Product feature: Hidromek 39-tonne excavator

By: Editor, Photography by: Justin Bennett, Video by: Justin Bennett

Deals on Wheels caught up with the latest Hidromek excavator just prior to its delivery to a new home base on the East Coast of the North Island

As you read this, the river and hills around Te Araroa will be listening to the diesel thrum of the newest Hidromek excavator, after East Coast contractors Hicks Bay Drainage recently received delivery of their latest machine.

Part of Hidromek’s latest H4 series, size-wise, the 39-tonne HMK390LCHD sits middle of the excavator range that Magnum Equipment currently distributes, with 40- and 50-tonne machines no doubt destined to reach our shores in the not too distant future.

Bigger than Texas

The European-made behemoth is distributor Magnum Equipment’s largest Hidromek excavator to date and represents what founder and director Liam Field says will make buyers of larger machines look hard and fast at what they are currently being supplied.

To be fair, Liam’s take on the situation can’t be too far off the mark, as we were shown around the Hidromek HMK390LCHD just prior to it being loaded aboard a transporter and heading to its new working life.

All Hicks Bay Drainage machines carry personalisation and operator Will has called the new excavator ‘River’ in honour of his daughter
All Hicks Bay Drainage machines carry personalisation and operator Will has called the new excavator ‘River’ in honour of his daughter

​​"Just take a look at the size of the undercarriage," Liam says, as he whips a ​​Vernier caliper out of his pocket and measures the thickness of steel. "Twenty-six millimetres," he says.

"It’s bigger than Texas."

Liam says the gauge of the steel Hidromek uses in its manufacturing process is indicative of the build quality that the company puts into every machine and where their philosophy is to ensure the equipment is not only fit for purpose but will also have the longevity to outlast other top-end competitor brands.

Damage prevention

As we soon see during the tour of the HMK390LCHD, damage control—or prevention to be more precise—on a machine of this size has been efficiently and tidily carried out with the full-length two-piece track guards that come standard, as does the auto-greasing system.

"For all Hidromeks above 23 tonnes, we have auto-greasing fitted as standard from the factory," says Liam.

"We could have it done here, but we find when the auto-greasing system is fitted directly at the factory, it’s a bit better than having done at a later date."
Keeping with the damage prevention theme are the guards along each of the side rails and on this particular machine will be ideal for the quarry and forestry work it will be carrying out.

The business end

The machine is powered by an Isuzu AQ-6HK1X turbo-charged, intercooled six-cylinder diesel engine that outputs 210kW(282hp)@1900rpm and which is married to double variable displacement axial piston pumps that, in turn, have a maximum flow of 2 x 300 litres per minute.

"The pilot pump has a maximum flow of 28 litres per minute and the operator can adjust the machine to their current job situation through the five working modes," says Liam.

All systems including air-conditioning are viewable through the monitor
All systems including air-conditioning are viewable through the monitor

But what is all this power for unless there’s something to do with it, some may ask? Well, that has been well and truly taken care of with the Robur Ram-Tilt hitch with a 2.2 cubic metre bucket that has been fitted. In the case of Hicks Bay Drainage, there’s absolutely no doubt some serious digging will be going on in the hills around Te Araroa.

"We went with Robur Attachments, as I like the sturdiness of the attachments they make and it aligns with our Hidromek machines," Liam says.

"Like, what would be the point of selling Hicks Bay Drainage this solid well-built excavator if we had some flimsy attachment and bucket on the end of the arm," he says.

There’s a lot in a name

"One thing I like with these new H4 models is the space available for signwriting on the machine," says Liam.

"The company that brought this excavator allocate​s​ a name to all of their machines, and this one is called ‘River’, which is the name of the daughter of the operator. I’m told she fought a battle with a serious illness, so I think it’s appropriate that a fighter like her is associated with a machine and brand that I like to think is tough and resilient as well.

The thickness of steel on the undercarriage measures 26mm
The thickness of steel on the undercarriage measures 26mm

For more information, visit

Hidromek HMK390LCHD specifications

Operating weight



Isuzu AQ-6HK1X turbo/intercooled

Power  210kW(282hp) @1900rpm
Displacement 6 cylinders—7790cc
Emission system EU Stage III
Main pumps Double variable displacement axial piston pumps
Max flow 2 x 300L/min
Pilot pump Gear Gear, 28L/min
Bucket dig force 23,300kgf
Arm breakout 20,400kgf

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