Capital Equipment News

The first unit of the upgraded Hidromek HMK 220 LC excavator – which pushes the 20 t class envelope with an array of standard features that set it as the ultimate tool carrier – has been delivered to a South African contractor by Maximum Equipment in a deal that restates the significance of relationships and trust in buying decisions, writes Munesu Shoko.

Versatility and flexibility have always been part of the excavator’s lexicon. Yet, Hidromek has pushed the envelope with its latest design iteration on its 20 t class size machine, the upgraded HMK 220 LC. This is a fully-spec’d machine that has a special design focus on increased versatility through its ability to carry a full range of attachments. Standard hammer lines and an in-line filter – features that normally come as optional extras on competitive brands – are testimony to the machine’s ultimate tool carrier attribute.

Unleashing the ultimate tool carrierMaximum Equipment, the authorised dealer of the Hidromek range of excavators in South Africa, has since delivered the first machine of the upgraded version in South Africa to Sinethemba Construction, a KwaZulu-Natal based contractor, in a deal that further reiterates the significance of long-term relationships and trust in the equipment business. Allan Schonken, owner of Sinethemba Construction, first dealt with Vaughan Ellis, MD of Maximum Equipment, as far back as 1994 during Ellis’s working days as a salesperson, initially selling Hyundai construction machinery. When Ellis moved to join Doosan South Africa, Schonken further purchased several Doosan machines from Ellis.

“We have stuck together for so many years because of the mutual trust and respect,” says Ellis. Schonken has since purchased his first Hidromek excavator from Ellis. “It’s a 23-year old relationship which demonstrates that trust is very critical in this business.” Due to the more than customer-supplier relationship the two have forged over the years, the recent delay in the delivery was a non-issue. The machine’s delivery, which took place in mid-November, was delayed by almost a month due to docking issues as a result of the heavy storm that affected the Durban harbour at the time.

Sinethemba Construction will deploy its newly-acquired Hidromek HMK 220 LC excavator on its range of government contracts in KwaZulu-Natal that include water projects, as well as housing and general infrastructure development projects in the province. The machine will be used across an array of applications, including trenching, pipelines, waterworks and general infrastructure. For optimum flexibility across the varied applications, it has been supplied with a quick coupler, a trenching bucket and a hammer. Ellis reiterates that one of the key considerations in Schonken’s buying decision was the machine’s ability to carry a wide range of attachments.  

Tool carrier

In today’s operating conditions, customers want to do more with a single machine and be more productive. Ellis shares that this is exactly the thought process behind the development of the HMK 220 LC’s configurations. To allow for a range of attachments on the machine, it comes fully spec’d with hammer lines and an in-line filter as standard.

These features come with no added upfront costs and definitely make this machine a great value offering for contractors who are already cash strapped, especially considering the tough economic conditions. Ellis argues that many competitive machines in the market only offer these features as optional extras.

Meanwhile, all fabricated parts of the HMK 220 LC have been designed and produced as heavy duty type. “It’s a heavy duty machine, probably the heaviest in its 20 t class. It has an operating weight of 22,3 t, allowing it to carry heavy duty attachments such as hydraulic hammers and crusher buckets. This is complemented by the fact that it comes factory-fitted with crucial hammer lines and an in-line hydraulic filter,” says Ellis.

Hammer lines allow for immediate installation of hydraulic attachments, while an in-line filter guards against particle contamination of the hydraulic system. Contamination of hydraulic oil, mostly when using hydraulic attachments, can be detrimental as it reduces the service life of hydraulic components.

Fully spec’d machine  

Apart from hammer lines and an in-line filter, the HMK 220 LC is fully spec’d with an array of standard features such as the cab guard and reverse camera. “These are some of the features you don’t get as standard on competitive machines,” argues Ellis.

Safety is paramount importance on Hidromek machines. The machine is said to be the only one on the market that comes with a total of nine spot lights as standard, a reverse camera, factory-fitted beacon light and a cab guard.

Another feature that sets this machine apart from the competition is that it comes with a 1,2 m³ bucket, compared with the usual 0,8-1 m³ synonymous with the 20 t excavator range.

According to Ellis, when times are this tough, companies tend to consider the initial upfront cost as a major factor in the decision process, at the expense of the total value offering of the machine. He reasons that there are several other crucial things to consider when it’s time to gear up – usage, availability and more importantly, the total value offering.

