With a new range of skid steers, one its biggest excavators to date and hot on the heels of its most successful and profitable year since it opened its doors back in 2008, Liugong North America has surely now rid itself of the dismissive “Chinese manufacturer” label to join its US and Japanese competitors at the top table.

Certainly, the Liugong 888III wheel loader does not look or feel like second division technology. In fact, strip away the badges and it would be easy to mistake the machine for a Caterpillar.

The Liugong 888II weighs in at 30 tonnes (66,139 lbs) and is equipped with a 5.2 cubic metre (6.8 cubic yard) bucket. The unit is powered by a Cummins diesel engine that delivers 250 kW (335 hp) at a rated 2,100 rpm and a breakout force of 26,512 kg (58,450 lbs).