Cover story: Morooka MST700VDR

By: Steve Atkinson, Photography by: Steve Atkinson

The latest model tracked dumpers from Japanese manufacturer Morooka feature joystick controls – the first one to arrive in New Zealand

Distributed in New Zealand by Magnum Equipment, the Japanese-made Morooka brand is a premier provider of tracked dumpers, with their latest model the Morooka MST700VDR being an excellent option for those in need of superior performance and manoeuvrability.

Included as one of the Kuru Kuru carrier series of tracked dumpers, the MST700VDR weighs in at 4930kg. The compact unit features a 52kW (70hp) engine, a four-tonne carrying capacity, along with a 360-degree rotational ability, all being carried around the worksite on 500mm tracks.

Being one of the smaller models in the Morooka stable of tracked dumpers, the MST700VDR measures 3900mm long, 2100mm wide, and 2615mm high, so its footprint is somewhere in the range of a large four-wheel drive SUV. The machine would be ideally suited to small urban job environments, such as infill housing, lower-end commercial projects, and retirement village construction, with users finding those and no doubt, numerous other situations and uses for the versatile machine.

Joystick controls

The Morooka MST700VDR is an excellent option for those in need of superior performance and manoeuvrability

The biggest noticeable change to all of the latest Morooka models is the new travel system. Like its bigger siblings, the MST700VDR now boasts joystick controls that offer greater speed and precision when compared to the traditional floor-mounted levers of previous models. This makes operating the Morooka MST700VDR a pleasure and enables operators to complete tasks with greater efficiency.

"The joystick controls are a feature that will find immediate approval with operators," says Magnum Equipment founder and director Liam Field.

"The set-up is similar to an excavator with a lever on each side of the seat, which means the operator doesn’t have to lean forward over travel levers that stick out of the floor."

The left lever handles the back and forward motion of the machine, with the horn and two-speed travel buttons also located on the lever. The right lever controls the body slew and tipping action of the bin, which lifts and lowers hydraulically.

A well-thought-out safety feature is that with the ability of the machine to rotate 360 degrees, whatever direction the machine is facing, the hydraulic set-up will still ensure it always tracks forward when the travel lever is pushed ahead and reverses when the lever is pulled backwards.

For the operator

The MST700VDR now boasts joystick controls that offer greater speed and precision

The Morooka MST700VDR tracked dumper is designed for maximum versatility, allowing it to tackle multiple tasks with ease. It features a ROPS cab and offers a comfortable seating position in an open working environment. Understandably, the 2.5-inch LCD monitor, all gauges and switches are sturdy and designed for an open cab environment. "Users could fit plastic rain covers for those wet winter days, but these smaller units are designed for an operator to climb in and out regularly, especially on tight sites to move obstructions or perhaps work on other things while the dumper is being filled. They have a slightly different use compared to the larger models where bulk fill is being moved," says Liam. "My suggestion is to wait and see how the machine is being used before adding a cover to the cab."

Along with the requisite seatbelt and generous mirrors, an emergency safety stop is located adjacent to the operator’s seat, along with movement alarm, lever lockout safety bar, and roof-mounted flashing beacon.

The manufacturer says operators of the MST700VDR will benefit from low sound levels and minimal vibration, courtesy of the advanced suspension, allowing it to handle rough terrain with ease. It probably should be mentioned that Morookas run a Bridgestone rubber track system, which was developed especially for tracked dumpers and apparently exert a similar pressure to the human foot.

Power plant

The Morooka MST700VDR tracked dumper is designed for maximum versatility

As mentioned previously, the Morooka MST700VDR tracked dumper is powered by a reliable and fuel-efficient 52kW (70hp) Kubota diesel engine, designed to deliver optimum performance in any work setting.

The DEF-free engine is more than capable of pulling the four-tonne payload and being coupled with a quality hydraulic system, provides users with a sturdy and efficient off-road work platform that’s said to be consistent and smooth to operate.

Thoughtfully, the manufacturer has installed an anti-stall system that prevents the engine from stopping in high-load situations, such as when tipping and climbing with a load.

All service points are easily accessible in the engine bay, which appears reasonably spacious, despite the size of the machine. The air filter and battery are located in their own lockers and are accessible from the front of the machine.

Reliability and durability

The machine would be ideally suited to small urban job environments

The Morooka MST700VDR is a no-nonsense tracked dumper designed for maximum reliability and durability, making it an ideal choice for those working in tight urban environments and who need a reliable and powerful small-tracked dumper.

With Morooka’s commitment to quality and attention to detail evident in the MST700VDR, buyers should be able to build up some significant hours before the thought of a replacement machine occurs.

Magnum Equipment says they carry a good supply of regularly used parts and can arrange for servicing anywhere in New Zealand.

"We’ve sold a number of Morookas now, and our feedback is consistently good. We’re happy to discuss a customer’s requirements for these quality pieces of kit," says Liam.

Morooka MST700VDR specifications

Weight 4930kg
Max payload 4000kg
Engine Kubota V3307
Power  52.5kW(70hp)@2600rpm
Overall length 3900mm
Overall width  2100mm
Dump body  2000x1900x370mm
Ground clearance 455mm
Swing radius 2310mm
Track width 500mm
Travel speed  10.8/7.6km/h
Ground pressure empty 25.9kPa
Fuel tank capacity 105L

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