Product feature: Sunward SWE90UF excavator

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

A quick look at a new-model Sunward SWE90UF excavator

The Sunward excavator brand has been established in New Zealand through distributors Endraulic Equipment since 2006 and have proven themselves a popular choice with utility companies, thanks to their robust design and features, which make their value-for-money pricing an attractive proposition.

Drainlayers and plumbing contractors are one such market segment that the Sunward brand seems to have a tight grip on. One of the reasons for this appears to be the non-allegiance to some of the more well-known brands, with aforementioned buyers often selecting Sunward on the recommendation of other business owners in the same industry.

Reliable machinery

One such company that has chosen Sunward mini excavators is Supreme Plumbing Ltd. Based out of West Auckland and servicing the entire Auckland region, the business undertakes a wide scope of work from the initial drainage works through to the finished fittings on new builds, as well as a wide range of custom work in some of the more affluent Auckland suburbs.


There are three Sunward excavators currently in the company. Supreme purchased their first two-tonne machine (SWE20F) from Endraulic Equipment in 2018 and have since added a 1.8-tonne (SWE18UF) and 5.6-tonne (SWE60UF) mini excavator to the fleet.

"The reason we decided to get our own mini excavators was that with our wide scope of works, we felt the need to ensure we had machines available when we needed them and to do that it was necessary to purchase," says company owner Rob Teina.

Ideal in urban environment

With a significant amount of infill housing being carried out in many suburbs around the country and thanks to changes in building regulations in New Zealand’s largest city, developments in Auckland have also seen a spike in units being shoehorned onto many sites, once the old double-garage and fruit trees have been removed.

And it’s on sites exactly like the one being visited, the latest nine-tonne Sunward SWE90UF is in its ideal environment, Endraulic Equipment says.

Sitting mid-range in the Sunward size offerings (up to 36 tonnes) available from Endraulic, the SWE90UF is powered by a four-cylinder Yanmar 4TNV98C engine rated 46.2kW@2200rpm. The short-tailed SWE90UF looks totally urban-esque surrounded by the numerous open footings, with tradies busily going about their business.

"One of the main reasons we decided to bring this sized-excavator into the country was exactly for jobs like this," says Blair Sargison, director of Endraulic Equipment.

"Quite often general earthmoving contractors will find themselves working on many different jobs sites and sometimes it could be weeks or months before they find themselves on a tight site like the one we’re on today, but plumbing and drainage contractors are working in awkward spots like this every day," says Blair.

Being one of the first of the new models available of the Sunward SWE90UF, Endraulic Equipment has used the opportunity to showcase it to the Supreme Plumbing team, and as Blair puts it, having a larger nine-tonne machine will do the work far more efficiently, but with not a heck of a lot bigger footprint than a machine that weighs a few tonnes less.

"If you take a closer look at this new model, it’s specifically designed for work in close quarters, with the short-tail swing, good-sized blade, and an excellent reach for loading four or six-wheeler tippers," says Blair.

A look over the Sunward SWE90UF spec sheet shows that the footprint of the SWE90UF is 2230mm wide, with a total track length of 2935mm. Tracing a finger further down the list, the machine has a maximum unloading height of 5230mm, with a maximum digging reach at ground level of 7270mm.


Attachment-wise, the excavator comes with two auxiliary pipes, one for constant pressure and the other for the main oil return pipeline. Additionally, anti-drop valves are fitted as standard, while inside the cab, an observer will find all the usual bells and whistles one expects to find in a good-quality machine these days.

"I’m confident even the big boys will be pleased with the comfort and spaciousness inside the fully-enclosed cab, which includes Bluetooth functionality," says Blair.

Servicing and access have been well-considered by the Sunward designers, with wide-opening panels and filters and daily checkpoints all within easy reach.

"One feature we really like on this machine is the electric refuelling pump, which allows the operator to place the pick-up tube into a fuel drum and not have to worry about tipping fuel from a can into the tank," says Blair. "It means fewer chances of spillage and ground contamination."

So, what are Rob’s thoughts on a possible purchase of the larger nine-tonne machine, and does he think it would suit a business such as his?

"I think machines like this could become a popular option for businesses like us that work in close-quartered urban environments and is something we may seriously consider going forward," says Rob.

"We’re very pleased with how this machine has turned out," says Blair. "We have been waiting for something like this for a while now, so I’m really glad it is finally here in the flesh."

"There’s a definite market for this size machine and with the amount of work around on these tight urban sites, I’m confident buyers will find it ticks all the boxes for them."

For more information, call 0800 468 782 or visit

Sunward SWE90UE specifications

  • Operating weight: 8750kg
  • Engine: Yanmar 4-cyl 4TNV98C
  • Power: 46.2kW@ 2200rpm
  • Total length: 6494mm
  • Upper carriage width; 2230mm
  • Total track length: 2935mm
  • Max cut height: 7275mm
  • Max vertical dig depth: 3500mm
  • Max unloading height: 5230mm
  • Max digging reach at ground level: 7270mm

Find new and used machinery for sale in NZ

Keep up to date in the industry by signing up to Deals on Wheels' free newsletter or liking us on Facebook