Being a dedicated wheel loader, everything is designed for easy accessibility and to make loading tasks as easy as possible. As you would expect, the joystick takes care of all the boom controls: to raise and lower the boom and also dumping.
Third service function is controlled by a side to side toggle switch on the back of the joystick. The boom extension/retraction is controlled by another toggle switch on top of the joystick on the right. With all key functions so close to the joystick, the operator can rest their arm on the ergonomically shaped armrest. Keeping things simple and allowing the operator to keep one hand on the steering wheel, the transmission has its own joystick toggle – this one red to differentiate it from the boom controls.
When in neutral, the park brake is automatically engaged. This is a handy feature but also explained why I couldn’t find any handbrake to release when I initially hopped in and started up the Giant G5000.
Driving is nice and simple, thanks to the two-speed hydrostatic transmission. The central dash indicates which gear you’re in with a green turtle or red rabbit. I found the turtle gear good for around the yard and heavy loading metal we had available, working comfortably from 0–7 km/hr. Max speed in this turtle range is 10 km/hr.
The second range is ideal for getting from point A to B efficiently, with max speed of 25 km/hr. You can also spec a 35 km/hr speed gearbox. However, keep in mind, as with most machinery, that the higher the speed, the more the comfort level tends to decrease, so unless it was pretty smooth going, I wouldn’t imagine you would be doing 35 km/hr around farm tracks a whole lot.
Giant has chosen to go with an articulated pendulum joint, which helps take care of the bumps and keep all four wheels on the ground 100% of the time. Other specifications to smooth out the ride include the patented Stabilo system as well as boom suspension, both increasing the ability to operate safely.
Cab and operator environment
Although the G5000 is one of the larger models in the range of Giant loaders, it still definitely fits into the compact loader market. This said, I still found the fully enclosed cab spacious enough for somebody of average height (approx. six foot).
Driving position is comfortable, thanks to the fully adjustable steering column and the convenient central display, which shows all necessary information. The display has been updated from previous models I’ve driven, with digital display for revs, hours, and fuel, etc.
Coloured LEDs illuminate for transmission functions, rabbit and turtle, and park lock, as well as direction and diff lock. All these functions fall easily to hand, being incorporated into the joystick controller.
For safety reasons, there’s a hydraulic lock over on the right-hand side behind the joystick to stop accidental bumping. Another nice feature is the hydraulic implement lock on the Euro hitch carrier. Again, for safety reasons, this requires two hands: one to hold the unlock button on the central display and the other to work the third service function, which controls the in and out of the locking pins.
One small feature tweak that I think would go well on this otherwise well-designed and thought-out machine is a pressure release function for the third service loader attachments. I must admit we wasted a little bit of time getting the grab bucket back on with pressure in the machine. Jiggling backwards and forwards on the joystick helped relieve the pressure and perhaps it was just a system I needed to get familiar with.
This machine has been spec’d with a closed in cab, which was just as well, as we encountered everything from high winds, rain, and sleet on the day we visited. You can also choose from just ROPs and roof if you prefer, but the luxury of the cab with air conditioning and radio is something I’m sure operators appreciate.
The previous Giant loader I tested last year also had the addition of reversing cameras and beacons as added safety features in a busy farm environment. This ability to customise direct from the factory to get the features you require for your situation is a big plus in making the investment in a new Giant machine work for you.
However, back to our test machine for the day: the tele version of the G5000, which is remarkably well suited to agricultural work and more than proving its worth with a wide range of tasks here on the goat farm. It’s also available in two other variants: Z-Bar and X-Tra, with more traditional loader arms, and slightly higher lifting capacity. This would be beneficial for more industrial tasks like roading, or municipal jobs like landscaping, demonstrating the depth and wide variety of potential uses these Giant wheel loaders have.
