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Contractors evaluate New Holland 200 Series skid steer loaders

Leon Burkholder has owned Burkholder Builders for 23 years, and has operated construction equipment since 1986. In addition to building homes and town homes, the company also provides excavation work for residential construction projects and provides snow removal services. With a crew of three equipment operators, the company’s current equipment fleet includes four New Holland skid steer loaders and one New Holland compact track loader.

Leon is one of several expert equipment operators from the United States and Canada who evaluated the New Holland 200 Series skid steer loaders during a comprehensive product development process. Leon tested a New Holland L230 skid steer loader during early autumn 2009 and early spring 2010.

“Overall, I like the speed, access and visibility so much,” Leon said, “I plan on buying the first one off the production line in Wichita.”

New Holland engineers used input from hundreds of customers – including Leon Burkholder – to design the new 200 Series line-up.

Leon and the other skid steer loader operators reviewed equipment designs and tested pre-production models of the new machines in a number of demanding applications at the New Holland proving grounds near Phoenix, Ariz. Over a two-day period, the operators were asked to score the pre-production models on serviceability, stability, controllability, maneuverability, power perception and visibility. New Holland evaluated the operators’ scores and identified additional areas of improvement to the 200 Series which were implemented in final production.

The group of operators also participated in a review of the pre-production models using virtual reality technology to evaluate the pre-production models on a variety of product attributes, including visibility, cab interior, operator controls and serviceability. The virtual reality evaluation allowed New Holland to reduce product development time by almost two years.