Cover story: Hidromek HMK 230 MG

By: Steve Atkinson, Photography by: Supplied

A new grader brand is about to arrive on New Zealand shores and Deals on Wheels went to find out more

It was back in 2013 when Hidromek purchased the Mitsubishi grader brand, and in the intervening years have used the well-respected platform as a base to build their own versions of what customers have come to expect from the European equipment manufacturer.

Kiwi grader users will soon get to see the first Hidromek HMK 230 MG grader in the flesh when the manufacturer’s New Zealand distributor Magnum Equipment takes delivery of the first 12-tonne machine during January 2021. And rightly so - there is a high level of anticipation prior to its arrival.

"There is nothing available new of this size in the market, so we are confident that it will find a niche with contractors working those small to medium-sized subdivisions and carpark construction jobs," says Magnum Equipment founder and director Liam Field. "There are a lot of other opportunities for this size grader, but our initial campaign will be for urban use."

Familiarity with a modern twist

Hidromek HMK 230 MG grader i

Powered by a Perkins engine, the HMK 230 MG retains a lot of the characteristic’s users of Mistubishi graders have become familiar with, while at the same time adding what Liam says is the right amount of technology to make the job easier, without overcomplicating it.

"The interior is similar to what people have come to love with Hidromek," says Liam. "It has an air-suspension seat, aircon, sunshades all around, and a huge amount of visibility. They are just really nice machines."

The operator can also keep in touch with what is happening in the outside world with the radio/mp3 player and USB port.

Safety features include a ROPS/FOPS cab, reversing camera and pedestrian proximity warning system, along with a dual independent braking system.

Keeping in touch with that familiarity, the HMK 230 MG keeps its traditional steering wheel and blade control lever setup.

"With the ease of control these graders have, companies that buy this machine don’t have to spend mega-bucks finding dedicated grader operators and could train existing capable staff, adding multi-skilled operator capability to their core business," says Liam.

OPERA control

The Hidromek HMK 230 MG weighs 12,100kg

Similar to other products in the brand’s stable, the majority of operator requirements are accessed through Hidromek’s proprietary OPERA control system. The panel has menus to oversee: overheat protection, power and work modes, auto power-off, error mode registry and warning system, auto pre-heat, auto power boost, idling selection, rear view camera, personal operating code, operating hour registry; along with the usual real-time monitoring of operating parameters, such as oil pressure, temperature and engine loading.

Power, moving and stopping

The blade stands 530mm tall

As mentioned previously, Perkins is the engine of choice for the HMK 230 MG, specifically the 1204F-E44TAN. With a Tier 3 emission system, the engine outputs 92.6kW(124hp)@2200rpm, generating a maximum torque of 530Nm@1400rpm.

The power to the final drive is controlled via a direct drive powershift transmission, with six-forward and six-reverse gears. This allows for speeds from 3.60km/h to 45km/h in both directions. Bringing those 12-tonnes of iron to a stop is provided by the dual circuit air-activated multiple discs through the four rear wheels.

Blade uses

Good visibility for the operator

Designed to be used in all environments, the blade allows for use in a variety of operations, such as mixing, dozing, batter creation, ditch digging, and of course, grading of surfaces to a high finished standard.

Made from wear-resistant steel with box-steel reinforcement, the 3100mm long blade, stands 530mm tall, has a maximum digging depth of 410mm and can be raised 430mm above ground level.

The blade can be rotated 360 degrees and has maximum cutting angles on the left side of 81 degrees and 36 degrees on the right-hand-side of the machine.

Cutting edges and end bits are easily available to maintain maximum service life, according to the manufacturer.

Hire fleet possibilities

Being a tried-and-true design, Liam says the HMK 230 MG grader would also fit well into a hire fleet.

"We actually had an older model 12-tonne Mitsubishi grader in the Magnum Hire fleet for many years. It was always out and the only reason we stopped hiring it was because eventually the machine became non-compliant, as it had no ROPS protection," he says.

"The Hidromek graders have full ROPS and FOPS, so that is no longer an issue, but I am adamant this size grader would be ideal in hire fleets."

True grader

Familiarity with the levers

"I guess one of the main points I want to get across is that the HMK 230 MG is a true grader in every sense of the word. It is made to do hard work and like all Hidromek machinery, has been tested in a country that has a predominately rocky environment," says Liam.

"These machines are built to take hard knocks and come out smiling at the other end."

Hidromek HMK 230 MG specifications

Operating weight 12,100kg
Overall length 7602mm
Overall width 2180mm 
Overall height to top of cab 3280mm
Wheelbase 5300mm 
Engine Perkins 1204D-E44TA 

Net power

96.5kW(129hp) @2200rpm 

Max torque

516Nm @1400rpm 
Transmission Direct drive powershift 
Gear 6 forward/6 reverse 
Max speed 3.60–45.4km/h 
Articulation angle 26 degrees 
Front axle oscillation 30 degrees 
Wheel leaning 20 degrees 
Tyres 11.00-20 16PR 
Pump type Variable displacement piston pump 
Capacity 146 L/min 
Max working pressure 172 bar 
Cab certification ROPS/FOPS  
Blade length 3100mm 
Blade height 530mm 
Max blade height from ground 430mm 
Max dig depth 410mm 
Blade turning angle 360 degrees 
Max bank cutting angle 90 degrees 
Cutting angle 36-81 degrees 

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