Cover story: Hatuma Group's 41-tonne Hidromek

By: The Editor

Hatuma Group has recently put a 41-tonne Hidromek excavator to work at their Mauriceville lime quarry

The Hidromek HMK410LCUHD makes its way to the work platform

For travellers not hampered by time constraints, the sleepy hamlet of Mauriceville lies just off State Highway 2. Some 20km north of Masterton, the loop road is a short scenic deviation from the hustle and bustle of the main drag.

Situated pretty much in the middle of Mauriceville village is one of three long-established lime quarries/depots Hatuma Group operates, the others being at Waipukurau and Waipawa. There’s an additional satellite depot in Marton.

For those not familiar with the privately-owned business, Hatuma Group can trace its roots back to 1932, although, the Mauriceville site goes back even further to 1916 when it was run by a different operator.

Today, the combined quarries output a number of fertiliser products used on many North Island farms, with probably the most well-known being their Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate®, which has been manufactured since 1962.

However, before lime gets blended with other ingredients to make just the right Hatuma product and then spread by tractor, truck, or aircraft on hungry farms, there’s the none-to-small matter of winning the raw material from Mother Earth.

For the team at the Mauriceville quarry, this means getting to work with numerous heavy machines, which now include a new 41-tonne Hidromek excavator.

The workhorse

Hatuma Group workshop manager Joshy Joseph (left) and operations manager Chris McNaught

Purchasing the HMK410LCUHD (LC-long carriage/UHD-ultra heavy duty) excavator was a deviation from the brand Hatuma Group was accustomed to, but the solid quarry spec’d machine with its low estimated fuel economy and admirable price point made the deal difficult to walk away from, says Hatuma Group operations manager Chris McNaught.

Tipping the scales at 41.8 tonnes, the Hidromek HMK410LCUHD is actually a 40-tonne upper structure on an HMK500 (50-tonne) track frame.

The large cooling system is easily accessible

It’s powered by an Isuzu-AH-6HK1X six-cylinder turbo/intercooled diesel engine that outputs 287hp(214kW)@2000rpm gross. This, in turn, delivers a gross max torque of 1136Nm@1500rpm.

There is 1385mm ground clearance to the upper structure and 600mm to the undercarriage

The Kawasaki double variable displacement axial piston pumps provide a maximum flow of 2 x 300 litres per minute. The undercarriage consists of X-type lower frame construction with a pentagon box-type chassis.

The two Kawasaki main pumps provide 300L/min each

Full-length track guards, heavy-duty double lug 600mm grousers, and nine lower rollers along with two upper rollers on each side give a high and wide work platform with 1385mm upper structure ground clearance, allowing the operator an elevated view.

The overall length of the Hidromek with boom folded down for transport is 10,990mm, and it has a minimum ground clearance of 600mm. When in working mode, the operator will get a maximum digging reach of 10,460mm and a maximum dump height of 6900mm.

The quarry bucket has a capacity of 2.5m3

The standard quarry spec bucket is 2.5 cubic metres, and arm breakout force with power boost is an impressive 21,800kgf. The bucket ram has a heavy-duty guard fitted to protect the ram spear from rock fall damage.

Suffice to say, it’s a highly capable quarry-bred machine that should be right at home in its Wairarapa situation or any other demanding work environment for that matter.

"The machine’s impending arrival generated some interesting conversations, and I think once people saw it in the flesh, they understood our reasons for purchasing," says Chris. "While it is early days, we’re quietly optimistic that it will handle the work well."

Getting to work

A Maxbrio hydraulic ripper will be put to good use

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the buff black and white excavator had been delivered, and we were hoping to coordinate our visit with the inaugural run of a Maxbrio hydraulic ripper.

I recall seeing one in action a while back at a Northland lime quarry and they seem like an ideal piece of kit for the type of work. Up until our arrival, the new Hidromek had been run with the purpose-built quarry bucket, working alongside another 30-tonne excavator of another brand and four busy wheel loaders.

"While our main business is supplying the agricultural sector, we also do a lot of work for the civil construction market as well," says Chris.

Approved servicing


Another big factor that helped push the deal over the line was Magnum Equipment allows servicing of Hidromek equipment by approved purchasers with qualified staff, so in Hatuma Group’s situation, software updates and other maintenance work can be carried out by the company’s mechanical team without voiding the factory warranty.

"Maintenance is significantly reduced with the onboard auto-greasing system and some companies we sell to have technically qualified staff who can carry out the servicing and update requirements, so it seems ridiculous to have them standing around while we send one of our service team across to do what are simple mechanical tasks," says Magnum Equipment founder and director Liam Field.

Liam also points out that Magnum Equipment has service agents located around the country and personnel are available at any time to provide guidance, either on-site or remotely, should the need arise.

Chris adds to the conversation: "Last week, our other machine was offline, so we swapped the grab bucket across to the Hidromek, so it could continue stockpiling boulders for slip reinstatement work in the region."

He then goes on to say that changing the grab bucket to the Hidromek was a straightforward process and a phone call to Magnum Equipment enabled Hatuma’s workshop manager to set up the machine with the correct operating pressures in just a
few minutes.

"This kind of versatility allows us to be a lot more responsive to the changing environment we work in," says Chris.

At the rockface

Operator Dwayne Shannon

Like many best-laid plans, our hope of seeing the Maxbrio hydraulic ripper tear into some stubborn limestone is thwarted by a wait for pipe fittings and the rapidly diminishing available light for photographs and video.

Formulating a new plan, the Hatuma team connect the quarry bucket to the Robur DynaGrip quick hitch on the HMK410LCUHD, and it was sent out on excavation duties under the guidance of operator Dwayne Shannon.

Although his hours are not high on the machine yet, Dwayne has a positive report, citing stable handling and more than adequate power for the work being undertaken.

"It rips through this ground really well. I can’t wait to see how it performs with the (hydraulic) ripper," says Dwayne. "The bucket is very well designed for the type of work we do. The build quality is solid—it’s a hard machine to fault so far."

Its comments like Dwayne’s that continue to inspire the Magnum Equipment team, knowing that they have delivered another machine that will help keep the agricultural and civil sectors productive.


Hidromek HMK410LCUHD specifications

Operating weight


Isuzu-AH-6HK1X 6-cylinder turbo/intercooled

Power (gross)

287hp(214kW) @2000rpm gross

Max torque (gross) 1136Nm@1500rpm
Emission system Tier 3
Main pumps Kawasaki double variable displacement axial piston pumps
Max oil flow 2 x 300L/min
Arm breakout force 21,800kgf

Bucket digging force


Standard bucket size

Machine width 3500mm
Max reach at ground level 10,210mm
Transport length 10,990mm
Max digging reach 10,460mm
Max dump height 6900mm

Min ground clearance

Upper structure clearance 1385mm

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