Twelve Manufacturers Size Up their Excavator Lines

The excavator has become a staple in the utility construction industry. From digging and backfilling to moving and placing pipe, it’s the go-to machine to get the job done. To pay homage to these hard-working pieces of iron and the companies that construct them, we’ve gathered the histories, product offerings and specs for the biggest names in the marketplace.

Learn all about the most popular excavator manufacturers in North America from Case and Caterpillar to Komatsu and Volvo. Compare specs of different models or simply discover the beginnings of a brand you love. There are even insights and advice from industry insiders to aid in purchasing decisions and maintenance matters. So grab a drink, sit back and dig in.

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Pam Kleineke is Associate Editor of Utility Contractor.


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Case Construction Equipment Case Construction Equipment

A Baker’s Dozen of Powerful, Tier 4-Compliant Machines

Case Construction Equipment is built on a foundation of innovation that dates back to the first threshing machines Jerome Increase Case (AEM Hall of Fame, 2008) built in 1842. The need for more advanced road construction equipment grew as the United States and the rest of the world became more modernized, and Case responded with powerful engine-driven equipment, including hydraulic excavators. Case excavators have evolved over the years, while retaining many of the same core principles with each generation: strong hydraulic power, excellent controls and cab environment and greater fuel efficiency with each generation — all while meeting stringent Tier 4 emissions standards.

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Case offers 13 mid- and full-size excavators ranging from 16,200 lbs (the CX75C SR) up to 178,575 lbs (the CX800B), with a combination of conventional, long reach and minimum swing radius designs. Each Case excavator is engineered to provide an optimal combination of speed, power, operator comfort, control, reliability and support. One of the hallmarks of Case excavators is the Case Intelligent Hydraulic System (CIHS). The CIHS relies on four integrated control systems to make the best use of the machine’s hydraulic power and momentum. This helps these excavators exert only the power and force required for the task at hand, while also improving important performance metrics such as increased lifting power and faster cycle times. The first of Case’s Tier 4 Final D Series excavators will be available in North America later in Q1 2015 and will replace a number of the current C Series models.

Product Spotlight: CX350D
The new Case CX350D (available Q1 2015) offers significant advances in power, fuel savings, operation and control — all while meeting the new Tier 4 Final regulations for emissions control. The Case CX350D features an innovative combination of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (CEGR), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) technologies with no DPF and no DPF regeneration, which helps maximize uptime, performance and profits.

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This system, in coordination with advances in hydraulic control and function, provides contractors added power and performance while running more efficiently. This includes cycle times up to 12 percent faster, improved lift capacity, up to 8 percent greater fuel efficiency, up to 6 percent greater breakout force and improved responsiveness and multifunctional control (simultaneous operation of boom while swinging, etc.) — all made possible by the advances to the Case Intelligent Hydraulics System and other systems throughout the machine.

“Never underestimate the power of hydraulics, electronics and other supporting systems throughout the machine,” says Philippe Bisson, Brand Marketing Manager for Case Construction Equipment. “Much of what’s being marketed right now revolves around Tier 4 technology. That’s critical, but it’s some of the other primary systems that achieve efficiencies and productivity gains. Hydraulics play a big part in maximizing the energy generated by the machine and distributing it throughout the boom and the rest of the machine to perform its work as efficiently as possible. And electronics enable many of the control settings/modes that really dial these machines in — take these features into consideration as well.”

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John Deere John Deere

Two Wheeled Units Round Out an Impressive Lineup of 12 Machines

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John Deere manufactured its first excavator, the 690, in 1969. Today, the company’s offerings range from the D-Series to the newly updated G-Series. The full line of John Deere equipment starts with the compact 17D at 1.89 metric tons to the 870G LC, which weighs in at 87 metric tons. Responding to customer demand, the company has worked to improve the muscle, control and peerless productivity in each new model.

