Cover story: Hyundai R140W-9

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer

Kerry Drainage & Civil has been utilising a Hyundai R140W-9 in order to meet project deadlines in the Auckland suburbs and beyond

Hyundai’s R140W-9 is a great asset in tight and complex urban worksites

Serendipitously, a recent encounter with Hyundai’s wheeled excavator model line in Darwin, Australia and the machine you see on these pages has a direct connection in the form of Kellie Condon.

The two machine fleets might be 5133km apart but Kellie has driven examples from both.

As part of a story for a construction magazine over the ditch, I interviewed Ireland-born Darwin construction company owner, Kenneth Dolan, from Dolan Civil.

Kellie Condon

Kenneth’s fleet includes no less than six wheeled excavators supplied by Porter Equipment’s Australian arm from the Hyundai R140W-9 up to the Hyundai R170W-9. It just so happens that Kellie, who showed me around the compact urban worksite I was visiting in Auckland’s leafy Mount Albert, worked for Kenneth in Darwin before coming to New Zealand in July last year.

Those Irish roots are strong, though, and Kellie (who also hails from the Emerald Isle) is now working her way towards becoming an operational leading hand for Kerry Drainage & Civil, which is owned by Pat McHugh who is… yes, of course, also from Ireland. Well, the company name kind of gives it away after all.

Civil work experts

Kerry Drainage & Civil has proven itself one of Auckland’s most experienced and capable infrastructure drainage contractors, specialising in all manner of complex civil work, including open trenching, directional drilling, micro-tunnelling, and maintenance work, along with cartage and retaining wall construction.

Servicing the wider metro Auckland area, the drainage side of the company’s portfolio generally has one overriding feature: compact, complex worksites in urban or residential areas. While the typical Kerry Drainage & Civil project might not encompass kilometres and kilometres of distance all at once, there are many moving parts, with many stakeholders to acknowledge.

The worksite where I checked out the company’s latest machine acquisition—a new Hyundai R140W-9 wheeled excavator—is pretty typical of the projects the 25-strong Kerry Drainage & Civil team undertakes.

Work on at present for the busy company includes, among other projects, remediation of a collapsed stormwater drain on the North Shore as well as ongoing work on sewage and stormwater infrastructure in Beresford Street in the Central City and another big project over on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

For this type of work, the wheeled excavator comes into its own. "The wheeled excavator is a great machine for what we generally do," enthuses Kellie."There’s nothing it can’t handle. We use it in combination with a variety of attachments; it’s very versatile," Kellie continues.

Kellie preps for a change of attachment

"The big bonus for us in this type of work scenario is that it’s light on its toes. It doesn’t have the same impact on pavement that the tracked excavators might have, and it’s also much less intrusive for residents nearby, as when we’re moving it about the site we’re just dealing with engine noise and not the noise of the tracks as well."

The wheeled excavator has less impact across pavement when working on urban drainage jobs

Kellie says another advantage of having wheels instead of tracks is that it opens up more opportunity to use the attachments—including a tilt bucket and rock breaker—in order to speed up workflow on the site.

"We’re not moving it particularly far on this job as you can see, but we always have one eye on the clock on these jobs, so if we can be speedier across the ground, that’s going to help," she says.

Power and performance

There are five models in the Hyundai wheeled excavator line-up

The Hyundai R140W-9 is the second wheeled excavator Kerry Drainage & Civil has owned, with this new machine having replaced an older one. The Hyundai R140W-9 wheeled excavator has an operating weight of just under 14 tonnes, offering a good mix of grunt from the powerful and reliable Tier 3/EU Stage IIIa-compliant Cummins turbo diesel, as well as heavy-duty drive lines, axles and frames, all within a relatively compact footprint; as useful for roadside operations as in a busy worksite like this.

The mid-size machine (there are five wheeled models in Hyundai’s excavator  line-up, including a dedicated materials handler) arrives with plenty of built-in systems designed to protect the excavator and those around it.

These include features such as an automatic park brake, automatic engine over-heat prevention and an anti-restart function. Hyundai excavators are also well-known for their clever panel access designs for easier servicing and anti-slip surfaces on their superstructures.

Operator comfort

The Hyundai R140W-9 benefits from the manufacturer’s extensive overhaul of the cab design for all ‘dash 9’ series machines. Thanks to stronger-yet-slimmer tubing in the cab frame, every Hyundai excavator cab offers drivers like Kellie a roomy interior with plenty of outward vision; a crucial aspect of working on a tight urban job site.

"It’s a great machine and Porter Equipment made the whole process of purchasing it straightforward," says Kerry Drainage & Civil director, Pat McHugh. "We’ve used a wheeled excavator for a while now and I couldn’t imagine not having one on our fleet.

It’s a very versatile machine, and Porter Equipment offers us flexible service and support when we need it. They’ll work in with us when it’s time for its scheduled servicing, wherever it will be in the city by then."

So, it would appear Porter Equipment has Kerry Drainage & Civil’s back when the rubber hits the road. And you don’t need to travel to the outback of Australia to see evidence of that.

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