By Tarren Bolton
Plant Equipment & Hire focuses on the dirty work of excavators in this month’s product feature.
As the smart choice for general excavation and site preparation projects, excavators are commonly used for dredging, trenching, material handling, or just simply heavy lifting of objects. Ideal for a wide range of utility work, we look at what some OEMs, dealers, and distributors are offering in terms of ease of operation, durability, fuel efficiency, and the latest safety technology features. Read on to share in their expert comments and insights into excavators.
Maximum customer satisfaction
Maximum Equipment announces the launch of their flagship 51 tonne excavator.
Maximum Equipment officially became dealers for Hidromek in March 2015 after scouting for a ‘decent brand’ that offers superior engineering, quality, and performance to their growing client base. Vaughan Ellis, managing director of Maximum Equipment, says, “We chose Hidromek because they already had an existing awareness in the country through their sales of TLBs and graders.”
“We are now in our 5th year as OEM suppliers of Hidromek machines and offer a young and passionate team who provide exceptional after-sales service with full parts backup,” says Ellis. “The testimony of our existing customers and word-of-mouth is our best selling point,” he adds.
Maximum Equipment is proud to announce the launch of their flagship 51 tonne excavator.
The HMK 490 LC HD is the heaviest and most powerful machine on offer from Hidromek and gives Maximum Equipment a genuine heavy-duty mining spec machine to offer to the market.
With an operating weight of 51 tonnes and powered by a 348 HP Isuzu AH-6UZ1X engine and complete with a 3.2m3 bucket, this machine will be a formidable entrant into the mining industry.
Standard on all Hidromek machines, the HMK 490 LC HD comes with features like ROPS/FOPS cab with standard windscreen rock guard. Reverse camera, heavy-duty undercarriage with roller protection, hydraulic hammer lines, nine spotlights for 24-hour operation, SmartLink telematics (which allows for monitoring of the machine via a cell phone), best-in-class cab with air suspension seat, air conditioning, cooler glove box, and radio–MP3 player.
Also standard is Maximum’s 24-month/5 000-hour warranty and 1 000-hour service plan. The first HMK 490 LC HD has already been delivered to a diamond mining operation.
Maximum’s VR50 – vibro ripper attachment
As the HMK 490 LC HD comes standard with auxiliary hydraulic lines, any hydraulic attachments such as vibro rippers, hammers, or crusher buckets can be fitted.
And with Maximum’s 14-year history in hammers and attachments, they are best suited to offer clients the expertise and advice on the machinery requirements, to offer a total solution with the inclusion of a warranty on both machine and attachment, making Maximum a one-stop shop for parts and backup.
The HMK 490 LC HD complements the Hidromek product range, which already includes excavators from 14 tonne to 51 tonne, and includes the class-leading TLBs.
Maximum Equipment will also be expanding their product range later in the year with the launch of the new loader.
TECHNICAL DATA: HMK 490 LC HD EXCAVATOR
About Maximum Equipment
Maximum Equipment started operations in 1997 with the sale and marketing of quality used equipment.
In 2005, Maximum Equipment expanded into the plant hire market, specialising in excavators and attachments, most notably hydraulic hammers.
In 2006, Maximum Equipment secured the sole dealership for southern Africa for the Komac brand of hydraulic attachments and hammers. Komac, based in Korea, is a leading manufacturer of hydraulic breakers and attachments.
Later in 2006, Maximum Equipment added Torpedo, another quality Korean attachment manufacturer to their range.
‘All-terrain’ conversion for Doosan
A new special ‘all-terrain’ conversion on a Doosan DX225LC-5 crawler excavator means tailor-made efficiencies.
A new 22 tonne Doosan DX225LC-5 crawler excavator has been converted into an ‘all-terrain’ machine for contracts being carried out in the Wadden Sea in Germany, by the company Sven Jacobs Tief-, Garten- und Landschaftsbau, based in Tating (Schleswig-Holstein). The conversion of the Doosan excavator supplied by local Doosan dealer, Atlas Hamburg GmbH, was completed by OLKO-Maschinentechnik GmbH from Olfen (NRW).
The main application area for the new all-terrain excavator is the approximately 11.3km-long Hindenburgdamm embankment, which connects the island of Sylt with the mainland in Germany. Around 8.1km of the Hindenburg embankment runs through the Wadden Sea.
To prevent the standard Doosan 22-tonne crawler excavator from sinking into the water, a particularly low ground pressure is required. For this purpose, OLKO-Maschinentechnik was approached to carry out the conversion needed. OLKO has mounted the superstructure of the Doosan DX225LC-5 on an all-terrain undercarriage, not a standard pontoon, to ensure that the full manoeuvrability of the excavator has been maintained.
Individually adapted for customer requirements
Jacobs has been using Doosan excavators since 2014 and the new machine is the fifth Doosan crawler excavator they have purchased. The DX225LC-5 features the same new distinctive engine design that characterises all the excavators in the latest Doosan LC-5 generation and is powered by the proven water-cooled Doosan 6-cylinder DL06P turbo-charged diesel engine that delivers 124kW (168hp) at 1 800rpm. This provides more than enough power and high torque at a lower speed.
The OLKO undercarriage is designed for difficult applications in adverse conditions and on challenging surfaces, such as those found in, for example, wetlands, as well as performing environmentally friendly work in sensitive environments. It also makes it possible to carry out work on lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. The type U/1800 undercarriage used on the Doosan DX225LC-5 has a length of 10.80m, a width of 6.20m, and a height of 2.35m. The undercarriage alone weighs around 27 tonnes and produces a buoyancy of 580kN. It achieves a load capacity of 18 tonnes and a maximum speed of 4km/h.