Today, John Deere manufactures 17 excavator models weighing six tons or more. These models span from the 54-hp 75D to the aforementioned 532-hp 870G LC. The models most often used in utility work are the 75G, 85G, 130G, 135G, 160G LC, 180G LC, 190G W, 210G LC, 230G W, 245G LC, 250G LC and 300G LC. These highly versatile machines are packed with customer-driven features to bring maximum productivity to the jobsite with cool-running efficiency. Spacious cabs provide unsurpassed visibility, and low-effort joystick controls, metering and smooth multifunction operation provide the precision operators need.

Product Spotlight: 190G W and 230G W
The new 190G W and 230G W wheeled excavators bring added mobility and maneuverability to the jobsite. Both models feature a 159-hp certified Tier 4 Interim Isuzu engine. This quiet, durable and reliable engine is mated to the John Deere Powerwise III hydraulic engine management system that offers three productivity modes: High Productivity, Power and Economy mode, as well as a Power Dig and Auto Power Lift function. High productivity mode delivers more power and faster hydraulic response to move a greater amount of material. Power mode delivers smooth and balanced metering for normal operation, and Economy mode reduces top speed and helps save fuel. For convenience, the Power Dig button allows an operator to get the extra hydraulic power to increase productivity.

Contractors can choose from a variety of boom, blade, outrigger and bucket options to equip their excavator exactly as needed to optimize setup. The G-Series short wheelbase makes them very adept in close quarters — unlike truck-mounted excavators. For work close-up, operators can opt for the two-piece boom. Contractors looking to get the most out of their John Deere excavators can rely on Ultimate Uptime featuring John Deere WorkSight. With Ultimate Uptime, operators receive pre-delivery and follow-up inspections, three years of JD Link telematics and much more.

“When looking at excavators, consider cabs with more legroom, adjustable seats and a wider range of visibility that can help make long days on the job less cumbersome,” says Mark Wall, Excavator Product Marketing Manager. “Technology upgrades like LCD monitors, navigation systems and monitoring tools provide an interactive user interface. With the right upgrades, operating an excavator isn’t much different, amenities and comfort-wise, than driving your car. Be sure to test or demo the unit on the jobsite as well. Get a real-time feel as how the machine will be used.”

Caterpillar  Caterpillar

Solid Production Meets Fuel Efficiency in 16 Hard-Working Models

In 1972, the 200 Series Caterpillar excavators were released — starting an evolution of development for the next 42 years. From the 200 Series excavators to the 300 F Series excavators, the product family has evolved to be more fuel efficient and to maintain the productivity customers have demanded from the 70s. New “hybrid” technology has been the latest development that has harnessed the power to maintain production while lowering fuel consumption. Currently, Caterpillar offers 16 models that range from 12 to 19 ton, 19 to 33 ton and 33 to 90 ton that meet the high demands of customers. The ship is moving quickly for the Caterpillar excavator family, and maintaining production has been the trend in 2013 and 2014. The company expects the major fuel consumption reductions will deliver a better return on investment for its customers.

Product Spotlight: 336E H and 335F LCR
Doing well in the 30- to 40-ton size class is the 336E H “Hybrid” model where customers have been experiencing great returns on fuel consumption in any application. The new 336F XE is the newest 36-ton hybrid where the nomenclature has now changed from “H” to “XE” as the identifier  to recognize technology going forward with the hybrid developments.

The new compact radius 335F LCR has now replaced the 328D LCR, which has improved lift and high ambient cooling with lower fuel consumption vs. the older model. The 335F LCR was the only 30-plus-ton Tier 4 Final compact radius in the market in 2014, says the company. As the 328D LCR was limited on space for high ambient cooling, the 335F LCR has enough space to handle a larger cooling package.

“When making a purchasing decision for a machine, renting can be a good resource to understand how a machine best fits your application,” says Kent Pellegrini, Product Application Specialist for Cat. “This will enable you to make the purchase decision to either move up a size class or down. Depending if the machine will be a primary digger or lifter is up to the job requirements. Having a machine that can stretch up to another size class in lift can be a great asset and help with the transportability. If a digging machine is needed, identifying the correct truck size and pass match is critical to moving material and having the lowest cost per ton for your company. Look for the low maintenance cost and the product support that will back the machine going forward for you.”