 “The competition’s machine may look cheaper considering the upfront cost alone, but it’s more important to look at the spec of the machine, the strength and performance and the durability of the Hidromek. Most rival machines don’t have features like hammer lines, reverse camera, in-line filters and cab guards. To do an aftermarket installation of hammer lines with an in line filter alone would cost between R120 000 and R150 000 as well as other several features that come standard on the HMK 220 LC,” says Ellis.

Apart from the mentioned features, the HMK 220 LC comes with a 1,2 m³ bucket, compared with the 1 m³ bucket on the other brand’s machine. Moreover, the Hidromek machine is powered by a 6-cylinder Mitsubishi engine, delivering 110 kW of power.

Recently at a construction site, they did a comparison with a competitive premium 20 t machine. “The competition’s machine is consuming about 20,9 l of diesel per hour, while the Hidromek machine is consuming about 15,45 l per hour. This is also considering that the competition’s machine comes with only a 1 m³ whereas the Hidromek machine comes with a 1,2 m³,” explains Ellis, adding that this equates to 20% more production and 25% more fuel efficiency when using the Hidromek machine.  

“Hidromek is not about price, it’s all about the knowledge of its features and benefits. It’s all about making an informed buy,” reasons Ellis. “Customers should be able to earn a quick return on their big ticket purchases, and this is achievable with Hidromek machines.”

Apart from a reliable product, Maximum Equipment also offers superior warranty and full parts back up for its Hidromek excavators. “Our standard warranty is 12 months unlimited hours on the machine, extended to 24 months or 5 000 hours on the drive train as well,” says Ellis. “We also provide a free 1 000 hour service plan on all new machines. We have a full stock of parts and service exchange components to back up the machines.”

More features

As part of Hidromek’s focus on producing a reinforced heavy duty machine, the HMK 220 LC comes with an X-shape box type sub-frame said to offer greater resistance against bending forces and vibration stress because it homogeneously distributes the stress exposed on it. 

Meanwhile, the lower rollers are connected to the sub-frame by pentagon shape fittings, enhancing the strength of the frame and its lifetime, too. The standard long track undercarriage maximises the balance of the machine by providing a durable platform for the machine to work on. Two roller housings on each track keep track chains in straight direction and therefore prevent corrosion of lower rollers.

Several features on the HMK 220 LC have a great focus on the operator. The machine’s main control valve ensures sensitive and vibration free operation in each combined movement. The operator is able to focus only on his work since the priority at the arm, boom and swing movements are provided automatically by the control valve, thus maximising efficiency. The regenerative system prevents cavitations during boom, arm and bucket movements and increases both the life of the hydraulic system and speed of the machine.

“One of the key improvements on the upgraded version is a brand new air suspension seat which automatically adjusts to the operator’s weight,” says Ellis. “The machine also comes with improved hand rails for increased safety.

One-stop shop

As part of its quest to offer a one-stop shop service, Maximum Equipment has a full range of attachments in its stable. “We have a full line of attachments and a solution for every need. We can cater for all our customers’ applications, all the way from materials handling, through to civils construction and mining,” says Ellis.

In Komac and Torpedo, Maximum Equipment has a full range of Korean-made hydraulic breakers that can meet a wide range of customers’ needs. “We also supply our own Maximum viper ripper attachment, which is a product out of Korea we have branded ourselves,” says Ellis. This is a heavy duty hydraulically activated ripper tooth which uses centrifugal force generated by eccentric axis rotation which penetrates and breaks material faster and more efficiently than hydraulic hammers.

The Fine Technology excavator rock drill, the EX-Drill series is said to provide customers with economical and efficient performance with multiple functions and wide working range using hydraulic excavator power only. The Rock drill  adds a further dimension to the excavator versatility and can be used as and when required for general drilling applications.  

“We also supply a range of crusher buckets, rotary cutters and compactors from Simex, an Italian manufacturer. Their range of cutting heads are ideal for trenching in hard and compact ground, concrete or rock wall profiling, quarrying, demolition and dredging,” concludes Ellis.

Contact Capital Equipment News

Title: Editor
Name: Munesu Shoko
Email: capnews@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Elmarie Stonell
Email: elmaries@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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