Focus On: Compact Excavators

Mini excavators combine power and versatility in a compact piece of equipment. The small size of this piece of equipment allows for it to fit in tight places but is powerful enough to complete a wide range of jobs. Take a look at what manufacturers are offering.

The R-Series Turf Edition from ASV is the first flat track machine capable of doing all the work of traditional wheeled or rubber tracked vehicles. The TE has smooth rubber tracks that allow the equipment to travel over grass and leave it virtually unmarked, while also providing traction for digging and grading. The traction of ASV machines comes not from the treads on the track but from the undercarriage that evenly distributes the weight of the machines.

Bobcat Company introduces the ZHS series compact hydraulic excavators. The 430 and 435 models are the first to have the FastTrack drive system and zero house swing. Equipped with separate piston pumps and high torque drive motors, the FastTrack system replaces the conventional hydraulic drive system found on other excavators. This series also includes dual blade cylinders mounted on each side of the backfill blade. This design reduces the amount of dirt and debris that can build up on the top of the blade structure. Standard features on the ZHS series include a dozer blade with float feature, high-back suspension seat and rubber tracks.

The Case CX75, CX135 and CX225 minimum-swing excavators feature engine power from 52 to 141 net horsepower, bucket digging forces up to 31,698 pounds and tight swing radiuses as little as 4 feet for performance in cramped quarters. The tail-swing radius for these units is 2 feet, 1 inch tighter than for the Case 9007B and the CX130. Tail-swing radius for the CX225 is 3 feet, 5 inches smaller than on the CX210. Dig depths range from 14 feet, 11 inches to 22 feet.

Caterpillar's 304CR compact radius mini hydraulic excavator is designed for work in space-restricted applications. It weighs 9,896 pounds with a cab and 9,786 pounds with a canopy. It delivers 36 net hp and accommodates two stick sizes. When equipped with the optional long stick, the excavator has a maximum digging depth of 12 feet, 4 inches. An aspirated, water-cooled, four-stroke, four-cylinder diesel engine powers the excavator and meets Tier 2 and Stage II emissions requirements.

Daewoo Heavy Industries America Corp. introduces its Solar 75 V, small crawler excavator, which offers digging depths to over 20 feet and dump heights to 22 feet, 7 inches. A Tier II-approved, 53.2 horsepower Yanmar diesel engine drives a load-sending hydraulic system. The hydraulic system features heavy-duty precision pumps and motors and precision hydraulic cylinders with high-strength piston rods and sleeves. All cylinders are cushioned to ensure shock-free operation and long life.

The JK-007 mini excavator from Dongeun is designed for simple inspection and daily maintenance. Its compact design is simple and easy to control and operate for comfortable working conditions. Its operating weights is 3,285 pounds and its bucket digging force is 2,756 pounds. It has a 4-cycle, vertical, water-cooled Yanmar diesel engine.

Gehl offeres the 502, 602, 802 and 1202 excavators, the largest in their compact class. These models have digging depths ranging from 12 feet, 2 inches to 14 feet, 9 inches and have improved hydraulic performance with faster cycle times for enhanced production. Improvements to these models include increaded hydraulic oil and pressure for stronger digging performance and larger operator station with a reconfigured control layout for more operator comfort and increased productivity.

IHI/Compact Excavator Sales LLC offers 13 mini excavators in three styles: conventional, zero tail swing and zero turning radius. Weights of the machines range from 1,700 pounds to 18,000 pounds. Diesel self-bleeding engines power all units except the 7JE, which is an electric excavator. The hydraulic pump system allows simultaneous slewing, travel and boom operation. All units have two-speed travel standard. The NX Series features zero tail swing and the 70Z is a zero radius machine.

JCB Inc.'s 8017 mini excavator has hydraulic gear reduction that provides drive torque for excellent maneuverability. All controls and instrumentation are ergonomically designed and located for maximum convenience, comfort and productivity. This mini excavator has the ability to lift 1.5 tons and has a full 360-degree cab swing. Drive motors provide efficient travel speeds for easy maneuvering in confined areas. Brakes are a multi disc fail safe system within each drive motor.

The new C-Series ZTS compact excavators from John Deere have a zero tail swing design that allows the body of the machine to rotate 360 degrees within the width of its tracks. Each compact comes standard with a quick coupler and auxiliary hydraulics, allowing them to use a wide variety of bucket sizes and attachments. C-Series ZTS compacts can be used for everything from flipping concrete manhole covers to excavating telecommunication systems, elevator pits and underground water retention systems. Other features include large doors that open wide, cooling system, fuel filters and battery.

