2004 Excavator Specs

Excavators have long been the mainstay of many construction fleets, and the numbers are increasing. U.S. consumption of hydraulic excavators is expected to reach nearly 30,000 units this year (up over 15% from 2003), with more than half of those units consisting of compact models (under 20 tons). There are also 29 primary excavator suppliers in the market today — making a careful comparison of operating capabilities even more critical.

But spec'ing an excavator goes beyond comparing numbers. Many other factors can impact excavator performance, with one of the biggest being maintenance. Proper preventive maintenance is essential to keeping these machines in peak operating condition. However, maintenance that is difficult to perform often doesn't get done.

We've asked excavator suppliers to provide a description of features specifically designed to reduce maintenance requirements and/or make service easier to perform. You'll find many of their responses included with the spec listings.

Caterpillar Inc.

Caterpillar Inc. designs and manufactures more than 30 excavator models ranging from less than 2- to 360-ton operating weight. Various configurations of front ends and undercarriages and an array of buckets and other work tools are available. The new rubber-tired C-Series excavators feature high mobility and the ability to work on paved surfaces. Several tracked excavators feature a reduced swing radius for enhanced ability to work in tight areas.

Bobcat Co.

Bobcat G-Series excavators offer improved service life of the undercarriage components and boom. Tighter tolerances on pivot points at the base of the boom and on the boom swing cylinder give all models improved wear characteristics. Improved tempering methods also extend the service life of the excavator track rollers.

Brokk Inc.

The Brokk line of demolition robotic excavators is primarily used for confined space demolition applications. Features to reduce maintenance requirements and extend component life include a stronger arm system and outriggers, improved cooling system and better protection of cylinders and hoses. Other improvements have also been made to maximize strength and durability.

Daewoo Heavy Industries America Corp.

The fuel-efficient Daewoo Solar-V Series excavators offer increased durability and reliability for any type of application. The computer-based Solar Monitoring System (SMS) allows the user to easily diagnose servicing issues, as well as schedule oil changes and monitor the condition of the machine as it relates to the hours placed on the excavator.

Case Construction Equipment

The Case CX excavators feature 5,000-hour hydraulic oil change intervals and a 1,000-hour oil filter change interval. The Easy Maintenance System, an improved lubricated, impregnated bushing and plated pin, extends lube intervals to 1,000 hours. Features to extend component wear include electronically controlled engines on the CX210 through CX800, centrally grouped grease fittings, cushion control to eliminate shock at the end of the cylinders and track adjusters.

Gehl Co.

Gehl’s line of excavator models range in size from 1.5 to 12 tons with power ratings from 23.7 to 98 hp. Dozer blades, a two-speed drive system and ISO/SAE pattern selector valve are standard equipment. All models feature an advanced high-output hydraulic system that allows simultaneous multiple hydraulic functions without loss of power or speed.

Takeuchi Mfg.

Takeuchi’s 5.5-ton TB53FR combines zero tailswing with a side-to-side (STS) offset boom system that allows the operator to slew 360° within inches of the machine width. The STS boom and low center of gravity provide the same digging speed, power and visibility as the company’s conventional excavators. The tilt-up operator’s station on the TB53FR and several conventional models allows for quick, easy access to the engine compartment, hydraulic pumps, valve bank, hoses and filters.

Kobelco Construction

Kobelco’s full-size machines offer long-life, low-maintenance attachment bushings in the boom foot, cylinders and arm pivot, allowing for increased greasing intervals. On the SK Series excavators, standard onboard diagnostics permit reading of system pressures, sensor voltages and engine characteristics. In addition, the time since the last engine oil, fuel filter, hydraulic filter and hydraulic fluid change can be determined at the press of a button.

John Deere Construction & Forestry Co.

The C-Series excavators feature powdered metal oil-impregnated bushings, tungsten carbide coating and reinforced resin thrust plates that extend greasing intervals for boom and arm joints to 500 hours. Maintenance intervals have increased to 500 hours for engine oil/filters and 4,000 hours for hydraulic oil. Standard heavy-duty cooling systems feature welded tube to header joints, steel top tanks and wide fin spacing to reduce plugging.

