Heavy hitters; one-off and serial

Published 17/4, 2018 at 15:39

Using customised excavators tailored to a job’s specific requirements is a growing trend among demolition contractors. Excavator modifiers such as Kocurek, Soerma TP and Echle Hartstahl have their order books full for many months ahead. PDi’s Andrei Bushmarin sums up the latest developments in the excavator industry.

Bright news from the ‘Black Forest’ 

Based in the famous ‘Schwarzwald (Black Forest) in Germany, Echle Hartstahl is a renowned excavator modifier with a 25 year track record in the business. Its customised machines are being used on work sites in more than 30 countries all over the world. Echle’s latest project involved the customisation of a CAT 352 excavator for the specialist contractor Max Wild. Founded by Max Wild himself in 1955, this family owned firm is one of the Germany’s most established names in demolition and recycling. With a staff of 500, and a fleet of 800 vehicles, it is also one of the biggest in the country. 

Recently the company was awarded a contract to demolish 42 highway bridges with a total area of 40,000m2. To solve this challenging task, the contractor beefed up its already sizable fleet with a CAT 352 excavator. The machine was supplied by CAT’s German dealer Zeppelin. However, since most of the work would have to be done at night and during weekends, certain modifications were needed to make the machine more productive and reliable. Echle Hartstahl was called in for the job. It equipped the CAT 352 with a three step adjustable boom, a tilted cab, chain strippers and its patented retractable FOPS system. According to the contractor, the excavator delivered an outstanding performance on the job thanks to these modifications. 



Soerma TP does 

customisation the French way 

Like Echle Hartstahl, France based Soerma TP Group also started out as a family owned enterprise almost 50 years ago. Having first focused on agricultural machinery, it diversified into the excavator modifying business in the mid 1990s. Today, excavator customisation accounts for some 25% of the group’s turnover. The manufacturer’s most recent ‘tour de force’ is a souped-up version of a Hyundai HX 520 LC model, which will be showcased at Intermat in April. The original machine has been modified at the request of Polemat - a Hyundai dealer located in the Paris area. The redesigned demolisher boasts a 26m boom (with a 3m extension available) designed to carry a 3t work tool. The machine’s other highlights include an additional 4t counterweight, shoring beams and under turret, a tilted cab and a hydraulic boom attachment with two standard positions.  



Hidromek’s HMK 370 LC D

 – a Turkish demolition delight 

Turkey based Hidromek has expanded its GEN series with the addition of the demolition specification HMK 370 LC D model. Like all GEN excavators, the 44.5t machine benefits from the cab having been designed to maximise the operator’s comfort with a large door, a panoramic windscreen, a joystick console, an air suspended seat that can be adjusted in nine positions, ergonomic armrests and in house ‘opera’ operator interface system. An electronically controlled 284hp Isuzu motor and a Kawasaki hydraulic pump ensure optimal fuel consumption in different field conditions. The boom and arm are engineered to provide reliable and efficient operation in high reach applications. Hidromek’s Smartlink GPS based tracking system collects data such as working hours, location, fuel consumption, maintenance intervals and error codes to enable efficient management of the machine.



Hyundai beasts munch a building in Blackpool  

Preston based contractor Pete Marquis employed three Hyundai excavators to demolish a sprawling building on the outskirts of Blackpool. Built from heavily reinforced concrete, it was once a home to ‘Ernie’ - the super computer used by National Savings and Investments to pick out the winning Premium Bonds numbers. The star players on the field were two Hyundai R520 excavators and a smaller R480 machine purchased from the local dealer, Taylor and Braithwaite. Brandishing a Geith ripper tooth and a new Rammer 5011 5t hammer, the R520s extracted and broke into manageable pieces the building’s heavy footings before feeding them into mobile crushers. Both machines were supplied with full FOGs guarding to the cab along with superstructure side impact protection. Geith quick hitches, auxiliary pipework and a fixed leg bracket completed the heavy duty demolition specification. 

The smaller R480-9A machine was the last one to be delivered on the scene. Powered by a 12l Cummins QSX diesel engine delivering 277kW, the 48.1t Hyundai excavator was also fitted with a heavy duty 2.5m3 bucket specifically to load a Terex Finlay mobile crusher with the demolition material. Similarly to the larger machines, the R480 was supplied with a FOGs guard and full auxiliary pipework, with the only difference being a Miller hitch in lieu of the Geith couplers. 



