Digging up the dirt on excavators

Versatile machines provide contractors with a solid investment from the ground up

Excavators Article December 28, 2000
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The demand for excavators in the construction market will increase dramatically over the next few years as over $216 billion digs its way into the nation’s transportation systems due to the passage of the Transportation Equity Act (TEA-21).

Excavators are a premier product in highway construction. When choosing an excavator contractors look for a versatile machine that offers multiple task options and high utilization at the same time keeping owner/operator costs minimal and production levels high.
ROADS & BRIDGES provides an overview of the excavator market to lend insight on the machines’ standard equipment along with characteristics and capabilities of each individual model.

Case Corp.

Case Corp. offers the 9045B, a 61,730-lb excavator, with increased reach and lifting performance for highway and street construction applications.

“The 9045B offers the same smooth controllability that the 90B series machines are known for in a popular and growing size class,” said Andrew Johnson, Case product manager.

It offers the optional Case/JRB Slide-Loc coupler that delivers quick bucket and attachment changes for maximum productivity. As standard equipment, an ergonomically designed cab offers the flexibility to meet the individual requirements of each operator.
Available with a 19-ft, 2 in.-boom, the machine offers arm two lengths of 11 ft, 2 in. and 13 ft. Using the 11-ft, 2-in. length arm, maximum working ranges consist of a digging radius of 35 ft, 4 in., a dig depth of 23 ft, 7 in. and dump height of 23 ft, 2 in. With the 13-ft arm length, the maximum working ranges offer a digging radius of 36 ft, 11 in., a dig depth of 25 ft, 5 in. and a dump height of 23 ft, 7 in.

Caterpillar

The Caterpillar 307B hydraulic excavator, with operating weights between 14,330 lb and 18,555 lb is powered by a 54-hp engine and offers new features and attachments which add to the machine’s performance.

It has a swing boom that moves to the left and to the right 60 degrees, enabling side ditch digging against walls, fences or other obstacles. Four new buckets are available and each are drilled for sidecutters and feature dual radius for improved loading, improved steel in the lower sides and bottom, horizontal wear strips and splayed corner teeth. It can also be equipped with dozer blades for backfilling, leveling and site cleanup.

The machine offers a work environment that features an emphasis on operator comfort, low sound levels, an all-around viewing area and easy-to-use controls, all of which keep operators productive.

When equipped with a standard one-piece boom and no blade or other optional equipment, the excavator offers a maximum boom length of 12 ft, 2 in. and digging depth of 13 ft, 6 in.

Daewoo

Daewoo Heavy Industries America Corp. manufactures Solar 55, the newest and most compact of the Solar series excavators. The machine incorporates the efficient hydraulics and operator comfort of larger units.

The operator’s cab is ergonomically designed for all-day comfort, with a multi-adjustable seat, all-round visibility, low sound levels, central instrument and control panel with low-effort levels.

It weighs in at 11,464 lb and implements a high breakout force of 7,300 lb for productivity using a 0.196-cu-yd standard bucket. A diesel engine produces 50.6-hp at 2,200 rpm. Maximum swing speed is 10 rpm and the swing boom offers the flexibility of 50 degrees left and 90 degrees right for easier working in tight quarters. Maximum work ranges offer a digging reach to 19 ft, 8 in. at ground level, a digging depth of 12 ft, 8 in., a digging height of 17 ft, 6 in. and a dumping height of 11 ft, 11 in.

Fiatallis North America Inc.

Fiatallis North America Inc. offers the FX600lc excavator with the advanced three-pump hydraulic system. The system offers two travel/implement pumps and a separate swing pump in a closed circuit, reducing hydraulic oil heat build-up while swinging the upper-structure. This minimizes the load on the oil cooling system thus lowering fuel consumption and increasing hydraulic component life.

A load-sensing hydraulic system allows for precisely metered oil flow and this improves implement precision and motion. A power boost button offer an additional 12.5%power for maximum breakout of tough material or increased drawbar pull.

Fixed and variable undercarriage options offer choices for stability and transport ease. The track and support rollers are sealed and lifetime lubricated for maintenance-free durability.

