As an effective approach to improving the fuel economy of heavy duty vehicles, hydraulic hybrid has shown great potentials in off-road applications. Although the fuel economy improvement is achieved through different hybrid architectures (parallel, series and power split), the energy management strategy is still the key to hydraulic hybrid powertrain. Different optimization methods provide powerful tools for energy management strategy of hybrid powertrain. In this paper a power optimization method based on equivalent consumption minimization strategy has been proposed for a series hydraulic hybrid wheel loader. To show the fuel saving potential of the proposed strategy, the fuel consumption of the hydraulic hybrid wheel loader with equivalent consumption minimization strategy was investigated and compared with the system with a rule-based strategy. The parameter study of the equivalent consumption minimization strategy has also been conducted.