Review: Terex Construction TC50 excavator

By: Deals On Wheels Editor, Shane Matjevich, Photography by: Dave Lorimar

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Fuel station specialist Siteworks Ltd, makes good use of a Terex TC50 excavator in its daily operations.

Review: Terex Construction TC50 excavator
The Terex TC50 excavator ready for action.

Siteworks Ltd was established in 1992 by Dave and Janet Stewart, and primarily worked for the petroleum industry, installing underground fuel storage tanks and forecourt development.

Since then, Siteworks has grown and diversified, providing a range of services which include all aspects of earthmoving and civil construction, retaining walls, drainage, foundation and slab construction. Last year, a directional drilling team was established, operating out of Hamilton.

Shane Matjevich is one of Siteworks' key machine operators, employed with Siteworks since 2008. The Stewarts rely on Matjevich for all the tough jobs, whether he's operating the 14-tonne excavator in steep terrain or undercutting below a house with the PT50 Trax machine.

"I know I can trust Matjevich to complete the task safely and to a high standard expected by our clients," says Stewart.

Siteworks recently purchased a Terex TC50 excavator from Advance Quip. Here is what Matjevich has to say about the new machine.

Cab and controls

The TC50 has a decent size cab with wide opening door and plenty of room for a larger operator. Instruments comprise of a fuel gauge, an hour meter and a series of warning lights, etc. My first impression was that it is a very quiet machine with a low internal noise level (79db - Ed). It has a good heater and the air-con, while powerful, cools the cab well on those hot days. It does take up a bit of room, though, and looks like something from a 50s hospital ward. A surprise was a button on the left of the joystick that is a slew brake which will come in very handy for footings, etc.

Engine hydraulics

Powered by a 36hp Yanmar 2.2-litre engine and Rexroth pump, this gives the machine plenty of grunt and I am never wanting for more power. One notable feature is the way the rams are mounted on the boom and dipper: by a ball-and-socket type arrangement, rather than the more common push/pin. This is the first time I have ever seen this on a machine and time will tell whether it is a better option.

Performance and handling

The first job the Terex was used on was for removing broken concrete on a very steep driveway. I was immediately impressed by the machine's balance and ability to work safely on steep slopes with confidence, as zero-swing machines can sometimes lack a decent counter weight.

Another aspect I liked was how smooth the controls are - they did exactly what I wanted.

The top-mounted boom cylinder keeps it out of harm's way, which is ideal for the work we are in. A lot of work I do is in concrete and rock, but there is no difference in lift/speed. It is a very quick machine with a good slew speed and the ability to load a truck quickly.

Servicing and maintenance

The engine is accessed via a lift-up panel on the right side of the machine, which allows plenty of room for all daily checks. The grease nipples on this machine are very well placed and easily accessible. On some machines I have seen lately, this is clearly not the case. It goes without saying if it is easy to grease then it's going to get done.

One thing that I didn't like is the fuel filter which might be fine for filling from a tanker or bowser, but proves difficult to fill from 20-litre drums which we use sometimes.

Operator's opinion

Overall, the Terex TC 50 is a pleasure to drive. It is a well-thought-out, well-built five-tonne digger and is a nice place to spend my working day.

To be honest, I think Terex has introduced a very capable machine that will keep its opposition on their toes. I am continually impressed with it.

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