25 August 2015, 13:17
The first Hitachi ZX350LC-5 high-reach demolition excavator in the UK has been at work on a high-profile project in Wolverhampton. The special application machine was used to demolish a four-storey office block owned by Marston’s PLC in April and May. With an industry-leading reach of 23m for an OEM machine, the excavator has a maximum tool weight of 3,000kg – another advantage over other models in this class.
Andy Baker, Operations Director at Hitachi Construction Machinery (UK) Ltd (HCMUK), says: “The option of a 23m high-reach or two-piece demolition boom gives the ZX350LC-5 greater versatility for our customers. It also provides a comfortable and safe working environment for operators. The sound-suppressed, air-conditioned cab is FOPS-compliant, with OPG front and top guards. It is also equipped with a boom angle indicator, swing angle alarm and HRD overload warning system for safe operation. And the smooth and efficient tilting mechanism on the cab enables greater visibility through the pillar-less window.”
The ZX350LC-5 is the first high-reach model in RM Penny’s fleet. The family-run plant hire and demolition company is a longstanding customer of HCMUK – owner Roger Penny has been buying Hitachi machines for 40 years. His current fleet includes: 23 Zaxis-3 and Zaxis-5 models, including ZX130-5, ZX210-5 and ZX350-5 medium excavators, and a ZW220 wheel loader. He took delivery of the Zaxis-5 demolition machine in March 2014 and by April 2015 it had accrued 1,500 working hours.
The demolition phase of the project in Wolverhampton took approximately ten weeks to complete. The work had to be carried out gradually and precisely due to the scaffolding attached to the exterior walls of the building, which is adjacent to a busy main road. The ZX350LC-5 was fitted with crusher and grapple attachments, and often operated in economy mode to ensure a high level of precision.
Operator Kevin Penny has worked with RM Penny for 35 years and is an experienced user of Hitachi construction equipment. He found the high-reach demolition model straightforward to operate: “The settings for the attachments are pre-set for flows and pressures, so they can rotate steadily and at the right speed. It’s also easy to change attachments because of this.”
Kevin was also impressed by the Zaxis-5 excavator’s comfort and visibility: “Once the door closes, the cab feels like your space – like it has been designed specifically for you. I don’t always need to tilt the cab when working at heights because the visibility through the extended glass panel in the roof is excellent.” A roof window wiper and parallel wipers on the front window ensure excellent visibility and easy cleaning, as does sufficient space between the guard and front window.
The Hitachi ZX350LC-5 is a versatile solution for working on different sites. Changing the front equipment is straightforward thanks to the hydraulic pins, and removing the additional counterweight when required is easily done.
“We can change to the standard front attachment and bucket to load trucks, dig out and finish the job,” explains Kevin. “Previously I operated the larger ZX650, which would be used to demolish two storeys, then moved to another site. The ZX350LC-5 can stay on site for longer and be used for other tasks.”
According to Roger, reliability is the first and most important benefit of the Hitachi Zaxis-5 demolition excavator. “The residual values are also good, better than other brands in the same category. And in terms of service and spare parts, HCMUK has got it right.”
Source: Red International Communication