EQUIPMENT FOCUS: Excavators

Earthmoving Article September 06, 2012
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Clean to the max
The Ecomax engine powering JCB’s JS145 crawler excavator runs clean without the need for a diesel particulate filter like many other models. Engine speed is adjusted when the operator switches working modes, now possible with the twist of one dial. Everything is monitored from the 4-in. multifunction display, including the new tool select system, which automatically adjusts hydraulic output based on which of the 10 preset attachments is selected.
 

Intelligent hydraulics
Several commonalities link the CX210C and CX470C, the newest additions to Case’s C Series of full-size excavators. The Case Intelligent Hydraulic System powers both, with economy modes for four different tools that lower engine rpm when those tools are inactive. Both models also accept a wide variety of attachments, from Case Smart Digging Systems components to the Multi-Fit Coupler and the SmartFit bucket tooth system. The CX470C is available in three iterations: long undercarriage, retractable undercarriage and mass excavator.

 

Digital readout
A new digital control panel heads up the highlights of the five entries in Caterpillar’s E Series of mini hydraulic excavators. From the Compass digital-control panel, operators can: utilize the continuous-flow feature for auxiliary hydraulics to automatically fix settings; engage the antitheft system; and put the machine into economy mode to lower fuel use up to 20%. All five models sport Tier IV-certified engines, an electric fuel-pump priming system and a high-ambient cooling package.

 

Some assembly possible
Operators can add front and rear blades or outriggers to the welded undercarriage of Caterpillar’s M313D and M315D wheeled excavators, making them customizable for any job. The in-cab display monitor is 40% larger, providing control of the attachment quick coupler. Machine control is further enhanced with a new right-hand panel switch module, which houses the rotary-throttle dial and rotating beacon switch, among others. Both models are equipped with a pair of remote monitoring systems: Cat Product Link for maintenance and Cat Machine Security System.

 

Engine enhancements
Tier IV Interim-certified engines move Doosan’s DX300LC and DX350LC hydraulic excavators, configured to reduce nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. A split-fan hydraulic cooling system allows engine and oil cooling to be controlled independently. Both machines sport a new “floating” boom option, allowing the boom to move up and down without hydraulic flow. The DX350LC further improves engine performance with a variable-geometry turbocharger, increasing engine torque at lower rpm. Fuel economy also is improved by a new closed-center main control valve.

 

In the city
Hitachi’s three new mid-size Zaxis-5 excavators are well-suited for urban jobsites, thanks to their size, Tier IV-compliant engines and high durability. Digging power can be adjusted with three work modes: high productivity, power and economy. Sensors all through the machine allow automatic microadjustments to ensure peak hydraulic power. Easy maintenance enhancements include: vertical spin-on fuel and engine oil filters; centralized lube banks for easy greasing; and quick-change remote-mounted vertical filters. Hitachi also includes three years of its ZXLink Ultimate telematics service.

 

Spin or no spin
The 210 X3 Series excavator from Link-Belt improves fuel efficiency (10%), lift capacity (7%) and cycle times (3% less) thanks to a Tier IV Isuzu engine. Available in standard and long-front models, both include a larger cab with a larger monitor for centralized control. The 235 X3 Spin Ace, which replaces the 225 Spin Ace, offers a greater reach (32 ft 4 in.) while still maintaining a minimum swing radius. An optional auxiliary hydraulic system is available for both models.

 

Enhanced mid-size performance
Built for mid-size jobs, the R210LC-9 from Hyundai sports a dig depth of 19 ft 1 in. and bucket digging force of 29,320 lb. The cab has been expanded and redesigned with steel-tube construction for increased operator safety. Hyundai also redesigned the control cluster, providing easier access and adding toggles for new features such as: an AM/FM radio and MP3 player; hands-free phone calls; a USB port; and headphone jacks. Machine preferences are controlled from the 7-in. color LCD screen. The company’s remote management system, Hi-Mate, comes standard.

