Avant 528 telescopic loader review

By: Lyndsay Whittle

Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader review Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader review
Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader review Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader review
Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader review Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader review
Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader review Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader review
Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader review Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader review

Farm Trader puts the Avant 528 articulated telescopic loader to the test.

There hasn’t been a piece of equipment that can perform so many tasks since the invention of the 4-in-1 bucket. And that’s just one of 100 or so attachments that are custom-made to fit on any Avant machine.

In fact, there are so many individual attachments for the machine that it would be too confusing to try to mention more than a handful at a time.

The machine has applications in six major categories, namely:

  • Buckets and material handling
  • Property maintenance
  • Ground care
  • Landscaping
  • Digging and construction
  • Farming

With so many varied applications in so many diverse sectors, Avant agents Glenbrook Machinery of Pukekohe arranged for Farm Trader to run a test on an Avant 528 at a nearby horse stable, the owners of which had recently purchased the machine, along with a 4 in 1 bucket, a general bucket, a pallet fork, a rotary broom with collector box and several augers of varying sizes.

The test

The Avant 528 is a mid-range machine from the 500 series. However, the range starts from the 200 series and goes right up to the 700 series.

Avant articulated telescopic loaders are hydrostatically driven, which allows the operator to change from a forward motion to reverse, simply by removing his or her foot from the right-side pedal and applying pressure to the pedal beside it.

I found the machine very easy to learn to use, even though I restricted myself to changing a couple of attachments and operating it with the 4-in-1 bucket attached. Having said that, I would have needed a day or two on the job to become proficient at operating the unit.


One of the machine’s many features was the telescopic boom. This function allows the operator to extend the reach by a further 600mm at the push of a lever.

The benefits of this are that a load may be carried close to the machine’s natural centre of gravity while travelling with the load but allowing a greater lift in a situation such as having to clear high-sided trucks and trailers.The maximum height gained by using this function is almost 2.8 metres.

Avant also fits duplicate mechanical levers to work the auxiliary valve and boom extension, its purpose is to allow the operator to control the machine with more sensitivity when required. In addition, the auxiliary valve lever incorporates a detent to allow it to be locked in its full flow position when operating an attachment such as a rotary brush.

The loader hydraulics are powered by two pumps with a combined output of 70 litres per minute. In normal loading, this capacity is not required, so a simple selector permits the operator to use just one pump to save on fuel. Both the hydraulic and hydrostatic drive circuits are cooled via a pair of thermostatically controlled fans, these venting via circular outlets on the offside of the loader.

Sticking with the all-important mono-boom lift arm, this is fitted with a self-levelling ram that links into the main lift ram circuit. The self-levelling ram is offset to the side of the boom, mounts on the rear of the attachment bracket, and is well protected by hefty enclosure.

Fortunately, the ram protection fails to impinge on visibility. Indeed, the mounting of the operator platform above the front axle affords the driver an exceptionally good view over the front of the machine and of its load.

Avant loaders come with four different cab options and the one I tested was fitted with the standard ROPS safety frame with a tinted plexiglass canopy.

The operator position is ideal as it is positioned in the front portion of the machine and the seat is as close to the attachment as it can possibly be, giving the operator an unrestricted view.

It only took between two and three minutes to change from the pallet-fork attachment to the 4 in 1 bucket. This process was aided by a specially designed multi connector.


The verdict

I wish these machines were around 20 years ago. If they have been, I possibly could have purchased one with the money I’ve spent over the years for treatment of a bad back as the result of many hours peering over the hood of a front end loader.


  • Easy to learn to operate, as all the attachments are put on and taken off in the same manner.
  • The multi connector.
  • The telescopic boom is mounted slightly off-centre and visibility of the attachment was excellent.
  • The majority of gear is mounted to the front, making for ease of operation.
  • The boom is self-levelling, again assisting with ease of operation.
  • The machine (along with several attachments) is light enough to be transported on a tandem trailer towed behind a medium sized ute.
  • The Avant’s Kubota engine was extremely quiet even at full revs.


  • Only the larger models have all the controls for added functions (such as opening the clamshell on 4 in 1 bucket or extending the boom) as a part of the joystick function. However this function is easy to live without on the smaller machine.

Read the full review in the latest issue (#220) of Farm Trader magazine. Subscribe here.

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