Komatsu Komatsu

The New PC210LCi-10 Takes the Cake with Intelligent Machine Control

Komatsu entered the hydraulic excavator market in the late 1960s with the H-Series. Throughout what could be considered 11 generations, many improvements have been made such as the addition of various operating modes, short tail swing excavators, and now, the Dash 11 Series with Komatsu Tier 4 Final emissions engines. The latest Komatsu excavators provide more advanced electronic control, simplified maintenance and troubleshooting and better operator comfort. New engine and hydraulic technology has led to increased fuel savings, which can be monitored through KOMTRAX, Komatsu’s machine monitoring system. Rear-view monitoring systems are standard on most models providing improved operator visibility directly behind the machine.

Several other features are used on Komatsu’s excavators to help save fuel and improve productivity. Most Komatsu excavators use a Closed Center Load Sensing (CLSS) hydraulic system, which provides lower fuel consumption and quick response to the operator’s demands.  Most Komatsu excavators also feature an arm quick return circuit which provides faster cycle times and better fuel efficiency. Komatsu was also the first manufacturer to introduce a hybrid excavator. The HB215LC-1 is a second generation hybrid that uses an ultra-capacitor to capture energy normally lost during swing deceleration. This captured energy is then used to power the swing as well as support other functions — resulting in an up to 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

Product Spotlight: PC210LCi-10
The PC210LCi-10 is Komatsu’s first intelligent Machine Control excavator featuring unique machine control and guidance technologies that allow customers to unearth their productivity. New features of this model include:

Exclusive machine control function which semi-automatically limits digging below grade to minimize over-excavation and allow for accurate finish grading.

Standard factory installed 3D GNSS intelligent Machine Control system, which includes an inertial measurement unit and stroke sensing cylinders for real-time bucket edge positioning in relation to the machine and the target surface.

Minimum distance control that automatically gives guidance to the point of the bucket closest to the target surface and facing angle compass which guides an operator to swing the machine for accurate bucket positioning to finish a slope.

A large, 12.1-in. touchscreen display that is customizable can show three views at once, including 3D, as well as offering both visual and audio elevation guidance.

“It is important to understand the application the excavator will be used in,” says Rob Orlowski, Excavator Product Manager for Komatsu. “This could include working range, transportation dimensions, productivity and desired bucket selection. Bucket selection can also be dependent on the truck being loaded as well as wear packages. Reach requirements are important to make sure your machine can meet the depth requirements of the job.”


Volvo Construction Equipment Volvo Construction Equipment

Easy Operation and Maintenance Shine in 14 Exceptional Models

Volvo Construction Equipment is one of the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturers. Volvo offers a full product range to support the pipeline and utilities industry, with equipment manufactured, serviced and supported across North America. The global presence and dealer network of Volvo Construction Equipment has been growing since its inception in 1832. Dealers are strategically located throughout North America to provide equipment, parts and service support for productive and profitable operation.

Volvo’s excavator lineup includes crawler excavators, wheeled excavators, short swing excavators and compact excavators. In 2014, Volvo launched four new crawler excavator models with operating weights of 30,000 lbs and higher — the EC250E, EC300E, EC350E and EC480E.

Product Spotlight: EC350E
The new Volvo EC350E excavator is an exceptionally productive machine that lowers operating costs through reduced fuel consumption and simple maintenance requirements. Powered by a proven Tier 4 Final-compliant Volvo D13 engine, the EC350E delivers powerful digging and breakout forces alongside reduced emissions and a significant improvement in fuel efficiency. The EC350E hydraulics are perfectly matched to the engine and are controlled by an advanced system providing on-demand flow and reducing power losses within the circuit. Together with the new engine and unique Volvo ECO mode, the EC350E provides superior productivity and smooth and controllable hydraulics.

