Control Lever

Design of an ergonomic control lever for wheel loader attachments


Wheel loaders are working machines used in excavation, load and carry operations in many different professional fields. In construction equipment machines, the movement towards electrically controlled hydraulic functions has raised ergonomic benefits. Larger possibilities of position adjustments of control units and larger degree of freedom in the design and form of the controls are now available. The full potential is however not fully put to use for the freedom of ergonomically design the control levers. Some world markets also ask for optional control levers for controlling attachments, such as buckets and snowplows, beside the traditionally used linear levers for etc.

This thesis work purpose is to design an ergonomically optimized single lever concept, which is indented to be used to maneuver these hydraulically empowered attachments. It is part of an on- going pre-study assigned to CPAC Systems AB regarding a single lever for wheel loaders.

Needs and design heuristics were synthesized from theoretical research and ergonomic analysis that revealed issues present in the work situation. Several concept development iterations were made using the design heuristics as starting-point and elaborating the needs. Physical prototypes, such as mock-ups and finally a functional prototype that were tested in a real wheel loader, were used for evaluating the fulfillment’s of these needs.The outcome from the project is a single lever concept adapted for wheel loader usage and designed for fast implementation in current products.

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