more than happy with his decision to buy the Weidemann.