The International model 560 Payloader represented one of the first of the new breed of wheel loaders in International Harvester’s product range and was introduced in 1971. By Richard Campbell.
Wielding a 6.5 to 12 cubic yard bucket, the 560 Payloader was a big wheel loader for its day and was a contemporary of the Caterpillar 988B, Fiat-Allis 945B, Terex 72-71 and Michigan 275A.
Prior to the 560s introduction, the largest wheel loader in the International Harvester range had been the Hough H400, which had built up a very creditable reputation as a rugged and reliable wheel loader since its introduction in 1963.
The Frank G Hough company was a pioneer in the field of wheel loaders, having brought out its first machine (mounted on a McCormick tractor) in the early 1920s.
Although it manufactured loader attachments for other make tractors, Hough was always closely allied with International Harvester so it was really no great surprise when the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of International Harvester in 1952.
During the following years the Hough products were continually improved upon, with new machines being introduced on a regular basis to the extent that, for a period during the 1950s and 60s, International/Hough was the market leader worldwide in wheel loader sales.
As a result of worldwide requirements for larger wheel loaders International set about designing an entirely new series of machines in the late 1960s, the ‘500’ range, which eventually culminated in the enormous model 580, truly an awe inspiring beast.
Just a few rungs down on the ladder sat the 560.
This was available with two engine options, International Harvester or Cummins, and a variety of buckets or log handling attachments.
A very popular machine, the 560 was upgraded in late 1980 to the 560B version and this model was carried through until International Harvester’s Payline division was acquired by Dresser Industries in 1982.
There were examples of the 560B sold in Dresser markings but by the time Dresser offloaded its construction equipment business to Komatsu, a scanty six years later, the machine had disappeared completely. Frank Hough must have turned in his grave!
The 560 PayLoader described
Of articulated design with the operator placed on the front half of the machine, the International 560 tipped the scales at approximately 40 tons.
Two engine options were offered – an International DT-817C six cylinder turbocharged and after-cooled diesel rated at 380 horsepower or a similarly spec’d Cummins KT-1150 producing 415 horsepower.
This was connected to a Twin-Disc three-speed full powershift transmission and from there to International Harvester planetary drive axles with power transfer differentials.
An exceptionally well balanced machine, the 560 featured a very low centre of gravity with the majority of weight aft – working counterweight if you will – which was ideal in a wheel loader, especially a large one such as the 560.
Standard tyre size was 29.5×29 and any number of options were available to outfit the loader for the task required from L3 to L5 type. These could be ballasted for extra counterweight.
Braking was accomplished by four identical air over hydraulic operated wedge-type shoes, with a parking brake acting on the transmission output shaft.
Steering was full hydraulic – 35 degrees in each direction. The system incorporated a mechanical follow up in case of power loss.
The operator enjoyed a very good view of the bucket and general work area but visibility was a little limited at the rear.
Although of relatively small dimensions, the cab was insulated and usually provided with an air suspension seat.
Instrumentation was placed on a panel offset to the right of the adjustable steering column with bucket operating controls located in a console just down from this panel.
Two separate levers were provided – one for boom lift/lower and the other for bucket crowd/dump. A third blanked off slot was the location for a log tong operation lever if the machine was equipped as a logger.
Transmission controls were placed to the left of the steering column with two levers, one for travel direction and the other for speed range selection.
On the floor was the throttle pedal and two brake pedals – one for the service brakes and the other which also disconnected the transmission allowing full engine power to the hydraulics for faster and more efficient cycle times.
The cab was actually an option but most users specified this arrangement.
At the business end of the machine were the loader lift arms which were made of box section steel. A Z-bar type linkage, long favoured by Hough, provided the crowding force and was actuated by a single, large diameter hydraulic cylinder. Two externally mounted cylinders provided the lifting power.
For the mechanic, access to all major systems was fairly straightforward, serviceability being one of International Harvester’s key selling points with this and their other ‘500’ series machines.
As to be expected, a selection of buckets were offered to outfit the 560 for a wide range of customer applications. These included 6.5 cubic yard general purpose bucket through to a similar capacity spade nosed rock buckets right up to a 12 cubic yard model for coal or other lightweight materials such as wood chips.
For logging, an extra valve was inserted in the hydraulic system to operate a log fork.
These were usually supplied by the Young Corporation of Washington and had a lifting capacity of approximately 36 tons. In this application extra counterweights or wheel ballasting were usually employed
The New Zealand connection
Although a very big wheel loader by New Zealand standards, several 560 PayLoaders were imported by franchise holder International Harvester of New Zealand.
Well liked by owners and operators alike, these were extensively used in the South Island’s Waitaki river hydro projects of the 70s and 80s.
Although I have not seen any, examples could have been sold into logging operations in the central North Island. There may even be one or two still operating, hidden away in a quarry somewhere.
For the diecast model collector
Until recently the only model of an International 560 PayLoader was a very dated 1:64th scale offering by Ertl. This all changed in 2005 however when First Gear released a 560 to 1:25th (and 1:87th) scale.
I have not seen one of the smaller scale models but the 1:25th scale example is an absolute gem and is available in two versions – one with log forks and the other with a spade nosed rock bucket.
With masses of detail and numerous working features (including the exhaust pipe rain cap) either would provide an excellent showpiece for a collection of wheel loaders.
Brief specifications: International 560 PayLoader
Engine: International DT-817C, 6-cylinder turbocharged and after-cooled inline diesel rated at 380 horsepower at 2200 rpm
Transmission: Twin-Disc, three-speed, full powershift
Brakes: Air over hydraulic, wedge shoe type
Tyres: Standard – 29.5×29 E3 – many options available
Top Speed: 22 mph
Steering: Full hydraulic with mechanical follow up, 35° each way
Turn Circle: 26’ 4”
Lift Capacity: Up to 40 tons depending on attachments
Length: 29’ 4” (with std GP bucket)
Width: 11’ 6” (with std GP bucket)
Height: 13’ 3”
Weight: 40 tons (with std GP bucket & counterweight)