Danny Richmond is the first contractor in New Zealand to put the latest Hitachi ZX210LC-5B digger to the test on a job site, and he couldn’t be more pleased with its performance.
“The digger is really smooth, quick and responsive to operate and doesn’t lose any power when doing multiple actions. It hasn’t missed a beat on productivity, and fuel consumption is around 17 to 18 litres an hour. It is a bloody good machine.”
Danny’s company Madd-K Contracting purchased one of two pre-sale demonstrator models of the newly minted ZX210LC-5B, which were brought in by CablePrice late last year for customers like Danny to trial.
The first new models under general release are expected to arrive in April, with features such as Hitachi’s new generation -5B engine with muffler filter and a TRIAS (three pump) hydraulics system, both of which play a big part in the digger’s higher yields and improved fuel efficiencies.
A Trimble GNSS machine guidance system is another key part of the offering, which takes the guesswork out of earthworks.
The operator is shown on a screen in the cab, where to dig and the exact lines to follow.
This integrated technology is already making a big difference on the job at Transmission Gully, where Madd-K is contracted to Goodman Contracting, says Danny.
“The Trimble system gives us a 3D image of the job, which we can view from all angles including upside down to look down batter lines, slopes and swale drains. Before we start, we can see if there is any depreciation that shouldn’t be there, or anything strange in the swale drains, instead of finding out when we’re on the job. As a smaller firm, it is great to have this technology, which will definitely help us continue to attract the bigger jobs.”
Danny shares operating duties of the digger with one of Goodman Contracting’s crew, so the Trimble technology also enables him to keep an eye on the machine’s progress and performance, he says.
“It only took a short while for the other operator to get used to the machine and now I can’t get him out of it.”
Other ‘bells and whistles’ to get Danny’s seal of approval include a roll switch that makes operating the tilt bucket “real smooth”, and a comfortable cab and seat, making the digger a pleasure to drive.
He also appreciates the comprehensive reports produced by the digger, especially around fuel efficiency, temperature, and its range of motion.
CablePrice equipment product manager, Andrew Crane, says other customers who trialled the demonstrator models of the ZX210LC-5B have also been impressed with its smoothness, quietness and speed, along with the Trimble and TRIAS technology.
“The two demonstrator models were factory fitted with brackets allowing the Trimble wiring and cab kit to be easily installed after the machines arrived in New Zealand. The first lot of machines in the ZX-5B range arriving in April will require a full local install if customers require machine guidance. However later in 2018, we expect to see a range of Hitachi models from 13 to 35 tonnes, including the ZX210LC-5B, arriving from Japan with factory-ready machine brackets that will allow machine guidance systems of any make to be simply installed.
Andrew says the digger’s TRIAS hydraulics pump system delivers lower fuel consumption and higher productivity and is now standard on all model ZX200 to ZX360LC-5B excavators.
“The TRIAS system is also great for putting on different types of hydraulic attachments and provides significantly more hydraulic flow.”
The new ZX210LC-5B digger is certainly ticking all the boxes for Danny Richmond, who says he can’t fault the service, back up and support of CablePrice during the purchase.
“Aidan, Alex and the team made it such an easy process. I didn’t even have to leave the work site. The machine turned up when they said it would and was ready to go. The guys were right on the ball if there were any problems or questions. I’m really impressed with the way CablePrice conducts its business.”
After driving most brands of excavators during his career, Danny says he would highly recommend the Hitachi ZX210LC-5B to other operators.
“It’s definitely right up there, and is quite possibly the best digger I’ve ever operated.”