The family-owned construction firm specializes in underground construction. It does heavy-highway work for customers such as the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Tollway Authority, O'Hare and Midway Airports and various Chicagoland counties and municipalities, and has recently branched out into private site development.
First impressions of the new machine proved deceiving. While the Hybrid was still in the yard, the contractor's top operator took a turn behind the controls. Initially, he wasn't very comfortable with its operation. "[The engine] takes some getting used to because it idles down. Usually, when it idles down, you think, 'I'm bogging down the machine. I'm doing something wrong.' So you let go of the controls; you ease up," Montemayor explains.
But once the operator got it out on the jobsite, it was a different story. "Typically, when you're asking more from the machine, the computer is revving the [engine] up, whereas, in this machine, it's constant. It's much smoother; it's not as abrupt. It doesn't hesitate.
"When you hear it idle down, you think you're asking too much, but you just [need to] keep going," he continues. "It's just getting used to the feel of the machine. It's a little different, that's all. Once you get past that, it behaves the same [as a conventional excavator]."
With it being just the start of the eight-month demo process, it's too soon to tell what the long-term impressions of the Hybrid may be. But the contractor has demoed other machines in the past and, according to Montemayor, you can usually tell pretty quickly if a machine isn't going to meet expectations. "You know right away," he asserts.
"[With the Hybrid PC200LC-8], they hit the mark with what you're used to getting," he states. "They did do a good job."
Specs at a Glance
Operating weight: 43,643 to 47,260 lbs.
Net engine hp: 138 hp @ 2,000 rpm
Bucket capacity: .66 to 1.57 cu. yds.
Arm digging force (SAE): 27,780 lbs.