Thomas Equipment Ltd.

Thomas mini-excavators feature a central lubrication system that allows for lubrication of the slew gear, slew bearing and swing cylinder head pin all from a single location on the side of the swing frame. The engine compartments feature open, unobstructed space, providing total service accessibility. High-capacity oil coolers and large-volume hydraulic reservoirs ensure cool operation in all weather conditions.

Yanmar Construction Equipment

The Yanmar Vi0 Series offers true zero tailswing to prevent hood and body damage. Hydraulic hoses are tucked away in the inner boom and Codura covered to prevent damage. Short-pitch (rubber) tracks reduce cracks and component wear. The series also offers a guard for the boom, swing and blade rods, an alarm system monitor for fuel, water, oil pressure and voltage and a large hood for easy access for routine maintenance.

Komatsu America Corp.

Komatsu’s newest excavators feature design elements and components to increase machine life and equipment durability. For example, the PC400LC-7 features larger castings at critical stress points to strengthen the boom and arm. New excavators also feature extended service intervals, onboard diagnostic equipment and easily accessible regular maintenance and service points (filter, fluid checks, etc.).

Kubota Tractor Corp.

The Kubota compact excavators feature ground level access through wide open panels to easily reached service items. The two-piece dozer cylinder and boom cylinder hoses are shorter, and reduce replacement time by up to 60%. Bucket cylinder hoses are hidden inside the arm and, in models such as the K008-3 and KX41-3, the boom cylinders are mounted on top of the boom for protection.

Hyundai Construction Equipment

The Hyundai R140W-7, R170W-7 and R200W-7 wheeled excavators feature an improved Computer Aided Power Optimization (CAPO) management system that includes new mode controls and a self-diagnostic display system that provides technical information for 48 distinct functions. The units also feature a completely redesigned cab and enhanced hydraulics for longer component life.

New Holland Construction

The standard boom on the New Holland EH160 and EH215 excavators features a reinforced heavy-duty boom and arm. These models also come with a standard lower undercarriage guarding package to prevent dirt and debris from getting into the access area for the swivel joint. Other features on the company’s line of full-size excavators include onboard diagnostics, low-maintenance modular hydraulic filtration and long-life, graphite-impregnated bronze attachment bushings that extend greasing intervals.

Terex Construction

The main boom cylinder on Terex excavators is mounted on the top/backside of the boom for protection and the cylinders are mounted with the rod down to prevent dirt and debris from entering the barrel. All boom cylinder functions (except bucket dump) are cushioned, and the cylinders are mounted on spherical bearings for greater shock absorption. The large hood is lockable and provides access to all service points. All daily maintenance points and hydraulic test ports can be easily reached at the rear of the machine.

IHI/Compact Excavator Sales LLC

The IHI’s angled crawler frame design inhibits dirt from caking onto the surface and promotes drainage. This also extends the life of the undercarriage and its components. A shockless valve provides smooth movement when operating the arm and boom, which promotes longevity of seals and bushings. The rubber track life has been extended by reshaping the space between the rollers and the lower frame.

Volvo Construction Equipment

Volvo hydraulic crawler excavators feature the Advanced Control System (ACS), which balances engine power with hydraulic pump output to provide maximum production with minimal fuel consumption. Greater digging and lifting forces are the result of high-torque engines and the ability to drive a unique hydraulic system so that both high pressure and flow are achieved. The hydraulic quick-coupler system allows for quick, easy attachment changes from inside the cab.

The Gradall Co.

The Gradall Model 4300-II 45,000-lb.-class hydraulic excavator features a tilting, telescoping boom, plus wheeled mobility both on and off paved surfaces. High-pressure, load-sensing hydraulics deliver the power and cycle times required for the particular task. A 166-hp turbocharged Deere engine powers the working upperstructure and the four-wheel-drive undercarriage. Most service points are accessible from ground level.