It is hard to fault the Giant loader in terms of build quality. There is a reason the brand has such a solid reputation and aligns with other leaders in the field for specialist components. When producing a new model like the G5000, clearly a lot of thought goes into ensuring the right parts for the machine and its target market. For example, the axles from Comer are rated for 16 tonnes on a five-tonne machine, and it also features Bosch Rexroth hydraulics, the best you can buy, and Kubota engines, which are well known for their reliability in these types of applications. Even after choosing the right components, Giant still carries out its own extensive testing before releasing the final machine to market.
Quality is also evident in the cab, with comfortable air seating as standard and much thought clearly given to creating a comfortable operator environment, with adjustable steering, an ergonomic armrest, and a logically set up joystick, with controls well grouped for ease of use.
For the owners of this Giant G5000, build quality is one of the key reasons behind the purchasing decision. Although another brand had previously been operating on the goat farm, ongoing repair and maintenance bills were high and careful evaluation led to the decision to invest in the Giant G5000.
For this newest Giant model, the engine produces 75hp and 55kW – the second-largest fitted to the Giant brand of wheel loaders. Despite building a larger machine, Giant has stuck with its quality-tested and proven brands. The reliability of the small Kubota industrial engines has served Giant loaders incredibly well in the past (as well as a host of other brands and machines).
New features of the Kubota V3307 four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel are the catalytic converter (DOC) and soot filter (DPF), both of which allow this machine to comply with the latest EU Tier V clean air engine standards.
A key feature here for me is the fact they have been able to achieve this without the need for an additional AdBlue SCR exhaust treatment system. Power-wise, the 75hp Kubota engine seems ample for all the tasks we threw at it, including loading and carting roading metal and feeding out animals.
The large hydraulic pump ensures movement of the boom is neither laboured or slow, even when hydraulic power is required for multiple tasks, such as driving and steering the machine while loading. This makes it something of a joy to operate.
The only time you may like a little extra horsepower is if you were utilising the rear tow hitch to bring a trailer load of bales back form the paddock for stacking.
For daily checks, the one-piece lift-up rear cover makes things simple. The diesel filler is situated on the door side of the machine, with a 77-litre tank and hydraulic oil with 80-litre capacity is on the far side. The radiator is positioned at the back off the machine, which allows easy access to blow out any build-up of material, dust, grass, or wood chip. The cartridge type cyclonic air filter is on top of the engine for easy cleaning and up behind the cab to try and get the cleanest air to the engine as possible.
With just a little over 200 hours on its clock, the initial service at 50 hours has been completed by local dealer Te Aroha tractors, although, Giant has dealers throughout the country for regular servicing and any other issues should they arise, as well as many attachment options.
When you’re running hydrostatic transmission as well as other high demand hydraulic circuits of a loader, hydraulic flow is a key factor in overall performance. Giant use an 80-litre oil reservoir to cope with these demands on the G5000 models. As standard, this model has 145 litres per minute hydraulic flow available for driving along 78 litres per minute for working hydraulics.
Quality German Bosch componentry is used in the hydraulic department. Like the rest of the machine, you can up-spec things with 122 litres per minute available for working should you have an attachment that requires higher flow rates.
I found the standard hydraulics more than adequate, even while doing more than one task at the same time. Extra hydraulic outlets can be added front and rear. Our test machine had two at the front and none at the back.
One downside I found was no pressure release valve to make life easier when changing between implements connected to the third service valve, although, it may well be available as an option. The two-speed hydrostatic works well and is easy for anybody to operate.
Giant has hit the mark with its latest G5000 model. The power offered in such a compact size is backed up with incredible manoeuvrability, perfect for those working in tight confines of sheds (like goat farms). The 75hp Kubota engine provides plenty of power in terms of four-wheel-drive traction with the lockable electric differentials. Hydrostatic four-wheel drive with automotive control and 100% switchable locks on both axles ensures the machine always has enough grip, a lot of pulling force, and smooth movement.
With lift capacity stretching out to 4.35 meters and hydraulic capacity with a flow rate of 145 litres per minute (for driving) and almost 80 litres per minute flow rate (for working tasks), there’s certainly nothing lacking here.
With this G5000, Giant once again proves it knows how to produce a powerful compact loader, versatile enough to cater for agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and construction.