Product profile: Sunward SWE365E excavator

By: Ed, Photography by: Dave Lott, Video by: Dave Lott

A 36-tonne Sunward excavator has found its way into a contractor’s fleet and Deals on Wheels went to see how it is helping their Auckland cleanfill operation

Working cleanfill sites is hard, dirty work; if it isn’t hot and dusty, then it’s sure to be windy and dusty or wet and muddy. The work is not for the faint-hearted and from what I’ve seen, good operations are few and far between.

The Sunward SWE365E excavator makes quick work of clearing out tipped spoil

Located some 30km from Central Auckland, one such good operation is the Pro-Floors Limited cleanfill in Brookby, South Auckland. Used primarily for the progressive civil construction company’s own contracts, the site is also used by external businesses to dispose of their earthworks spoil.

Keeping on top of the continually arriving loads is tip manager Ross Martin with a crew of three spread between the three machines and site office. One excavator works the lower area and higher up and two machines team up to shape the land and handle the smaller trucks.

With the distance of transportation required these days, a lot of fill arrives on truck and trailers or articulated dumpers, so a safe and quick disposal means a separate area is used to accommodate trailered vehicles. Further up, the hill is where the rest of the trucks are sent and it is where we headed to see the Sunward SWE365E excavator working.

The ideal machine

Pro-Floors director Wayne Valder

Supplied by Endraulic Equipment, the 36-tonne excavator makes quick work of clearing out tipped spoil, passing it up to a Caterpillar D6R bulldozer as it blades the material into a continual quick-forming hill.

It goes without saying that the end of winter must be a welcome relief to the operators on this and other cleanfill sites around the country, and even though the temperature is rising, moisture-laden fill will continue to be an issue for some time yet.

Too big of a machine and the operators will have to contend with getting bogged, while equipment that is too small can slow down operations. Many people underestimate the mathematics required to get the ideal machine mix.

The 36-tonne Sunward is kept in near continual use, moving dirt as fast as it is dumped

In this case, the Pro-Floors team reckons they’ve got the calculation correct and the 36-tonne Sunward is kept in near continual use, moving dirt as fast as it is dumped, ensuring the whole operation and the trucks bringing in fill does not stop or slow down.

"One of my mates who has a couple of Sunwards spoke highly of their capabilities, so we thought we’d also see how they could be fitted into our operation," Wayne Valder says. "We did our homework and for us, all the things seemed to add up."

What the Pro-Floors director is saying is that they previously had a smaller machine from a different brand and compared specifications and pricing.

Despite the outer cab guarding, vision and comfort is a key design component

"The decision to go with the Sunward brand came down to us getting a larger, more powerful machine for the price and the back-up service we receive from Endraulic," Wayne says.

Powered by an 184kW Isuzu AA-6HK1XQP engine, the Sunward SWE365E exerts a maximum 249kN bucket digging force when working at full power. Placed alongside its maximum digging reach of 11,370mm, there is probably not a lot of material a machine of this size cannot adequately deal with.

Although, on cleanfill sites, it’s not always about breakout force but sheer speed in removing dumped fill to ensure minimal downtime for the next truck waiting to dump off.

This is where size can count, as the less buckets to remove a tipped load of spoil means the quicker the truck can return with a load. It’s maths 101 at its most simple.

The machine is comfortable to operate

Of course, a buyer’s reasoning also has to take into account that a happy employee is what all owners strive for, meaning that a machine must be reliable and comfortable to operate.

"The operator tells me that he is happy with the machine and hasn’t had any issues. As long as you check them and keep everything greased, there shouldn’t be any problems," Wayne says.

The Sunward SWE365E exerts a maximum 249kN bucket digging force when working at full power

The new SWE365E sits alongside two other 23-tonne Sunward excavators in the Pro-Floors’ fleet of 28-plus excavators and a similar amount of trucks. Both 20-tonne class Sunward machines are used for the numerous civil construction jobs the well-recognised company carries out across the Auckland region.

"We now own five Sunward excavators right from 1.8 tonnes, right through now to the 36-tonne. We’re very happy with the performance of the machines and think they’re value for the type of work we’re using them for," Wayne says.

Sunward SWE365E specifications

Operating weight 35,800kg
Engine Isuzu AA-6HK1XQP
Power 184kW (247hp) @ 2000rpm 
Pumps a2 x piston pumps
Max flow  304L/min 
Max dig reach (standard)  11,370mm 
Max reach at ground  11,170mm 
Max dig depth  7485mm 
Max dig height  10,530mm 
Max loading height  7420mm 
Tail swing radius  3390mm 
Bucket dig force  249kN 
Overall length (arm folded in)  11,175mm
Length of crawler  4945mm 

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Video: Sunward SWE365E excavator 

Click on the video below to check out the Sunward SWE365E excavator in action


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