An integrated work mode system offers the operator a choice of four work modes according to the task at hand — I (Idle), F (Fine), G (General) or H (Heavy) — for optimum efficiency and machine performance. When the controls have been inactive for a pre-set amount of time, the excavator can be programmed to automatically reduce engine speed or even shut down to further reduce fuel consumption and noise.

Operators can keep track of both current and average fuel consumption via a simple gauge in the cab. The EC350E has been designed for ease and simplicity of operation. All human machine interfaces — including joysticks, keypad and LCD monitor — are ergonomically designed and positioned for optimum comfort and control. The number of switches has been significantly reduced in comparison to previous models. An 8-in. color LCD screen displaying vital machine status information is easy to read in any light.

Sejong Ko, Excavator Product Manager for Volvo Construction Equipment, suggests considering several key factors when purchasing an excavator. First, the customer should start by considering the primary job application (i.e. residential, commercial, trenching, etc.) and transportation requirements to determine the appropriate size class and type (crawler, wheeled, short swing or pipelayer). He can then choose the specific model for his needs. The second step should be to consider materials and ground conditions. Taking those into consideration, attachments can be selected, such as quick-couplers, hammers, hydraulic thumb, bucket type, etc. Additional items to keep in mind include shoe plate width and grouser type (single, double, triple and rubber), as well as boom arm lengths and counterweight size.



Compact Design Meets Big Results in Three Steadfast Units

For decades, JCB has been producing both full-size and compact excavators. All of JCB’s weight classes of compact excavators are popular in construction applications, but as their weights increase, the machines become more popular for excavation, sewer and pipeline work.

JCB currently offers 10 different compact excavators ranging from the smallest model, the 8008, to the largest, the 86C. The range spans from 1 to 9 tons (however, the specs here only include units 6 tons and higher). According to JCB, the advantages of its compact excavators include increased visibility due to large front, side and top glass areas and a narrow boom and dipper, as well as enhanced productivity.

Product Spotlight: 67C-1, 86C-1 and 85Z-1
These three machines have launched a completely new look for JCB compact excavators, with a revised H-design undercarriage, robust steel body panels, a spacious operator environment and Tier 4 final engines that deliver increased efficiency and lower operating cost.

The 67C-1, 86C-1 and 85Z-1 are powered by all-new JCB by Kohler diesel engines, which use up to 10 percent less fuel than the previous models and conform to Tier 4 Final emissions standards without any requirement for a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The three machines feature a sturdy swing bracket design with widely spaced bearings to prevent wear. In addition, JCB compact excavators use a new graphite-based pin-and-bush design delivering 500-hour greasing intervals for reduced daily maintenance and lower operating costs. The machines will also be available from the factory with a roto/tilt function installed, making them ready for use with a number of rotating and tilting bucket mount systems.

The JCB 67C-1, 86C-1 and 85Z-1 feature 100 percent pressed steel engine covers, delivering sturdy component protection and easy repair. The midi excavators benefit from improvements in their SAE service and maintenance rating, thanks in part to the tilting cab and repositioned components. With lower fuel consumption and no requirement for daily greasing, ownership and operating costs will be impressively reduced, says the company.

The new JCB compact excavators have a cab structure that can be tilted by 30 degrees to allow access to hoses and hydraulic components for repair and maintenance. JCB has also improved the grouping of components to reduce maintenance times. In addition, the machines have removable side skirts and in-fill panels for maximum service access, along with improved access to the cooling pack.

“Utility contractors must consider the overall return on their investment,” says Jake Jeffords, Product Specialist at JCB. “Their compact excavator must fit the operating weight, digging depth and attachment capabilities that are needed to perform everyday applications. A demo is a powerful tool to make an educated decision for your future compact excavator. While particular features can make specific jobs easier to complete, the main components of reliability, serviceability and dealer support are key to a sound buying decision.”