In addition to the conversion of the chassis, a number of other modifications were made by OLKO. This included fitting the crawler excavator with a 9m boom and a dipper stick 6m in length. The extended reach makes it possible to work underwater without any problems. In addition, a supplementary fuel tank and a shelf for an anchor were installed. To comply with environmental regulations, the machine was converted to biodegradable Panolin hydraulic oil. OLKO ensured that the finished machine is certified with the CE mark and accompanied by the documentation required by the EU Machinery Directive.
Improving operational efficiencies
Improved efficiencies within Transnet Freight Rail significantly reduce lead times of materials to export customers.
HPE Africa — specialists in earthmoving and construction equipment — was awarded a tender by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) to supply 10 specially adapted excavators for its Richards Bay facility, as part of an initiative to improve operational efficiencies at the port.
“TPT selected the 26 ton Hyundai R260LC-9S excavator series for this project, as these robust machines meet specific performance specifications, including best-in-class power and a six-ton lifting capacity throughout the required working cycle, at the required 12rpm minimum swing speed,” says Alex Ackron, managing director of HPE Africa, a part of the Capital Equipment Group (CEG), a division of Invicta Holdings Limited. “The scope of this project required these excavators to be mounted onto mobile straddle carriers, for the efficient unloading of materials — including coal, chrome, and manganese — from freight rail cars.
Straddling design norms
“The TPT-approved straddle carrier design, which was developed through TPT and HPE Africa’s close teamwork, adheres to Transnet’s stringent performance and safety standards. These specially adapted straddle carriers allow locomotives and rail carriages to pass safely beneath the structure. For additional safety, this design only allows the operator to enter and leave the straddle if the excavator is orientated at 35 degrees to the tracks, preventing an unattended straddle from being struck by a moving train. Excavators have also been fitted with specially designed 1.6m³ heavy-duty buckets and 2.5m³ coal buckets, to maximise a railway car’s unloading speed.
“As part of HPE Africa’s commitment to support South African business, approximately 35% of the project value for modifications was outsourced to local businesses within KwaZulu-Natal — easily exceeding Transnet’s local content requirement for this tender,” says Ackron.
HPE Africa commissioned a Richards Bay-based engineering company to manufacture the straddle structures for the Hyundai excavators for this project. According to the lead design engineer at the engineering works, the straddle design is pinned instead of bolted, to ensure quick assembly time and reduced maintenance requirements.
To meet specific Transnet specifications, these Hyundai excavators were supplied with an enhanced operator cab, featuring an improved suspension seat, operator-friendly control cluster, reverse camera, and Hyundai’s Hi-Mate telematics system. Besides being re-painted the Transnet red, these machines have an efficient centralised greasing and fluid maintenance system. Other features include a VEI load weighing system, operator presence and engine protection system, LED lighting, and a bucket cylinder protection system.
According to Prakash Ramsumuj, project manager for Transnet, it was critical to minimise the period between the arrival of a freight train and unloading of materials. Improved efficiencies within Transnet Freight Rail significantly reduce lead times of materials to export customers. “Due to our challenging operating requirements and the extremely corrosive environment in the port, Transnet and HPE Africa engaged in a highly effective joint design review process after the tender award,” he adds.
Close collaboration between HPE Africa and Transnet enabled the assembly of all 10 specialised excavators before the Transnet operational deadline at the end of August 2018.
These Hyundai excavators enhance TPT’s existing fleet of 22 ton Hyundai HL770-9S wheel loaders, which have exceeded performance expectations in arduous Transnet port environments since they were purchased almost four years ago.
HPE Africa, which is the sole distributor in southern Africa for Hyundai Construction Equipment, as well as Soosan hydraulic hammers and McCloskey crushing and screening units, offers a nationwide sales, spares, technical, and maintenance/repair service.
When size does matter
LiuGong’s 990F, with its 90 tons operating weight, is one of the few models of this size available in the market.
LiuGong’s wide range of excavators vary from operating weights of 3.8 tons to 90 tons, and include zero tail and compact excavators, medium-sized 20–30 tons with standard and long-arm options, as well as heavy-duty models in the 36-ton to 90-ton range.
In 2016, LiuGong introduced its 945E and 950E model excavators to the sub-Saharan Africa market — the first of LiuGong’s ‘big size’ excavators ranging between 45 and 50 ton operating weights. The following year, the 970E made its debut as the largest in operating weight in platinum mining in South Africa.
Since then, the 950E and 970E have played a leading role for LiuGong in the mining industry, increasing market share through their use in gold, coal, and platinum mines.
LiuGong’s joint venture with Cummins Engines in 2013 led to improved engine production, increased efficiencies, and enhanced parts management for their global operations.
The 950E model is equipped with QSM11-type Cummins engine, and can reach up to 400hp gross engine power, with EGR cooling system and Cummins patented VGTTM turbocharger, which continuously varies the airflow boost to precisely match engine rpm and load demand for optimal performance. The advanced hydraulic system-proven negative flow hydraulics optimises the main control valve and cylinders, and improves the speed of the front-end working equipment, while cutting down on the hydraulic system’s damper loss, resulting in a much better working efficiency.
The 970E with 481hp Cummins QSX15 engine is a power boost with 4.3m3 standard bucket capacity and is extendable for lighter material operations such as coal.
LiuGong’s big size range is not limited to the 36–70 tons range — LiuGong rolled out 990F, with 90 tons operating weight, powered by a Cummins EFI engine with a rated power of 447kW, combined with a 5.6m3 bucket, making it one of the few models of this size available in the market.