Product profile: Sany SY155U

By: Ed, Photography by: Ed

Deals on Wheels went to see a Sany excavator being used on a 1000-acre farm and rural lifestyle development north of Auckland

The dirt moving game is an interesting business, especially over the last few years, with the number of construction machinery brands available in New Zealand increasing, primarily due to the European countries and China extending their sales reach Down Under.

For many years, the US and Japan had a tight grip on the local scene and have a strong following, although, newer brands such as Sany, distributed in New Zealand by Vertu Equipment, have established themselves as strong disruptors in the competitive construction machinery market.

According to Forbes Global, in 2021, the company Sany Heavy Industry was in the top 25% of businesses worldwide and one of the largest manufacturer of heavy equipment in the world. Part of this growth can be attributed to the company partnering with other well-established brands, such as Putzmeister and Palfinger.So, with that impressive brief background to the business, it’s fairly easy to see why Sany machinery is also proving popular with those closer to home.

Case in point is Kaukapakapa-based developer Dave Morgan, who earlier this year purchased a zero-tail Sany SY155U. It has become an invaluable tool and is steadily clocking up hours on numerous jobs around his 1000-acre (404 hectares) property.

"I was originally a builder, so got to use excavators around building sites on a semi-regular basis. I had a good idea of what I wanted for an excavator that could be used on the farm and also help out on the 13-lot lifestyle subdivision that is being developed in one area of the expansive property," says Dave.

"I started looking at secondhand machines but finding one that met all our needs for the farm and subdivision works was difficult. The prices on older machines with higher hours seemed unreasonable, and I found Sany had new excavators that were well-priced and
well-spec’d," says Dave.

The power plant

The 16T Sany SY155U was specifically set-up for duties on farm and development work

Tipping the scales at 16,000kg, the Sany SY155U zero-tail excavator is powered by the tried-and-tested four-cylinder Isuzu 4JJ1X Isuzu engine. The engine’s output is rated at 78.5kW(105hp)@1900rpm, with maximum torque of 375Nm achieved at 1800rpm. The hydraulic pump set-up consists of two variable piston pumps providing a maximum oil flow of 2 x 110 litres per minute.

Heavy-duty undercarriage

Excellent balance properties for a zero-tail swing machine when loading out

Build-wise, the upper body of the SY155U sits on a heavy-duty (HD) undercarriage as standard, designed to give additional strength and support to the dozer blade, along with a longer service life to the seven lower rollers, single upper roller, front idler, sprocket, and chains.

Spec’ing the new machine for work

The Sany has a maximum travel speed of 5.3km/h

Prior to purchasing the excavator, Dave says he had a specific list of requirements for a machine that would fulfil his current and future needs.

One of the primary reasons he chose Sany was the double auxiliary piping, a feature that only a few brands had available — more on that soon. Other requirements were the previously mentioned zero-tail swing, dozer blade, along with a hydraulic thumb and tilt-bucket.

"My mate pushed me into the (optional) leather seat that Vertu offer; it’s well worth it. The aircon and Bluetooth stereo are perfect," Dave says.

13-lot subdivision

Dave Morgan

Another solid reason for purchasing a new machine compared to second-hand was the 13-lot subdivision that’s being developed on part of the property.

"I’m using the excavator on the subdivision for drainage and whatever they want me to do," says Dave.

On the day of our visit, the 16-tonne excavator was busy tidying up tipped spoil and loading out aggregate for use on the subdivision, with the SY155U showing excellent balance properties at 8338mm full reach, as it dropped another bucket into a waiting six-wheeler.

Farm work

The Sany SY155U is powered by the popular Isuzu 4JJ1X engine

With more than 1000 acres of sheep and beef farm to maintain and some three kilometres to the upper reaches of the property, roading access, and fence building has been a priority for the Sany SY155U, with work continuing throughout winter.

Without even mentioning the meterage of farm roads to be installed, there will also be more than nine kilometres of new fencing by the time all of the work has been completed, which also includes bush and wetland areas.

"Some of the tracks I’ve been cutting up the back of the farm are very steep, so the zero-tail swing is ideal when working against tight banks and having the (dozer) blade is second to none, as you’re pushing tracks out every day," says Dave.

"I went with a tilt-bucket as opposed to a tilt-hitch, mainly for the weight factor out the front, especially when working on steep slopes."

Hydraulic thumb

The hydraulic bank is easy to access

Another important implement in Dave’s work arsenal is the hydraulic thumb, which has been used to remove downed trees and other duties around the farm. Tucked tightly up against the boom to cause minimal interference when the SY155U is on excavation work, it can be quickly put into use when needed.

"I went with the thumb, as it’s good for moving trees, logs, and pipes and whatever you need it for," he says.

Double auxiliary piping

Double-auxiliary piping comes standard with the Sany SY155U

According to Dave, when he was looking to buy a machine in early 2022, there were not a lot of brands that had excavators available with double auxiliary piping as standard.

"The auxiliary piping is perfect. I’ve got three attachments that I can put on there if I need, and there’s plenty of piping for upgrades in the future. With the farm, there’s a lot of gorse and scrub, so in the future, I’ll look at a mulching head and maybe eventually going into the business clearing for other landowners." 

Factory-backed warranty

A well-laid-out workstation

Sany distributors Vertu Equipment provide a factory-backed five-year/5000-hour warranty for machines up to 19.5 tonnes and a four-year/8000-hour warranty for 19.5 tonnes and above.

"With Vertu, I went with a five-year/5000-hour service plan that goes along with the warranty, which is awesome, as I don’t have to worry about servicing or costs for the next five years," says Dave.

"I highly recommend this machine to anyone in the construction or farming industry. The price is second to none. It does everything you ask it for; it all works pretty well. I’d recommend going through Vertu when buying a machine. They are good to deal with and that’s why I went with them."

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