Terex Terex

Three Units with a Long and Proud Hanix and Schaeff Heritage

The Terex excavator line was developed and made by Hanix and distributed by Schaeff in Germany. The first model was called the HR02. Terex purchased Schaeff in January 2002. Terex compact excavators are still engineered and manufactured in Rothenburg, Germany. Through evolution of the equipment, the Terex excavator line has been more than five generations. Terex engineers have focused on bringing a machine to market that has a high power-to-weight ratio, which equals an increase in capabilities in a smaller-sized machine. According to Terex, the basic design of all Terex excavators ensures they can handle tough jobsite applications with the best performing machines in their size category.

Product Spotlight: TC60, TC75 and TC125
Terex has three excavator models — the TC60, TC75 and TC125 —  ranging from 44 to 116 hp with operating weights from 12,460 to 27,560 lbs and a variety of attachments to match jobsite needs. All Terex models have two travel speeds standard. Design features, such as the company’s axial piston, variable displacement hydraulic pumps and motors provide load-sensing and load independent flow division (LUDV) hydraulics for smooth simultaneous operation. With the LUDV design, oil flow is distributed to cylinders independent of the load. The main advantage of this system is that the compact excavator can be performing multiple actions at one time, without sacrificing flow. Because the machines are engineered with productive power and smooth hydraulics, these excavators excel in tough work environments, says Terex.

Terex excavators are also engineered to provide optimal operator comfort, safety and productivity. The cabs on these machines are quiet due to the low engine noise, ergonomically designed seats, excellent visibility and ergonomically designed pilot controls ensure that the operator can comfortably sit back and operate the machine. The pilot-operated controls also provide changeable control patterns to adjust to the operator’s particular preference. Heat is standard on all models, and A/C is optional. Each unit is built with a large operator’s platform with two-sided entry for easy access from both sides of the machine.

“Selecting an excavator isn’t as simple as choosing a model with the most horsepower,” says  Jonathon Ferguson, Terex Regional Sales Manager. “The most important thing you need to know are the jobsite parameters. Then, ask yourself what is needed to complete a job from beginning to completion: Is this a typical jobsite or an exception? What will I mostly be using the machine for? How deep do I need to dig? How large are the areas I will be working in? What types of attachments do I need? All of these things need to be determined to know which compact excavator will best suit your needs.”

Kobelco Kobelco

Eleven Models Highlight More Than 50 Years of Innovation

Since Kobelco’s first mechanical shovel in 1930 and its production of Japan’s first hydraulic excavator in 1963, the company has continued to pioneer products that reflect a sense of passion and pride. Today, Kobelco is dedicated to producing a full range of crawler excavators in the 3,000- to 184,000-lb classes and is well-known worldwide for its steadfast focus on improving and enhancing its singular line of products. According to the company, Kobelco excavators are engineered to: help you do more work with less fuel; provide every operator with maximized comfort, visibility and safety; and offer low-cost maintenance to provide dependable value year after year.

The six excavators in Kobelco’s SR series are packed with value and innovation. The exclusive iNDr Cooling System within these machines reduces dust while delivering quiet operation. Kobelco’s industry-leading approach to lower fuel consumption maximizes work volume while making every gallon go further. And, the new ECO-mode in select models creates even greater fuel savings, turning the SR line into high-earning machines.

To deliver enhanced productivity, the excavators are equipped with Kobelco’s exclusive KOMEX machine operation management system, which allows owners access to crucial machine data including location, operating hours, fuel consumption and maintenance status. Operators and fleet managers, along with Kobelco dealers and service personnel, can easily view all vital equipment information to more effectively plan jobs and schedule regular service intervals.

Product Spotlight: SK350

Kobelco’s most popular model is the Tier 4 Final SK350. This robust, 82,200-lb machine is powered by a 270-hp Tier 4 Final HINO engine, which allows it to easily tackle a wide-range of heavy-duty applications while remaining highly fuel efficient. Kobelco’s Tier 4 Final solution delivers as much as a 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption as compared to a Tier 3 machine, and this model incorporates both selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and self-cleaning diesel particulate filter (DPF) systems to provide the lowest possible operation costs.

