Ride control is an option commonly featured on wheel loaders to improve ride quality on bumpy roads. As a wheel loader with a heavy load goes over a bump, the weight from its bucket shifts up and down, which causes the entire machine to oscillate. Without ride control, to prevent material from spilling out of the bucket, a loader on a bumpy road must proceed very slowly.
To an operator, ride control means a more comfortable ride. From a business perspective, ride control reduces stress on machinery, saves time, and prevents spillage.
 How it Works
Ride control is able to prevent oscillations by using a pressurized nitrogen-gas accumulator within the bucket’s hydraulic arm to dampen changes in force. Hydraulic fluid incapable of being compressed, so it does not dampen at all. However, compressed nitrogen gas provides some give.
A nitrogen accumulator is comprised of an elastic diaphragm, which separates hydraulic fluid from a section of compressed nitrogen gas beneath. As force from the bucket is applied downwards, the force is transferred to the nitrogen section, which compresses the nitrogen, thus increasing its pressure. This increased pressure produces an upward force, which counteracts the bucket’s corresponding downward force, therefore dampening the load.
- ↑ Loading up: C and D recyclers and demolition contractors should consider machine size, operator comfort and service when choosing a loader. Entrepreneur.com [October 7, 2009].
- ↑ New Caterpillar 904H Compact Wheel Loader. ConstructionEquip.com [October 7, 2009].
- ↑ Compressed gas (or gas-charged) accumulator. Answers.com [October 7, 2009].