 

Small, medium and large
Kobelco welcomed three new entries to its Mark 9 Series of excavators last year: the SK485, SK210 and SK170. The SK485 is the largest of the bunch, built for heavy-duty applications and featuring high and wide, demolition and mass excavation models. The SK210 is similar but replaces the demolition machine with a long-reach model. The smaller SK170 is suited for various applications, including: road and bridge; sewer underground utilities; and site development. All three models utilize the Intelligent Total Control System for automatic hydraulic oil regeneration and distribution.

 

Big hydraulic power  
On the larger end of the mid-size class, the 180G LC hydraulic excavator from John Deere handles smoothly thanks to the standard Powerwise III hydraulic management system. A Tier IV, 121-hp Deere PowerTech engine is at its core, which is kept in check by a cooling system that only activates when needed. Three productivity modes are aided by the power-boost option for tough digging, and all work information can be found on the Machine Information Center display. A three-year subscription to the JDLink system is standard on all models.

 

Power up
Komatsu has improved heavy lifting on the PC210LC-10 excavator with a new standard counterweight, affording better lateral stability for bigger jobs or with multiple attachments. An optional lighter counterweight can be installed for easier transportation. Inside the redesigned cab, the new LCD monitor lets the operator select one of five work modes: power, economy, heavy lift, breaker and attachment. The new 158-hp engine is Tier IV compliant and at the center of the high-performance hydraulic system. The PC210LC-10 is equipped with Komtrax fleet-management technology for
remote management.

 

Wide-open spaces
Kubota’s KX057-4 compact excavator is designed for open spaces, utilizing a tail-swing model for peak stability and performance. While lifting capacity is increased, the new load-sensing hydraulic system improves digging power, and an optional hydraulic angle blade provides enhanced backfilling capabilities. Handling is made easier through autodownshift travel motors for smoother engine transitions through turns; swivel and travel negative brakes improve handling on slopes.

 

Small soldier
The E55Bx joins New Holland’s compact excavator line as the smallest in its class while still suited for a variety of jobs. This versatility comes from its small size (cab height of 8 ft 4 in.) and the wide range of attachments available. Two types of dozer blades are available as well: a standard 38° blade for finish grading and an optional four-way blade for enhanced backfilling and grading. Maintenance upgrades include an improved radiator intake method to reduce clogging and a “no-tools” fuel-tank drain valve and accumulator for attachment control in the event of engine shutdown.

 

Strong as steel  
Designed for heavy applications, the Volvo EC480D crawler excavator is built on a high-strength tensile steel undercarriage that increases durability and handling on rough terrain. Stability is also enhanced via mechanical variable-width tracks that provide an extra 6 in. of width and 8 in. of height. Customizing the machine for any job is simple thanks to four working modes (idle, fine, general and heavy) and 18 possible attachments. Fleet managers can track performance and maintenance needs via the standard CareTrack telematics system.

 

Speed demon
Transportation is no problem for Gradall’s XL 3100 IV wheeled excavator, which can hit the road at speeds up to 60 mph. The increased speed comes from a new 235-hp, Tier IV-compliant Mercedes engine, which also allows total machine control from the upper cab, including the telescoping, tilting boom. Operators can switch between Gradall, Deere or SAE control patterns. Switching between attachments is easy thanks to the quick-change design. Roadside jobs have been made easier and safer as well by enhancements like a new yellow color scheme, high-visibility LED lighting and a compact tail swing.

 

On a dime
Seven models make up Yanmar’s ViO line of mini excavators, all of which emphasize handling and stability in tight spaces. ViO Crawler Technology for Advanced Stability (VICTAS) keeps the machines upright in even the tightest, roughest terrain without changing the undercarriage width. For even tighter turning capability, Yanmar offers the SV08-1A and SV100-1 in the SV series with ultra-tight turning in both the front and rear.

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