Various boom and stick combinations offer a variety of maximum working ranges. The digging reach ranges from 37 ft to 42 ft, 10 in., digging depths from 21 ft, 2 in. to 26 ft, 11 in. and digging heights from 36 ft, 7 in. to 40 ft, 2 in.

Gradall Co.

The Gradall Co.’s new XL 2200 excavator delivers power, speed and versatility for a 27,000-lb crawler excavator, enabling it to handle small and medium-sized excavating, ditching and sloping jobs.

Only 9 ft tall, 22 ft long and 8 ft, 6 in. wide, the excavator features a job-proven telescoping, 360 degrees full-tilting boom. The boom is designed and built for strength and smooth telescoping movements with double roller brackets. It maintains a low overall height allowing the machine to work under overhead wires, tree limbs and on the ground floors of many building projects.

Equipped with an excavating bucket, the boom can reach out to 24 ft at grade and dig to a depth of 16 ft, 5 in. Dump height maximum is 12 ft, 10 in. and bucket capacities range up to 0.8 cu yd.

All boom movements are controlled with convenient joysticks built into the armrests of the quiet operator module. A low rear profile and rear swing clearance of 7 ft provides the operator with a good view of the jobsite with minimum obstructions while a long crawler undercarriage provides stability and good ground speed.

Halla America Inc.

Halla America Inc. manufactures the HE220LC excavator that offers the two-step auto idling system. The first step of auto idling is activated when operation is suspended for five seconds or longer and when this continues for 55 seconds or longer, step two is activated, reducing unnecessary fuel consumption and exhaust.

It has a self-examining instrument panel which checks the system for any defects and if any are found, it is indicated to the operator. This function heightens efficiency by reducing the time and effort spent checking and maintaining the unit at its optimal condition. A durable X-station lower frame allows the machine to endure external shocks. Additionally, each hydraulic cylinder is equipped with anti-shock valves and cushioning parts for smoother, serial motion.

It weighs 46,296 lb, has a bucket capacity of 1.37 cu yd and maximum work ranges include a digging reach to 32 ft, 7 in., digging depth of 22 ft, 8 in. and digging height of 21 ft, 8 in. The machine is powered by a Cummins turbo-charged diesel engine that can be run in standard excavation, medium strength excavation or grading modes.

Hitachi

Hitachi Construction Machinery America Corp. manufactures the EX 160-5 excavator that features Dash-5, a computerized horsepower and control system. This system makes the excavator smooth to operate and productive with more horsepower, increased lift capacity, higher traction force and a better swing torque.

The excavator has four work modes to increase productivity enabling the operator to select the best combination of hydraulic flow and swing/boom priority to accomplish the job. The four work modes are: general purpose (maximum flow, equal priority), grading (variable flow, boom priority), precision (minimum flow, boom priority) and attachment (auto match of flow for selected attachments, boom priority).

The excavator’s quiet cab, with adjustable suspension seat, floats on six fluid-filled elastic mounts to buffer the operator from shocks and vibrations. The controls are logically grouped and easy to read.

Hyundai

The Hyundai Robex 55-3 mini excavator was designed for efficient work in congested residential and urban areas. It is set apart from larger excavators by its ability to do offset digging, maneuver and reposition quickly. The combination of a cab that swings 360 degrees paired with an independent boom offset, allows materials to be easily placed away from the trench area without repositioning the excavator.

“This excavator is a high rental usage machine. People will use it for short-term projects as well as specific jobs,” said Bob King, national sales manager.

A dozer blade stabilizes the mini excavator by extending the length of the undercarriage, allowing for greater reach capacity while providing effective ground leveling and backfilling ability. This machine also comes standard with auxiliary hydraulic piping on the arm, allowing for easy installation of a wide variety of attachments, such as breakers and compactors.

Powered by a Yanmar 4TNE-94 engine, the 59-hp mini excavator weighs 11,910 lb. With a bucket capacity of 0.08 to 0.24 cu yd, its maximum working range consists of a digging reach to 19 ft, 10 in., a digging depth of 12 ft, 8 in., a digging height of 17 ft, 11 in. and a dumping height of 12 ft, 8 in.

JCB Inc.

JCB Inc., offers the four-ton 804 model mini-excavator for digging, rock-breaking and dozing performance against walls or other confined areas. The 26-hp excavator features a strength-tested cast-iron kingpost with boom swings of 90 degrees to the left and 50 degrees to the right.

