Sumitomo SH240-5 excavator

By: Tim Dittmer, Photography by: Tim Dittmer

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Sumitomo’s Dash 5 model is a big step forward from its previous models, and the SH240-5 excavator is a delight to operate.

Sumitomo SH240-5 excavator
The brand-new Sumitomo SH240-5 excavator about to engage in some serious forestry work.
  • Increased output and torque plus reduced fuel consumption
  • Smooth hydraulics
  • Plenty of room around the filters for easy service
  • Comfortable and modern cab
  • Handles trees well while remaining sure-footed

Salesman Mardi Pritchard and I were along for the ride to deliver a brand new Sumitomo SH240-5 excavator to operator Roger Kelly. The machine was guarded by Gary Douglas Engineers for forestry work.

Sumitomo has fitted a four-cylinder 5.2-litre engine that features more output and torque than the previous Dash 3 model. The new Isuzu 4HK1X diesel is coupled to twin 234L/min variable displacement hydraulic pumps that provide up to 343-bar of pressure for the machine functions.

The new engine has common rail fuel injection along with a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system and, combined with the new hydraulic system, Sumitomo is claiming a huge 18 percent reduction in fuel consumption compared to the older model.

Two travel speeds offer 5.5kmh in high and 3.5kmh in low, with a maximum traction force of 216kN. Had this machine not been fitted with a grapple it would have swung a 1.1m3 bucket.

"We have been very impressed with our SH240-5s," Pritchard says.

"They are a great mid-sized machine for the skid or all-round forestry use - they're also good for forestry roading, construction and smaller quarry operations with the ability to keep dumpers moving and shift sufficient amounts of dirt without too many transport issues," he says.



Gary Douglas Engineers transformed the Sumitomo into a highly speced forestry machine. It fitted the ROPS frame and cab riser, side OPS and heavy duty cab door guards, full body under-guarding, counterweight protection, lift ram guards, a slew guard, right-hand front corner stiffening and a purpose-made tool box.

The undercarriage benefited from full-length bush track guards and idler stiffening. Douglas fitted a purpose-built live heel and Ensign 1500 series grapple to the business end of the SH240. A full lighting kit, fire extinguishers and custom paint completed the package.



The heavy guarding panels swing open to allow access to the maintenance points. Remote mounted oil and fuel filters have plenty of room around them for ease of changing.

I liked the large storage compartments incorporated into the guarding package, under the cab in the high riser and on the front right side of the machine.

Both of Roger's Sumitomos are fitted with LED lighting to make those early starts and late finishes possible.

This machine only requires you to reach for the grease gun every 1000 hours for all pins except the bucket pins, which require a few pumps every 250 hours.



A switch located in the large storage compartment below the cab hydraulically opens and closes the heavy steel guard door. The cab sits atop its 500mm high riser and is fitted with large windows that provide great visibility - although the view to the rear is slightly hindered due to the body guards being higher than the original panels.

The bucket crowd function has been substituted for the grapple control, while the live heel and grapple rotate functions are controlled by buttons mounted on top of the joysticks. Three work modes are on offer - Adjustment, Heavy and Speed Priority. All mode controls are now incorporated into the throttle dial.

The cab features modern decor and is a very pleasant place to work in.



Roger's crew had just knocked over some pine trees so I climbed into the comfort of the warm cab to give the SH240 a whirl. A switch on the left console hydraulically closed the strong guard door, giving a very secure look and feel to the machine.

I selected full throttle and tracked the Sumi over to the row of sprawled out trees. The travel motors were smooth to operate while turning and during shifts in the two-speed travel. The Sumitomo comfortably walked while performing all other functions, so I could track back while dragging out a tree.

I grabbed a big tree in the grapple and pushed the live heel down to lift it off the ground. I was surprised how easily the SH240 handled them, even while operating over the side of the tracks it remained sure-footed. The controls for the live heel and grapple rotate are electric solenoid valves, though I think a proportional control for the heel would give a small benefit in smoothness.

Then Roger's operator Nick Bunn jumped in to pull some trees through the delimber. Watching the Sumitomo in action there's no doubt that it is definitely fit for purpose.

Nick threw the trees around with ease, while the size of the delimbed pile steadily increased - and that's what it's all about.

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