JCB Inc.

JCB’s new JS220 excavator is fitted with an intelligent Advanced Management System (AMS) that records key operating data and controls all major machine functions, including engine speed, pump power, auto idle, wiper and auxiliary circuits. A Plexus filtration system filters hydraulic oil down to 1.5 microns. A single oil filter replaces the two previously used, plus oil and filter changes between engine services is now set at 500 hours.

LBX Co., LLC — Link-Belt Excavators

The Link-Belt LX Series and Spin Ace Series excavators are designed to maximize productivity and minimize operating costs by utilizing advanced technology. The exclusive Nephron hydraulic oil filtration system eliminates contaminants of 1 micron or more in size, reducing hydraulic system breakdown, reducing wear and tear and extending hydraulic oil replacement to every 5,000 hours. This equates to a more than $2,000 savings in filter and maintenance costs over 5,000 hours.

Liebherr Construction Equipment Co.

Liebherr excavators using the Liebherr diesel engines provide easily accessible maintenance points, all on the same side of the engine. A centralized lubrication point makes routine lubrication easy. The integrated automatic flow adjustment facilitates quick attachment changes by allowing flow settings to be changed with a simple selection in the cab. Machine status is displayed on the LCD screen in the cab and can be downloaded at any time.

Terex Construction Americas

The new Terex TXC Series hydraulic excavator line is equipped with quiet, fuel-efficient, turbocharged, Tier II-compliant diesel engines. The e-POS System uses variable-displacement piston pumps for high efficiency and lower fuel consumption. A swing anti-rebound valve assures quick, precise and smooth directional stops during dumping or cradling. An advanced graphic display LCD information monitor panel makes troubleshooting easier and simplifies machine performance recordkeeping.

Mustang Mfg. Co. Inc.

Mustang has recently upgraded several models in its line of 12 compact excavators. Improvements to the operator station include easy to read instrumentation and ergonomically designed levers and seating. Increased lift capacities, digging depths and breakout forces are also among the improvements the line has seen in the past year.

Vermeer Mfg. Co.

Vermeer compact excavators are designed for ease of service — from easy access filter locations to remote grease lines. The units are equipped with Kubota engines. The boom has all greasable pins and bushings. The hydraulic oil tank level is visible from a machine walkaround, and the tank is mounted at a level to keep heat and viscosity at recommended values. Warning lights on the dash alert to low oil and high temperatures in the engine and hydraulics.

Ditch Witch

Five MX family mini-excavators have been added to the Ditch Witch line of underground construction equipment. Models range from .9 to 4.5 metric tons with digging capabilities from 4 ft. 11 in. to 13 ft. deep. These rugged, versatile units are easy to operate and maintain and accommodate a range of attachments. A tight tailswing design facilitates work in confined areas, and removable counterweights provide true zero tailswing.

Badger Equipment Co.

Badger’s excavator line-up includes the 460 and 670 Hydro-Scopic models featuring five working functions: the boom hoists and telescopes, the excavator swings and the bucket tilts and curls. All these operations can occur simultaneously — even while the carrier is in motion — under full control from the excavator cab. Both units are offered in 6x4 or 6x6 truck-mounted versions.

Coyote Loader Sales Inc.

Coyote Loaders introduces a line of efficient, powerful mini-excavators. Six sizes range in operating weights from 1,676 to 16,868 lbs. and offer engine power ratings from 7.4 to 60 hp. The units are available with a variety of attachments, including an auger, breaker, buckets and clamps, grapple, cutter crusher, plate compactor and ripper.

Hitachi Construction And Mining Products

The Zaxis 800 includes a reshaped X-beam track frame, D-type frame and rigid cab bed that work with silicone-filled rubber cushions to reduce noise and vibration. A Boom Mode switch allows the operator to dampen the amount the excavator body can be lifted or pulled by the front of the machine, further reducing vibration and shock. All Zaxis models feature the MIC (Machine Information Center), which monitors and stores various operational data.