It’s dynamic system utilizes a variable displacement pump for maintaining full digging power at all times. A boom boost features lift service by automatically combining hydraulic flow from two pumps.

Rubber or steel track options utilize the same roller system for easy change over. All controls and instrumentation are ergonomically designed and located for maximum convenience, comfort and productivity.

It’s maximum work ranges consist of dig depth to 10 ft, 3 in. and dig height of 14 ft, 11 in., with a bucket breakout force of 4,850 lb.

Kobelco America Inc.

Kobelco America Inc. produces the SK130LC hydraulic excavator, a member of the Mark IV excavator series. The 27,840-lb machine is powered by a Cummins 4BT 3.9 diesel turbo-charged engine and offers 93 hp at 2200 rpm, while providing a track length of 12 ft, 3 in.

The cab, mounted on six rubber pads, features hydraulic controls which provide smooth operation and reduced operator fatigue. An easy-to-read safety monitor checks important machine functions and immediately warns the operator of possible machine failures before they develop into a serious problem.

It has a hydraulic, gear-driven swing that is powered by an axial piston motor which is flange-connected to a planetary reduction unit driving the swing pinion. A single-row ball-bearing unit has an integral, internally cut swing gear. The excavator offers a maximum dig reach of 28 ft, 4 in. and dig depth of 19 ft, 11 in.

Komatsu

Komatsu America International Co., manufactures the 123-hp PW170ES-6 wheeled hydraulic excavator that is ideal for utility maintenance, road construction and roadway ditch cleanup applications.

“A primary reason for introducing the PW170ES-6 wheeled excavator was the challenges present in dense, high-traffic road construction areas where high productivity and mobility are vital in a piece of equipment,” said Mike Murphy, hydraulic excavator product manger. “It is especially useful for governmental agencies who are responsible for maintaining and cleaning these roadways. The unit’s versatility and mobility—it can travel several miles without needing to be hauled—make it ideal for these applications.”

In addition to its standard bucket, the unit can be equipped with various attachments including a trenching/ditch cleaning bucket, tamper, quick coupler, breaker and other small demolition tools.
The excavator also features the HydraMind system which is an all-hydraulic system that supervises the work operations of the excavator through “human-first engineering” principals to the cab and controls enhancing overall comfort and increasing productivity by reducing operator fatigue.

The 38,140-lb wheeled excavator has a 1.12-cu-yd bucket with a maximum digging depth of 16 ft and digging height of 30 ft, 10 in.

Link-Belt

The Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co. offers the 3900 Quantum hydraulic excavator. This 62,900-lb excavator features a long undercarriage, an illuminated LCD service monitor and a newly-designed operator system that offers increased control, accessibility and operator comfort.

The machine has Intelligent Quantum (IQ) control which is a computer-aided, hydraulic control system designed to ensure efficiency. IQ control features four selectable working modes: heavy, standard, light and fine. The excavator can be set to accommodate any task from heavy production digging to lifting control. The working mode system, combined with power boost, balances engine speed and pump output for increased productivity, efficiency and fuel savings.

The excavator’s boom length is 19 ft, 2 in., and is available with arm lengths of 11 ft, 2 in. or 13 ft. With the 11 ft, 2 in. arm, the maximum working ranges consist of a digging radius to 35 ft, 4 in., a digging depth of 23 ft, 7 in. and digging height of 33 ft, 3 in.

Samsung

The SE240 LC-3 hydraulic excavator from Samsung Construction Equipment America Corp. increases productivity and profitability. The easy-to-operate, economical excavator is powered by a Cummins BT-5.9 liter diesel engine. It is equipped with an advanced control system that automatically sets the engine power and work modes for peak productivity and efficiency while providing a fast swing speed.

Sealed and greased tracks combined with alloy steel idlers and rollers provide extended undercarriage life. A fabricated center-mount track guard increases protection and improved durability.
Low-effort, stroke-control levers offer improved feather ability to lessen operator fatigue. Pump flow is in direct proportion to joystick movement for smooth precise attachment control.

The machine has maximum work ranges that offer a digging reach to 33 ft, 8 in., digging depth of 22 ft, 11 in. and digging height of 31 ft, 11 in.

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