Hitachi has released a new range of wheel loaders to increase capacity at quarries and smaller mining operations.
The new ZW-5 wheel loaders range between 47 tonnes and bucket capacities of 7.2 cubic meters for the 397kW Zw550-5 through to the mid-sized ZW370-5, which weighs in at 34 tonnes and has bucket capacity of up to 6.2 cubic metres, and the smaller sized ZW330-5, which weighs in at 27 tonnes and has bucket capacities of up to 5 cubic metres.
According to Hitachi national project manager – wheel loader & excavators, Hiroyuki Mitsuyoshi, the new machines have been designed with two work modes for greater productivity.
“In standard mode the engine revs are controlled for smooth efficient operation in normal conditions, while Power mode offers extra traction for heavy digging or travelling uphill,” Mitsuyoshi said.
“A new hydraulic circuit allows for combined lift arm and bucket operation during loading, and prioritises bucket use for dumping while an anti-drift valve prevents internal oil leakage that can cause creeping of the lift arm. The result is a precise, economical machine.”
The ZW-5 range wheel loaders use automotive style planetary automatic transmission for smoother shifting, while a standard lock-up torque convertor aids fuel efficiency.
“The auto-style transmission makes these wheel loaders simpler to operate. Standard traction control and torque proportioning differentials get the power to the ground efficiently, reducing wheel spin and extending tyre life,” Mitsuyoshi said.
The operator controls also include an automatic mode that cuts bucket spill during operation.
Its new in-cabin features include an “air suspension seat has adjustable lumbar support and a high level of travel to comfortably accommodate even the tallest operators and the wrist and arm rests and side console are all adjustable.”
Front window pillars also provide increased operator visibility and unobstructed forward views, while to the rear both sides of the counterweight can be seen clearly from the cab, for better manoeuvring in tight quarters.
Maintenance has also been a focus in the new design.
“Despite their size, the new wheel loaders are designed for ground level access to daily maintenance points once the covers are raised,” he said.
“The reversible cooling fan can be set to automatic mode in dusty conditions to provide a minute of reverse flow for every 30 minutes of operation and the fan can be reversed manually as required in better conditions. This all makes for easier regular maintenance.”
Hitachi has also updated its previous existing models: the ZW140-5, ZW150-5, ZW180-5, ZW220-5, ZW250-5 and ZW310-5.
The smallest two models have hydrostatic transmissions, but share the Standard and P modes of the larger machines, with all featuring improvements to the cab.