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New for 2009: excavators

Hyundai will have the world release of its Dash 9 excavator range at ACE. The first two arrivals will be the 21-tonne R210LC-9 and 29t R290LC-9, although other new models may also be shown. The new range features Tier 3 engines and a remote long-life engine oil filter located with the hydraulic oil filter for ease of access. Hyundai’s Hi-Mate remote GPS service tracking and machine status system is integrated into the range, and buyers will receive a complimentary two-year licence.The frame has been re-engineered for enhanced structural integrity and belly guards provide added protection.An interactive 7-inch colour touch screen cluster can be customised by the operator to display information from a comprehensive self-diagnostic, analysis and monitoring system. It also shows video from a rear-facing camera.An air suspension seat, rated for 200kg with a good range of tilt and other adjustment, will be standard for orders placed from the second quarter. The cab and engine bay have improved sound suppression material. Other features include a maintenance checklist for daily operation and service, a start-up locking device, and adjustable power and hydraulic flow control. The hydraulics system has safety valves for arm and boom cylinders, and an overload warning device. The cooling capacity of the HVAC system will be upgraded.Volvo now has dedicated forestry excavators with factory-fitted protection packages available. These are being sold as the FC series and incorporate a purpose-built reinforce undercarriage with extensive guarding, a heavy-duty forestry boom and arm with guarding for cylinders and lights, and heavy superstructure guards.Other new products to the Volvo excavator line are the short radius ECR145C (15 tonnes, 69 kilowatts) and ECR235C (24t, 110kW), providing Volvo with entrants in these popular sizes of the growing short radius sector of the excavator market.Volvo’s pipelayers, which have some excavator DNA but are purpose-designed for the task, should reach Australia this year. These are an original concept and will be closely watched.Although Komatsu’s Dash 8 excavator range has been out for a while now its smallest machine, the 13t PC130-8, has only recently gone Dash 8. It has a high level of standard fittings, such as quick hitch and hammer piping, hose burst protection, rear-facing camera, and both internal and external emergency stop buttons.Caterpillar recently altered the designation of two of its excavators, with the 325D and 330D becoming the 329D and 336D respectively. These changes more accurately reflect the operating weight of the machines, and were accompanied by a standard heavy duty boom and stick on the 336D, and a more powerful (152kW) engine in the 329D.This year there will be two new models in the Sumitomo range distributed in Australia by BT Equipment, one a replacement and the other a new model, but details and timing are not yet available. BT Equipment introduced the Dash 5 Sumitomo excavators in 2008, and these machines are starting to roll out now.Clark Equipment is now confirmed as the distributor of Doosan excavators and wheel loaders, and has good stocks available. The current ranges in these machines were well received when released, and the currency changes appear to favour Korean equipment.Kobelco will exhibit through its new Victorian dealer Melbourne Tractors at the ACE exhibition – the first time in many years that Melroad has not displayed the brand. The new dealers were recently been taken for a tour of the Japanese factory.Liebherr is looking to promote some of its specialist excavators in Australia. A used tunnel excavator with special boom for operating in confined spaces is working in Brisbane, and Liebherr sees further potential for this type of machine.It also offers specialist materials handlers for the scrap industry. These have the basic appearance of excavators, but the boom and cab configurations are purpose-designed for the application, and these machines are designed to operate on a heavy duty cycle. Although more expensive than an excavator-derived machine modified post-factory, they are designed to stand up to round-the-clock operation in a demanding environment.

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