October 03, 2017
Ten minutes. That’s how long it took operator Patrik Backström to be convinced that the special application Hitachi excavator he was watching in Italy was the one he needed back home in Sweden.
It might sound like a short amount of time considering the decision – to invest in the first Hitachi ZX350LC-6 with clamshell telescopic arm (CTA) in Europe. But together with contractor Kenneth Koliviken, he had spent months researching the machine and watching videos on YouTube before he visited a similar model on site to see how it performed.
“We thought we would need many additional features – we usually customise our machines in Sweden – but we realised we didn’t need most of the things on our list, says Patrik. “The machine was simply built for the job.”
Now the ZX350LC-6 CTA has been delivered, Kenneth and Patrik can dig deeper than their competitors in Gothenburg, and the new model is much more efficient than the long-reach excavators they used previously for deep shaft excavation.
“The CTA excavator has a longer reach (25m compared to 12-13m) and twice the bucket capacity (1.3m3) of a long-reach excavator,” says Kenneth. It also requires less swing space and does not require the construction of ramps into the shafts for trucks to drive down. “In soft clay, that could be a problem,” adds Kenneth. “This machine makes it much safer, as no roads are required.”
“Safety is of course the main thing,” agrees Patrik. “Thanks to the sliding cab and the floor window, you can see right over the edge of the shaft – it’s perfect.” The cab is positioned 96cm further forward than on a standard ZX350-6 excavator and can also slide a further 130cm, giving a clearer view of the ground below.
“Initially it was a strange feeling to look over the side and into the shaft,” he adds. “It’s more comparable to a crane than a standard excavator. But it just takes practice, like borrowing someone’s car, until you know how it works. After working in the industry for 20 years, it’s nice for me to try something new.”
The first project for the ZX350LC-6 CTA was the extension of the Drottning Silvias Barnsjukhus (Queen Silvia’s Children’s Hospital) in Gothenburg