In addition to power and fuel economy, the SK350 boasts impressive digging capabilities. With a digging force of 50,600 lbs, a digging depth of 24 ft, 10 in. and a swing speed of 10 rpm, this crawler excavator ensures quick cycle times to keep productivity levels on point regardless of the application. The SK350 also comes standard with Kobelco’s exclusive independent travel feature, allowing the excavator to travel and lift simultaneously without experiencing a loss of power or speed. In many instances, this exclusive feature eliminates the need for contractors to supplement their fleet with other types of carriers.

“When it comes to safety, it is of extreme importance that the equipment operator has read and fully understands the machine’s operator manual and keeps it in the cab to reference as needed,” says George Lumpkins, National Service Manager for Kobelco Construction Machinery USA. “Additionally, as more excavators are being equipped with cameras to improve visibility, it is vital to keep these devices in working order and use them in conjunction with rearview mirrors.”

Doosan  Doosan

A Combination of Wheeled and Crawler Excavators Designed to Tackle Tough Jobs

Founded in 1896, Doosan is a strong, stable and global company with a long legacy in infrastructure support. Its history in equipment manufacturing began in 1937. Since 2005, Doosan has grown to become the fifth largest construction equipment manufacturer in the world. Many may be surprised to know that Doosan — while a relatively young brand in the North American construction market — has roots in construction and industrial products that go back more than 75 years. Today, Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment is the world’s fourth-largest manufacturer of mid- to large-sized crawler excavators; its brand presence in North America continues to grow.

Doosan and its heavy equipment dealers provide customers with a full line of dependable and durable excavators to choose, including 13 crawler excavator models (three are available with super-long reach) and three wheeled excavator models. Each excavator model has optimal fuel efficiency without compromising performance, reliability and durability. Two Doosan models, the DX140LCR-3 and DX235LCR, are designed with reduced tail swing for operation on confined jobsites. This is particularly helpful when operators are working on repairing or replacing infrastructure projects and there is limited room to operate. Wheeled excavators are popular for road and bridge construction projects where they are capable of quickly driving on finished surfaces without disrupting them. Doosan crawler and wheeled excavators are packed with power, boasting four unique power modes to help operators adapt to their work.

Product Spotlight: The -5 Series
The newest Doosan crawler excavators (indicated by a dash-5 in the model name), including the Tier 4-compliant DX255LC-5 through DX530LC-5 models, have been improved to increase performance, operator comfort, fuel efficiency, reliability and durability. A mass airflow sensor and exhaust brake were added to the existing diesel technologies to help achieve Tier 4 emissions standards. An auto-shutdown feature was added to the excavators to help owners and operators save fuel during non-working conditions. Also included on the new models are: improved anti-skid plates; auto belt tensioner; fan and air cooling; battery upgrades; emergency engine stop; upgraded alternator; and a new front window design.

Shane Reardon, Doosan’s Excavator Product Specialist, offers seven considerations to make when selecting and operating an excavator:

  1. Match the machine and bucket with the type of work you are routinely performing.
  2. Look at hydraulic power needs to accommodate attachment use.
  3. Follow routine maintenance schedules such as visual inspection of tracks or tires, daily lubrication duties and utilizing telematics with a fleet management system.
  4. Limit excessive machine travel or idling time by selecting the proper power mode.
  5. Provide training for safe and proper operation of equipment.
  6. Avoid excessive power and know your tipping limits.
  7. Strive for optimum visibility when digging. Being able to see the machine’s track and bucket sides are critical.


Hitachi Hitachi

From Compact to Large, 14 Machines Poised to Meet Customers’ Needs

Hitachi leverages its excavator expertise and legacy of meeting demanding mining applications to deliver an experience of efficiency, reliability and durability.

