A Hydrostatic loader, also called a Hydrostatic front loader, hydrostatic front end loader or Hydrostatic shovel, is a type of hydrostatic tractor, usually wheeled, that uses a wide square tilting bucket on the end of movable arms to lift and move material.
The loader assembly may be a removable attachment or permanently mounted. Often the bucket can be replaced with other devices or tools. The bucket can also be augmented with devices like a bale grappler for handling large bales of hay or straw
Large hydrostatic loaders, such as the Caterpillar hydrostatic 950G or Caterpillar hydrostatic 966G, usually have only a front bucket and are called Hydrostatic Front Loaders, whereas small loader tractors are often also equipped with a small backhoe and are called Hydrostatic backhoe loaders or Hydrostatic loader backhoes.
Hydrostatic Loaders are used mainly for uploading sand, dirt and mud into trucks, clearing rubble and digging, though a loader is not the most efficient machine for digging as it cannot dig very deep below the level of its wheels, like a backhoe can. Their deep bucket can store about 3-5 cubic meters (exact number varies with the model) of earth. The front loader's bucket capacity is much bigger than a bucket capacity of a backhoe loader.
In construction areas, mainly when fixing a road in a middle of a city, loaders are also used to transport building materials - such as bricks, metal bars and digging tools - over short distances.
Unlike hydrostatic backhoes or standard hydrostatic tractors fitted with a front bucket, many large hydrostatic loaders do not use automotive steering mechanisms; Instead, they steer by a hydraulically actuated pivot point set exactly between the front and rear axles. This allows the front axle to be solid, allowing it to carry a heavier weight. Most designs actually have the front axle rigidly attached to the same frame that carries the bucket and lift arms; This keeps the cutting edge of the bucket parallel to the axle. The rear axle is articulated to allow travel over rough terrain.