The Australian-made Kanga TD 825 loader is a compact little beauty that isn’t afraid of hard work.
- Powerful hydraulics
- Self-levelling bucket is practical and improves safety
- Good traction
- Robust build
- Simple to use controls
- Smooth ride from track system that moulds around obstacles
The TD825 is fitted with a Kubota three-cylinder, D902 diesel delivering 25hp to a single hydraulic gear pump. The pump produces 45 litres per minute and a maximum pressure of 220 bar.
Each of the four tyres inside the tracks has a hydraulic motor, and the two rear motors have a slightly larger displacement, giving them more power. This helps to keep the tracks tight on the bottom and loose on the top to reduce wear.
Two double-acting auxiliary hydraulic lines are plumbed down the loader arms. One set is fitted with variable flow control, and the hydraulics also benefit from an oil cooler to help reduce heat build-up during heavy work.
Each track comprises individual curved, rubber pads held together by two roller chains. The rubber shoes have a hole on each side (chains are fed through the holes), and the curve in the shoe allows any dirt that gets inside the track to be pushed out.
In bad ground conditions every second shoe can be reversed to make the openings twice as big to give a better self-cleaning action.
The tracks are driven by four inflatable rubber tyres. But they don’t float on top of the mud like a fixed-track machine: the Kanga track system is designed to roll over and mould around obstacles, creating a smoother and safer ride.
DESIGN AND MAINTENANCE
The TD825 is a robust, well-built machine. Loader arms are constructed from thick steel and are equipped with self-levelling for attachments. This a great design from an operating and safety perspective. There is no chance of an inexperienced operator tipping the bucket contents back over the machine onto themselves.
The self-levelling loader is particularly useful when using pallet forks as it keeps the load parallel with the ground during lifting. Along with providing more roll back on the bucket (allowing a bigger bucket capacity with reduced spillage), the self-levelling feature also maintains a steeper dumping angle for the bucket.
The Kanga also comes standard with a hydraulic quick hitch, allowing non-hydraulic attachments to be changed at the flick of a switch.
A large air cleaner mounted on the side of the machine is easy to access. Similarly, by removing a couple of finger grip bolts the panel below the operator controls can be removed to access the hydraulic filter and grease points for the loader lift rams.
On the left side behind a small panel is the battery and fuses. Accessing the fuel and oil filters looks to be a little difficult; mounting them remotely would have solved this problem.
Incorporated into the rear body is the diesel tank with a 43 litre capacity. Twin front work lights come as standard specification and are tidily mounted into recesses in the body. Two travel speeds offer 5.4kmh in low and 9.3kmh in high. With an operating weight of 1100kg the TD825 can safely handle a 340kg load.
Being a stand-on machine means comfort comes down to your footwear. A large panel separates the operator from the engine compartment, and a cooling fan on the engine draws the hot air away from the operator. Exhaust fumes are also emitted as far as possible from the operator. The controls are at a good height and come in the form of five paddle levers. The two travel speeds and quick hitch are both controlled by switches.
PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING
With the Kanga unloaded from its purpose-built trailer I push the two drive levers forward and head for the dirt at a reasonable pace. With a flick of the two-speed switch I’m doing over 9kph. It’s a brisk pace and definitely makes for better cycle times.
Back in low speed I bury the 0.1 cubic metre 4-in-1 bucket into the pile. The bucket crowds much further back than most, holding the dirt well and with minimal spillage, even when travelling fast. Moving the bucket while driving tends to favour one side more than the other, though this is easily compensated by adjusting the levers.
There is plenty of tracking power available and the rubber tracks provide exceptional traction. Unlike a wheeled version that tends to skid and sink into the wheel ruts, its tracked counterpart continues on easily. When it does skid it still backs out with ease, and with a huge 185mm of ground clearance the chance of bellying out is reduced.
The TD825 amazed me with its climbing ability when I nosed it up the pile of dirt. It crawled up effortlessly and when it did run out of traction it was at such an angle that I could barely hold onto the controls. Having a departure angle of 29 degrees helps when climbing as the back is less likely to catch when reversing back down.
Stability is excellent when climbing with the bucket forward. There’s no sense that the machine is going to rear up, even with an empty bucket. On the other hand, when driving down-hill with a bucket full of dirt it felt light in the back. As I reversed out the back lifted off, so I had to abandon the bucket load and the Kanga backed out no problem.
Hydraulics are fast and smooth. The 4-in-1 bucket is great for grabbing up foliage and stumps and with the fast travel speed I got around the site quickly. I really liked the self-levelling facility on the loader. It’s tidily incorporated into the loader arms and makes the Kanga easy and fast to use.
Photography: Tim Dittmer