Hitachi built its first hydraulic excavator — the UH03 — in 1965. Since then, more than 2.5 million excavators — from super-small compacts to mining-sized machines — have been sold across the world. By only focusing on excavators, Hitachi has always been able to concentrate exclusively on improving smoothness, precision, power and operator comfort. Loaded with numerous customer-driven enhancements, these excavators deliver superior productivity and durability, while keeping operating costs low.

Hitachi’s lineup of excavators consists of a vast selection of excavators. Whether your focus is landscaping, light residential, urban renewal or underground utilities, Hitachi’s excavators deliver efficiency, reliability and durability for your business. Hitachi’s compact excavators provide big-time performance on all kinds of jobs and a more spacious cab with wider, easier entry and better visibility. The design of Hitachi’s reduced-tail-swing excavators allows the machines to rotate freely within a small radius, so they are more productive around obstacles and confined spaces.

All utility-class models are loaded with enhancements that make them even more durable, productive and easy to maintain. The Isuzu EPA Tier 4 Interim engines quietly go about their business, getting the most out of every drop of fuel while meeting rigid emissions standards.

Hitachi’s construction-class excavators are fully loaded with an abundance of productivity- and uptime-boosting advantages. The newest additions to this class include Hitachi’s lineup of Tier 4 Final excavators, which include the ZX250LC-6, ZX300LC-6, ZX350LC-6 and ZX380LC-6. Hitachi’s wheeled excavators are packed with improvements designed to provide more efficient power, greater productivity, more comfortable cab environment and reduced operating expenses.

Product Spotlight: ZX300LC-6
The ZX300LC-6 is an improved version of its popular predecessor — the ZX290LC-5 — and features EPA Tier 4 Final Isuzu engine technology that meets rigid emissions standards. This bigger, more powerful machine gives operators the efficiency, reliability and durability needed when out on the jobsite. The ZX300LC-6 boasts a maximum digging depth of 25 ft, 10 in., and larger, more durable hydraulic pumps.

Mark Wall, Product Marketing Manager for Hitachi Construction Machinery — Americas, says that the most important part of purchasing an excavator is to demo the machine to ensure it will satisfy your needs. He recommends the following:

  • Check visibility and make sure you can see everything you need to see.
  • Pay attention to the weight of the machine and make sure you can haul it. Remember that if you add an attachment and a coupler, the weight will increase and may impact your ability to haul it.
  • Determine how emissions regulations have impacted the machine.
  • Bucket sizing is also important. Larger buckets don’t always lead to increased productivity.


Hyundai Hyundai

A Variety of Excavator Choices for Every Type of Task

In 1947, Hyundai started as a general contractor to develop and industrialize post-World War II Korea. Throughout the century, the company grew into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. Hyundai introduced Hyundai Construction Equipment’s first two excavators to the North American market in 1989 with a philosophy to provide economical, high-quality products with dependable support. Today, Hyundai offers more than 50 different models of excavators and 20 wheel loaders. The company heavily invests in R&D and state-of-the-art production facilities in Ulsan, Korea, to continue innovating and evolving its products. Hyundai is currently producing its sixth generation 9A-series product line and will be introducing its F series Tier 4 Final machines in 2015.

Hyundai offers operators several choices of mini excavators, wheeled excavators and construction and production class crawler excavators. With operating weights ranging from 3,650 to 260,140 lbs, Hyundai’s 9A-series excavators are built for maximum power — guaranteed to do the job, big or small, whether it’s excavating projects, site preparation, pipeline installation, road and utility work or demolition applications. Whichever model is selected, operators can rely on an engine that comes with advanced electronics, excellent torque, smooth throttle response and impressive maintenance intervals.

Hyundai designed its 9A-series products to maximize profitability through improved efficiencies and extended life components. These models are equipped with long-life hydraulic filters that now have 1,000 hours service intervals, and Hyundai certified hydraulic oil can last up to 5,000 hours before changing. Purchasers of Hyundai construction equipment will also benefit from an industry-best total coverage warranty, which covers all 9A-series machines for three years or 3,000 hours on the entire machine and a 5-year/10,000-hour structural warranty.

