Cover story: largest Hidromek excavator in NZ

By: Steve Atkinson, Photography by: Justin Bennett

Coming in hot is the largest Hidromek excavator that has arrived in New Zealand to date and Deals on Wheels went to look at the new arrival

Just over a week after being landed, the impressive-looking Hidromek HMK410LCUHD H4 hadn’t yet found a permanent home, although the viewpoint was that it wouldn’t take too long for the 41-tonne excavator to muscle its way into a quarry or forestry owner’s fleet.

It’s a pretty bold move to bring in an entirely new model, although considering how well the brand has been settling in around the country, brand distributor Magnum Equipment’s founder and director Liam Field kept good on his promise of landing, by the end of 2021, the latest and largest Hidromek excavator in New Zealand so far.

Strong foundation

The underbody sits 1350mm from the ground

Specifically built for forestry, quarry or demo work, the HKM410LCUHD H4 (LC = Long Carriage UHD = Ultra Heavy Duty), this particular machine consists of a 40-tonne upper body placed on a 50-tonne track frame. Not that it really needs to be spelled out, but its pretty obvious to see there’s a sturdy and strong foundation to work from.

"A lot of additional custom strengthening is often done to machines like this especially in forestry, just so they can handle the brutal work conditions. I’m sure everyone has seen examples of where someone has gone crazy with the welder, but often they’re putting that stuff on top of a light base. Fundamentally, that doesn’t make sense," says Liam.

"We’ve gone the other way by supplying Hidromek excavators that provide a solid base and body. If necessary, a buyer can add their customisation for specific work applications but in the case of a machine like the ‘410’, pretty much everything is beefed up straight out of the factory."

Other than the heavy-duty track frame and undercarriage, some of the ‘beefing up’ Liam describes runs to the gauge of steel used in the upper body panels, internal support structure and bolt-on steel protectors that run along the rear lower lip on each side of the body. The protectors are a particularly thoughtful addition as its almost always the area where damage occurs from momentary operator inattention or just plain bad luck.

Work set-up

Ready to unload for a demo

The underbody of the HMK410LCUHD H4 sits 1350mm above the ground, while the bottom of the track frame provides 600mm of clearance from the ground.

"Essentially it is a high and wide setup, so this model will suit forestry, quarrying or demo applications well," says Liam. "We’re supplying this specific machine as quarry spec’d with a standard dipper arm and short boom, although there are a number of configurations we can supply."

Operator station

ROPS, FOPS and windscreen guarding

Protection for the operator comes in the form of ROPS cab, FOPS guard and front windscreen guard.

The airconditioned ergonomically redesigned cab sits on six viscomounts to reduce vibration and differs from previous models with a relocated switchboard and restyled travel pedals and joysticks, although the redesigns may not be immediately obvious for first time Hidromek operators.

Like all modern brands, Hidromek uses an integrated control system, in this case, ‘OPERA’, to keep across the health of the machine and allow the operator to tailor the excavator’s performance to specific use requirements. This includes adjusting hydraulic flow, along with the usual real-time monitoring of systems and controlling other operational parameters.

"We’re continually getting good feedback from operators, especially now that we’re in the warmer months of the year and they’ve got the air conditioning cranked up. It can actually get a bit chilly if you decide to run it at full-tilt," says Liam.

Engine and pumps

Two Kawasaki pumps output 300L per minute each/div>

Once behind the controls and with the engine powered up, the operator will have 287 horsepower (214kW) at their disposal, all courtesy of a 7.8 litre Isuzu AH-6HK1X six-cylinder intercooled and turbocharged engine. This will deliver a maximum torque of 1136 Nm@1500rpm. The emission class of the engine is Tier 3.

However, what’s the point of good-sized engine if it isn’t backed up with good pumping capacity? It’s here that Hidromek has found a good Japanese marriage between Isuzu and Kawasaki, of which the combination is used in all the brand’s excavator models from 14-tonnes upwards.

Getting all that hydraulic fluid to where it’s needed are the two Kawasaki variable displacement pumps, each one outputting 300 litres per minute and are supported by a 20 litres per minute pilot pump.

The money-making end

2.5 cubic metre rock bucket

With the standard 6100mm dipper arm and 2600mm boom, the 41-tonne excavator will provide a maximum digging reach of 10,460mm, enabling the operator to dig down to 6540mm. When loading out a maximum bucket dump height of 6900mm can be attained.

Specs for the Hidromek HMK410LCUHD H4 say it will deliver an arm breakout force of 20.000kgf and a digging force to the 2.5 cubic metre bucket of 23.700kgf.

Attachment use is easily accomplished with the factory-fitted double-piping and proportional hand controls are fitted for auxiliary piping.

Keeping the excavator arm working smoothly through all the hard work is the auto greasing system, which is fitted as standard with all Hidromek’s over 21-tonne.

Solid grafter

The machine has a maximum digging reach of 10,460mm

In a nutshell, the Hidromek HMK410LCUHD H4 is an excavator ready for solid graft straight out of the box. The design leans itself to providing the operator with a safe and well thought out platform that will contribute quickly and positively to the company bottom line.

"We’re really proud to have delivered such an impressive machine to the local market. Its specific design means the ‘410’ has a low centre of gravity that will give it excellent stability and therefore, should make it significantly safe to use, which in our eyes makes it an ideal excavator for use in New Zealand work environments," says Liam.

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