Excavators have continued to develop rapidly and thanks to advanced technology, they have become highly adaptable machines which can be applied to a range of tasks and enhanced to perform heavy-duty jobs in compact spaces. As well as these achievements, the level of operator comfort has also been improved over recent years.
UK-based construction equipment manufacturer JCB have released the latest crawler excavator, the JZ141. The excavator combines the performance of the outgoing JZ140, which it is replacing, with the 55 kW JCB EcoMAX engine solution from the JS131 excavator.
The JZ141 has been specifically designed to operate within confined urban spaces whilst offering a significantly reduced risk of damage to the rear of the machine. This is because of its reduced tail swing, which is said to be 29% shorter in length than conventional machinery of this weight. This shorter tail swing also serves to make the excavator suitable for working within single-traffic carriageways.
The JZ141 may have reduced dimensions, but this does not mean that its operator comfort is compromised. It has KAB seating which can easily be adjusted, as well as air suspension, heating and ventilation. On the higher specification seat, electric lumbar support is also available as an option.
When it comes to safety, the full-size JS series cab structure includes a tip-over protection structure (TOPS) as standard. An additional roll-over protection structure (ROPS) and falling object protection structure (FOPS) are also available add-ons. Additionally, the heavy counterweight and clever positioning of the engine and hydraulic components means that the centre of gravity optimised, providing a higher level of stability on rougher terrains.
Another way in which safety has been improved is the all-round visibility provided by rear-view cameras. The cameras are connected to a seven inch multi-colour display, which offers clear operational guidance and a home screen which can be altered to display the operator’s preferred data. This excavator has also achieved a fuel saving of up to 20% compared to the JZ140, which is explained by the use of larger hydraulic pumps.
Minimising the footprint
The American construction equipment manufacturer, Case Equipment, has also created a new crawler excavator with short tail swing; the CX245D SR. It’s the latest addition to the company’s D series and was designed specifically to provide more powerful digging and lifting power in confined areas like road and bridge work and residential projects.
With an operating weight of 24 tonnes, the new excavator includes a compact counterweight, as well as improved boom placement in order to minimise the machine’s footprint. Along with other D series models, the CX245D SR was designed to yield a number of operational gains. One example is the reduction of cycle times. Bucket digging forces and lift capacity have had to be increased because of its electronically-controlled hydraulic pump, larger control and solenoid valves, and numerous sensors.
These features are integrated with the Case Intelligent Hydraulic System, and advanced energy management with its five separate control systems, in order to create the best use of the machine’s hydraulic power and momentum. These alterations have resulted in greater strength whilst also improving fuel efficiency.
Improving overall performance
The EZ80 , which is the latest model in German light equipment manufacturer Wacker Neuson’s 5- 9 tonne excavator series, has also been manufactured to work in smaller areas of space. The machinery has zero tail swing and it offers great precision and efficiency.
The load-sensing component in the hydraulic system means that the work speed of each movement is able to remain constant and independent of load – due to the load-independent flow control – even if multiple movements are undertaken at the same time. This means that operating the excavator is relatively simple and accurate too.
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