Product Spotlight: R235LCR-9A
Hyundai’s 52,470-lb R235LCR-9A compact radius excavator has a tight 6-ft, 4-in. tail swing — making it ideal for handling small- to mid-size excavating projects, demolition, road and utility work in confined areas such as on roadways and in urban areas. A low-emission, low-noise, fuel-efficient 157-hp Cummins QSB6.7 Tier 4 Interim engine powers the R235LCR-9A, and innovative hydraulic system technologies make the R235LCR-9A excavator fast, smooth and easy to control. The R235LCR-9A boasts a digging force of 32,550 lbs, a maximum dig depth of 12 ft, 12 in. and a 1.05-cu yd bucket.


“Reading the operator’s manual cover to cover is a great first maintenance step,” says Steve DePriest, Product Sales Trainer — CE Division for Hyundai Construction Equipment. “The manual is filled with service information such as service intervals, recommended lubricants and other valuable information. Routine maintenance such as changing oils and filters on the recommended maintenance schedule and keeping the cooling system clean of dirt and debris will do wonders for the life and health of an excavator.”

Takeuchi Takeuchi

Five Compact Machines Prove Big Productivity Can Come in Small Packages

Takeuchi was the first company to introduce the compact excavator, setting the stage for one of the highest growth product segments ever introduced in the compact equipment market. The TB1000 was the world’s first compact excavator, introduced back in 1971. The 2-ton class excavator was equipped with a boom swing mechanism capable of slewing 360 degrees.

Much has evolved over time, including greater digging depth, higher reach, along with performance, durability, cab comfort, ergonomic controls, bigger buckets and engine technology. The Takeuchi color scheme has also been updated with the current sleek red and grey look. The Takeuchi excavators are a key product line and will continue to evolve for years to come. Today, Takeuchi models offered over 6 tons include the TB180FR, TB285, TB280FR and TB290, which are all in the 18,000- to 19,000-lb range. The biggest excavator offered by Takeuchi is the TB1140 Series 2, weighing just over 34,000 lbs.

Product Spotlight: TB290

The TB290 excavator is the second-largest excavator in the Takeuchi compact lineup, weighing 18,780 lbs. The TB290 is packed with a wide variety of standard features, such as multiple working modes, first and second auxiliary hydraulics plumbed to the end of the arm, boom holding valve and overload alarm delivering the customer unsurpassed value, performance and versatility. The excavator boasts a 69.2-hp, Tier 4 Final-compliant, turbocharged Yanmar engine with a rated engine speed of 2,000 rpm, capable of traveling between 1.6 to 3.1 mph, with a fuel tank capacity of 33.8 gal.

Featuring a new LCD color multi-information display, operators will be provided with a wide range of information for greater functionality that is easy to read in all lighting conditions. Operators will also be more comfortable in the roomy deluxe cab. The automotive-styled interior is equipped with a high capacity HVAC system to keep the operator comfortable throughout the year. The high-back suspension seat features a retractable seatbelt and has multiple height adjustments to allow the operator to find a comfortable operating position. A large door enables the operator to easily enter and exit the machine and the spacious cab also features a roll-up front window with a gas spring lift-assist cylinder.

“One of the simplest — yet often overlooked — maintenance practices is the daily walkaround checklist,” says David Steger, Takeuchi Product Manager. “Be sure to check the engine oil, hydraulic fluid and coolant and top off when necessary. Make sure that you’re using the manufacturer-recommended fluid. Remember, it never hurts to ask your dealer or your tech. After a week or so, it is important to check the fuel filter and drain any water or debris that may have built up, or replace it if necessary. Next, check the hydraulic hoses and air system for leaks — it’s always better to find a problem and fix it while it’s small, than to wait until it’s too late. Also, remember that there are no air systems on this equipment like there might be on trucks and trailers.”