History of Wheel Loaders

Yes, everything you have heard is true. We are getting ready to send the remote-controlled VOLVO L350F Wheel Loader into the world in August. Here’s a look back at all the other awesome Technic wheel loaders we’ve had in our fleet over the years.

Sweden-based VOLVO Construction Equipment was the first manufacturer in the world to start mass production of industrial wheel loaders in 1954. In 1966 came the world’s first mass produced articulated hauler, nicknamed “Gravel Charlie”. A lot has happened since then, both with VOLVO and Technic models. But one of the values we share is striving for excellence in everything we create.

So before we start the engine on our new Wheel Loader, let’s look back at the giants whose shoulders it stands on.


The 70s

No wheel loaders rolled off the production lines in the 70s, believe it or not! So let’s quickly move on to…


The 80s

Model: 8853 – Excavator

Year: 1988

Claim to fame: This was the first actual wheel loader from Technic. By 1988 most of the system bricks had been phased out, and you can only find a few studs left. Everything else is pure Technic.

Functions: Raising and lowering the bucket, steering.


The 90s

Model: 8459 - Pneumatic Front End Loader

Year: 1997

Claim to fame: The first Technic loader with pneumatics for loading and unloading functions. With 580+something pieces, now exclusively Technic elements, it was a big model. And by 1997 our building instructions had evolved, too, to match the sizes of the models.

Functions: With the introduction of Power Functions, you could motorize this set with Power Functions set 8735.

The 00s

Model: 8271 – Wheel Loader

Year: 2007

Claim to fame: Okay, we said we would look at the giants, and this is one of the smallest wheel loaders we have released. We just had to include it here because we love it! Lots of play value and functions for its size.

Functions: Boom-style lift arm, tipping bucket, rear axle steering.

Model: 8265 – Front Loader

Year: 2009

Claim to fame: King of the construction site! Until now, this was one of the biggest construction vehicles we had released. I mean, look at the size of that bucket! It was a very popular model, and it’s still one of our favorites.

Functions: Steering, massive bucket that can raise, lower and tip with a little help from pneumatics, and you can motorize it with Power Functions. (Link: http://powerfunctions.lego.com/en-us/products/default.aspx#8293)

The 10s

This decade is far from over, but we are proud of the VOLVO. We hope you will enjoy the building experience and its authenticity and functions as much as we do. Check back with us in August when we share an exclusive behind the scenes video of the design process!

We hope you have enjoyed our little tour back in time and maybe become inspired to keep digging for more treasures from your past.