Hitachi buckets and quick couplers, specifically designed for the company’s ZW wheel loader range, are rising in popularity in the competitive Norwegian market. This development is supported by the Hitachi buy-back scheme for wheel loaders, and has been helped by the expertise of local authorised Hitachi dealer, Nasta, and its partnership with Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV (HCME).
Improved productivity and reduced fuel consumption are among the main benefits for owners, as Nasta Product Manager Ole Kristian Skauan explains: “Wheel loaders generally have a cycle time of 30 seconds – and our customers can save up to two seconds per cycle if they choose a Hitachi bucket.”
Choosing the optimum bucket for the machine – as well as the application – also impacts on fuel consumption. “A wheel loader can use up to 90% of its fuel to load the bucket,” he adds. “Therefore, it’s important for the bucket to be made for the material it should load.”
Peace of mind
As well as convincing owners, Nasta has held events (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic) to inform operators of the advantages. The growing confidence in Hitachi wheel loaders and buckets is supported by the Hitachi buy-back agreement. “It shows that HCME and Nasta have trust in the product,” says Ole, “and gives the customer financial security and peace of mind for the machine’s lifetime.”
Nasta and HCME offer a wide variety of buckets to customers, with standard versions in stock for the smaller ZW150, ZW180, ZW220 and ZW250-6 models, and tailor-made buckets for the larger machines with short lead times of 20-25 days. “Quarries are our core business in Norway, and half of the Hitachi buckets sold between 2017 and mid-2020 were for the ZW310, ZW330 and ZW370-6 models,” says John van der Zanden, HCME Attachment Specialist.
Herstua Grus AS purchased two Hitachi wheel loaders – a ZW310 in August 2018 and a ZW370-6 with a Hitachi bucket in October 2019. Both machines are based in a quarry and waste handling site, north of Gardermoen Airport near Oslo, working with a variety of materials such as gravel, blasted rock, soil, sand, concrete and iron.
Owner Tore Wethal says: “We have a really nice group of orange machines here at Herstua. We have been really pleased with after-sales and the team at Nasta, so we’ll continue to buy orange.”
The company chose a Hitachi bucket for its latest Hitachi wheel loader based on advice from Nasta and the experience of another quarrying customer, who has the same Hitachi bucket for two of its ZW370-6s. “Those machines are operated about 400 hours a month each, which is twice the average,” says Ole.
“Herstua chose the same bucket as this customer with a bolt-on cutting edge, and it now has 1,500 hours without having yet turned the bolt-on edge, which is impressive. They’re extremely satisfied with the quality of the bucket and can change the bolt-on cutting edge easily after wear. It’s much easier to change than one that has been welded on, and it makes the bucket last longer.”
This is one of many customers benefitting from the winning combination of wheel loader, bucket and quick coupler all manufactured by Hitachi. “Having the same manufacturer ensures a perfect fit and an optimum performance,” says John. “And supported by the Hitachi buy-back scheme, it means a lower total cost of ownership.”