At Bauma 2016, Liebherr unveiled its new crawler dozer model, the PR 716, which became the successor of the PR 714 model. Four years later, Liebherr launched its generation 8 crawler dozers, including the newest iteration of the 716 model, the PR 716 G8.
This new generation of crawler dozers feature many developments in operator comfort, grading characteristics and are equipped with a new standard grading system.
The PR 716 G8 has an operating weight of 13,300-15,800 kg and is powered by a Stage V/Tier 4f engine.
Bringing the PR 716 G8 to Canada
In 2021, Connell’s Construction, based in Peterborough, Ontario, worked with Vince Fiorentino of Liebherr Canada to purchase Canada’s first PR 716 G8.
The company, owned and operated by Kurtis Connell, was established in 2011 and serves Peterborough and its surrounding areas, offering excavation, earthmoving and landscaping services.
Kurtis’s father, Bill Connell, has been operating equipment for over 40 years and is the primary operator of the new PR 716 G8. Bill has some history with Liebherr, having briefly operated a 700-class model earlier in his career.
“I ran one back in the 80s. I asked the mechanic what he thought of it. He said, ‘we never really have to work on it, and when we do, it’s a dream to work on,’” Bill explained.
Now, Bill mirrors the mechanic’s fondness of Liebherr’s dozers. “It pushes like crazy and it’s comfortable as hell,” he says of the new PR 716 G8.
A comfortable office
The operator’s cabin offers many features to make work even more ergonomic and productive. For the first time, a grab handle with integrated joystick for the rear ripper is used in the 25 ton class. This feature is designed to guarantee stable seating when driving in uneven terrain.
Fully separating the cabin from the machine base and the noise optimized drivetrain significantly reduced vibration and further improved the noise spectrum in terms of critical frequencies.
“We couldn’t get over how quiet it was. No rattles,” explained Bill.
In addition to the quiet setting for the operator, standard climate control keeps a constant cabin temperature even in adverse weather conditions. Also, access and descent lighting with delay function can be activated from outside, providing additional safety at dusk.
Through a 9” display, the operator can precisely adjust the driving and steering response to one’s personal requirements while the main functions can still be controlled by means of haptic buttons and keys.
The new assistance systems on the generation 8 crawler dozers offer three assistance levels: “Free Grade“ for active blade stabilization during fine grading, “Definition Grade“ for automatic blade positioning when creating 2D grades and “3D Grade“ as an optional GPS machine control system to model complex terrain shapes.
According to Bill, he tried out some of the machine control features of the PR 716 G8 while working on a golf course project.
“I was surprised, they were pretty slick,” he explained.
Productivity through speed and precision
According to Liebherr, the PR 716 G8’s strong electronic pilot-controlled hydraulics allow for swift, highly precise work cycles and can be adjusted to the operating conditions and the operator’s requirements. Besides high pushing performance, this can allow for particularly economical operation. Also, the 6 way blade looks to improve production output and facilitate grading with its optimized linkage geometry.
When driving on slopes and embankments, the machine can assist the operator with automatic speed monitoring. Also, the Hill Assist function, with automatic parking brake, makes hill starts more simple—a function that proves useful when working on golf course job sites similar to those undertaken by Connell’s Construction.
Liebherr integrated many wide-opening hatches, central maintenance points and a tilting cabin that comes standard, all of which look to facilitate easy daily maintenance and access for inspection purposes.
Bill has not yet needed to use any of the access points, but he commented that, “It looks like everything is really easy to get at.”