Product feature: Morooka MST-2200VD

North Auckland-based Gideon Contractors Ltd adds a Morooka MST-2200VD to its fleet—one of the largest models the Japanese manufacturer makes

The new Morooka is part of Gideon Contractors’ scheduled upgrade of plant

If you’re into moving copious amounts of fill around subdivisions or sites, then someone like Gideon Contractors Ltd is your best friend when winter comes around, for they’re one of the few businesses that can get in and stabilise ground, enabling work to continue throughout the wet months.

Established in 2002, the North Auckland-based business splits the skills of its 30 or so staff between civil construction contracts and stabilisation work, with their equipment often seen in far-flung corners of the country.

A lesson in stabilisation

For those who are unfamiliar with fill drying stabilisation, it’s a process where clay-based soil is treated with lime and an exchange of ions takes place, which reduces the plasticity index and results in an increase in the soil stability. Clever, eh? If the clay contains gravel, then the lime will act as a binding agent.

Once lime is placed in the area to be stabilised, it will be mixed with a rotary hoe and then compacted with padfoot drum rollers until the specified hardness is achieved.

Lime stabilisation, sometimes with the addition of cement will work for just about any sandy or granular soils, so on jobs this can mean the difference between achieving the correct moisture content and density, or digging everything out and replacing it with hardfill. This then becomes an economical alternative.

"At this time of the year, we’re rushed off our feet with stabilisation jobs," says Gideon general manager Hayden Lovett. "There can be a lot of projects where stabilisation work will allow them to move onto the next stage of the job, instead of parking up until conditions dry up."

The role of tracked carriers

The Morooka MST-2200VD has a maximum payload of 11,000kg

When it comes to getting the lime in the right places, sometimes trucks will only get the material so far onto a job site. Then it’s the job of specialised equipment like tracked carriers, such as Gideon’s new Morooka MST-2200VD to earn its money, thanks to the ability to work in adverse ground conditions.

The ROPS/FOPS cab is fully air-conditioned

The company’s latest acquisition is so new when we see it, that it still has to receive a sheen of lime dust from the first job. With a cab and chassis weight of 16,000kg, the MST-2200VD is one of the largest tracked carriers Morooka manufactures and is designed for a payload of 11 tonnes.

The Morooka MST-2200VD has ground clearance of 580mm

Having an overall chassis length of 5900mm and width of 2980mm, the machine’s design has a minimum underbody clearance of 580mm, so is ideally suited for making the most of the soft conditions that the Gideon operators will sometimes find themselves in.

Less pressure than a human foot

The tracks exert less ground pressure than a human foot

Importantly, the MST-2200VD has a ground pressure of 33.2kPa—or roughly half the amount of pressure a human foot exerts on the ground when walking. "We’ve got a couple of Morookas in the fleet and have found them ideal for getting material into places where the trucks can’t reach," says Hayden.

Morooka says the light imprint is due to the design of the undercarriage being a result of more than 50 years of rubber track development with Bridgestone. The proprietary tracks are said to combine the characteristics of a tyre-equipped vehicle’s speed and smooth ride, with the traction of steel tracks.

Power to the ground

Power is via the Cummins QSB6.7 engine rated at 186kW@2000rpm

Power for the MST-2200VD is provided from a Cummins QSB6.7, Tier 4 emission-rated engine. Output is measured at 186kW (254hp)@2000rpm. The MST-2200VD has a top speed of 10km/h.

Two levers are all the operator needs to focus on when driving

Through the hydrostatic transmission, the operator has full control of the machine with two-drive levers that control Morooka’s HST drive system and which has been designed to eliminate the requirement for clutch and gear controls. In short, the operation of the tracked carrier is a straightforward exercise.

Operator station

All vitals available to see on the monitor

The interior of the fully-enclosed ROPS/FOPS cab is what many would call a simple functional set-up with full air-conditioning and radio, along with a quality suspension seat that will help ensure the operator performs to the best of their ability during any long workday.


A brightly-lit LCD monitor keeps across all the machine’s vital functions and is positioned within easy view.

"The interior layout is nice and simple, so makes it easier to train staff on how to use the machine," says Hayden.

Scheduled upgrades

The new machine was purchased as part of the company’s continual scheduled upgrade of the fleet to ensure all the equipment performs well in what can be harsh work conditions.

"We’ve dealt with Paul Gorrie (Magnum Equipment general manager sales) for a long time so know he understands our operation and equipment requirements," says Hayden.

"In our type of business, gear can take a hammering, so we need to ensure we have top-quality equipment that will function efficiently for the duration of its life and return a profit for the company."

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