JCB to launch new 

series of operator friendly crawlers 

Following a four year development period, JCB is preparing the launch of a new generation of its 220X crawler excavators, also available in demolition specification. The XD demolition version features an operator protection cage in order to shield operators from any falling material. Certified to FOPS Level 2, it is designed to provide maximum protection with limited impact on visibility, with the latter being further enhanced by standard rear view and optional side view cameras. The X Series demolition excavators feature a ‘Side Impact Protection System’ (SIPS) designed to protect the fuel and hydraulic tanks, cooling pack and the hydraulic pump bays. SIPS is fitted down both sides of the machine’s upper structure and bolted on for easy repair or replacement. The bolt on ram guards protects the hydraulic system against damage from debris. Twin track guides are fitted as standard to better protect the track chain of the machine when tracking in arduous conditions. 

Each JCB demolition excavator incorporates a ‘Powercore’ air filter as standard to ensure the engine is provided continuously with clean air, which is essential in dusty demolition and material handling environments. The redesigned cab, which is now 15% larger, features the ROPS frame and all round flat glazing. The 220X series boasts a noise level of 68dB, down from 73dB(A) on the previous generation. The 200mm wider upper structure has allowed JCB’s engineers to mount the main boom in the centre of the machine, rather than it being offset. This reduces stress on the slew bearing and provides increased accuracy for the operator when trenching, as well as also permitting the use of larger buckets without impacting the tracks.



Kobelco beefs up its ‘Next’ range 

Kobelco, a market leader in demolition equipment in Japan, has strengthened its presence in Europe with the launch of two brand new ‘Next’ models. The SK400DLC-10 is based on the acclaimed SK350LC-10, sharing the same turbo charged stage IV compliant engine and a hydraulic system for high performance and low fuel consumption. The SK550DLC-10 is modelled on the larger SK500LC-10 excavator, with both machines coming equipped with Kobelco’s proven ‘Next’ boom system. Four ultra-long attachment configurations allow for high reach demolition applications at up to 24.7 and 27.5m respectively, with the separate boom configuration being used to tackle a building’s lower floors where the concrete is at its thickest. 

The maximum working depth of the SK400DLC-10 is 6,210mm, while the SK550DLC-10 can work up to 6,260mm below ground level. Each boom attachment is reinforced for increased durability and reduced structural fatigue, and has a module structure to simplify the assembly/disassembly procedure. Also contributing to the machine’s longevity, the top plates of the booms are neither drilled nor welded to avoid any additional stresses. Another benefit of the ‘Next’ system is the low height – some 2m - of the ultra-high attachment in the transport position. The demolition specified cab, compliant with FOPS level II, is 30° tiltable. Safety features on these models include the new cab interference prevention system, precluding the work tool from coming into contact with the cab during operation, an alarm system, rear view and right side cameras, a loudspeaker, a falling object deflector and LED lights for increased visibility on site. 



Case unveils its largest excavator at Steinexpo 

Last year, Case Construction Equipment used the Steinexpo demonstration show in Germany to world premiere its new CX750D model - the largest and most powerful excavator in Case’s range so far. The machine comes with an electronically controlled hydraulic pump with larger control and solenoid valves; this boosts breakout forces, as well as increases lifting strength in order to improve responsiveness. The Case intelligent hydraulic system, with four integrated control systems, optimise the machine’s hydraulic power and momentum, resulting in added strength and fuel efficiency. 

Operating at 512hp, the CX750D is available in a standard configuration with a 335kN bucket digging force, and mass excavation configuration with a 366kN bucket digging force. The operator can choose from three work modes – automatic, heavy and speed priority – to ensure the optimal use of hydraulic and engine power. The CX750D achieves Tier 4 Final compliance through a combination of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) technologies without the use of a diesel particulate filter (DPF). An improved cab offers a fully adjustable workstation with a new high back seat for optimal comfort and support. Standard rear and side view cameras feed into a 180mm monitor displaying performance parameters. An optional maximum view three camera system is also available for this model. 



Join our Newsletter

Free Subscription