Hitachi excavator is a mighty mini

  • 12-May-2009 10:39 EDT
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The rear counterweight extends to protect the engine covers of Hitachi's ZX14-3. The covers are easy to remove for access to the Yanmar three-cylinder diesel nestled behind.

Hitachi's new compact excavator, the Zaxis-Series ZX14-3, released at Intermat, is suitable for the rental and light construction markets. Compact dimensions allow for easy transport.

The heart of the little Hitachi is the three-cylinder Yanmar diesel that develops 10.7 kW (14.3 hp) and 49.7 N·m (36.7 lb·ft). This power then goes to two variable displacement axial piston pumps and a single gear pump, which then connect to two fixed piston motors for travel, a single orbit motor for swing, and five hydraulic cylinders for the boom and arm functions. The engine cover allows easy access for all the main engine servicing needs, while the side covers on the body are easily detachable. The fuel tank is 22 L (5.8 gal) for extended runtime.

Underneath the superstructure are the rubber tracks, kept in line with three lower rollers and an upper guide plate on each side. Each track is driven by an individual motor, and the machine can reach 2.1 km/h (1.3 mph).

Anticipating tough working environments, the Hitachi has been designed with D-shaped frame corners to absorb impacts, a reinforced boom cylinder cover, a single large pin for the swing post to reduce backlash, and rubber treads designed for less vibration and greater durability. At the rear, the counterweight also extends past the rest of the cab to protect against bumps while swinging.

The operator is not neglected, as the ZX14-3 comes with simple hydraulic controls, a seat belt, and a small monitoring system. A two-pillar canopy, standard three-pillar canopy, or fully enclosed cab are the choices for operator enclosure. With an enclosed cab, a heater/defroster, radio, and window wiper come as standard. The operating weight with either canopy is 1460 kg (3219 lb) with 27-kPa (4-psi) ground pressure, while the fully enclosed cab adds 110 kg (243 lb) to the operating weight and gives a ground pressure of 29.3 kPa (4.3 psi).

Small size adds to the portability factor, important in the rental market, and the overall transport length with a canopy is 3580 mm (141 in), with a height of 2340 mm (92 in) and a width of 980 mm (39 in).

Two arm lengths are available, 840 mm (33 in) and 1040 mm (41 in). The smaller, standard arm gives a reach of 3490 mm (137 in), digging depth of 1930 mm (76 in), and maximum dumping height of 2220 mm (87 in).

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