Hitachi Construction Machinery

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Improving the bottom line

May 26, 2021

H&K Sandnes is an active user of Hitachi’s remote monitoring system for a wide range of its Zaxis excavators. The Norwegian contractor has found that Global e-Service is most beneficial for maximising the efficiency of its fleet of construction machinery.

A buoyant construction industry

(Above, from left to right) Nils Arve Norendal (Nasta), Rune Sandnes (H&K Sandnes) and Torstein Strømmen (Nasta)

Larvik is a town in Vestfold county with a stable climate and one of the highest median temperatures in Norway. It is famous for the discovery of various remains from the Stone Age and its reputation as a summer community with over 4,000 holiday homes in the area.

 

Consequently, Larvik experiences significant tourism and this contributes to a buoyant local construction industry. The headquarters of the authorised Norwegian dealer of Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV, Nasta, is located in the town, along with a host of long- established construction companies, such as H&K Sandnes, which was founded in 1972 by Harald Sandnes and his son Kåre.

Gradual development

They started working on groundworks and drainage projects for new houses and other buildings, which they have continued with to this day. Kåre and his son Rune currently own 60% of the business, with the other two owners, Klaus Øyen and Halvard Eikas, sharing the remaining 40%.

 

When Rune joined in 2000, the company employed 14 members of staff, and after two decades of what he refers to as “gradual development”, the team now numbers 44 personnel. Up to 70% of H&K Sandnes’ annual contracts are for the local government, with the remainder being for privately owned enterprises.

 

Nasta supplied the company’s first new Hitachi excavators, a UH083 and UH063, in the mid-Eighties. More than 30 years later and the current Hitachi fleet ranges from a ZW65 compact wheel loader, ZX65USB-5 mini and three wheeled excavators (a ZX140W-5, ZX145W-6 and ZX170W-5), to eight medium excavators (a ZX85US-5, ZX135US-3, ZX135US-5, ZX225US-3, ZX225USLC-5, two ZX225USLC-6s and ZX290LC-5).

 

Rune is now Nasta’s main point of contact: “The main reasons for continuing to buy Hitachi machines are that the dealer’s service is nearby, they are reliable and have minimal downtime. In addition, the handling is excellent, they are very precise, especially for combined operations, and the hydraulics are incredibly fast.

 

“We particularly like the 14 to 25-tonne Zaxis models, and therefore our main machines are the ZX135US and ZX225USLC. These can carry out everything from our smallest jobs worth €10,000 to our largest jobs at €6,000,000.

 

“If there is ever an issue with a machine, Nasta takes responsibility and the technicians come to our aid as quickly as possible. They are attentive to our needs and respond with a high level of priority. We even have the flexibility to borrow another excavator if required.

 

“Nasta looks at everything from our point of view, and we are extremely satisfied. We have had a strong relationship with them for many years. There is also excellent communication between the operators and the service team – which is most important.”

Increased efficiency

H&K Sandnes has taken out a full service contract and extended warranty with all of its Hitachi machines, which entitles the company to make use of the manufacturer’s wide range of after-sales services. These include easy access to Owner’s Site and ConSite – two remote monitoring systems – which send operational data daily via GPRS or satellite from its excavators to www.globaleservice.com.

 

“The service contracts and extended warranties enable us to keep the Hitachi machines for between five and seven years. It is also beneficial to us, because we know what the fixed costs will be and this enables us to make an accurate forecast.”

 

ConSite is an automatic service report that summarises the information from Global e-Service in a monthly email, such as the operating mode and CO2 emissions. In addition, the ConSite Pocket App shows alerts in real-time for issues arising with machines. These incorporate recommendations on what course of action to take and step-by-step help guides. The app also enables H&K Sandnes to see the location of its fleet.

 

“We have been receiving ConSite reports every month for the past two years and it’s excellent for monitoring emissions, fuel consumption and availability,” explains Rune. “We will certainly continue to increase our usage of this tool in the future, for example to help our operators to use the machines more efficiently.

 

“We monitor the CO2 emission statistics for our local government projects and share these with the operators so that they can take effective action if required. And ConSite can also assist us in analysing the productivity of the operators and machines, although we take the different types of jobs – and how busy they will be – into account.

 

“Finally, the reports are also a useful indicator of the improvements in fuel economy. For example, we can see that there has been a saving of up to one third in fuel costs between the ZX225USLC-3 and ZX225USLC-6. The new machine is excellent and the TRIAS II hydraulic system has certainly helped in this respect – which is so important for the bottom line.”

"We have been receiving ConSite reports every month for the past two years and it’s excellent for monitoring emissions, fuel consumption and availability."

Rune Sandnes
Owner, H&K Sandnes

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