Kubota Tractor Corporation introduces its first zero tail swing compact excavator for sale in the United States. The 3.5-ton U35 Zero Tail Swing model maintains the stability of conventional tail swing machines by means of a compact track width combined with a specially designed counterweight. This product can work in a space just wide enough for the machine, right up against a wall or fence, and dig a 9 or 10-foot trench. The U35 combines the zero tail swing, independent boom swing and 360-degree house rotation. It has a maximum digging height of 192 inches and a maximum digging depth of 124 inches.

MMD Equipment's zero swing compact excavators are designed to reach restricted jobsites for excavating and demolition. The B7Sigma has a double articulated boom for difficult urban work in densely packed utility jobsites. The B08 ultra-compact excavator will pass through a 32-inch doorway and features a diesel exhaust catalytic purifier option that allows indoor operation. MMD's excavators come in nine models from 2,400 to 17,000 pounds, and from 9 to 57 hp. All have ROPS/FOPS structures or enclosed cabs and feature easy conversion from excavator to backhoe control patterns. Standard dual power take-offs operate a wide range of attachments.

The Polaris Professional Series ASL 300 all surface loader can maneuver into tight spots to help get the job done with minimal surface impact. It is designed with an R-Series Traction and Support System (RTSS) that provided optimal traction by evenly distributing its weight over a larger area. The ASL produces 2.5 psi and its undercarriage platform features 24 rubber-on-rubber track inserts and wheels that reduce wear and extend the track's life. Powered by a 1.5-liter Caterpillar 3-cylinder diesel engine, the Polaris ASL 300 is equipped with ROPS/FOPS protection, a lap bar, seat belt and parking brake.

The new Takeuchi TB135, 3.5-ton model compact excavator, which replaces the TB035, incorporates a variety of new safety and performance enhancing features. Safety features include standard travel alarm, TOPS/FOPS canopy or cab, retractable seat belt and control tower lockout system of the excavator's operating controls and travel levers. Electrohydraulic control buttons for the auxiliary circuit, horn and engine decelerator buttons are all conveniently located on the joystick controls for improved operator comfort and control. It also features a tilt-up operator's platform for quick service access and an engine shutdown/return to idle system, which helps guard against abnormal engine temperature or oil pressure conditions.

Thomas Equipment's new T75 excavator weighs 16,667 pounds and is available with a choice of either rubber or steel tracks. It offers an 11,668-pound breakout force and a digging depth of just under 14 feet. Two-speed travel combined with a 22.5-foot reach and loading height of more than 15 feet ensures quick cycle times. Low noise levels as well as certified ROPS/FOPS cab complete with heater and air ventilation system are standard equipment. For operator convenience, the controls can be switched instantly between ISO and SAE patterns, providing the control system most comfortable and productive for the operator.

Vermeer Manufacturing Company introduces the CX224 compact excavator, one in a line of seven compact excavators. Combined with an independent-swing boom, the machine fits into close confines comfortably and works around walls, footings and other obstacles. For expanded versatility, the boom swing angles to the left up to 55 degrees and to the right up to 80 degrees. Standard operating equipment includes an 18-inch bucket, dozer blade, two-speed travel, rubber tracks and hydraulic pilot controls. A heated cab is available as optional equipment.

Volvo Construction Equipment introduces the EC20B compact excavator, which features a unique load sensing hydraulic system. The system of the B-series produces constant oil pressure and variable oil flow. The horsepower of the machine's engine is precisely matched to hydraulic system requirements to maximize performance levels. The maximum digging depth is 8 feet, 5 inches to 9 feet, 3 inches. The EC20B has a breakout force of 4,159 pounds and a tearout force of 2,810 pounds. The expandable undercarriage extends from 39.4 inches for working on narrow sites to 53.1 inches for greater stability.

Yanmar has added new features to its Vio75 mini-excavator that are exclusive to the 17,000 pound class. A hydraulic quick coupler system that accommodates most manufacturers' buckets is now standard. The unit is also available with factory air conditioning and powered by a Yanmar direct injected diesel engine with Clean & Silent technology rated at 55.2hp/1900 rpm. Left and right boom swing allows digging straight trenches against walls. A flow-control 3-pump hydraulic system with two variable displacement pumps maintains straight and accurate travel speed even when other hydraulic functions are being operated.

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